Job Seeker Blog

Top 10 Ways To Get A Job Interview

What are the best ways to get a job interview these days?

In this economy, I am often asked to how long clients should expect to be in transition. They are often surprised by my answer. It seems to me that because we keep hearing that the economy is slowly getting better, we are lulled into a false sense of security that the job search process isn’t as difficult as it has been for the past few years.

According to the Economic Policy Institute Article from November 2012, while the job seekers ratio has held steady at 3.4 job seekers to one job opening, any number over three means that that there are “no jobs available for two out of three workers.” I also found it very interesting that the same report states that job seekers far outnumber job openings across every sector. Couple this with persistently low hiring and we are finding that unemployment lengths remain unusually high.

Given this less than wonderful news, what can you do to ensure that you are taking all necessary steps to avoid becoming one of the long-term unemployed? Step one is the resume, however, that is merely a step. It’s not the whole job search.

Best Ways To Get An Interview
Knowing that you are likely one of many applicants, how do you get “noticed”? There are a few steps that you can follow to greatly increase your odds of landing that interview.

Breaking down my favorites, David Letterman style, here are my top 10 ways to get an interview:

10. Be Specific

Develop a list of specific target companies that you can identify to those with whom you are networking. For example, if you say, “I want to work in engineering,” that doesn’t really get my brain working. However, if you say, ” I want to work for XYZ company in an engineering capacity, namely leading a team of hardware engineers,” that helps me to a) understand what you are looking for and b) start thinking about who I may know at XYZ company.

9.  Know Your Strengths

Knowing what you bring to the table and clearly articulating it sets you apart from the masses right away. Often, people are not clear on what they can do to specifically help a company. Hiring companies want to know what you can do for them… it helps to answer that question well.

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posted in: Blogging, EmployerNews, News

The Truth About Business (A Secret Message for Millennials)

Are you a Millennial? Good! Keep reading.

If you’re a Gen Xer you can keep reading, too, although you’ve already learned through tough experience everything I’m going to talk about. If you’re a Baby Boomer, scram. I don’t need any more flack from Baby Boomers for spilling the beans about the way the business world really works. We had our chance to fix the massive structural problems in the business world, to clear out the termites that have nearly eaten through the foundation, but we didn’t do it.

Now Millennials represent our only hope.

Here’s the secret that nobody tells you about business, my young brothers and sisters: it’s fake. It’s a movie set, like those one-street Western towns that have facades on the fronts of the building but nothing behind the facade. Everything that seems imposing and impressive about business is made up. It doesn’t exist.

Business is just a bunch of people getting out of bed and putting on a suit every day. It isn’t any different from regular life, but lots of people will tell you it is. They’ll tell you that you have to act Professional in business, use a different language, different rituals and a different tone of voice, but why?

All the fake, formal, gray, boring, linear and analytical stuff in business comes from the fearful brains of people who want to prop up the broken Godzilla edifice. That’s the structure of rules, policies, fear, and obsessively left-brain thinking that has already shown itself to be a waste of time and a pox on our planet.

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posted in: Blogging, EmployerNews, News

How To Talk About Money During The Hiring Process

Get the salary question out there

You can’t keep going on interviews with no idea of what an employer is planning to pay you if you get the job. You have to bring up the topic of salary.

If you need inspiration to ask the salary question, just think about a plumber.

The plumber isn’t going to come over and walk around looking at the work that a homeowner needs done without talking about money. Eventually the plumber is going to say “You’re looking at about ten thousand dollars worth of work” or the homeowner is going to say “How much is this going to cost me?”

They’re not going to dance around the topic and hope for the best. Only job-seekers do that, and only a certain kind of job-seeker.

The kind of job-seeker who doesn’t bring up salary during the hiring process and hopes that s/he gets a job offer with a reasonable salary in it is afraid. That’s the only reason to keep silent about such a vital topic.

The job-seeker is afraid that if he or she brings up the salary topic, the employer might not like it. They might get mad and cast him out of the candidate pool. That’s the fear. Think about it, though – that fear isn’t reasonable. If you’re thinking about working with people who would be so hostile and crazy that they’d drop you from a candidate roster just for asking about salary, why would ever consider working with them?

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17 Tips To Survive Your Next Networking Event

Make the most of your time

You arrive alone. Your heart is beating a little faster than normal and suddenly all of your charisma and charm go out the window. You try to lock eyes with someone so that you can find a temporary home in what can feel like a sea of strangers. But everyone looks happily engaged in conversation.

