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Job hunting

This tag is associated with 7 posts

Job Boards – What a Joke!

//Job Search

For the past few weeks, I’ve been applying to jobs online. As a Career Coach, I want to be informed of what’s going on in the cyberspace job hunt. Ick..the job boards are such a joke. I wonder if the HR Personnel and CEO’s ever apply to their own company. I read a while back that one employee did apply, and he was rejected! Ha ha.

I am not sure how companies make decsions based on these online apps, unless they are basing it on:

1. Age – I can not believe how many ATS’s required I disclose my age!! Asking a candidate age during an interview is illegal. So, how are they getting away with the online app?

2. My Salary – What? Premature salary discussion much? Can’t you wait?? I don’t even know if I want to go to coffee with you, much less marry you. Don’t ask me about money upfront.

3. My High School – Seriously? That’s a huge WTF for me. Even if I graduated 6 years ago, it’s NONE of their business. Unless I’m applying for a job that requires a HS Diploma. And – if that is the case – a simple yes or no question will suffice!

I read all the time about the “skills gap” we’re suffering from here in the US. Great jobs at great companies are going unfilled because the recruiters can’t find qualified candidate. I can tell you, any qualified candidate is not going to waste an hour or more applying to a job online, no matter how great!

I like solutions, as you know. It did have a few experiences that were pretty cool. The best online apps let you upload your resume, type a short cover note, and hit send! Yes, your resume is still going down the black hole, but you didn’t have to spend forever with some slow, glitchy ATS where you always miss one little thing and it won’t let you “submit.”

Applicant. Submit. Reminds me of a Philip K. Dick novel.

Keep using LinkedIn, especially the “apply with LinkedIn” button. It’s easy. I hope it works, but in the end, it’s a job board. Be sure to read the article below from Ask the Headhunter. It’s an eye-opener.

As always, if you need career help, contact me for a comp chat.

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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.

Career Change? Why not!

Winter in Vienna

Winter in Vienna (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

// Options

Here we are in February! Happy New Year to my friends in China, or wherever they might be. If you haven’t stuck to your New Year’s resolutions so far, may I suggest you start over now. It is never too late to start over. I have started over several times now, and I consider myself somewhat of an expert at this point! Two years ago, my husband and I picked up and moved from LA to Vienna, Austria. Granted, this is his hometown, but it was still starting over after living at the beach for 11 years!

And so far, we’ve survived! Has it been tough? Yes. Did the finances run out? Yes. Has learning a new, unbelievably hard language been easy? NO. And did my husband have to go through a few jobs to find the right one? Yes.

I had to reinvent my career as well, becoming a “global career coach” and learned how to market my services worldwide, and use a virtual office. And, I am not so young these days! But, with a sense of adventure, resilience and a positive attitude, we changed our lives.

You can too. In the past few weeks, several of my clients have had interviews, but no offers, in the Architecture and Design field. In most cases, it was not the right fit. However, the design and construction industry is at a standstill for hiring. I read a statistic the other day that reported unemployment for recent Architecture graduates is at 13.9%!! That is shocking! Do you know how expensive and LONG Architecture school is?

So, what to do now? If you’re in an industry that basically no longer exists, or the job opportunities are severely limited, it’s time to change. Yes, change careers. Most people go into their chosen careers for either the love of it, or because they drifted into it somehow, but you don’t have to stay. The average number of careers people have these days is 6. That is 6 different careers! Not jobs.

Start by exploring related career fields, or “career adjacent.” Make a plan, do research. If you can type, you can find out ANYTHING you need to on the Internet. You can even upgrade your knowledge, skills and education via the Internet.

The key is to just do it. Don’t think about too much, or over, over analyze it. The best things in life are usually the things we do based on our gut feelings. Like moving half-way around the world to start a new life! We just did it.

Need to make a career change but don’t know how to start? Contact me for a complimentary career consultation at Kristi.Enigl@gmail.com. Also check out the blogs I’ve linked to below, they are very helpful.

The Long Job Search

job hunting

job hunting (Photo credit: Robert S. Donovan)

// Focus

One question I often get is “how do I stay positive during an extended job search?” The average job search in the US is about 35 weeks these days (even with unemployment going down a bit). Here are a few tips:

1. Create a Weekly Schedule
One thing that keeps you anchored is having a weekly schedule. When you’re on the job, most likely you keep up a weekly or monthly schedule. This provides a structure, and helps you focus on moving forward. Make sure your job hunting schedule has a blend of job searching activities and does not rely on one particular thing, such as applying to online job postings, which is a big time waster.

2. Get out of the House
Job hunting is a solitary endeavour where you spend hours tethered to a computer. I recommend that you schedule in a few activity breaks during the day, such as yoga or exercise, going for a walk, reading a book, or listening to some music. Just because you’re on the job hunt doesn’t mean that you have to stop your life.

3. Mix and Mingle
Go to functions and mixers; they don’t have to be job related! Maintaining a social life is important, even on a limited budget. Search for low-cost or free events. Every major city in the world hosts any number of events, lectures, seminars, etc. Or, hit the local watering hole for a Happy Hour once in a while. Get out and talk to people!

4. Seek Professional Help

Job hunting is a lonely, frustrating experience, and even more so the longer you’re at it. If you haven’t been getting interviews, be sure to have a professional career coach review your career brand and materials. It may be that your résumé is not as captivating as it can be. The working world is far too competitive to job hunt with less than perfect career tools.

The long job search seems to be the new norm. Managing your emotions and staying upbeat is challenging, but if you plan and focus, you can be back to work sooner than later.

December Grads: Don’t Despair!

