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Take Charge of Your Job Search!

//Proactive

Everyday I hear from job seekers asking what they’re doing wrong and why they’re not getting interviews and job offers. There are any number of reasons why, of course, but I can tell you that in many cases the job seeker is off track. Finding a job – a good job with benefits – is damn hard work these days. Unemployment remains high even though the official numbers are getting better. Companies are slow to hire, and the hiring they are doing can stretch the interviewing/hiring process over months! I know of candidates having to endure 3 months of interviews.

What can you do to take a proactive approach to career management? The first, and most important thing to do is think differently about your job search. For many years, job seekers have turned to job postings (back in the day they were found in newspapers; today, it’s job boards on the Internet). A much more effective way of finding a good job is targeting companies first. Consider the way companies hire. These are 4 basic criteria:

1. The candidate can do the job

job hunting

job hunting (Photo credit: Robert S. Donovan)

2. The candidate is perceived as a “good fit”

3. A job salary can be agreed upon

4. Will the candidate will stay on the job

There are other factors involved in hiring, but these are the primary focal points for the hiring manager. The way you can fulfill these 4 items to spend time researching companies and organizations that you believe there will be synchronicity.

Start by identify 20-40 firms that you think you’ll fit well. Look for them on LinkedIn, Glassdoor.com, or Google Search. Need ideas to find companies? Run a search for “top firms in (your career field)” to get started. Then do the research.

Next, look for connections to those firms. Use LinkedIn, Google+, Twitter, Branchout on Facebook. Once you find them, use INMAIL on LinkedIn to reach out them. Keep your message short and professional, and let them know that you’re interested in learning more about the culture of their firm. That’s a better approach than asking for a job or if you can email them your resume.

And, finally, don’t be afraid to use your smart phone for…phone calls! Try to make “warm” calls, to people you’ve been referred to, but, do not fear the “cold” call. They are not that scary, especially after the first 10!

The key to a successful job search these days is to be proactive! Do not upload, post, apply and then wait. It won’t work!

Have a job search question? Email it to me at Kristi.Enigl@gmail.com.

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Live in the Moment

Ancient Alien Angel

Ancient Alien Angel (Photo credit: mikenitro94)

Perspective//

Over the holidays, someone I liked very much passed away. He was a prolific and knowledgeable writer, investigative researcher, and a very spiritual human being. He had a very successful career, and was a frequent commentator on a popular US television show, and a radio host and guest. He was into social media and generous with his time for his Facebook fans and Twitter followers, and he even answered his emails! He had recently married the love of his life, Kathleen McGowan, and had a bright future ahead. But, the universe had other plans for him. Over the span of Thanksgiving to New Years, he was diagnosed with a rare cancer, and he passed on Dec 30th. His name was Filip (or Philip) Coppens. You may know him from his contributions to the show “Ancient Aliens” on the History Channel. (Yes, I watch it! Filip was always the voice of reason and brought a journalistic approach to the topic)

Why am I blogging about him? Well, I am sure that many, if not most, of us have experienced the loss of a loved one, friend or colleague. Filip’s passing reminded me, especially over the holidays, of what is really important. And since I was Facebook friends with him, it felt really personal. I’ve lost a few friends (RIP Maria O’Malley and Jonathan Edwards) over the past two years, and it’s seems odd that one day I’m chatting on Facebook with them, and then they are gone.

His passing put things in perspective for me. As a career coach, part of my job is counseling people who are not happy, or are in transition, or stuck in jobs they loath. So, this year, my motto is “life is short, so do what you want.” Filip certainly followed his passion.

Now, of course, temper that sentiment with financial reality, logistics and other factors, and be sensible! But my general meaning is that if you really want something, like a new job, or to go back to college, you can make it happen.

Life is short and there are reminders everyday of that fact. Filip Coppens is an inspiration to me, may he Rest in Peace, and he reminds us all that you can do what you want. Live passionately in 2013, and make your career a part of that.

