Thursday, December 5, 2013
Try several search terms. Since you don't know which job title the employer will use, it's a good idea to try a variety of keywords when searching for positions. Widening your search gives you more results and it allows you to see positions that you may not have previously considered.
Regularly update your profile. When employers do a search for candidates, it is the recently updated profiles that come up first. If you edit your profile once a week, you can make sure that it is always current. You don't have to do a complete overhaul every time; just making a small change and saving it will do the job.
Use job sites for your research. In addition to job postings, most job boards have a lot of useful information. Browse around the site and try to find pages about the labour market, your industry, and your target companies. This research can help you uncover hidden opportunities.
Make use of job alerts. Many job sites give you the opportunity to receive job alerts whenever there is a posting that includes your keywords. You can arrange to receive these alerts daily, weekly or whenever a new job is posted. Since it is in your best interest to apply to available positions quickly, job alerts can help you seize these opportunities.
If you are smart about it, job boards can be a valuable tool. However, if most of your job search is being conducted in front of your computer then you need to step it up. Use the web sites for your research and then get out there and meet people.
(Written by: Karen Bivand, Photo by: stockimages/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net)
Tuesday, December 3, 2013
Be prepared. Find out which employers are going to be there and research them. Consider how your skills might appeal to them. Have your 30 second elevator pitch prepared and be ready to customize it to each employer.
Look good. Dress as professionally as you would for an interview. When you meet an employer, smile, look them in the eye, and give them a firm handshake.
Be realistic about your goals. Don't expect to get a job there. The most that you can hope for is to make enough of an impression on an employer for them to invite you for an interview.
Plan for success. Get a map of the job fair and decide which employer booths you will visit. Bring your own snacks and water so that you don't have to waste your time and money buying it.
Network. Make friends with some of the other attendees at the job fair and swap notes. Another job seeker may be able to give you valuable information about who's hiring and which booths to visit.
Follow up. Make notes about the conversations that you have with the employers. Include details about the names and job titles of the company representatives, as well as any opportunities that are available. Follow up with the employer a day later and remind them of your conversation. Express your enthusiasm for the company and the position.
Don't be intimidated by job fairs. Remember that the employers are there to find you and that their success is determined by their ability to recruit suitable candidates. If you are well prepared and you approach the job fair strategically, there is a good chance that you'll get some interviews.
(Written by: Karen Bivand, Photo by: Ambro/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net)
Wednesday, November 27, 2013
Keep it short. Your elevator speech shouldn't be much longer than 30 seconds. Give them the basics about your target position and how your education and experience makes you the perfect fit.
Cater your pitch to your audience. Don't forget the pivotal question, "What's in it for me?" Why might this person be interested in your skills? Find something that will get their attention.
Make it sound natural. Practice your pitch out loud so that it sounds conversational. Don't memorize it or you'll sound like a commercial. Just know your key points and focus on the discussion.
Solicit feedback. Practice your elevator pitch in front of a friend or a trusted colleague. Ask them how you come across and if they have any pointers for you. By opening yourself up to criticism now, you prevent yourself from making a costly mistake when it really counts.
Close the deal. What do you want to get out of this introduction? Are you trying to get an interview? A job offer? If you're not clear about what you're trying to achieve, you may impress the employer but still fail to get your desired outcome.
Being able to make a good impression is a valuable skill; you never know where the connections that you make will take you. Be confident and stay focused on the person that you're talking to and they'll be impressed enough to want a second conversation.
(Written by: Karen Bivand, Photo by: Stuart Miles/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net)
Monday, November 25, 2013
Cold Calling: When you contact an employer that has not solicited applications, you are able to apply for positions before they are even advertised. Contact as many employers as you can and don't get discouraged when they say no. Remain pleasant and know that the next call could be the winner.
Networking: Since most employers prefer to hire a candidate that they know, the best way to increase your chances of getting a job is to get to know more people that work in your industry. Get out there and make connections. Don't be afraid to tell the people in your network about what type of job you are seeking. Remember that networking is a two way street; take care of your network and your network will take care of you.
