Your secret weapon as a job seeker!

July 19, 2011

One of the greatest (and most under-utilized) weapons in the job-seeker’s arsenal is the ability to effectively listen.  Unfortunately, when you are in front of a potential employer as a job seeker, you may be so intent on telling the employer all about you, your work history, your accomplishments and all of the other great things about yourself, that you are not LISTENING to the needs that the employer has.

Here is a video I would like for you to watch on effective listening skills.  I want you to watch it from the perspective of being in a job interview.

OK… so know that you have learned a little bit more about effective listening skills, how can you implement some of these ideas into your interview preparation?

Please share your ideas with others…


Talking Salary in an Interview…

July 7, 2011

Interviews are never easy. No matter how many you’ve been through there is always that uncomfortable feeling, the nerves & feeling like it’s all about “not” selecting you for the position.  The interview process is leaving a trail of very disgruntled job seekers in its wake.  It is so difficult not to take job rejection personally.

This makes it even more uncomfortable for someone when they’re interested in talking about compensation in the interview.  I am not trying to put the cart before the horse, but it is important (in the immortal words of Steven Covey) to begin with the end in mind.  The end of the interview process is obviously the discussion surrounding compensation – both salary & benefits.  You have to know what it is that you are seeking in compensation.  We have some responses from people who want what they want and refuse to take less…

…Also as far as the compensation question goes I usually try to say that I am quite flexible and that I’m sure if the fit is right between my skills and the needs of the employer then we should be able to agree on a suitable number.

I mention that the whole package, health care benefits, 401K, etc is a part of the discussion, not just a single salary number. If none of that works, then I push back and give a wide range (the lowest I would consider) to a fairly high number and say that their location may also affect the range (if you’re willing to move to a higher cost of living area, etc). Hope that helps! – Marcia J.

This is an example of a job applicant taking the power into their own hands and refusing to be pushed around by a company that believes they can get cheap workers because of the recession. Another strategy is to back load your contract…Read to learn how to bring it up….

A group that I attend had this discussion the other day and someone came up with one suggestion that was pretty good. “Over the last “X” years my salary has consisted of a base and incentive that allowed me to make “$XK”. I want to find a position that will enable me to make that same amount in some sort of mix of those components.

In that way you allow them to back load with a bonus that is set up to let you earn more money. You do have to make sure that you have the bonus clearly spelled out and that it is not capped etc. Just one suggestion. – Pam N.

These are both good options for talking salary.   You need to have a clear-cut and definitive strategy for talking salary in the interview… if not, you might get the short end of the stick!

Land the Interview Coaching


It’s tough out there…

May 23, 2011

Everyone knows it’s tough out there finding a job.

At the same time, every week another group publishes new statistics.
Job growth is up, unemployment dipped, open job postings have risen, and so on.

But there’s only one statistic that counts.  The statistic of you.  

Are you working or getting good chances to work if you want to?

Have you been looking for awhile or are you recently in the job market and worried about your prospects?

Doesn’t matter where you live, what industry you are in or how old you are, searching for work can be daunting.  You have to make looking for work, your ‘work’.

I think looking for work is a skill too.  There are things you can learn to increase your chances.

  • Skills to make it easier to target a good job.
  • Skills to handle the interview.
  • Skills to network to find the hidden jobs.
  • Skills to negotiate your salary, and skills to position yourself as the top candidate.

There’s a site I came across while searching on Google that might just be the best bundle of skills teaching I’ve seen in this area.  Take a look by clicking here.

You also need to register for the F’REE WEBINAR!  This is a great way to start developing the skills that you need to get ahead in this job market!

CLICK HERE to register for the webinar!


Applied Online? Now Get Your Resume to Rise to the Top of Their Pile!