Contact me if you want to move ahead this year doing what you love.

 

// Career Management Now

//Staying Current

Things change. And, in the world of Career Management, they have changed A LOT. In the past three years, everything that you thought you knew about managing your career and job searching is out the window, and the new changes are vague and complicated. You used to have a résumé. Now, you need a “Brand”. You used to apply for jobs. Now, you have to use Social Media and engage to be considered. You used to answer job ads. Now, you must navigate the online process and Applicant Tracking System. For many people, especially folks that have worked at a job for years and years, the new rules are, uh, confusing. OK…they may be confusing for everyone. Here then, are a few tips to help you figure this out!

1. Résumés are Marketing Documents

In the old days, a résumé typically listed your entire work history and responsibilities. Not so today. Now, your résumé must be a document that markets your accomplishments to a specific job and company, and you need to update it each time you send it out. Keep the formatting simple, no matter what résumé samples you see on the Internet. HR likes them concise and plain.

2. Use a Career Brand

Back in the day, your qualifications were enough. Not anymore. You must have a “brand” to stand out in a crowded field. And, boy, is it crowded! Your brand is essentially your key strength or unique ability. Use branding statements and headlines such as: “Global Career Coach” or “AutoCAD Expert” on your résumé and social media profiles. Make sure to support your claim with quantified statements.

3. Social Media Rules

Yes, I hear you, you hate it. But, you need it! At the very least, spend some time over at Linked In and put up a professional profile, including a pro headshot. Most Hiring Managers and HR personnel find you and/or check you out on the Internet. That means, specifically, they type your name into Google and have a look-see. What pops up is your Online Brand. Make sure it’s consistent, and it represents you accurately.  Also, be careful about commenting on blogs, and

English: Graph of social media activities

Image via Wikipedia

check the Facebook vacation photos. Things never die on the Internet. Ever.

There is a lot more to career management these days, so I’ll do some more blogs on this topic down the road. If you need more info on wrangling your career, send me an email.

Jumping Through Hoops!

// Busy

I was thinking the other day just HOW MANY things todays’ job seekers have to do to conduct a 21st century job search. The to-do list is extensive. There are the resumes of course, and every employer expects you to customize your résumé for them. Then the cover letter. Don’t forget business cards and thank-you notes, you will need them later.

But first, you need a career brand. You know, what you do better than the other millions of job seekers. People, just do it already. The clock is ticking.

Then there’s the online aspect: job boards, online applications, and Social Media. You must have a super profile on Linked In, Facebook, and Twitter. And be active, like updating at regular intervals, joining groups, etc. Just searching/following recruiters on Twellow.com or Listorious can take hours! Oh, maybe you need a website too. Or an online portfolio. Or online resume. Or YouTube resume. Maybe start a blog.

While you’re at it, why not become an expert in your career field as well?

Then there’s networking..online and in person. We all know that networking is the new/old way to get a job. You need to hit at least 4 networking events per month to get anything going. And then follow-up with your contacts online. And don’t forget coffee networking a few times per month. Or informational interviews.

Oh, research. Yes, you must research and target companies that you are a good fit for, or you can solve their problems, even if they are not hiring. Don’t forget to look for the hidden job market. It’s there, somewhere. Really.

If you’re on unemployment, you have to fill out forms and let them know exactly where you’ve sent your customized resumes. Only problem, companies mostly recruit anonymously. Great. So, it takes some time and creativity to make shit up.

Gawd, I’m exhausted just writing about it. Take a break. My favorite job hunting activity is hanging out with the drunks down the street at the Wagon Wheel at 2pm throwing back Jacks and coke, anyway. Maybe they need a new bartender. One that’s breathing!

Get busy people. You have hoops to jump through! Oh, and Technorati, here’s your code: 26TC5Q274YHU.

ps. I forgot to mention spending time getting recruiters to call you back. What a time suck that is!!

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