While this might sound like your experience at a middle school dance, it’s also what many people feel when they enter a networking event. These are completely natural reactions, even for the biggest extroverts. The great news is that people go to these events to meet strangers, so you’re in the same position as everyone else. Here are 17 helpful tips for navigating a networking event and making the most of your time there:

Find the bar! Whether or not you’re drinking, it’s always a great idea to position yourself at the edge of the bar. Many people run for the bar when they get to a networking event in order to get a short respite from an overwhelming entrance. If you position yourself a few steps from the bar, you can easily strike up a conversation as people turn with drink in hand.
Be yourself. Networking events are meant as jumping-off points for relationship building. If you can’t be yourself, you’ll be starting off these new relationships with a lie. Don’t try to be the person you think others want to meet. Be genuine. The people you connect with when you are authentic are the ones you’ll want to stay in touch with.

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How To Get Noticed, Get Hired, And Get Just About Anything Else You Want Too

Be genuine with other people

When I was 20 years old, I went to work at Citi for a summer internship. I didn’t really have a clue what I was doing, but I went to the office every day and worked on a basic scenario analysis project. I knew I could spend my summer half-assing my work or really, actually try to learn something.

I chose the latter. I went to all the speaker events, every lunch meeting, and all of those happy hours. I had lunch with different co-workers and senior leaders every day. I emailed and followed up with everyone I met.

All that persistence paid off — by summer’s end, I had one-on-one meetings with the CFO of Citi, the Chief Diversity Officer of Citi and more than 10 Managing Directors. Me! A 20-year-old intern! Some decade-long employees at Citi said they’d NEVER talked to that many senior leaders.

At the end of the summer, my Managing Director, Jaidev Iyer, announced “Erica, somehow you’ve been able to get noticed everywhere you go.”

I didn’t realize this was a gift until much later in life. When I was 27 and on stage at the World Economic Forum at Davos 2012, activist Desmond Tutu told our group of 70 Millennial leaders that we can lead a revolution in the world. That’s when it clicked for me.

But this blog post isn’t about me. Its about YOU. It’s about the fact that I’m not the only suburban-born, Indian-American girl who can get noticed. The truth is getting noticed isn’t much about me either. It’s about how I translate my gifts to others.

When we share ourselves in a genuine way, we build real relationships and create ways for others to help us grow.

Here are my top six tips on how to get noticed, get hired, or get just about anything you want:

Every time you meet someone, focus on how you can support them first. Give, give, get is a mantra that has helped me build deeper connections with others.
Be self-aware. Don’t ask for too much of someone at the beginning. Build the relationship and understand where they’re coming from.

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15 Quick Tips That Will Help You Get Hired

Make a difference in your job search.

I’ve heard from job seekers who simply didn’t know some of the things that will help them effectively job search. One person I spoke to recently didn’t know you should send a thank you note after an interview. Another wasn’t aware that he didn’t need to include all of his many years of experience on his resume.

Some of the things on the list are little things that make a difference. Others are significant enough that they can make or break your job search. Here are 15 things you should know about job hunting that will help you find a new job quickly.

You can save time job searching by using advanced search options on job boards. All the major job boards (like Indeed.com, SimplyHired.com, CareerBuilder, Monster, and Dice) have an “Advanced Search” option where you can search by keyword, location, a radius of a location, job title, company, type of job, date posted and other options. Here’s my list of the top 10 best job sites.

Applying for every job you find isn’t always a good idea. Focus your search on jobs that you’re qualified for. You’ll have a better chance of getting selected for an interview. Sending out random resumes and cover letters is just going to be a waste of time. Before you start job hunting, take the time to decide what type of job you’re seeking. Even better, come up with a target list of companies you’d like to work for and do your best to get noticed by them. Here’s how to get noticed by your dream company.

Don’t stop applying for jobs while you are waiting to hear back from an employer. Most job seekers are rejected by over 15 employers before landing a job.  Learn from your mistakes, and keep applying until you get the right offer.  Worst case scenario, you will be juggling multiple job offers. That’s a good thing.

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The 13 Dos And Don’ts Of Job Searching While You’re Still Employed

Ready for a new job?

Most career experts would tell you to start looking while you’re still employed. But when you do—you must tread carefully.

“When you’re working, your professional network is working for you because you’re constantly interacting with your industry contacts,” says Andy Teach, a corporate veteran and author of From Graduation to Corporation: The Practical Guide to Climbing the Corporate Ladder One Rung at a Time. “They can inform you about jobs you may not be aware of. If you’re not working, you’re out of sight and out of mind.”

Sara Menke, the founder and chief executive of Premier, a boutique staffing firm in San Francisco, says having a job while looking for a job makes you that much more attractive to a potential employer. “Companies want to hire the best of the best and [those people] are usually employed,” she says. “Plus, quitting your job before having a job is a big risk that you should avoid. Most people do not have endless streams of income, so you should stay in your position until you get that firm offer for new employment.”
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Job Hunting: Separating Fact From Fiction

Sorting out the myths from common sense advice

I’m trying to sort out the myths from common sense advice as I look for work. We’re all hearing about the sluggish economy and unemployment numbers. Some of the news is good, some a little more dicey and then there are the stats that seem to get pulled like taffy and twisted into different shapes depending on who’s quoting them. It’s hard to know what to think, but I know that I need more work. Here’s a list of some of what I’ve learned about trying to land a job and the search itself.

