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Job Search 2013

December 28, 2012

Like many of you, I am eager to put 2012 in my past.  It wasn’t the greatest year for me.  I lost my dad in March and 6 weeks later, my son annouID-100129172nced he was moving 1500 miles away.  Then my father-in-law and aunt died in July.  I am looking forward to 2013.  I feel so many good things waiting for me there.

Like you, 2013 has potential and opportunity.  It is a new year to accomplish new things like land that new job.  You have some time in the next couple of days to get ready.  And like the New Year, it’s time to think about new twists on job search strategies.  That means thinking outside the 2012 box.

  •  Get your resume ready.  You know each resume you send out should be tailored to the job but is your resume up-to-date?  Some of the latest trends are video resumes, presentation resumes, and Infographic resumes.  Format your resume to be read on a smart phone.  Many people read their email outside of their homes and offices while on the go.  If your resume is easily read on this platform, it has a better chance of being read.
  • Follow up with the people you met this holiday season.  The people you met need to be contacted and a meeting set up.  Start with an email reminding them who you are, where and how you met.  Be pleasantly persistent and not a stalker will bring you success.  If you can’t connect after a few tries, move on to someone else.
  • Practice your interview skills using video and Skype.  Today more companies are taking advantage of these means to include more employees from other locations in the interview process.  If you think a face to face interview is stressful, there is something even more stressful about video and Skype interviews.
  • Social media consists of LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter.  Concentrate your efforts using these outlets.  Update your profiles and keep up with the changes that appear often.  Include a photo on LinkedIn profile; endorse and recommend others and they will return the favor; keep the information current and accurate. Set your privacy settings, so that employers cannot access personal information.  However, keep digital dirt from destroying your chances at employment. Tweet once or twice a day to share your skills, knowledge and opinions.  Follow your target companies and people who can provide you with the information you need to be in the right place at the right time.
  • Combine your resume, leave behinds, social media profiles, portfolio, and any other information you want recruiters to know about you on the new “nameplate” sites.  There are several to choose from each with similar and individualized features.

The above are your usual strategies but have been updated for the New Year to reflect the changing way we live, work and play.  It only makes sense that job searching advance.  By keeping up with the changes, you show you and your skills are not out of date but are current and up to date.

Arleen Bradley is a certified career coach and certified job loss recovery coach.  She assists clients in moving beyond job loss grief in order to land dream jobs.  To learn more about the Job Loss Recovery Program and how you can benefit from it, log on to   http://www.arleenbradley.com.

  • Do you feel all alone in your job search?
  • Do you feel like no one understands what you are going through?
  • Looking for state of the art job search strategies?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, you will love the Job Search Networking Support Group.  Click here to sign up.

Photo credit:  http://www.freedigitalphotos.net  Stuart Miles

Twas The Night Before Christmas of the Job Searcher

December 23, 2012

Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the houseImage

Not a creature was working, not even the mouse.

The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,

In hopes they wouldn’t show the wear and tear.

The children were nestled all snug in their beds

While visions of ipads, Abercrombie and Fitch danced in their heads.

With bills unpaid and the mortgage due

I tried to relax and renew.

When in my chest I felt a flutter

I sprang from my bed to see what was the matter.

Right to the laptop I flew

To see what I should do.

To WebMD I went right away

By now it was all the healthcare I could pay

But what to my eyes should appear,

The reason for my flutter became clear.

With the symptoms spelled out

I knew I was stressed with no doubt

Not having a job was heavy on my mind.

I needed a job of any kind.

To Careerbuilder!  To Monster!  To Craigslist and Indeed.

On the company websites I had to look with speed.

I found all the jobs that I would apply

Now to create a resume without a lie

Functional or chronological, it was difficult to choose.

The only thing that mattered was the schmooze.

So I decided on one.

And from my mind the words did run.

And then in a flash it was complete.

Making it effective was quite a feat.

But there was no time to relax

It had to go by fax.

Each had a cover letter

To make my skills and experience look better.

Sending a packet to each firm

I wondered who would confirm.

The fax machine LCD twinkled on each transmission

While I only hoped for a successful reception.

The tones and beeps confirmed my premonition

I was on my way to ending this transition.

The cookies set out for Santa before

Were my fuel for this tedious chore.

One by one the resumes were fed into the machine

To finish this task I would surely need caffeine.

This would be a good job for some little elf.

I laughed when I thought of this in spite of myself.

Soon I realized I had nothing to dread

Because doing it myself they would arrive and maybe read.

Without taking a break, I continued my work

I wanted to finish before I went beserk.

The hour was late and I wanted to doze,

But needed to finish before everyone arose.