February 1, 2011

By Kathy Bernard, Get a Job Blogs & Workshops

Ever feel like you are sending your resume into a pit of no return when you apply for a job on an online site? I’ve found a good way to get your resume noticed by the hiring manager or recruiter after you apply online. It involves using www.LinkedIn.com, so if you aren’t registered on this important free business networking site yet, establish a profile there as soon as you can. Then invite all of your friends and colleague to connect with you there. The more LinkedIn connections you have, the greater access you will have to an extended network of your first degree connections and all of your connections’ first and second degree connections.

Once you are on www.LinkedIn.com and have established connections, use the search box to try to learn the hiring manager and/or recruiter’s name. Do so by using the drop down menu to “Search People” and then type in the company’s name. Search through the results to find the people with the leadership or recruiting titles you seek.

Contact these people through one of these means:

  • If they are a second degree connection (if one the people is a friend of one of your first degree LinkedIn connections), click the button “Get introduced through a connection” and follow the prompts. This will allow a friend of yours to send your message to the person. Alternatively, you can send a regular email with your resume to your friend and ask him/her to forward your resume to his/her connection and put in a good word for you.
  • Send the hiring manager or recruiter a LinkedIn “Inmessage” (this requires a monthly LinkedIn upgrade cost)
  • Try to find the person’s email address on Google by putting the person’s name and company name in the search box and seeing if his/her contact information comes up in the search findings. (Their contact information might be in a directory, for example).
  • If you can’t find the person’s email address online, but the job requires you to apply by emailing (for example) Bob Brown at bbrown@blank.com, you now know the construction of email addresses at that company. So if you learn the hiring manager is Becky Thatcher at the same company, you know that her email address is probably bthatcher@blank.com. Use that knowledge to send her a personal email and attach your resume.

Of course another option is to try calling the company’s main switchboard and asking for the name and email address of the recruiter or director of the such and such department.

Taking these approaches has worked well for me because they show potential employers that I am proactive and resourceful. Personal approaches also appeal to recipients’ egos because they know I sought them out specifically. So start emailing key people after you apply online … after all, it could help you Get a Job!


Job seekers: Three reasons why well-intentioned people (like me!) aren’t helping you find work and what you can do about it.

December 15, 2010

by Kathy Bernard

I am helping so many people find work (on a voluntary basis), I created a chart to remember them all. The chart includes their names, locations, job preferences, and email addresses so I can send them relevant job leads. (If you want to be on the list, send me an InMessage or connect with me on LinkedIn.) In the process of creating the chart, I realized why I haven’t been more help. The same roadblocks may be keeping your friends from helping you.

Here’s what I learned:
1) I said I’d remember you, but I don’t
If I met you once at a workshop or networking event and you didn’t keep in touch, you’ve sadly been relegated to that cobwebby place in my head where I supposedly learned why x=12. If you aren’t on LinkedIn, or don’t have your picture on your profile, I still don’t remember you. Remind me!

Lessons to learn:
Build a relationship with people who said they would help you.
• Connect with them on LinkedIn. Include your photo on your profile.
• Send them an email immediately following a networking event reminding them of everything you want them to remember about you.
• Tell them about jobs you applied for and ask them for advice and if they know someone at the company (so they can put in a good word for you).
• Suggest LinkedIn groups or networking events they might enjoy.
• Tell them you liked their blog post or discussion board comment (that never gets old!)
• Introduce them to people who could help them in their career.
• Provide them with business leads. For example, refer a real estate friend to someone selling a home.
• Congratulate them on their business successes.
• Update them if your job status has changed. For example, let them know if you have decided to do freelance while looking for work, or if have taken a temporary job.
• Change your LinkedIn status bar so your status will continually appear in all of your contacts’ LinkedIn Network Updates.

2) I said I’d remember what job you are seeking, but I don’t
I’m a creative type, so fields like information technology or science are a great mystery to me … I know there are all kinds of jobs within these fields, but I don’t know which one is right for you.