1. Looking for work is harder than actually working. I wish I’d kept track of all the hours I’ve spent revising my resume, searching job sites and writing cover letters rife with keywords. There are also all the hours I’ve spent researching companies online before even submitting my application. It’s a lot of work. I dutifully scroll through every job search email that pops up in my inbox. Just when I think I’ve got all the settings right, I find more jobs I’m woefully unqualified for. It’s important to focus. I’m having more success now that I’ve honed in on the types of positions I really want and am qualified for. It’s quality over quantity.

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10 Ways The Job Search Has Changed

If you haven’t looked for work lately, be sure you know the new rules about resumes

Job searching has changed dramatically over the past few years. If you want to succeed, you’ll have to take a much different approach than you did previously. Here are 10 things today’s job hunters need to know:

1. Google has replaced the resumé. Recruiters are now using Google and LinkedIn searches to find talent, instead of paying for job-board or talent databases. Many companies are even mandating that every new application go through a Google screening process.

So that means the first page of your Google results matter much more during a job search than they ever did before. I’ve written an article showing how to increase your rank in Google and attract the attention of hiring managers.

2. A summary of your work history is enough. Because there are so many candidates competing for each job, HR people (or hiring managers, if they are tasked with recruitment) often scan resumes very briefly. The average time spent on a resume is 30 seconds.

LinkedIn gives you a way to create a summary; use it.

3. Social proof is a must. Social proof—the testimonials, endorsements and recommendations of your abilities that appear on social networks—seriously reduce the perceived risk of you as a candidate.

The most costly mistake a hiring manager can make is to give a job to the wrong person. Some say that if a new hire leaves within three months, it costs the organization one and a half times that person’s annual salary. And with the economy as tight as it is, you can understand why hiring managers are so risk averse.

If you don’t have many endorsements and recommendations in your LinkedIn profile, get some before looking for a job.

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posted in: Blogging, EmployerNews, News

10 Unconventional Career Tips from an Unlikely CEO

Find the right balance

1. Expose Yourself
People entering the business world today are a commodity. They’ve gone to the same schools, taken the same courses, read the same books, and watched the same movies. Meanwhile, companies like mine are desperately seeking fresh minds to help them navigate massive cultural and technological changes. Where are they going to find them?

Growing up in a small town in Indiana, I led the middle-class life of Beaver Cleaver, until I was kicked off the high school tennis team. Then my real education began with a new curriculum of hustling, drinking, smoking, cruising, fighting, and sex. (I mostly examined the latter.)

Think of your life as a big magazine rack. When you’re standing in front of it deciding what to choose, resist the normal impulse to reach for People or Cosmopolitan. Instead, grab a copy of Game Informer, Inked, Guns and Ammo, or Bass Fisherman. Apply the same approach to movies, books, and people. You need to expose yourself. Whether you’re looking for your first job or your fifth, you’ll benefit from exploring unusual ideas and engaging unconventional individuals. If you experiment with your life, you’ll learn a lot about yourself and the rest of the human race.

2. Hit the Road
Americans are a sedentary lot. Only one out of three have a passport. When they travel, their favorite destination is Las Vegas, where they can photograph the Eiffel Tower, float in a gondola, and visit the pyramids. Less than 5 percent of US citizens travel overseas each year. As a result, they know less about the rest of the world than the rest of the world. This is a problem when every cell phone is made in China and every service call is answered in India.

Selling expensive leather wallets to unsuspecting tourists in Florence, Italy, I learned why Americans are afraid to travel. Foreign businessmen like my boss Enzo were just waiting to rip them off. In two-thirds of the world, bribery is an accepted business practice and bargaining is an art. You need to learn the regional ropes by studying or working abroad, because every employer is banking on international sales to fuel their future. If you want to compete in the global economy, especially in a melting pot like Miami, you’ve got to hit the road.

3. Ask the Captain
Knocking on a captain’s door opened a new world for me. While my contemporaries were graduating from college, I talked my way into a job as a cabin boy on a Norwegian tanker bound for Asian destinations I’d never imagined. In your career you will encounter “ships” that can transport you to unexpected places. You just have to figure out how to ask the captain.

Senior executives are intimidating to those just starting out. But they’re the ones who can have a real impact on your career. Stalk them in the hallways. Corner them at events. Drill them with smart questions. Ask for their help. If you want to be a captain tomorrow, you should start by asking one a question today.

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posted in: Blogging, EmployerNews, News

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