I finished at last with some time to spare

And decided to spend the rest of the night in my chair.

I managed to utter before my head started to bob

Happy Christmas to all and to all good a job!

Arleen Bradley is a certified career coach and certified job loss recovery coach.  She assists clients in moving beyond job loss grief in order to land dream jobs.  To learn more about the Job Loss Recovery Program and how you can benefit from it, log on to   http://www.arleenbradley.com.

  • Do you feel all alone in your job search?
  • Do you feel like no one understands what you are going through?
  • Looking for state of the art job search strategies?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, you will love the Job Search Networking Support Group.  Click here to sign up.

10 Gifts Job Searchers Need But Won’t Ask For

December 16, 2012

Ask a job searcher what they want for Christmas.  From my experience the answer is “a

job.”  The last thing a job searcher needs is a scented candle or a box of chochand holding giftolates.  While these gifts are nice, they don’t give the job searcher what he/she really needs—meaningful employment and a pay check.  You can be assured a job searcher won’t want to impose so they won’t be forth coming with a list.

Some of the best gifts don’t cost anything at all.  The most thoughtful gifts are ones that show

the recipient that you are aware of their needs and likes.  Most of the items in the following list can’t be wrapped and placed under the tree, but they can be given sincerely to help someone succeed.

  1. Introduce the job searcher to one or more of your contacts.  Over 85% of jobs are obtained through networking.
  2. Offer to practice the interview and offer constructive criticism.  Interviewing is stressful; practice helps to alleviate some of the stress.
  3. Volunteer to proof read their resumes and cover letters before they send them out.  Be willing to do this often as job searchers  to send a separate resume for each position.
  4. Keep in touch.  Contact and socializing are beneficial to everyone.  The relationship with other people is vital at this time.  Their confidence and dignity have been reduced, and spending day after day on the computer alone can take its’ toll.
  5. Bring them as a guest to your gym.  Exercise relieves stress and keeps the mind sharp.   Or offer to be a walking buddy on a regular basis.
  6. When job searchers get discouraged, they find it difficult to keep up the job search.  An accountability buddy will keep them on task.  However you want to be firm but patient
  7. Take the job searcher out for coffee/lunch to brain storm search strategies, companies, contacts and such.  Or just let them vent without judging them.  They need someone to listen to them.  You don’t want to give advice or say anything meaningful.  Moral support during this difficult time is critical.
  8. An order of business cards on quality card stock or a pad folio for a professional look when networking or interviewing.
  9. A gift card/cash comes in handy in so many ways.  Buying food, gas, clothes, and paying bills is hard at this time.
  10. Time with a career coach to evaluate their job search and make recommendations for improvements for quicker success.

It isn’t too late there is still time to get the job searcher you know what he or she actually wants.  It will help to know that it can be a touchy subject to offer unsolicited advice.  So proceed carefully and tactfully.   Be assured that the support you provide will be highly appreciated.

 

Arleen Bradley is a certified career coach and certified job loss recovery coach.  She assists clients in moving beyond job loss grief to land dream jobs.  To learn more about the Job

Loss Recovery Program and how you can benefit from it, log on to   http://www.arleenbradley.com


  • Do you feel all alone in your job search?
  • Do you feel like no one understands what you are going through?
  • Looking for state of the art job search strategies?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, you will love the Job Search Networking Support Group.  Click here to sign up.

Networking tips for introverts, the shy, and socially challenged.

December 6, 2012

It seems that the road to success is networking.  It Imagecan be career suicide if you fail to network in this day and age.  Everyone is doing it and needs to do it.  But for many, networking is more painful than anything imaginable.   For introverts, shy people and/or socially challenged, it doesn’t mean the end of the world.  With the helpful tips found here, you can build a network to match any extrovert.

Before you go to the event you need to prepare and practice.   Having done this ahead of time will take some of the pressure off while in the situation.  You will know what to say, how to say it, and when to quit.

Prepare:

    • Write 3-5 open-ended questions that are appropriate for everyone in the room.  Such as questions about the venue, food, weather, upcoming holiday, etc. act as ice breakers as a lead-in to a conversation.
    • Know what’s going on around you and the world so that you are can keep up with conversations by reading the newspaper, listening/watching the news, and other current events.
    • If possible, find out who will be there ahead of time.  Do a Google/LinkedIn search on people you are interested in meeting.  When you have some background information, you can prepare questions and have some knowledge about the person so you won’t be at a loss for words.
    • Assemble a list of goals you would like to achieve at the event.  Find a reasonable number of people you would like to connect with at the event.  You don’t need to talk to everyone, but having a number will keep you focused on continuing the networking.