Lessons to learn:
• Don’t just tell people what kind of job you want, send them your resume and repeatedly remind them of the job titles you seek.
• Remind them what level of position you are looking for and whether you are willing to consider lower positions.
• Clearly state what type of position(s) you want in your LinkedIn status bar, but avoid stating too many types of positions, lest it sound like you aren’t an expert in any one area.
• Let people know if you are open to temporary or part-time work while you are job seeking. Also let us know if you have reached a desperation state where you will take anything.

3) I can’t recall what you want. Are you looking for work … or starting your own company … or both?
I have quite a few friends who have grown frustrated in their job search and have decided to start a design firm, marketing company, etc. Does that mean they don’t want job leads? I don’t really know. I err on the side of sending them job leads and business leads.

Lessons to learn:
• Whatever you decide to do, remind your well intentioned friends of your plan. And if you change your mind and restart your job search, let us know that, as well.
• Make sure to fully inform friends and former coworkers that you are starting a new company. Provide incentives to encourage their referrals.

The most important thing to remember is that if your friends are working, they are crazy busy, working in under-staffed situations. They want to help, but you’ve got to do the heavy lifting to make sure they know your needs.

Equip your friends to help you in your job search! After all, it can help you … Get a Job!

How do you keep your friends informed of your job search? Share your comments!


Going Outside the Traditional Resume to Capture the Interview

November 23, 2010

Going Outside the Traditional Resume to Capture the Interview
By: Jessica has a true passion for the job seeker, evidenced by her desire to share everything she can with everyone she can about resume writing and interviewing.
Author Website: http://www.greatresumesfast.com

This past week I was on JobTalkAmerica, a radio show designed around the needs of job seekers in today’s tough economic climate. On the show I discussed two critical points your resume must have in order to succeed and also how to go outside of your resume to get the interview. I want to elaborate further on what you can do outside of your resume that can help you get the interview.

A PROFESSIONALLY WRITTEN LINKEDIN PROFILE

This past week we had a client upload the professional LinkedIn profile that we developed for him and the first day it was online he got an interview with one of his target companies. I think this alone speaks volumes about what a LinkedIn profile can do. You need a keyword-optimized profile, and now LinkedIn has added even more features that will make it easier for employers to find you! Utilize the new features like adding skills, certifications, or publications to your profile; this increases the chances that employers will find you when they’re searching for someone with your background and experience.

A GOOGLE PROFILE

I keep hearing these insane statistics about how many employers are googling potential candidates to research them; this is where a Google profile comes in. Creating a branded and engaging profile gives the hiring manager more information about you and it’s in a place they’re going to look anyway!

A WEB RESUME

A Web resume is another great way to get your experience and expertise out there and make it all searchable. With modern technology these days you really have to up your job search game and find new and creative ways to get in front of the hiring manager. If you know where the hiring manager is (searching on the Net) then that’s where you need to be. It’s another compelling way to brand yourself, direct the information hiring managers find about you, and secure your place in a competitive market.

SOCIAL NETWORKING

Every element of your social networking and online job search should be connected to one another. I have my twitter account linked to my LinkedIn account and my Facebook page; then I have my blog attached to each one of those. I’m hoping I won’t lose you here while I go a bit deeper, but anytime I post to my blog it automatically posts a link to my twitter account, a note to my Facebook page, and an updated blog post to my LinkedIn profile. So everything is interconnected. It saves me time but also refreshes every social network I’m on at the same time; so my fans, followers, and connections can always see what’s new. Tweet, write, and comment on your career, field of interest, and related information, and it won’t go unnoticed!

A VISUAL CV & VIDEO RESUME

A visual CV and video resume are two additional ways to increase your presence on the Internet. I equate a visual CV to a Web resume, although it is a bit more interactive. However, a video resume to me is more cutting edge and attention getting, and while you may not e-mail your video resume to the employer directly when applying or upload it in the application, you can post a link to the video resume in your e-mail signature and on your resume! This leads the hiring manager to more convincing and engaging information about you!

