Sunday, January 31, 2010

How to Improve an Online Job Search - What Job Seekers Can Do to Increase Their Chances of Being Hired

Deborah S. Hildebrand

Using the internet to find a new job is a smart move. That is if the job seeker uses it wisely. That means taking full advantage of all the tools it has to offer.

It’s not enough for job seekers to sit in front of their computer screen everyday and spend hours and hours searching through various job boards in the hope of finding the ideal job posting. Job seekers need to be more proactive.

Make a Resume Title/Headline that Attracts Employers

Ever search through the resumes that people post online and see some of the titles they use? Some of them, like “Your Next Best Hire,” are very off-putting to recruiters. Why? It’s because they say nothing and yet they say everything.

Job seekers who honestly want to 1) capture the attention of recruiters, 2) have the right people contact them and 3) land a great new job, need to make a great first impression by creating a resume title or headline that best describes what they offer.

It’s like creating a headline for a resume instead of an objective. The resume title needs to spell out who the job seeker is, what they have to offer a new employer and how they are different from the crowd.

Update Online Job Board Resumes/Profiles Regularly

Now here’s something important to know about the way recruiters search. First, they generally only want the freshest resumes. These are the candidates that they typically haven’t seen before. Plus they are the ones that most recruiters will assume (and rightly so) are actively looking. There’s nothing worse than locating an older resume with all the experience the recruiter wants only to find out the job seeker is out of circulation.

The other thing job seekers need to consider is that by updating their resume on a regular basis (weekly is recommended), they can “tweak” it according to their needs. This may mean adding additional information (like a recently received certification) or adjusting details (like the resume headline, especially if it’s not working) to grab the eye of the recruiter.

Hire My Friend Facebook Application

Everyone, at least almost everyone, is on Facebook and a lot of us spend a good amount of time there. What better way than to put Facebook to good use than to help your friends find a job? There's a new Facebook application - Hire My Friend - that lets you leverage the power of your network to help your job searching friends.

It's actually old fashioned networking (telling people you know about someone who needs a job) using the advantage of social media. Maybe, even probably, one of your friends knows someone who is hiring or has seen a job lead that might be a good fit or can recommend a company or refer your friend to one of their friends or to a LinkedIn connection.

After you add the Hire My Friend application, you answer a few questions about who your friend is, what they do, and what type of job they are looking for. You can include a link to their LinkedIn profile. Then your friend will be added to your profile. Your friends will be able to send a message to the job seekers or add them as a friend.

Do me a favor though, and before you use this, ask your friends if they want your help. Not everyone wants to publicize their job search on Facebook. Even though you mean well, you're not doing anyone a favor if you make their job search more public than they want it to be.

On a related note, there are lots of job search related iPhone apps, too. You can download job search iPhone apps that search for jobs by keyword and location (using the iPhone GPS function), email job listings, keep track of your contacts, and even create a resume.

Many iPhone applications are free. Before you buy an app, check for reviews in the iTunes store to make sure it's worth investing a few dollars.

Related: Facebook Job search Apps | Job Search iPhone Job Search Apps

Original Article

20 Tips for Building Your Personal Brand on Twitter

Since I started using Twitter last year, I've learned a few things (ok, a lot of things). I am grateful for the positive example set by so many professionals I've met through Twitter.

Whether you are promoting your business or your credentials as a job seeker, here are 20 Tips for Building Your Brand on Twitter:

1. Don't Sell A Thing

This one is important. Using Twitter is about paying it forward not paying it backward to yourself. Don't get me wrong. I applaud every business owner out there that offers products and services of value, and makes a living doing so. You deserve to make money. You need to make money to support your family, create jobs, and contribute to your community.

Just don't use Twitter to insert a sales pitch every 8th tweet. Your intentions become quite transparent. Instead, use Twitter with the simple mindset of offering content of value, promoting (and connecting) other people, and showing gratitude.

In networking situations offline, the most appreciated and effective participants are those that serve as matchmakers at an event (even if they just met each person!). Use the same approach on Twitter.

A consistent approach of paying it forward will do more for your business than you can imagine.

2. Be Your Own Voice

Social media is about creating a personal connection with your colleagues, customers, and fans. People want the authentic you, not a hired intern to tweet for you. If you (or your CEO) do not have time to tweet, that’s fine. Just don’t pretend it’s you.

President Obama dropped a social media bombshell recently in China when he indicated he has never used Twitter (in spite of the fact that tweets from @barackobama were a key component of a very successful social media campaign leading up to the election). I think it’s ok to give the President a waiver on this one. For the rest of us, it's important to be your own voice on Twitter.

3. Use a Real Picture

Just like on LinkedIn, it’s hard to make a personal connection with a logo or someone's pet:
???




