Archive for December, 2013

8 Reasons to Continue Your Holiday Job Search

Wednesday, December 18th, 2013

Despite common misconceptions, job hunting during the holiday season is actually an opportune time to find your next job. Here’s why:

1. You’ve got more time to search for a job since work has slowed down. If you’re still working while looking for another job, chances are you will have a little downtime during the holiday season. Finding the time to make an interview during your lunch break or taking off a couple hours earlier may be easier for you.

2. Your competitor job seekers may not be looking. With so many people competing for the same job, now is the time to jump in full force to your job hunt. Since so many people think the holiday time isn’t the time to look, your competitors may have taken a break, while you’re out meeting and greeting the right people to get hired. Many companies want to close out their open requisitions and have a new hire start in the new year.

3. It’s a perfect time to meet the people who may be hiring later. Even if the company of your dreams isn’t hiring right this instant, the slowness during the holidays is an opportunity for you to get on the hiring manager’s radar. Introduce yourself via email, phone, or even at a party. You’ll be more likely to catch them in the office when you call.

4. Holiday networking opportunities abound. Holiday parties are a ripe location to meet new contacts. The fact that everyone is in a better mood at these festive events gives you the opportunity to really connect on a personal level, which will help you in the long run.

5. People are more laid back. It’s easier to get to know them during the holidays. Sometimes meeting people is difficult if they think you’ve got an agenda. This time of year, it’s all about being merry and bright, so lay off the pitch and work on personal conversation.

6. End-of-year budgets may provide hiring opportunities now rather than in January. Occasionally, a company’s end-of-year budget works in your favor. If there’s surplus money in the employment category, a company may want to hurry and hire before the year is through.

7. Holiday cards are the perfect excuse to remind hiring managers that you’re available. While sending holiday cards should be a thoughtful and selfless act, it doesn’t hurt to let recipients know you’re available should they be hiring. Make the announcement subtle and not the purpose of your card, and include a personalized note in the card.

8. Freelancing while everyone else is on vacation might get your foot in the door. Another great “in” to the job market this time of year is freelancing. If others are taking vacations but work needs to be done, there might be the opportunity to fill a role part-time or temporary position. Once you’re in the door, it’s up to you to make yourself indispensable.

If you have time, here are some tips for your holiday job hunting:

Attend networking and holiday events. This could include a lead or networking group, or many overlooked events like an end-of-the-year neighborhood party or an event at your child’s school.

Once you meet someone of influence, guide the conversation toward the hiring climate at the company. Don’t pitch yourself immediately, but get a feel for whether they’re hiring now. If you maneuver the conversation well, he or she may ask you what you’re looking for, and be ready to help.

Spend time developing relationships. Come January you’ll be back to competing with the rest, so send out as many invites for lunch or coffee meetings as you can handle during the holidays.

Putting a little extra effort into your job hunt and networking this time of year may be the best present you could give yourself!

Original U.S. News

The Only Resume Advice You’ll Ever Need

Thursday, December 5th, 2013

Ok, so I’m probably being a little bit facetious regarding the subject line, since people have written reams and reams of information over the decades about resume writing and books are regularly published on the subject and this site itself has tons of useful information regarding how to prepare and what to avoid.

But if you have ever been looking for a job, I’m sure you’ve asked yourself: “What can I do to make my resume stand out and get an employer to seriously consider me for a job”? If you Googled the term “resume”, you know that there’s a dizzying array of information and advice out there about what works best in putting something together that presents you best. How do you make sense of it all? I’m going to make it easy for you – I have looked at thousands of resumes and talk daily with Recruiters (I’ve been one myself) and HR Directors who are often the ones making the first pass at your resume. No matter your experience level or what kind of job you’re looking for, these are the most important “insider tips” you will need to know and do:

  1. The “one-size fits all” approach won’t cut it in a marketplace of increasingly specialized needs. So plan on having several versions of your resume adjusted for the different jobs you are applying for. Include ways you can make an immediate contribution to the organization that reflects the homework you should be doing about the organization you’re applying to. Make sure that you – and at least one other person you trust – carefully review your resume and adjust it to contain the “key words” that recruiters will be searching for.
  2. Don’t worry about an objective – employers will skip over this, or worse, will screen your resume out based on an objective that is not a perfect match for the job they are hiring for. Instead let your experience, skills and results-driven descriptions make the case for you.
  3. “Space equals importance”, so put the most critical information first and spend more time and space talking about the skills, experiences, and results that are directly related to the job you are applying for.
  4. Avoid all complicated fonts or design elements. To be considered an applicant, you will likely be uploading your resume to an applicant tracking system (ATS) on a company or third-party web site. These systems have a difficult time deciphering elaborate fonts or design elements and if your resume can’t be read easily, it won’t be read at all.
  5. >Quantify whenever possible. We live in a metrics driven work culture and it’s no longer enough to state that you increased sales or productivity, you need to back it up with quantifiable data whenever possible.
  6. Check your resumes for errors of fact, typos, formatting woes or omissions. After you checked it and before you send it to an employer, let a trusted person in your network review it as well. One inaccuracy or misspelling could cost you a second look.
  7. Omit any unnecessary, or potentially controversial, information, including sexual orientation, religious or political affiliations. It’s illegal for employers to ask for this information and irrelevant to whether you are a strong candidate for the job. Best to avoid adding a photo as well.
  8. “Size matters” and no one has the time to spend a long time reviewing a resume. Keep the resume to one or two pages depending on your experience. If your resume is more than a page, be sure to include your name and email contact on subsequent pages and do your best early on to make sure the recruiter will want to read more!

Original from Forbes