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.

Continue Reading →

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.

Continue Reading →

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.

Continue Reading →

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**

Continue Reading →

9 Easily Avoidable Interview Blunders

There is no shortage of articles “how to succeed” in job interviews. You can find advice on how to answer tough questions, suggestions on what to wear and everything else in between. But, sometimes looking at other people’s mistakes can be an even better lesson.

With this in mind, I asked recruiters and hiring managers to send me some “Interview Bloopers” things that made them stop and say “I can’t believe that he or she just did that!”  Having worked in the career field for over a decade I’ve heard a lot of stories about inappropriate behavior by candidates. But, some of the submissions, including one candidate’s obsession with reality TV, shocked even me.

While some of these stories may make you chuckle, they should also serve as cautionary tales.

Continue Reading →

5 Ways To Be Remembered (In A Good Way)

In our competitive job market, many candidates are competing for each position. There is only one winner and there’s no prize for second place.

Everyone looking for a job has heard that it’s important to send a thank you note. But the percentage who follow through is small.

That means, sending a thank you note is a sure way to stand out in a positive way.

It’s one of the quickest, and easiest, ways to get an employer’s attention. To keep you top-of-mind once the interview is over.

Here are 5 ways to make sure you continue to be remembered in a good way.

#1 Act Fast

Send a thank you ASAP. Try to email a note as soon as you can. Have a thank you template that you can revise as needed depending on the specific job interview.  Unless your handwriting is illegible you might want to follow up with a handwritten note as well. When was the last time you received anything besides a business letter in the office mail?

Continue Reading →

Highlight YOU With A Career Portfolio

Differentiating yourself from other candidates with similar backgrounds is essential in today’s job market. One way to do that is by creating a portfolio.

Portfolios are not just for creative folks. Wherever your field or industry, a career portfolio can help set you apart.

If you haven’t heard the term, a career portfolio is used to showcase your accomplishments, training, and experience. Your current level and target position will help determine the contents.

Certainly, if you’re in a creative field, you want to have samples of your work. If you’re an executive a summary of ventures you designed, implemented, and led might prove valuable. Copies of articles and/or white papers you’ve authored can be a good addition too.

Continue Reading →

Facing Age Discrimination? Be Prepared If You’re Over (Or Under) A Certain Age

One of the issues often raised when a group of jobseekers gets together is the question of age discrimination.

A few years ago,  I was invited to be a guest at Platform to Employment a program which was developed by The Workplace to address the needs of the long-term unemployed.

Originally started in Connecticut, the program has had such great success that it was expanded to ten other cities early 2014. You may have seen it featured on 60 Minutes.

Several days before my visit, I received a list of questions that the group was hoping I could answer from the recruiter’s perspective. Not surprisingly, a number of the questions addressed the problem of age discrimination.

Here are a few things I learned while working as a recruiter.

Continue Reading →