Information Interview: An information interview is a meeting initiated by you with someone who works in your industry. At the information interview, you can get the inside scoop about an industry or an organization. Take the interview seriously but don't ask your contact for a job. Also, make sure that you show your appreciation. They are giving you time out of their busy schedule and this information is valuable to your job search.
Volunteering: Volunteer work can help you to get related experience, make connections, get a reference, and narrow a gap in your employment history. While there's no guarantee that your volunteer position will turn into a paying job, it certainly is possible.
If your job search isn't going anywhere, then it may be time to get a little more aggressive. Since applying to online job advertisements is easy, employers receive hundreds of resumes for every position. If you want to bypass all that competition, then you need to stray off the beaten path.
(Written by: Karen Bivand, Photo by: sippakorn / FreeDigitalPhotos.net)
Wednesday, November 20, 2013
Focus on the bottom line. Employers are particularly interested in accomplishments that saved money or increased profits. These are the accomplishments that will have the most impact in any organization.
Make your examples quantifiable. Where possible, include percentages and dollar amounts. These details make your examples more tangible and impressive.
Don't lie or embellish. Keep in mind that the employer may verify your claims with your reference. If they find that your statement was not completely honest, your credibility will be irreparably damaged.
Consider the following questions when creating your achievement statements:
Did you create or reorganize a procedure that resulted in an increase to productivity?
Did you streamline a process that resulted in a decrease of costs?
Did you find a way to save money or solve a problem?
Did you oversee a special project that had a positive outcome?
When you provide the employer with examples of your accomplishments, it makes you a more attractive candidate for the position. It gives the employer the opportunity to independently evaluate your skills and it makes it easier for them to picture you doing the job. Take some time to put some achievement statements in your resume and before long you'll start getting those interview calls.
(Written by: Karen Bivand, Photo by: AKARAKINGDOMS/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net)
Monday, November 18, 2013
Step 1: Review the job advertisement. Highlight all the words that are repeated as well as those that seem to be emphasized in the ad.
Step 2: Review your resume and highlight the same words. If you haven't used the keywords, then add them in. Each keyword should be used at least once and the most important keywords should be used more than once.
Step 3: Imagine that you were hiring a candidate for the same position and that you were searching in a database of resumes. Which keywords would you use? Make sure that you include those keywords in your resume.
Step 4. Talk to people who work in your field and ask them which keywords are important. Add those ones in too.
By using keywords, you give your resume a better chance of passing the first screening and you make it easily searchable and retrievable. Work the keywords naturally into your resume and demonstrate that your skills and experience make you the perfect fit for the job.
(Written by: Karen Bivand, Photo by: Scott Chan/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net)
Wednesday, November 13, 2013
Providing honest feedback. Having someone around who will tell you the truth is very important when you're looking for a job. A friend who will proofread your resume, tell you if a position is not a good fit for your personality, or let you know that you pants are too tight can save you from making a costly error.
Keeping their eyes open. As much as you try to get out there and find new opportunities, you can't be everywhere. For that reason, it helps to have people keeping their eyes open for you. A friend who will let you know about possible opportunities is a friend who might lead you to a job.
Connecting you with their network. Your friends are a part of your network and if they're willing to speak on your behalf, they could be a huge asset in your job search. Can they introduce you to someone that works in your industry? Are they able to refer you to an employer that's hiring? Any way that they can help will get you one step closer to that job offer.
Offering you support. When you're looking for a job, you never know what challenges each day will bring. On one day you'll need a pep talk, on another you'll need a shoulder to cry on, and on another you'll need someone to celebrate with. Having a friend who is willing to ride the emotional roller coaster with you can make it a lot easier to endure.
Nobody can do it alone. We all need the support of others and being unemployed can give you a clear picture of who your true friends are. Remember this feeling when it's your friend's turn to be unemployed and make sure that you're there to lend a hand.
(Written by: Karen Bivand, Photo by: stockimages/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net)
Posted by AYCE Blog at 2:55 PM