// Job Search Advantage

Most people are moving into “Holiday Mode”, you know the season where you go to a bunch of parties, drink too much, shop for friends and family that you haven’t seen in ages, and if you’re broke, try not to spend too much. Some of you though, are actually GRADUATING from college in December. I did (and then in June I went to the ceremony). Companies and firms gear up for June graduates to flood them with resumes, but in December, there’s not too much attention paid to new grads looking for their first “real job”, so there is a real chance someone in HR might actually read your resume. You will have an advantage if you ALREADY have some work experience, and have been networking.

But there is a big advanage to graduation in December, so don’t despair.

A little known secret is that December is a big hiring month for many companies. I once hired 12 employees in a two week span at the end of December! It goes like this: department directors request and get new hire budgets in January, then they get busy, and make some attempts to hire around June (recent grads!), and, somehow, the end of the year sneaks up on them, and they still haven’t hired! Unless they hire employees by Dec 31, they will lose that budget, and have to start the funding process all over in January. SO..what this means, is that successful companies have human capital budget, and are in a big hurry to get new employees on board. Here are some tips to be one of those new hires:

1.  Start at the Career Center

Many college career centers have established relationships with firms, companies and almuni, so go there first. They can help you put together a résumé, and help you connect with the companies. Be sure to follow-up on your own with any leads they give you.

2. Use Social Media

Start with Facebook, since you’re already there. Find companies you want to work for, search for their page, and go from there: Like them, post to their wall, and engage. Many companies have a “Jobs” section making it even easier. Then, be sure to utilize Linked In to its fullest: take advantage of the “recent grads” sections, groups, discussions, and jobs. You can conduct company research, and follow companies and recruiters. Be sure to complete your profile, use a professional photo, get solid recommendations, and upload a stellar résumé. In general, maintain a professional online image, as most hiring managers check Social Media prior to candidate selection.

3. Check the Job Boards

I am not a huge proponent of job boards, but this is the time of year that companies take advantage of posting open jobs on Monster, Career Builder, etc. So, take a look, and if you see something you like, check it out on Linked In, maybe you’re connected to someone on the inside. If so, reach out.

4. Network EVERYWHERE!

It’s the holidays – so take advantage of every opportunity to network: at parties, events, church, temple, mosque, shopping, protests, email newsletters, year-end charity events, etc. Be sure you have business cards – yes, business cards – with your current phone, email, a branding statement, and a link to your Linked In profile. Networking is an essential part of your career search, so the sooner you get busy, the better. Remember, networking is about building trusted relationships, and not just collecting business cards.

Even though the December graduate doesn’t get all the attention, you may get all the jobs!!

Need help with your job search? Claim your complimentary career assessment by emailing me at Kristi.Enigl@gmail.com.

Inside the Interview!

// Tips

I have prepared clients for the past two weeks for interviews! It feels good to see interviewing pick up, even a little. Interviewing is not job searching and it requires a different set of skills and mindset. You need to be sensational during the interview! I Tweet and post on my Facebook page a lot of tips for interviewing, but I don’t have them collected in one spot. Uh, well, now I have a blog post! Here are a my top 10 interview tips from the inside (the Hiring Manager’s thoughts):

1. Do your research

When I interview a candidate, if they don’t really know much about the company or firm I am representing, they are OUT. It irritates me so much that they would take up my time. So, go beyond the company website, do some Google searching, and really get to know the company. Surprise me!!

2. Tell me about yourself

When I ask you to tell me about yourself, what I am really asking is to briefly summarize your professional career thus far, and include one or two reasons why you would be a good fit here. DO NOT go into your life story and please, keep it short..like no more than 3 minutes. Otherwise, my thoughts drift…to like what’s for lunch!

3. What can you do for us?

This is purpose of the interview! Please have three strong “bullet points” prepared on what specifically you bring to the table. Leverage your assets, and show me how you are a better choice than the other 3 candidates I interviewed earlier today.

4. Dress to impress

Often overlooked is the fact that many hiring decisions are made within the first few minutes of the interview. Your appearance is important and dressing professionally gives an impression of success. I want to hire successful people, so I do judge you on your outfit. Even if you never wear a suit again in this role, be sure to respect the company enough to WOW them at the first interview.

5. Be honest

If I ask you about something on your résumé, like “How many people did you manage on this project?” give me a straight answer. If was one intern, so be it. I appreciate honesty and it is not necessarily a deal breaker if you haven’t managed 100’s. Management can always be learned; honesty cannot.

6. Practice

Please, do not show up without preparing. Get some role-playing in; have a friend, or hire a coach (shameless plug!) to ask you typical interview questions. I don’t have time for awkward pauses and rambling answers.

7. Goals

Know your career goals and how working for my company fits in, and how you can contribute to my company by working toward your goals. Just don’t tell me your goal is to become my competitor in five years!

8. Basics

A few reminders: Be on time which means not too early as well. And do not bring your cell phone into the interview. I can hear it even on buzz. I find it annoying that you couldn’t do without it for an hour or so. And, don’t wear too much cologne, or smell like cigarettes. Breath mints are good. Please.

9. Strengths and weaknesses

When I ask this, and you know I will, please have something other than “well, I am very detail oriented”…it’s not a weakness!! A weakness is “I am not very proficient at Excel”. And give me a real strength such as “My team leadership has been recognized with over five achievement awards in the past three years” by my peers.

10. Money

I don’t bring up salary in the first interview, but that’s me. Other interviewers will. Salary is super important in recessionary times, and many companies want to sort it out first. You need to know how much you’re worth, and be prepared to discuss it during the first interview. If you would like to defer it, say something like “I would prefer to discuss salary upon expressed mutual interest, but here’s my required salary range without considering the overall package”.

I hope this helps! I have noticed that interviewing has really picked up since June, and that is a very good sign. Unemployment is still WAY too high, and the competition is fierce for the few positions available. Be sure you are ready for interviewing. You can always contact me if you need help.

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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