Profiles done right:







4. Don’t Be a Social Media Expert

Mashable recently reported that over 15,000 profiles are marked as social media experts. Based on current growth, there will be 30 million social media experts on Twitter by this time 2012. In other words, everyone is an expert at social media. There are indeed social media experts out there and their credentials are reinforced by their books, blogs, and businesses. Unless social media is your business, my recomendation is profile your niche (e.g. project management, career development) and demonstrate social media proficiency.

5. Produce Your Own Content

Starting your own blog is critical (and super easy) for any professional. Taking the time to research and write your own articles will do more for your personal brand and credentials than probably anything else. It takes work, but once you get into a weekly rhythm, it is a lot of fun.

My best advice for content: Make it quick to read and actionable.

6. Add the Retweet Button to Your Blog Post

You’ve seen the Retweet Button at the top of most blog posts:


The key is to embed the code for this button in your blog post that retweets your Twitter handle, not the generic @tweetmeme handle. It is the third option noted on this link.

7. Make Your Latest Article Your Profile Link

If you make your latest blog post your Twitter website link, new followers will immediately discover the value of your content. It also increases the probability of your most recent article getting re-tweeted by new followers.




8. Help Others

Search Twitter for questions people are asking, and if you are in a position to help, please do so. Don’t just look for questions in your field. I always remember (and recommend) good people who simply respond to questions I may have about movies, the start time of a game, or where to eat in a new city.






(Oh, and still waiting to see Avatar. Up In The Air was very good though.)

9. Ask Questions

Asking questions is a great way to engage new people every day. When someone responds professionally, do not forget to acknowledge the person publically with another tweet.








10. Tweet Often But Not With Rapid Fire

Nobody appreciates someone who floods their twitter feed with a new tweet every 30 seconds. You may be a very interesting person, but nobody likes the person either who walks into a party and does not let anyone get in a word edgewise.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Plan and Execute Your Job Search Strategy using Gantt Charts!!

• Has your job search hit a plateau?
• Do you wonder if you are on track?
• Would you like a more efficient way to track your progress?

Job search may be one of the most complex, projects, you will ever need to manage! Jump start your Job Search, by getting a realistic view of what you have been doing; right and wrong. Learn the secrets which professional project managers, have been using for years. Use Gantt Charts to track you progress, analyze gaps and set new goals.
I used to teach Professional Business Skills, at a Business and Technology College in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. One of the most interesting courses I taught was Project Management. This course was a core requirement for all of the Business, IT and Healthcare professionals at the college. Students learned how to create Gantt Charts to track activities, manage multiple projects and measure their efficacy. I reviewed many interesting student projects from “organizing a surprise birthday party,” to “starting a business.” Using a Gantt Chart, enables you to conceptualize a project and break it into manageable chunks.

Currently, as an MBA Career Counselor at the Robinson College of Business at Georgia State University, I work with 5-600 Graduate students each semester. Job-seekers all need to create a Job Search Strategy” and “Career Action Plan.” Often, my role is to educate job-seekers, many of whom were suddenly laid off after years with the same company. While contemplating how to do this more effectively, I had an “aha” moment. Why not use Gantt charts for client’s job search? Isn’t job search a complex project? If so, then project management methodologies would be very useful.

5 Main advantages to using Gantt charts for your Job Search Strategy
o job and task sequencing (understand what needs to be done)
o development of daily, weekly, monthly calendars
o processing idle periods and staying on track
o simplify the flow of deliverables and activities
o due-date assignment/keep yourself accountable
o track your job search Performance and schedules

Definition: Gantt Charts are important tools that can help you plan and manage complex projects.
You can visually see the order in which tasks need to be carried out; identify crucial resources and the times when these resources will be needed the most. This is called the "critical path" method of project management. For a job search, there are many critical and sequential steps and many deadlines for job applications, and postings. Gantt Charts help you to monitor whether the project is on schedule. If it is not, they help you to pinpoint the remedial action necessary to put it back on schedule.

Sequential and parallel activities: In project planning (Critical Path Analysis) some activities are dependent on other activities and must be done in a certain sequence. This is similar to creating a book report outline, after writing the book report. Many of us were guilty of doing this in grammar school. Since part of the grade was dependent of handing in the outline, we just created an outline after the fact. Often, we didn’t understand how the outline, created a succinct framework to guide the book report. Many job seekers, in a panic, just dive into the deep end of a job search. However, without a strategy or a plan, the search often lacks focus and direction and can derail. Also, if the wrong strategy is employed, there may not be much of a response from employers and this can be damaging to a job seekers’ self esteem.

This is not surprising when you learn that less than 5% of North American’s ever receive training in job search. Don’t let your next job be random! For each job search activity, ask yourself if is it sequential/linear or nondependent/parallel? Do you have to hold off on going to a networking event, because you also want to talk to your neighbor, who may have some contacts in your field? No. These tasks are not dependent on each other and can be done “parallel” or concurrently.

