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5 Mistakes To Avoid When Looking For A New Job

In this day and age the job market is an extremely competitive one. There are tons of people out there who are looking for work, and employers are aware of this fact. It seems that anymore you have to very mindful when it comes to how well you perform your job if you want to move up, because there’s always someone else who is willing to be your replacement. Now, this doesn’t mean that you have to work yourself to death, but you can make a few changes that will ensure you’re on the top of your game. Here are five common mistakes that you should avoid in order to keep your potential employer happy.

1. Grammar Is Important

This may seem obvious, but a lot of folks seem to overlook this little detail. A first impression is a lasting impression and employers are going to be very detail oriented when you first come in contact with them. After you’ve written your resume or cover letter, you should proof read it yourself and also have a friend or family member check over it as well.

2. Don’t Apply for Every Job

Nobody likes to be out of work, so it’s understandable that people apply to as many jobs as possible during this time. While it may seem like a good idea at the moment, it may come back to bite you. Applying for several jobs at once can lead to trouble. You may end up scoring a job that is either out of your qualification or not up to your standards.

3. Keep Your Identity Clean

With the internet being on of employer’s most powerful screening tools; it can land you in hot water if you’re not careful. Would you be comfortable inviting your potential employer to read your Facebook or Twitter profile? If not, you may want to think about cleaning them up. Many companies do thorough investigations that include checking into social media sites. Just make sure you keep the controversial items to private conversations!

4. Pay Attention to Detail

Be punctual! If you should up late to an interview, you may as well be screaming “Don’t hire me!” This should be obvious, but I can’t stress it enough.

5. Be Presentable

Make sure that you’re dressing for the job you want. Many employers take into account what you choose to wear to your interview. Keep your outfit professional, but don’t overdo it.

5 Lazy Mistakes That Hurt Your Job Search

Whether you’re unemployed and looking for a new job, or you’re just ready to change companies, a job search can be a lot of work.  If you’re not getting interviews, or the interviews you do get don’t translate into offers you might be worried that you’ll never land a good job.  While there are many reasons a job search will have struggles, one of them is that people today are not putting in the work required to get the jobs they want.  The following are five of the biggest mistakes people make on a job search that can make, many of which are simple to correct with a little work.

1. Using the Internet Exclusively to Find Jobs – With dozens of different websites dedicated to finding and applying for jobs it is no surprise that this is where most people turn first when they are on the hunt for employment.  While this is absolutely a great place to start, it should not be the only resource you use.  Unfortunately, almost everyone uses these web pages so there is lots of competition

2. Generic Cover Letters & Resumes – While it is simple to send out hundreds of resumes online, there is a big downside to this.  Your resume and cover letter should be tailored specifically to the job you’re applying for.  Including, for example, accomplishments that would translate perfectly to the job you’re applying for will get you much more attention.

3. Post-Interview Follow Up – When you do get an interview you need to remember that this is just the first step.  You should always send a quick thank you note to the people who interviewed you.  This will not only help ensure you appear professional, but it will be another opportunity for you to put your name in front of them.  The thank you note can be something short and sweet thanking them for their time and offering them your contact information in case they have any additional questions.

4. Networking – Today more than ever it is critical to work with other people when looking for a job.  Reaching out to friends, family, co-workers and even just ‘Facebook friends’ asking if they are aware of any job openings at their places of employment can be a great opportunity.  Most people love helping others, and they know if they can help you today, you may be able to help them down the road.

5. Preparing for an Interview – When you finally get the call for an interview, make sure you immediately start doing your homework.  You should go into every interview with as much knowledge as possible about the company and the position you’re interviewing for.  Asking intelligent questions and being ready for their questions will help you appear qualified, eager and confident. 

How to Rise Above the Competition in Your 2013 Job Search

With the New Year just beginning many people are looking to make changes in their life, and for some of them finding or changing jobs is a big part of that.  Whether you are currently unemployed or you’re just looking for a new and exciting career, it is important to know how to set yourself apart in a job search.  With unemployment so high today employers often see dozens or even hundreds of resumes for each job opening.  If you want a chance at getting that job you need to know how to rise above the competition.