Practice:

    • Ask family and close friends to help you prepare for the event by allowing you to practice you questions, body language that is welcoming, friendly and social, and general chit-chat.   Ask them for honest feedback and take their suggestions for improvement.
    • Go over your elevator speech many times so it comes out sounding natural and not over-rehearsed.
    • Practicing while you are in a safe environment will give you confidence.  The more you practice the better and more self-confident you will become, which makes networking so much easier.

While you are there, you are stepping out of your comfort zone to build relationships with people who benefit from knowing you.  You have prepared and practiced, and now it’s show time

  • Arrive early before the bulk of the crowd arrives.  You will feel less intimidated with only a few people in the room.
  • Bring a trusted friend/colleague to introduce you to others, provide emotional support, and tips for success.
  • Look around the room for someone who looks like you feel.  Engaging in conversation with this person is a low risk way to start the event.
  • No matter how many people are at the event, you don’t have to connect with all of them.  You have set a goal.  Once you have reached your goal you can either continue or stop the choice is yours.
  • It’s a good idea to take a break from networking to restore your energy.  Every venue will have a restroom where you can retreat to.  Find a quiet corner to check your email/voice mail or reread your notes and goals.  With a boost of energy, you can continue to work the room.
  • Fake it until you make it.  Walking around the room with a smile, firm handshake and welcoming body language no one will see the terror that is raging throughout your body.
  • Once you have engaged someone in conversation, you can take on the role of listener.  Allow them to do what most people enjoy-talking about them while it takes the pressure from you to keep the conversation going.
  • Know when and how to end the conversation.  There is something to be said about less is more.  Instead of getting to the point where you start rambling or fumbling for more conversation, thank them for taking the time to talk with you, acknowledge they must have many people they want to see, you appreciate their time, and you would like to continue the conversation at a mutually convenient time and way.
  • Ask for a business card or contact information so that you can follow up.

After the event you are finished the hard part, but there is still some work to do.  But you will be more comfortable connecting one-on-one and have had time to relax and recharge.

  • Look at your goals and see if you accomplished them.  If the answer is yes, give yourself a pat on the back for a job well done.  If not, don’t beat yourself up It isn’t about the quantity of your network it is the quality.  You stepped out of your comfort zone and put yourself out there.
  • Follow up in the way you said you would.  You worked hard to get the contact, don’t lose it by not following up.  Networking is about building a relationship not just collecting names.  Look for ways to be a valuable contact for them and glad you are part of their network.  It will serve you later down the road.

You have something to offer everyone you talk to, and they want to meet you.  These tips are meant to help you in doing what is uncomfortable for you.  Don’t hide in a quiet corner, got out there– mix and mingle your way to success.

 

Arleen Bradley is a certified career coach and certified job loss recovery coach.  She assists clients in moving beyond job loss grief in order to land dream jobs.  To learn more about the Job Loss Recovery Program and how you can benefit from it, log on to   http://www.arleenbradley.com.

  • Do you feel all alone in your job search?
  • Do you feel like no one understands what you are going through?
  • Looking for state of the art job search strategies?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, you will love the Job Search Networking Support Group.  Click here to sign up.

Five Things You Should Know About Networking During the Holidays

November 30, 2012

It’s the best timImagee to be looking for a job.  No, I haven’t lost my mind.  We know that more than 85% of all jobs are obtained through networking.  We also know that this is a highly social season.  Everyone is hosting a party to celebrate their particular holiday.  Did you know most non-profits receive most of their funds during this time? This leads us to believe that people are in a giving mood this time of the year.  And lastly, because so many people take the holidays off from their job search, there is less competition.

Here are  five things you should know to make this holiday season’s networking successful for you.

  It’s about establishing relationships with people.  The people you meet while networking are not the ones that will hire you. Someone they know is the more likely one to hire you.  The expression, “it is better to give than receive,” comes to mind.  You want to be a genuine giver.  Provide your new (and old) contacts with the information they need.  When you do this, you get the reputation of being the go to person. While networking in this way, you need patience.  Things will not happen overnight.  But you are laying foundations and planting seeds that will pay off in the long run.  Don’t give up.

 Know how to start conversations.  People are not going to events looking for you.  They have their own agenda so don’t expect people to come up to you and start conversations.  You need to know how to start a conversation with strangers.  Before the event, take a look at the news to see what people are talking about today.  Some good starters are the weather, the venue and the refreshments, event sponsor/host, local sports teams.  But avoid hot topics such as politics and religion.  Engaging in a hostile conversation is counter-productive to your goals.