How to get started: good online resources. The Mind Tools website lists the steps below to get you started (see info in italics). http://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newPPM_03.htm

Step 1. Create a “task list”, like a shopping list of all activities you will need to complete in your Career Action or Job Search Plan. Below is a task list I helped a client develop. This client was working on career exploration and was planning a major career transition.

My Sample Task List for career exploration and career transition.
1. Career Transition. Find a counselor who is licensed to administer and interpret tests. Take Career tests. Timeline, Career Leader 3 tests of approximately1 hour each.

2. Review your career values, skills, motivators with your counselor.

3. Detailed analysis of core competencies week 3 weeks

4. Research career paths which fit your unique skills (use the database provided with the career test)

5. Chose 1 or 2 industries or 2, specify 3 functional roles, identify 3-5 potential job titles of interest,

6.Research companies, identify 1 or 2 target industries, identify 5+ functional skills and identify 3-5 job titles.

Using Job Search Strategies for Dating

Approach Finding a Mate Like Looking for Work

Annabella Gualdoni

Searching for a job, like dating, can be time consuming and frustrating. Successful job hunters use many techniques for finding work that will also serve a dater well.

A successful career or a happy marriage can be the keys to happiness in someone’s life. So, too, achieving either one can be accomplished through similar methods.

Use Face to Face and Online Networking

Online professional networking sites have become a powerful tool for business and for job hunting. Sites like LinkedIn help people connect with friends, colleagues, and friends of friends in order to make personal contacts and perhaps get a foot in the door at a company where a resume might otherwise have been lost in the crowd.

Similarly, social networking sites are becoming a source for romantic dates. People already know they have friends in common and share similar interests. Strangers interact virtually on sites like Facebook through posting comments to mutual friends. A gutsy next step would be to make one-on-one contact with someone in a friend’s network and perhaps eventually suggest a live meeting. A newly married couple was featured in People magazine in 2009 because they “met” online when one emailed the other just to say, “Hey, we have the same name!”

Write a Good “Cover Letter”

Cover letters to potential employers that are an obvious cut-and-paste job generally wind up in the circular file. It is obvious that they are part of a careless mass mailing with no regard for the particular job being filled, and Human Resources will see them as weak and lazy.

Likewise, introductory emails that make no reference to the reader’s personal profile will show that the sender has blanketed the masses with this email with no rhyme or reason. A good email will demonstrate that the writer has read the reader’s profile and has legitimate reasons for thinking they might be a good match.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

10 Ways to Jumpstart Your Job Search Using Facebook

Facebook has changed dramatically in the past year, and has added significant features to help the job seeker. Please keep in mind, passive job seekers might want to limit some of the more public activities, so their search won’t be apparent to their current employer.


While Facebook started as a social network for kids, it’s grown up on its way to passing 350M members. Facebook’s largest segment is 30+ and there are now more grandparents than students on the world’s largest networking site. Facebook has also surpassed Google as the #1 site to search … for people.

Building a Facebook network can leverage your job search efforts, but only if you build the right network, and learn how to use Facebook as a communication tool.

Here are the 10 most effective ways I’ve found to use Facebook for your job search:

Prepare:

1. Clean up your profile – Start off with effective Online Reputation Management (http://recareered.blogspot.com/2010/01/online-reputation-management-4-steps-to.html) and audit your Facebook presence and remove comments or photos you wouldn’t want your Mom or Boss to see. Remove Facebook game applications that may give the impression that you’d play Mafia Wars on company time. Monitor your Facebook profile regularly.
2. Make yourself public – Update your Facebook security settings to make everything on your profile public. This helps employers and recruiters find you on Facebook, and makes more of your profile information searchable on Google.
3. Post your Resume – Posting your resume on Facebook can be as easy as saving it to Google docs or Box.net and posting the link to your info tab on your profile.
4. Build an Online Portfolio – Include links to examples of project work, reports, presentations, or a portfolio site you’ve built elsewhere (http://recareered.blogspot.com/2008/06/how-online-portfolios-put-you-at-top-of.html). You can include these links on your info tab, or build a custom Portfolio tab and store directly on Facebook.

Read Tips 6-10

Monday, January 25, 2010

TweetDeck, TwitJobSearch Team Up For Custom Job Search Desktop App

Robin Wauters
TechCrunch.com
Monday, January 25, 2010; 2:55 AM

TwitJobSearch, a Twitter-based job search engine, has teamed up with TweetDeck to offer a desktop client dubbed JobDeck, as reported by Clickz earlier this morning.

The application indexes tweets related to recruitment from across the Twittersphere, in real-time, based on TwitJobSearch's algorithm (our earlier coverage).

Basically, it's just a custom branded TweetDeck client that comes with two additional default columns: 'Job Search Experts' and 'TwitJobSearch', although it can also prove helpful to add a LinkedIn column carrying the latest updates from the professional social network (and perhaps even your Facebook news feed).

