When you are in job-search mode, networking is a critical component of your success. Countless studies have shown that networking is the way employers prefer to hire, much more effective than endless applications on job boards.
In fact, referrals are the primary method employers use to hire someone from outside of their organization (vs. internal transfers of current employees). Often, employers reward employees for referring someone who is hired, so employees are motivated to help you and their employer.
Basic Law of Networking: “Networking” happens everywhere people have a chance to meet and to talk!
Networking doesn’t happen only in large meetings filled with strangers. It may happen in the most unexpected places and times, even when you are not focused on your job search. [Read More...]
Often, in the USA, yes, you can be fired for a stupid reason, in fact, for almost any reason.
Proof? An interesting news item – two part-time security guards who worked at a Houston football stadium were fired after having their photos taken with NFL quarterback Tom Brady following the Houston team’s loss to Brady’s team that same day.
Fired for having their photos taken with a celebrity? Crazy!
Since most football fans and/or celebrity collectors would be thrilled to have their photos taken with the best quarterback in NFL history (according to New England Patriots fans- Brady’s team), the actions of the company which employed those security guards seem shocking, perhaps even illegal.
A local job seeker (here in Massachusetts) shared his outrage with me, saying, “They can’t fire someone for having their picture taken! That’s illegal!”
The Firing Was Legal
Well, arguably, it might be “evil” (at least to some), but not, apparently, illegal. Why? [Read More...]
“I wasted this whole year, doing everything wrong.”
That’s the sad comment a job seeker made to me as we were leaving a job search support group meeting in Westborough, MA. She had been an active participant in the meeting, asking many questions, clearly well-educated, a highly-intelligent and experienced professional who had been focused on job hunting since being laid off in January.
What I think she did wrong:
She waited a year before attending a job club meeting.
Get help with your job search. NOW!
Doing a job search today with no coaching or support is akin to diving off a diving board without knowing how to swim. For most of us, job hunting is a lonely, discouraging process, with many land mines to trip up the inexperienced and/or unwary. And, so many things have changed in the last few years that the process for successfully finding a job is different than in the past. Substantially different! [Read More...]
The end of a job interview can be awkward. You want to leave the interviewer with a very good impression of you, and you also want to know how you did – how you rank among the other “contenders” for the job.
Should You Ask for the Job at the End of the Interview?
Many experts will tell you that you MUST ask for the job, ending each interview with a question like one of these -
“I am very interested in this job and working in this organization. Are you ready to offer me the job?
“Based on my resume and this interview, is there any reason you wouldn’t hire me?”
However, just as many experts will tell you that you must NOT ask for the job because you will come across as too aggressive and can kill the opportunity.
Who is right? In my opinion, both are right, depending on the circumstances. Sometimes this question is very appropriate. However, at other times, it is the wrong thing to do. [Read More...]
In their interactions with potential employers – in cover letters, interviews, and other discussions and correspondence - many job seekers focus on what they want, the benefit to them of working for that employer or doing that job.
Like this example from a cover letter:
“I want to work for [the employer's name] because [the employer] is very highly-regarded in this industry, and I am sure that I will learn a great deal and become more proficient…”
That approach is more than a waste of time. Even with the flattery built in (“very highly-regarded…”), this technique can cost you opportunities. [Read More...]
November and December offer excellent opportunities to start the New Year with a new, permanent job! Suspending your job search for “the holidays” - pre-Thanksgiving through New Year’s Day - is a BIG mistake! Don’t assume that, except for temporary jobs, employers stop hiring during the holidays (businesses close, vacations, etc.). NOT TRUE!
Employers are still filling their permanent jobs during the holidays. In fact, the holidays are the best time of the year to find a “real” – not temporary or seasonal – job.
Job Hunting During the Holidays Is a Waste of Time? NO!
Many job seekers wait until the New Year to get a “fresh start.” That is a VERY big mistake because so many people decide exactly the same thing, making January 2 the start of the most competitive job market of the year!