 Follow up.  Building a relationship requires contact after the initial conversation.  Out of sight out of mind is key here.  How you follow up will depend on the people involved.  Choices range from an ordinary email all the way to a face-to-face meeting.  But remember to continue the relationship after the holidays.  In your first follow up, include where you met and a little about your conversation.  During the conversation, look for things that interest them or some problem they want solved.  Follow up by sending them something pertinent about the conversation whether it’s an article, book or any other information you can share.

Some tips.

Dressyou don’t want to be remembered for the “outfit” you were wearing.    Keep your apparel conservative but festive.

Fooddon’t over indulge at any one party.  It’s a long season with delicious, tempting food resulting in holiday weight gain you will regret in the New Year.

Alcoholavoid alcohol and stick to soft drinks or club soda.  You reduce your inhibitions and run the risk of not remembering the people you spoke to and what you said you would follow up on.

Business cards and resumesbring plenty of business cards with you; you don’t want to run out when you meet “the” person.  Wait for a request for your resume before sending it out and don’t give it at networking events.   

 Final thoughts.  Your mindset will go a long way in determining how successful you are during the holiday season.  Henry Ford said, “that if you think you can or can’t, your right.”  You attract into your life what you believe.  If you think you will win, you are much more likely to win.  Concentrate on success and it will be yours. 

Wrap up all these ideas into a friendly, kind and cheerful package and your network grow.  People gravitate toward positive, optimistic people and avoid the desperate, depressed people.  The choice is yours.  It may take a little effort to overcome the holiday blues, but well worth it.  It is a joyous holiday season, with lots to celebrate, focus on what you have, and you will attract more.

 

Arleen Bradley is a certified career coach and certified job loss recovery coach.  She assists clients in moving beyond job loss grief in order to land dream jobs.  To learn more about the Job Loss Recovery Program and how you can benefit from it, log on to   http://www.arleenbradley.com.

  • Do you feel all alone in your job search?
  • Do you feel like no one understands what you are going through?
  • Looking for state of the art job search strategies?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, you will love the Job Search Networking Support Group.  Click here to sign up.

How to be Jolly and Unemployed During the Holidays

December 16, 2012

Image T‘is the season to be jolly. Or so the song goes.  But if you are unemployed at this time you are adding more stress to an already stressful time.  But it doesn’t have to be.  There are ways to cope with the season.  I have provided some suggestions for you to choose from as not everyone has the same issues.  Any stress you can eliminate will help you enjoy the season and less stress is better when looking for a job.

  1. Take 30 minutes a day for me time, read a book, listen to music, take a nap or anything that relaxes you.  It’s necessary for you to take some time for a few quiet moments to recharge and refresh to be able to do all you need to do and put things in perspective
  2. Keep expectations low.  The holiday season is one of great expectations on many levels.  Your family isn’t the Brady Bunch.  They are real and make mistakes.  They can’t read your mind.   Keep your expectations to what you and others can realistically expect.  Anything above the expected is a plus.
  3. Give back by volunteering your time to help those less fortunate.  Volunteering has a twofold benefit.  The recipient is grateful for the help and the giver feels good for having done something for someone else.
  4. Simplify your celebration.  Look at all the things you are expected to do.  Are the expectations yours or others?  Are there things on the list that aren’t necessary? A good place to start is the things that don’t serve a purpose anymore because people have grown up and moved away or isn’t practical in this day and age.  A done for your product can save time and energy.
  5. Say no to things that you don’t have time for.  With many things to do and places to go, you can pick what is necessary and important to you. Be firm but polite in your refusal.  If it’s something you have to do, do it, but remove something else from your list.
  6. Take things one at a time.  Although multitasking is a valuable skill, it causes unnecessary stress.  Looking at all you have to do is overwhelming. Do one thing and do it well.   Soon your done list will be longer than you’re to do list.
  7. Understand your emotions are real and normal.  You are joining the millions of other people sharing your anxiety and grief at this time of the year and employment status.  Taking care of you is essential.  Ask for help if you think you need it or others say you need it.
  8. Budget your time so that you have time to do the things you want to do.  By doing something every day, you gradually shrink your list.  Putting things off until the last minute will result in an overwhelming amount of things to do.
  9. Ask for help from others to do things you usually do.  Share the tasks, you aren’t the only one that can or should do everything.  Things may not be done to your exacting standards, but they will be done.  Remember you are also lowering your expectations.
  10. Eat healthy and in moderation.  The rich, high calories foods available at this time of the year lead to eater’s guilt in January when the pounds are tallied.   The same goes for alcohol which has its own issues when consumed in large quantities.  Exercise will clear the cobwebs, give you more energy, and reduce stress.  A brisk walk in the fresh, crisp air will do wonders for your attitude and spirit.
  11. Look for the positive in your situation.  This is tough I know.  Hopelessness and success can be self-fulfilling prophecies.  Pick the one you want  and work toward it.
  12. Avoid toxic people that suck the life right out of you.  This is going to be the most difficult thing I am asking you to do.  I know that the some of the toxic people are precisely people you are doing everything for.  Try to limit your exposure to them or look at the world through their eyes.  What has caused them to be the way they are?
  13. Keep your temper in check.  Count to ten, twenty, or 1 million until you feel calmer and won’t over act.  Everyone is stressed at this point.  Blowing up won’t solve anything, in fact, it will make things worse.  Step away from the situation and breathe deeply.  If words need to be shared, do so calmly and rationally.  The results will be better.
  14. Enjoy the season’s food, entertainment, events, meeting new and old acquaintances.  This is a social season. There will festive food that comes out only at this time of the year.  Enjoy-but in moderation. Listen to your favorite holiday music and sing along to your heart’s delight.  Or watch the holiday movie that makes you laugh or inspires you.   Enjoy the opportunity to meet new and fascinating people.  And it’s a time to catch up with people you don’t see that often.
  15. Have an attitude of gratitude for the many things you do have.  Every day take a few minutes to write three things you are grateful for.  Start a list and add to it daily.  Soon you will see the many wonderful reasons adding up.