Recruiters can follow a few simple steps to ensure their tweets are indexed by the TwitJobSearch service, helping them connect with potential candidates through social media more effectively, and for free. The TwitJobSearch site itself offers advertisers the ability to purchase premium, or "Tweetured" job listings, sold on a CPC basis. Current advertisers include brands such as Adidas, KFC, and Lloyds Banking Group, according to Clickz.

The JobDeck app itself will not feature any premium ad opportunities at this point.

Read Original Article


Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Five Ways to Keep Your Job Search at Work on the Down Low

It’s hard enough to keep up with a demanding boss and your never-ending to-do list, but finding a new job on top of everything else is enough to make even the most organized and on-top-of-it gal feel a little crazed. If you’re as guilt prone as I am, then you may feel a little like you’re cheating on your company by sneaking around behind your co-workers’ backs. The long lunches, the extra lipstick stashed in your purse, the secret phone calls behind closed doors … you get the idea. Here are a few tips to keeping your search on the DL.

Nix the guilt.
Gone are the days when people would work for the same company for thirty years and get a gold watch at their retirement dinner. Job hunting is a fact of life. Your boss or co-workers may be doing the same thing, so don’t feel like you’re being disloyal. Remind yourself that a new job will give you a better quality of life and help advance your career.

Schedule accordingly.
Many interviewers understand that you’re currently employed and are willing to accommodate a request for an early-morning or late-afternoon interview to minimize interference with your current job responsibilities. If someone insists that you must meet with them from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. on a Monday afternoon and that is wildly inconvenient for you, consider whether you really want to work for someone who is so inflexible!

See Tips 3-5

Maneuvering the Phone Screen - Laid Off And Looking

Jon Gray was manager of planning and analysis at Xsigo Systems, a San Jose-based technology start-up. He was laid off in November 2008, after almost two years with the company. Previously, Mr. Gray, 34, spent seven years in various finance roles at Symantec Corp., a security software maker. He lives in Los Gatos, Calif.

Jon GrayI find that with all of my job opportunities, the first interview invariably takes place over the phone. There is at least one phone screening conversation, normally with the company’s HR department. Occasionally even two or three phone screens may take place. Here, I’ll share two contrasting experiences I’ve had with phone screens.

The first experience was actually the second screen for the role in question. The first screen, with the company’s recruiter, went well. If the recruiter was any indication, I knew I would fit the company’s culture well. It was the second conversation, with the hiring manager, that I want to focus upon. From the outset the cultural fit once again seemed perfect. We then moved past the pleasantries and on to my background and experience. The manager was an expatriate, and thereby familiar with my M.B.A. program (always a bonus in the US). He liked the tenure of my analytical work and my long experience working across hierarchical and organizational lines. We then dug into my technical capacities. Not being one to fib or exaggerate, I had to be honest with him that my knowledge of one particular discipline that his group used heavily was unfortunately on the lighter side.

When the recruiter later called to inform me that the company wanted to move forward with in-person interviews, I was pleased but somewhat surprised. Not only did I suspect that my technical capacities were potentially light for this role, but I thought I detected some hesitation from him as well. Nevertheless, we did move forward and I proceeded into a series of onsite interviews wherein what seemed like 75% of the lines of inquiry were of a highly technical nature. Frankly, it was a catastrophic round of interviews. I can only hope that we all only ever encounter a round like that once or twice in our careers.

Read The Rest Of The Article

Friday, January 15, 2010

3 Reasons Job Seekers Will Have to 'Hit the Gym' in 2010

Last week, we asked CAREEREALISM readers how long it's going to take to find a job in 2010. The majority of you (45%) said you expect it to take 3-5 months to find work. But honestly, current economic indicators suggest it will be even longer. With 6 job seekers to every job opening and unemployment expected to hover near 10% for most of 2010, the harsh reality is only the truly committed job seekers will find work. Similar to losing weight, job search will be tried by many, but achieved by few.

Here's why...

Job seekers deal with many of the same challenges dieter's do. There's a reason 95% of people trying to lose weight don't reach their goal - they are lacking one or more vital elements to success. The same applies for job seekers. While paved with good intentions, most job seekers don't have what they really need to complete a successful job search.

3 Elements for Success

Whether we are trying to lose weight or find a job, it all boils down to environment. Specifically, an environment that provides three things:

  • - Inspiration
  • - Education
  • - Connection

When we have the above, our ability to succeed improves significantly. And, one of the best ways to gain access to these vital elements is to join a club.

Whether Dieting or Job Seeking, NOBODY Should Go it Alone!

Let's look at health club benefits. We join because we recognize we need to be motivated to workout. Additionally, we know we're not experts in exercise and want to take advantage of the expertise of fitness instructors and personal trainers on staff. Finally, (and most importantly), we hit the club so we can connect with other people looking to lose weight, which helps make the process feel less isolated and difficult. To sum it up: Joining a club offers multiple benefits we wouldn't be able to access on our own.