Improve Your Skills

While a decade ago employers would often consider people who don’t have every skill they would like for a job, today they are able to be much pickier.  Every skill you can learn and add to your resume will help distinguish you from the rest of the crowd.  Look into getting certifications in your field.  If you have an interest in other fields, branch out and get certifications or other skills.  You can often do this in your spare time or if you’re currently unemployed you can make this a priority.

Networking

Today more than ever it is critical to use your network of friends, colleagues, former co-workers and even previous employers to help you find that next job.  Asking your network of associates for a recommendation when looking for a new job can really give you a big advantage.  There are many times when a job is not even posted online because the company likes to hire based on the recommendations of their current employees.  Don’t be afraid to ask around for help, most people are very happy to assist whenever they are able.  

Creativity

Try to come up with things that will help get your resume noticed. This can be a difficult balancing act between being creative and being unprofessional.  Using a cover letter and resume you have the opportunity to set yourself apart.  Make sure you do it in a creative and effective way.  A great idea is to create a blog where you showcase your work or previous projects.

Improve Your Interview Skills

If you manage to land an interview, make sure you are ready to impress them.  You can no longer expect to walk into an interview unprepared and get the job you desire.  Before arriving make sure you study up and learn as much as possible about the company and the position you’re interviewing for.  Asking intelligent questions and having engaging answers to theirs will help demonstrate that you’re the right person for the job.

Don’t Go Overboard

No matter what type of job you’re looking for, it is important to be able to stand out in a positive way.  Unlike in show business, not all attention is good attention when searching for a job.  Make sure you think about everything you do during your job search to make sure you are remaining professional and come across as someone you would want to hire.

Top 10 Words to Avoid on Your LinkedIn Profile

If your profile is on LinkedIn because you’re searching for a new job (or even your first job) there is something vital that you need to know in order to avoid sounding like the millions of other people doing the same thing.  What that is, in simple terms, is overuse of the same adjectives or ‘buzzwords’

For example, if you write that you’re creativeinnovative or responsible you’re using three words that have been used so much that a recent survey of 187 MILLION LinkedIn users put all 3 in their Top 10 list of most popular buzzwords. That means there’s a LOT of people using the same 3 words to describe themselves.

In effect, by using these buzzwords (and several others that are far too common) you’re doing nothing to make yourself sound unique, attractive or different from the rest. In fact, using these words can make you appear boring, bland, dull and ordinary,  a few adjectives that you surely want to avoid if you’re trying to land a job offer.

When you post your profile to LinkedIn your goal should be to write something that makes you stand out from the crowd.  Yes, by all means use some adjectives to pump a little life into what you write but, better still, instead of using the same tired buzzwords why not give an example of what you have done.

For instance, if you’re creative, write a line or two about how your creativity helped your last company.  If you’re innovative describe how that trait paid off during a recent project. The objective on LinkedIn is not to wow readers with your inventive use of buzzwords but with your actual skills. (Assuming of course that you actually do have said skills.)

What most managers are looking for is real-world experience and honesty.  If you have the experience then you really don’t need to wrap your profile in buzzwords but just talk about what it is that you’ve actually accomplished and let those accomplishments speak for themselves.

The Top 10 Buzzwords,  by the way, are below.  If you really are ‘creative’ then you should have no problem skipping over them and putting together a profile that defines who you are and what you can do without all the fluff.

  1. Creative
  2. Organizational
  3. Effective
  4. Motivated
  5. Extensive experience
  6. Track record
  7. Innovative
  8. Responsible
  9. Analytical
  10. Problem solving

How Your Online Presence Can Boost or Lower Your Job Chances

Firstly, I want to wish everyone a happy new year. I hope 2013 will be a successful year for you and your family.