In the book How the Grinch Stole Christmas, the Whos in Whoville celebrated the holiday even though all the festive food, decorations and gifts were gone.  The holiday came without all the trappings.  We aren’t celebrating the trappings but the specific reason for the holiday, whatever holiday you are celebrating.

 

Arleen Bradley is a certified career coach and certified job loss recovery coach.  She assists clients in moving beyond job loss grief in order to land dream jobs.  To learn more about the Job Loss Recovery Program and how you can benefit from it, log on to   http://www.arleenbradley.com.

  • Do you feel all alone in your job search?
  • Do you feel like no one understands what you are going through?
  • Looking for state of the art job search strategies?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, you will love the Job Search Networking Support Group.  Click here to sign up.

Surviving Unemployment and the Holidays

October 29, 2012

Believe it or not it is that time again; the time when you start thinking about the holidays ahead.  Or maybe you are trying to put it out of your mind.  But nevertheless they will be here upon you  soon. `seem to increase every year; food, family, gifts and so on.  But how do you cope with the holidays while unemployed?  If you don’t have the answers, fear not, I have some suggestions for you.

Some advanced planning you can survive the holidays.  And it all starts now.  First talk to your family and friends about your situation early before everyone has everything planned.  Second start your preparations now.  Third create a budget and stick to it.

First.  You know your family does the same thing every year.  This is the time you can change the way things are done.  By starting the conversation now, you will let everyone know what to expect.

Be honest with your family and tell them what you can and can’t do.  Be honest with them.  Change isn’t easy and welcomed which is why you are doing this now.  It will allow people a chance to get over the change.  Some will like it and be thankful that you brought it up.  Others will think you are messing with tradition.  Some are organized and have already started getting things ready.  Others wait to the last-minute and scramble around in a frenzy.  You will make one group unhappy and the other happy.  But the idea is to make everyone satisfied, and you have to do what’s best for you at this time.

Second.  Make a budget and stick to it.  Once you have decided what you are going to do, sit down and estimate the cost for gifts, food, clothing and travel.  Find out where the money is going to come from.  Will you have to find a part-time job for the extra money; or make and sell items for others to buy; or some other way to earn money.

And lastly, if you start purchasing, baking, cooking, making and such now it will take the pressure off your finances.  As stated above, by having the difficult conversation now, you will know what is expected and can plan ahead.

If you are planning to make gifts, you have almost two months to get items finished without pulling all nighters.  Buy one gift a week seems less expensive than going out on a one day shopping spree.  There are many foods you can make and freeze ahead.  By preparing the food in the coming weeks, you will have time should you be called in for an interview.  Additionally, watching sales and buying at the lowest price you get more for your money.

I have been doing some of these things for many years.  I feel more organized and don’t run around at the last-minute shopping, cooking, baking and spending money I don’t have.   The best part of all is that I get time to reflect on the true meaning of the holiday.  And that’s the best thing of all.

 

Arleen Bradley is a certified career coach and certified job loss recovery coach.  She assists clients in moving beyond job loss grief in order to land dream jobs.  To learn more about the Job Loss Recovery Program and how you can benefit from it, log on to   http://www.arleenbradley.com.

  • Do you feel all alone in your job search?
  • Do you feel like no one understands what you are going through?
  • Looking for state of the art job search strategies?
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