PREDICTION: Smart Job Seekers Will Seek Out and Join 'Career Clubs' in 2010!

For the same reason dieters join health clubs, job seekers who want to find work in 2010 will be wise to join career clubs that can provide the daily inspiration, education and connection needed to keep a job search moving forward. Examples of these clubs Include:

Simply put, leveraging career clubs helps job seekers stay committed to their goals.

P.S. For Those Who Really Want to Ensure Success - Consider This...

Job seekers who want to put their search in high-gear (Think 'The Biggest Loser' approach), will seek out new tools and resources to help them get up-to-speed faster. One example is the FREE webinar we are doing on Wednesday, January 13th, entitled, "6 Things Every Job Seeker Must MASTER to Get Hired in 2010." In this hour-long session, job seekers will learn the strategic and tactical elements of job search that need to be leveraged for success.

So, if you haven't signed up, you can do so here. And, if you can't make the session, sign up anyways and we'll send you a link to the recorded session by e-mail the next day so you can listen to it later. Why? Because at the end we'll be unveiling a new 'career club' that you may want to know about.

Read Original Article

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Twitter Job Search Tips

By , About.com Guide

When you're seeking employment, Twitter can be an effective part of your job search strategy. Used in conjunction with LinkedIn, job search engines, and other job sites, Twitter can help you make connections, find job listings, and build a personal brand that will help boost your career and expedite your job search.

What's the best way to use Twitter to job search, without getting bogged down in tons of tweets? Gary Zukowski, CEO and founder of TweetMyJOBS, the largest Twitter job board, share his top tips for using Twitter to job search.

FREE Online Career Workbook for Job Seekers

6-step, 80-page career transition workbook helps individuals maximize their career in the new world of work

Contact: Brian Ray, 704-544-3232

CHARLOTTE, NC, Jan. 12 /Christian Newswire/ -- While unemployment continues to hover around 10 percent and the Conference Board reports that job dissatisfaction hits an all-time high, those unemployed are seeking comparable careers just to survive.

To help combat this dilemma, Crossroads Career® Network, a national community of churches providing faith-based, job search and career transition resources, is giving away its 2010 Career Workbook Maximize Your Career in a New World of Work plus more than 100 tools, tips and tests (a $40 value) at www.CrossroadsCareer.org/workbook. The 2010 Career Workbook equips job seekers and career explorers to listen and follow God's calling so they can secure a rewarding and challenging job.

From detailed action plans to exercises and devotionals, this 6-step, 80-page workbook serves as a valuable resource. The workbook contains new features that focus on opportunities for being self-employed, four different steps for engaging interviews, improved target marketing and much more.

"With the continued economic downturn, we remain committed to connecting people to the right job that is based upon God's calling on their lives. The primary way we accomplish this is by giving away a one-year subscription to our Career Workbook and 100+ online resources (a $40 value) to individuals who could benefit," says Brian Ray, volunteer president of Crossroads Career Network

Crossroads Career Network continues to impact thousands of lives each month. As a non-profit Christian ministry of churches providing faith-based, job search and career transition resources, Crossroads Career Network offers a variety of networking and search tools for its membership to connect with places that are hiring. Its career groups offer one-on-one mentoring, scheduled networking meetings as well as career explorer workshops to arm job seekers with an array of tools and information for them to determine their best life and career path.

About Crossroads Career Network:
Crossroads Career Network (www.CrossroadsCareer.org) is a national, non-profit Christian ministry of churches dedicated to providing online career, ministry and employer resources through faith-based materials. Its current career groups and resources are sponsored by 120+ member churches in 22 states throughout the United States and South Africa.

Become our fan on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter (@MAXyourCAREER) for career trend updates. For further information about Crossroads Career Network, to become a member church or to equip job seekers with job search and career transition services, contact its founder.

Original Article

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

THE RESTAURANT MANAGER INTERVIEW SHORT LIST

2010 has arrived and I am seeing a pick up in searches for restaurant same store managers. A little movement at the multi – unit level and still nothing in hospitality construction. The recovery is on but in my mind not a strong gang busters one. Clients seem to be trading up on their managers. I don’t see them looking for new people as much as they are looking to replace non performers. Its an employer’s market and this is what that means for you the candidate.

First off clients are looking for a candidate with a long work history. If you have been in a series of jobs lasting one to two years forget about it. Clients what the people who have shown they can stick it out. People who are showing a solid four or five years with a company is what they want. They are also taking their time during the interview process. This allows them to really size up a candidate. There are some things you can do to shine however and here is the short list.
Do your homework!
Really know the company you are looking at before you interview. Visit their website. Gleen all you can about their history and and what promotions they are running.
Go to one of their restaurants.
Act as a “Secret Shopper” and go have lunch or dinner at one of their restaurants. See how stressed or not stressed the staff are. Watch the manager and how he or she interacts with the guests and the staff. Is the food good? It’s fun to be a fly on the wall!

