Job hunting: what techniques work and what don’t?

7 10 2009

So how do you accelerate the process of getting a job? I recently asked a group of professionals who are currently transitioning to their next job what was and wasn’t working for them in their job search. Here are the findings.

When asked what is working, networking jumped out as the overall winner taking a staggering, but probably not that surprising, 56% of the vote. There were four other suggestions that all scored in the 10% range. These were: using recruiters, directly applying to job board postings, government contract listings and constantly changing the way you work.

Conversely when asked what is not working the results were equally polarized with a full 50% saying that they get the least value from the job boards.  Interestingly 25% reported that they felt the jobs they most recently took had been a bad idea! Recruiters and not getting out enough both scored 13%.

There were a couple of additional helpful tips that came out of the discussion.

  • Never underestimate the value of a random conversation. Talking with person A can lead to a connection to person B who knows about job C.
  • The LinkedIn weekly summary is valuable. You can see what has happened in your network recently and it offers you a chance to reconnect with people. Do answer questions and update your status every week or so to ensure you pop up in other people’s weekly summary.
  • Don’t ignore Facebook. It is a great way to keep in touch with friends but is also a great tool to research people before you meet for interviews or have phone screens. You can check out your prospective manager’s haircut before you even meet!

Good hunting.

Never under estimate the power of JFDI

22 09 2009

Now, I was brought up right. Brush your teeth, comb your hair, be on time, honor your commitments and never swear – you get the picture? Swearing was definitely one of those thing that you really should not do.

When you are known as someone who doesn’t swear, and you do, boy does that attract attention! I learned that this can be used to your advantage and gets people to sit up and pay attention. So without further ado, the definition is as follows:

JFDI = Just f-ing do it!

It is an astonishingly underutilized life skill that people appear to forget. How often has someone called a meeting where you ended up sitting discussing some topic that didn’t really need all of those hours spent talking about it. Make decisions and move forward. It is empowering, and most people won’t care.

When you’re hunting for a job, you need to get out there and get involved. Stop banging your head against the job boards and engage in real conversation with real people and do real things. Volunteer in your community, join special interest groups, offer your support to those less fortunate than yourself. Don’t agonize over what to do, just do something, anything. If you end up not liking it stop and try something else.

Get out there and do things. It beefs up the resume, is an astonishingly powerful way to network and provides talking points for future interviews. Enjoy what you do.  It should be fun and inspiring.

Good hunting.

10 things you need to know about your resume

11 09 2009

1: Just updating and posting a resume on line won’t get you a job (unless you are astonishingly lucky, one in a million?).

2: Resumes are a story of your past. You also need a story about you future don’t forget to write that too.

3: Get your resume honestly reviewed by peers and HR experts. Ask them to be brutally frank.  It hurts but it is worth it. Don’t ask family members.  They will be too polite! “oh Jimmy that’s lovely, what font is that?” Yikes!

4: Warning! Everyone knows the best way to write a resume. Get advice from professionals and at some point just stop.  Enough is enough, it is done. Update the resume as appropriate but do not over-think it.

5: After each line ask yourself the ‘so what‘ question. Does this line demonstrate a skill or achievement that can help a potential employer? If not, fix it – don’t lose your opportunity to impress them and don’t waste their time.

6: Scary but true: you have 6 to 10 seconds to grab the reader’s attention.

7: Make sure there is lots of white space and don’t forget to add numbers

8: This is not a thesis.  Keep it crisp and short.  1 or 2 pages maximum

9: The purpose of a resume is to show you are qualified for the job and should provide a few teasers to pique their attention and get them to call you.

10: The first person to read your online resume is a computer. Make sure you have your specific buzzwords in the document for it to find.

Good hunting.

Social media, it is just a fad right?

11 09 2009

We all know about social media. It is a load of people telling us about what type of sandwich they last ate or how they are feeling. Great.  I’m too busy looking for a job to waste my time on social media. In a recent conversation with Nick Booth, a blogging guru at Podnosh, he said that blogging has the reputation of being ‘self indulgent and echo chambery’ but he also said it is game-changing; many others agree.

Take a look at this astonishing video on social networking.  It is put out by Erik Qualman who is promoting his book Socialnomics, but you just can’t ignore some of the factiods.

As a part of your strategy to land a job you will need to evaluate how far you need to dip our toe into the social media pond.