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Category: Job Search

The Best Way to Have Outstanding References

Filed under: Job Search, References, Your Career

References Matter!

Now more than ever, hiring managers are checking references. Why? Because they just don’t trust all the digital personal branding and subjectivity that goes into it. First, there’s the fact that you can make up stuff about yourself. People lie all the time about their experience, their degrees, etc. Second, a lot of job seekers think they are more talented than they really are. Hiring managers want to validate what they are seeing and hearing in interviews to make sure it’s not hype.

 Click to read more tips to ensure your references are top-notch on LinkedIn >>

Networking Rules for Job-seekers: the Good, the Bad and the Almost Perfect

Filed under: Job Search, Networking

Networking is about meeting people you know who can vouch for your past performance and connect you with people you don’t know.

 

After writing The Best Job-hunting Secrets of All Time, and reading the comments, Lou Adler summarized job-seekers’ attitudes towards networking.  His findings led him to the conclusion that 20% of job-seekers find networking necessary, appropriate, and comfortable. Another 20% find it necessary, but uncomfortable. The rest are either not doing it, or doing it wrong.

Click to read the article on LinkedIn >> 

Personal SWOT Analysis

Filed under: Insights, Interviews, Job Search, Skills, Your Career
Bigstock

“Chance favors the prepared mind.”
– Louis Pasteur

You are most likely to succeed in life if you use your talents to their fullest extent. Similarly, you’ll suffer fewer problems if you know what your weaknesses are, and if you manage these weaknesses so that they don’t matter in the work you do.

So how you go about identifying these strengths and weaknesses, and analyzing the opportunities and threats that flow from them? SWOT Analysis is a useful technique that helps you do this.

What makes SWOT especially powerful is that, with a little thought, it can help you uncover opportunities that you would not otherwise have spotted. And by understanding your weaknesses, you can manage and eliminate threats that might otherwise hurt your ability to move forward.

If you look at yourself using the SWOT framework, you can start to separate yourself from your peers, and further develop the specialized talents and abilities you need to advance your career.

Click to read the article on Mindtools.com >> 

3 Rules For Following Up With A Recruiter

Filed under: Job Search, Recruiters

This is a great article describing the best approach for candidates to stay in touch with recruiters.  As much as candidates are eager to find a new job, recruiters are just as eager to assist you with your search.  It is in the candidate’s best interest to send an email to a recruiter every few weeks in order to stay on his/her radar than it is to call every day.

– Kevin Gilligan, Managing Director, Solomon Page Accounting & Finance

You’ve been stood up.

You applied to a position, confirmed your resume was received, and got the wink and the gun from the recruiter that your application looked good. So you’re popping your collar, thinking you’re in like Flynn, waiting for the hiring manager to call to schedule an interview.

But a couple of weeks have gone by, and you’ve got nothing but radio silence and the sound of your employment biological clock occupying your thoughts. Tick. Tock.

So, what’s a neglected job seeker to do? You’re still interested, but you aren’t quite certain how to break the silence without being awkward.

This recruiter’s advice: Go ahead and follow up. Just make sure to use your professional common sense and avoid reacting to your feelings of job search angst. With that in mind, here are a few recruiter-friendly suggestions for following up on your applications.

Click the read the rest of the article on Forbes >>

How To Stand Out From The Rest

Filed under: Best Advice, Job Search, Quick Tips

Lynda Fraser, Vice President, Human Resources Contract Division, Solomon Page Group

Small things can pack a big punch when you want to stand out from your competition. These few simple strategies can focus attention to where you want it to be – on you!

Polish Your Resume:   If you want to be viewed as a professional, then your marketing collateral (your resume) needs to be polished and professional.  This means a total absence of spelling or grammatical errors.  You’re probably thinking, “well everyone knows that.”  Perhaps, but that doesn’t mean they follow through and proof carefully.  Make sure your vocabulary reflects the level of the position you seek and is appropriate to the culture you work in.  “Good enough” just isn’t good enough to set you apart.

Demonstrate Your Value:  Highlight the impact you have made in your various positions.  A simple series of bullet points that could have been lifted straight from a position description is more an indication of ‘time served’ than anything else.  Include significant achievements and accomplishments. What sets you apart from the dozens of other candidates?  What demonstrates that you have initiative or a work ethic that signifies effort and commitment?

Seek Help When You Need It:  Not everyone is a good writer.  If you know this is not your strength, ask for help from someone who does this well.  Your resume is not a novel, but you want to make sure that your story, employment history, and abilities are articulated in a thoughtful and coherent way.

Fast Forward . . . You Have an Interview:  Congratulations!  And now you have another chance to stand out!  What counts here is your presentation (well dressed and well groomed), communication (poised, open, direct and engaged) and your obvious preparation (you have done your research on the company, the position and key people, you have intelligent questions to ask and have anticipated questions you are likely to be asked).  Again, seek help if you need it.  If you’re concerned about being nervous, don’t hesitate to practice in front of a mirror or use a tape recorder to understand how you sound.  Ask your recruiter or someone whose opinion you value to run through questions you think might pose a problem or to help you articulate the points you would most like to get across.

Follow Up:  Understand that the interview doesn’t finish when you walk out the door.  A short but sincere thank you note can seal that first impression.  Being able to refer to a point covered during the meeting will help demonstrate your engagement during the interview.  And if you are working with a recruiter, be sure to follow up.  Building a relationship with your recruiter can be a powerful advantage for both the short and long term.

It is a highly competitive landscape out there and a tough one in many ways.  While there is nothing revolutionary about these tips to stand out, you would be surprised how few people take the extra effort required to be noticed and to be remembered.  The amount of time required is small for potentially great reward.  Someone once said “Life is not a matter of chance… it is a matter of choice.”  Choose to make your chances count!