A Career Switcher Looks to Build a Better Résumé

Many workers who lost jobs in the hardest-hit sectors of the economy are now looking to change careers. But crafting a résumé that shows the benefits of hiring an industry outsider can be challenging.

In this installment of The Résumé Doctor, three recruiting experts critique a résumé from a job hunter eying a move into facilities management from commercial construction.

Mark Peterson served as project manager for a new football stadium at the University of Minnesota before his layoff last July.

• The Job Seeker: Mark Peterson, 47, of Woodbury, Minn., was laid off in July from a senior project manager/sales position at a small commercial-construction company where he had worked for 19 years. Though he was hired in November as a senior project manager for a rival firm, the contract job is commission-based and doesn't include medical or other benefits. He says the position is unlikely to yield a salary anywhere close to his prior annual income of around $125,000.

• The Objective: Mr. Peterson is seeking a mid- to senior-level executive position in facilities management. Mr. Peterson would like to stay in the Minneapolis metro area and is seeking a minimum annual salary of $85,000, significantly lower than his previous salary but on par with what he expects in the current economy. If the economy were to improve, he says he would be looking for $100,000 to $125,000.

"Any company that has a large campus or multiple buildings to manage could work well for me," he says.

• The Experts: Offering feedback on Mr. Peterson's résumé are Ken Rose, a senior client partner in Chicago for executive-search firm Korn/Ferry International Inc.; Nanci D'Alessandro, a vice president and national account executive in New York for commercial real-estate firm Grubb & Ellis; and Julia Hicks, director of human resources at Wesleyan University in Middletown, Conn. Universities are one of his target employers because of their many buildings to manage.

The Doctor Is in

• The Résumé: Mr. Peterson has kept his fairly standard résumé to one page. He leads with his contact information, followed by a summary statement and 11 areas of expertise. The résumé goes on to describe his career in reverse chronological order with bullet points and concludes with details of his education and training.

• The Positives: Our experts were impressed with some of the accomplishments cited in Mr. Peterson's résumé. They also gave it kudos for being clutter-free despite its short length.

• The Advice: Much of the information that hiring managers want to see—such as the size and scope of projects he worked on and certifications he holds—is there, our experts agree. What Mr. Peterson needs to do is revamp the layout so it is more pleasing to the eye and easier to quickly scan, they say.

Read The Rest Of The Advice


Tuesday, January 12, 2010

10 Ways to Write a Stronger Résumé

Nearly one in four human resources managers said they receive, on average, more than 75 résumés for each open position, according to a nationwide survey by Careerbuilder.com.

When a job posting’s response is that overwhelming, human resource managers often struggle to distinguish one candidate from another—particularly since most of them spend only a minute or two assessing each candidate’s résumé. That’s why job seekers have to be savvy about their résumé’s content and presentation.

Unfortunately, even the most talented, qualified candidates sometimes write weak résumés. Whether they’re in a hurry, lack writing skills or are unsure how to market themselves to employers, they fail to score interviews because their résumés don’t immediately demonstrate what return on investment they offer employers.

To sidestep this dilemma, consider Susan Britton Whitcomb’s 10 tips for writing great résumé copy, excerpted from her book, Résumé Magic:

1. Know your audience before you begin to write. What skills and competencies are they looking for? What knowledge do they require? What trends are they capitalizing on? What opportunities are they interested in tapping? What problems do they need fixed? What projects can you help them move forward?

2. Pack your résumé with keywords—those words that describe your title, knowledge base, skill set, impressive “name-brand” companies or Fortune 500 employers, prestigious universities attended, degrees, licensure, software experience, affiliations and so on.

3. Find keywords by reviewing relevant job postings online or detailed classified ads in newspapers, reading job descriptions or content at your target companies’ Web sites, reading your association’s newsletter or trade journals, conducting informational interviews with industry contacts and so on.

4. Position critical information at the “visual center” of the page. Weave keywords throughout your Qualifications Summary and Professional Experience sections, as well as in your cover letter. Create a Keyword Summary section for electronic versions of your résumé.

5. Resist the temptation to outsmart applicant-screening software by, for instance, planting the keyword project manager nine times throughout the résumé when you might have minimal experience as a project manager.

How to Use Twitter to Expand the Job Search

Customizing Profile and Tweeting About Job Hunt Key to Success

Daniel Gansle

Twitter is a simplified “micro-blogging” website where a person can post his or her status and in turn follow updates from family, friends, colleagues, and other interesting people. In recent days, the site has also become a job searching tool rivaling the likes of online career websites such as Monster and SimplyHired. Can a candidate really find employment in 140 characters or less? The answer is yes – and here’s how.