One of the most important aspects of our lives is our online presence. What you do, or do not do, online has a major impact on your chances to get the job you want. Even if you are qualified and look great on paper, what is available online may tell another story, or it may give you a far better chance of being accepted. If you want to take advantage of what a good online persona can offer, you need to know what to do as well as the steps you should take to ensure the results you want. If you put the time and effort into doing this, you can find yourself in the job you love and continually viewed as someone who brings more to the company on a regular basis.

Understanding the possibilities of a great online presence is a big thing. When you use Facebook, Twitter, and other social media sites intelligently and contribute something to the community at large, you can see your chance of jobs and promotions go up. Employers want to know that the people they hire are working to better themselves and give their company a good name, regardless of the position. This is what either brings in or sends away potential customers. When a person is attracted to a business and the employees present themselves professionally, people are more likely to choose them, which ultimately help the company.

Without an online persona, either entirely or one that is good, you cannot experience the types of benefits possible. More than likely, you will see less interest overall and more problems in the workplace. Any person who uses this account solely for social purposes and acts highly unprofessional might not get the interviews or jobs they want. Some people who have acted in this manner have also lost their current job. If you think you can avoid these troubles by not having an account at all, you are mistaken. Many employers might see that as a problem or red flag, causing them to go elsewhere for their employee.

To avoid the dangers and make the best out of your account, make sure it is professional and mature. This is something people are going to be looking through and viewing, making it very important that present and/or future employers like what they see. If you are filling your pages with inappropriate behavior and language that would not be wanted in the workplace, you may not be viewed as a possible candidate or permanent employee.

When you have everything looking decent, try to bring in readers and followers. By posting links to blogs, articles, and various web pages related to your area of work, you can start bringing in an audience that will want to hear what you have to say. This gives your employer a boost, as well, whenever you mention them, something that many want.

Putting the time and effort into not only creating a professional, clean online persona, but also maintaining it can help you reach your dream career. This gives you the ability to reach people and look like someone who will be a productive, rewarding member of the company.

Getting a Job is an Inside Job

Firstly, I want to take a moment to wish everyone happy holidays.

With the economy in a slump and the unemployed rate steadily rising, many people are finding themselves jobless and searching without any luck. Having a degree and experience sometimes just isn’t enough. You can have a perfect resume, but that does not mean you will find employment. Many people nowadays rely solely on sending out applications online or submitting their resumes to employees with little to no interaction with anyone who works at the company. While that may work with some people, it doesn’t always guarantee success for landing a job. It is important to develop personal relationships with the appropriate people in order to find proper employment. In the end, it is those relationships that will have employers coming your way and will expose you to more job opportunities.

It’s an unfortunate fact that many are suffering from long term unemployment. Even those with experience in a certain field and/or a college degree are finding their job inquiries unanswered, are not being called back for interviews, or are having their resumes ignored in general. This is because companies aren’t likely to hire people they don’t know. The only way to solve this problem is to get involved with those people who are affiliated with these companies and make connections. In order to do this, you will have to do some in person marketing and try to “hang out” with people who have connections, and make connections of your own. By knowing the right people, you can get your foot in the door so to speak. Companies are more likely to hire people they are familiar with, than people who blindly send in resumes or apply online. It is also easier to make an impression during an interview this way.

You will be more likely to get an interview if you are referred to the company by someone who works for the company and has the trust of the manager. By gaining the trust of people affiliated or employed by a company, you are also indirectly gaining the trust of the higher-ups in the company, increasing your chances of getting hired. It is important to make these connections that will get you recognized by employers. Sending in a resume online isn’t enough.

Many people go by the assumption that using websites to get jobs is the best choice. It certainly is the easiest. It doesn’t require going on any interviews and it is much faster and impersonal. However, most employers don’t thoroughly review all of the applications they receive online, and that certainly will be a high number considering the amount of people who rely solely on searching for jobs online. If the hiring manager of a company is familiar with the type of work ethic you have based on accounts from people whom are employed by the company, then your chances of being hired have been increased. You are more likely to get hired by knowing the right people than by depending on the internet alone.

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