Don’t Rely On Job Boards To Find A Job

Job boards are not the holy grail. Yes, applying online should be part of your job search strategy. The key word of the sentence being “part.”

One of the biggest mistakes job seekers make is relying on online job postings to find a job.

Big mistake.

It’s easy to fall into the trap of sitting at the computer responding to job postings. For one thing, it doesn’t take a lot of effort. You can do it at home wearing sweat pants and a t-shirt while watching TV.

At the end of the day, knowing you’ve applied to 20 jobs, gives you a sense of accomplishment.

The truth is, focusing on job boards isn’t the best use of your time.

It’s more effective to have a multi pronged approach.

Target Employers

At the start of your job search make a list of 10 employers you’d like to work for. These are your Target Employers. Contact your network to see who might have a connection for you. Set up Google alerts for each of them. Review job postings on their websites, at least once a week.

As a former recruiter, I can say that every job I was working was listed on the companies site. The only exceptions were “confidential” postings, i.e. when someone was being replaced without their knowledge.

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Job Interviews Aren’t All About You

Don’t get ahead of yourself in a job interview. Ask questions, yes. But don’t make it all about you.

In some respects, an initial job interview is like a first date. Each person wants to get to know the one a bit. Does she have a sense of humor? Does he share your love of football? Or maybe your enthusiasm for bird watching?

You’re in the learning about each other stage.

The conversation ebbs and flows, with questions on both sides.

You’re not asking how much the other person makes or if her parents are divorced. It’s way too early in the relationship for questions like that.

The same principles apply to the interview process.

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The Biggest Holiday Job Search Myth

Despite our 24/7 business culture, most job seekers think you can’t find a job during the holiday season. Even looking for work from Thanksgiving to January 1st is widely considered a waste of time.

This is the biggest holiday job search myth.

HUGE.

I say that from personal experience.

Years ago, when I was working in corporate, my phone rang just as I arrived home from our company’s holiday party. I was shocked to find that it was someone from HR calling to conduct a screening interview.

The conversation went well and a few days later someone else called to set up a face-to-face interview with the hiring manager. The interview was scheduled during the week between Christmas and New Year’s.

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LinkedIn Isn’t Facebook

Although LinkedIn is primarily a business networking site, it’s still considered social media. That’s part of the reason having a profile photo and, with the new user interface, a background photo too.

That said, LinkedIn is not Facebook. Which means your photo needs to be recruiter and employer ready.

Despite this, I often seen inappropriate photos used in LinkedIn profiles.

I don’t mean the obvious mistakes like party photos, although I’ve seen them, it’s photos that people have put some thought into.

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How To Avoid A Typical (Boring) Conversation

You’ve probably heard that networking is the best way to find a job. One reason is that people like to hire people they know, which expands to someone referred by someone they know.

Unfortunately, many people are uncomfortable starting a conversation with a stranger. That makes it difficult to meet people at a networking event.

Why?

Unless you’re one of the first to arrive, many networking events are bustling from the moment you walk in the door. There are several groups chatting. Even worse are parties of two who seem in deep conversation.

One way to engage with a group is to stand close by and wait for an opportunity to join. Great connectors are always looking for people lurking and will invite them in to the conversation.

A more direct approach is to simply ask “Can I join you?”

I’ve never had anyone or any group say no.

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Is Your LinkedIn Photo (Or Lack Of) Hurting Your Chances?

30767835_sIt’s always surprising to me how many people don’t have a photo on their LinkedIn profile. A lot of people just don’t get around to it. These are generally the folks with the “skeleton” LinkedIn profiles with very little information.

Some people don’t put a photo on their LinkedIn profile because they’re afraid of discrimination. While most of these concerns seem to be related to age discrimination, I’m sure others are afraid of being discriminated against for other reasons.

The thing is that when you don’t have a photo on your LinkedIn profile recruiters and hiring managers wonder why. If they don’t see a photo while doing a LinkedIn search many won’t bother to click on the profile.

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Job Search Expenses Tax Deductible?

No one disputes that looking for a new job can get a bit pricey. Upgrading your interview wardrobe, getting some business cards, and creating marketing documents all have a fee.

While having a professionally written resume will probably shorten your job search and may even help you get a higher salary, partnering with an experienced resume writer isn’t cheap.

The good news is that some of your job search expenses are tax deductible**

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Salary: Negotiate Or Not?

Do you accept the first salary offered or do you negotiate?

In my 9 to 5 years, working for small firms, nonprofits, and international corporations, I always accepted the first salary I was offered.

I didn’t try to negotiate.

Not even once.

This was a big mistake on my part. I most assuredly left money on the table.

But, I’m not alone.

It turns out 73% of employers say they are willing to negotiate but 55% of candidates don’t even ask according to research done by CareerBuilder.

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