Customize the Twitter Profile

Candidates should approach their Twitter profile in a professional manner that takes every opportunity to showcase objectives, qualifications, and career skills. For the name, use the real name rather than a pseudonym. For the URL, enter a link to an online professional networking or resume site (e.g., Linkedin or VisualCV).

For the bio, provide a brief qualifications summary indicating employment goals, skills, and accomplishments (160 characters or less). Make sure the Protect my updates checkbox is unchecked so that employers have public access to the profile and contact information. The photo should be a professional-looking headshot, not a casual picture one would post for friends and family.

For the profile background, any of Twitter’s pre-selected themes will suffice. If the person would like to use a custom image for the background, make sure the image is clean and professional-looking.

Search for Employment Using Twitter

Candidates should tweet as much about the search as possible, providing up to the minute status updates (of course, in 140 characters or less). For example, “Interview at 2PM for a Senior SAP Implementation Specialist at Boston Chiptronics,” “Does anyone know if MicroSalient in Seattle is hiring Telecom Engineers?,” “Seeking full-time position in North Hollywood as a Talent Agent,” or, “Back from interview at Metre Systems International – went great!”

LinkedIn Job Search Tips From the Pros

Last week Brian Tietje, Sales Manager for LinkedIn, delivered an excellent presentation on LinkedIn to members of the Human Resources Association of New York networking group. Here are my top ten takeaways for job seekers.

  1. Create a keyword driven summary. Forget about the summaries that describe you as passionate, a great communicator, and a team player. LinkedIn is all about searchability and recruiters and hiring managers don’t search on those cliched phrases, Instead, focus on the relevant keywords for your industry and job function and be sure to really build out the specialties section. Like resumes, no recruiter is really reading your LinkedIn profile. They are performing multiple sophisticated keyword searches looking for a match. Make every word count.
  2. Moniter your profile views. Check the jobs tab regularly to see how many people have viewed your profile. If the number is exceptionally low, perhaps you need to tweak your profile to improve your searchability.
  3. Don’t ignore the events listings. Many hiring authorities search for top talent on LinkedIn by looking in the events section. They scour the list of events on LinkedIn to see who is attending certain industry events and often make connections directly through the events section rather than the user profile section.
  4. Spend time in the answers section. Again, hiring managers are looking for the trend setters and industry leaders. Often these people are participating in the answers section of LinkedIn, providing leadership and guidance, building credibility, and demonstrating authority.
  5. Include a picture. People want to see who they are doing business with. The picture starts solidifying the trust. The picture is part of your personal brand. Get over your insecurities about having the picture up on LinkedIn. It is here to stay and it is an important component in the relationship building process.

Monday, January 11, 2010

How To Work Your Social Network To Find Jobs


There's nothing like a handshake. But the challenge of getting face time with a potential employer these days has made social networking even more of a key component of job searches.

But how do you work your social network effectively in an economy that has lost 7 million jobs?

"LinkedIn used to be your professional face and Facebook was sort of your family and friends presentation on the Web," says Michael Malone, director of career education and advising for the Columbia Business School. "It seems like those lines are blurring much more now."

Recruiters are increasingly turning to these and other social networking tools to post opportunities. Here's why: Facebook has more than 350 million users. LinkedIn has more than 55 million.

But the general nature of these huge networks can be distracting for people who want to target a specific career. Malone says people are using Facebook and Twitter in a more targeted way to find the content and contacts suited to their interests. And a host of industry-specific social networking resources have emerged.

NPR's New Jobs For A New Decade series has identified some of the areas in which new jobs are expected to be created over the next decade. These include green jobs and work in health care, technology, financial services and even video games. Many of these opportunities may be posted on social networking forums.

Monster.com has created more than a dozen online communities that offer professional networking for a range of careers from nursing to nonprofits.

"These are community destinations to share common interests," says Eric Winegardner, a vice president of Monster. "It's not just about your job search. There's content on these sites relative to your business."

CareerBuilder.com also has created a "talent community" called BrightFuse with nearly 30 groups from "The Nurses' Station" and "Information Technology Pros" to a sales group called "Retail Therapy."

Law And Social Order

Some burgeoning social networks not only target specific professions but also authenticate people's real-life identities to create secure networks that aren't searchable on the Web. The goal is to let people be comfortable sharing information and get advice without all of the information coming up the next time someone runs a Google search.

A case in point is Martindale-Hubbell Connected from LexisNexis. Michael Walsh, the chief executive officer for LexisNexis U.S. Legal Markets, describes it as "a combination of LinkedIn and Facebook for the legal community."

The service, which has about 24,000 members, provides a way for attorneys to search for future business, get legal advice and find a job. One feature allows users to cross-reference contacts they may already have established on LinkedIn. Each profile shows the law school a person attended and any articles they might have written. Users also can connect with Martindale-Hubbell's career center.