Reality: The Holidays Are a GREAT Time to Find a Good Job
Although the holidays are the best time of the year to find “seasonal” work in retail, those jobs are NOT the only opportunities available. The holidays are actually a great time to hunt for a permanent job when you measure the real activity:
Only 1% more jobs were open in January and February (vs. November and December). Using the number of job postings as a measure, January and February of 2013 showed only 1% more open jobs than the number for the preceding November and December, excluding the holiday seasonal jobs. [Read More...]
Think of the job interview as an “audition” for the job, demonstrating how well you communicate and the kind of co-worker or subordinate you would be. It is also your chance to make your resume or profile “come alive,” exceed their expectations, and close the sale for a job offer.
Long-time, expert job search coach Don Goodman shares 3 excellent techniques, based on smart selling, for making your best impression in your next job interview.
3 Must-Do Job Interview Techniques
By Don Goodman
Congratulations, you got an interview. Now all you have to do is distinguish yourself from the 8-15 other people who did too.
Here are 3 must-do interview techniques that make you stand out from your competition.
1. Build Rapport.
People hire people they like so your goal is to transition the interview into more of a conversation.
The two best ways to do this are to adjust your intonation and then to add questions after you have responded.
Did you know that the words you use contribute less than 10% to the overall effectiveness of your communications? Your intonation and body language are most important. So try to change your intonation to that you would use if you were having a casual lunch with a buddy. [Read More...]
The average job hunt these days is at least 4 months long. And over one million have been unemployed for one year or more. Following these 8 steps should make your job search shorter.
How to Shorten Your Job Search
1.) Have a VERY GOOD answer for the question, “What are you looking for.”
When someone asks you this question, giving an unfocused or unclear response about what you want squanders a valuable opportunity. People who ask are usually interested in helping you. Help them to help you!
Say, very clearly, “I’m looking for a job as a [list one or two job titles] working for [name a couple of employers or the class of employer]. I’ve been doing [that kind of work] for [however long you've been in the field], and I’m good at it [list a major accomplishment or two].” [Read More...]
This question will most likely be asked in every job interview, so it’s a very good idea to have an answer prepared for each job you have had. Usually the question is asked only about your most current job, particularly if you stayed in that last job for more than three years.
If you seem to change jobs every few months or more than once a year for the last three to five years, have answers ready for why you left all of those jobs.
Why They Ask
The way you left your last job is a possible indication of the kind of “fit” you might – or might not - be.
They are mostly concerned that you might have left for a reason that indicates you are a “problem” as an employee, someone who won’t stay long, or someone who won’t be happy in any job. [Read More...]
Recently, I’ve seen some blog posts and LinkedIn Group discussions and comments encouraging job seekers to apply for jobs that are not good fits for them. I really don’t think it’s a good idea to apply for jobs when you don’t meet most – if not all – of the requirements. Except in very special circumstances (described below).
The Internet has made applying for jobs much easier than it was in the past. One commenter here on WorkCoachCafe wrote that he had applied for nearly 1,500 jobs in the year since he’d lost his job. Yikes! But, I hear many stories like that from frustrated job seekers. They aren’t the only one frustrated with what is happening now.
The Process Has Changed
In the “old days” (pre-Internet), we needed to type up a letter (on an IBM ”Correcting Selectric” typewriter, if we were lucky), and then send it with a nicely printed version of our resume in a matching envelope to the employer or recruiter. So, applying took time, effort, and attention.
Today, the process is to simply click on the “Apply” button, and the resume or application is submitted. Quick and easy for applicants. For employers, the typical process today is overwhelming, with hundreds of resumes or applications submitted for every job posted. Often, fewer than 10% of those applicants are qualified for the job. Having been on the employer’s side of the transaction more than once, it frequently seems like most applicants have not read further than the job title before hitting the “apply” button. [Read More...]