If I were in a job search this is exactly what I’d do:

I would create a video resume and post it to my visual CV as well as my Web resume, LinkedIn profile, Facebook page, and link to my twitter account. But most of all, I would create a blog or personal Web site and upload it there. I would include a link to my LinkedIn profile and video resume on my resume and cover letter whenever I submit it—and also include a link to both in my e-mail signature. Get your information out there—because hiring managers want to see it!

Capture the interview by going where the hiring managers are—online (and they’re not necessarily on the pricey job boards). So get off the job boards and visit the sites I’ve mentioned above. Spend some time fine-tuning your profiles, branding yourself, and being a forward-thinking job seeker. Branding yourself comes with its own set of challenges, so if you want a professional to help you develop your brand, LinkedIn profile, social networking sites, and more, call 800.991.5187 or visit Great Resumes Fast today. We guarantee interviews and your job search success. If a new LinkedIn profile today means interviews tomorrow, it’s worth the investment!

Article courtesy of the Recruiting Blogswap, a content exchange service sponsored by CollegeRecruiter.com, a leading site for college students looking for internships and recent graduates searching for entry level jobs and other career opportunities.


Stop Being Lost in the Crowd

November 15, 2010

By: Jessica Hernandez is the President/CEO of Great Resumes
Author Website: http://www.greatresumesfast.com

Is your LinkedIn profile a verbatim recreation of your resume? Or is it a unique and complementary representation of you and your job search? I know a plethora of job seekers who simply cut and paste their resumes right into their LinkedIn profiles. Let me tell you why this is NOT the best job search strategy. I’ll also tell you how to capture the hiring manager’s attention and—potentially—the interview.

1. If you’re putting your LinkedIn profile address on your resume, then you can expect employers to go there (You are putting this on your resume, right? Please tell me you’re including this on your resume!). So instead of just repeating what they’ve already just read, give them something new, inspiring, and something that makes them want to connect. Hiring managers don’t just hire skills—they hire personalities. Let them see part of yours—and make it shine.

2. 90% or better of employers are now going online to research their potential candidates. I don’t know about you, but I would much rather they find my LinkedIn profile and the information I’ve put together in it at the top of their search results rather than some college kid’s rants on his personal blog or FB page about a drunken party (who just happens to share your name). They will search for you; give them great information to confirm that you are the best candidate for the job.

3. People want a personal connection and to know you’re a great match on paper and in person. You can be slightly more laid back on LinkedIn and discuss interests and expand on your background and expertise in ways you can’t on your resume. Reading lists, blog articles, groups, connections, etc. These are all ways to show the employer who you are and—again—what you have to offer. Position yourself as a subject matter expert—and when the hiring manager needs someone in your industry, they’ll know just who to come to.

I could go on and on about why branding your LinkedIn profile is so important, but the bottom line is: If you want to be found by recruiters and hiring managers, if you want to cement your reputation and brand in their mind and secure the interview, start branding your profile today. Otherwise, you’re just the same as every other joe jobseeker among the millions of people on LinkedIn. Stop being like everyone else and blending in and be discovered today. Learn more about professional LinkedIn profile development here.

Expert resume writer Jessica Hernandez is the President/CEO of Great Resumes Fast a top-tier job search and resume writing firm. Jessica and her team’s work has secured top careers for forward-focused executives and professionals. Named to numerous career expert blogs, Web sites and Twitter lists, she is a credentialed writer, former fortune 500 hiring manager and frequent media source, author, columnist, and published contributor to multiple career, job search and resume advice books. Jessica is also the Resume Makeover coach for the JobTalkAmerica radio program and offers her expert advice and tips weekly on the show.

Article courtesy of the Recruiting Blogswap, a content exchange service sponsored by CollegeRecruiter.com, a leading site for college students looking for internships and recent graduates searching for entry level jobs and other career opportunities.