Walsh says LexisNexis' research found that 70 percent of lawyers use social networking tools. He says this number is extraordinary given how busy lawyers are and the extent to which they often keep information close to the vest.

Medical Advice

More than 100,000 physicians are networking on Medscape's Physician Connect, an authenticated physicians-only service provided by WebMD.

Social networking connects them with "colleagues and their profession in a way they can no longer do in the physical world," says Dr. Steven Zatz, executive vice president of professional services for WebMD. He says physicians are going to fewer conferences and meetings these days. Although Medscape remains focused on clinical discussions, he says it also provides a forum for career advice.

Doctors, medical researchers and scientists also have found a home on Epernicus, which is open to anyone with science bona fides.

Dr. Vivek Murthy, a co-founder of Epernicus, who practices internal medicine and teaches at Harvard Medical School, says part of the value of Epernicus as a professional network is that there is no anonymity. Everyone knows who is asking and answering questions. The service also integrates personal information that is typically not on Facebook or LinkedIn accounts, such as a person's scientific expertise and publication record.

Targeted Searches

Malone of the Columbia Business School says one of the challenges job seekers face is how to find more "tailored connections and content" without having to belong to several social networks.

One solution is to use sites like JobShouts.com, which features a "social search" button to search for information about a company across Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn, Spoke and other sites with just one click. The Web site also posts jobs to a Twitter feed.

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How not to get hired, from the VP of HR at CSN Stores

Advice from Bridget Diorio, vice president of human resources at the Boston e-commerce company CSN Stores, on how good candidates can eliminate themselves from consideration for a job.

SK

Begin forwarded message:

- Where you guys are mostly hiring in 2010... what sorts of positions?

We anticipate hiring 50 or more new professionals across several categories within the next six months to a year. Right now, we're interviewing for Software Engineers, Marketing Managers and Assistant Marketing Managers, Business/Financial Analysts and Customer Service Representatives. The employment outlook here at CSN Stores is quite promising as we head into a new decade, which means that this is a great time to join our team. Our business continues to grow, so we have an ongoing need for more friendly, very talented people to become CSNers.

- What are one or two of the resume flubs/mistakes that people often make that can knock them out of consideration?

About 30 percent of all candidates, many who are abundantly qualified for positions, neglect one of the most important parts of anyone’s job application – the cover letter. Unfortunately, this puts these candidates at a disadvantage compared to others who use a cover letter to really sell their achievements and what they believe they can bring to CSN Stores.

Also, candidates who don't submit cover letters appear to be less interested in securing a position here at CSN Stores. Like all employers, we’re seeking enthusiastic, upbeat people who really want to help build our business and contribute to our friendly culture. For these reasons and many others, we highly recommend that everyone applying for a new job include a cover letter with a resume.

Other factors that can negatively impact someone's candidacy include typos in a cover letter or resume and the overall aesthetics of the materials they submit. If a document is formatted badly, for instance, the recruiter may think that the applicant doesn't take much pride in his or her work.

I recommend that applicants take the extra time required to assemble great materials, as that will pay off for them in their job search process.

- What have you noticed people doing in interviews that can turn them from a strong candidate into one that's no longer in the running?

Candidates who don't do some homework to learn more about CSN Stores often hurt their chances of being hired. Conversely, the best way a candidate can WOW us is by searching for news ab out our company and then integrating that knowledge into the interview.

We've generated a great deal of media coverage in the past two years that is easy to access online. Candidates can conduct Google searches for CSN Stores or some of our 200+ online shops, such as AllModern.com, Cookware.comand Luggage.com. They can also go to our home page, www.csnstores.com, to find a link to our News Center. Avid social media surfers can find valuable CSN information on Facebook, Twitter and the CSN Stores Blog, as well.

If they've taken some time to learn about us, in advance, that tells us that they're serious about embarking upon a career with us. And that helps them to make a great first impression.

- How about faux pas after the interview, maybe in terms of follow up (too much or too little?)

A short thank you note or e-mail within a day or two following the interview is always appreciated by our recruiters.

After they’ve sent their brief note or e-mail, candidates often need to be patient and wait to hear back from us. During every interview, we tell each candidate when we plan to be back in touch. That's because we want to reserve enough time to visit with other candidates and give everyone the proper consideration for every position.

Sometimes candidates call us and e-mail us several times, well in advance of the time we said we'd get back to them. While we appreciate their enthusiasm and interest, we also like to see that they listened to us and can show respect for our very fair process.

The best time to demonstrate passion for the position is during your interview. If you’ve done well in your interview, rest assured that we will remember you and give you every consideration as we make our final hiring decisions. Too much follow-up can actually work against you.

We have days when we're interviewing as many as 10 or 20 people, especially in the case of Customer Service Representatives. So it can take time to evaluate them fairly and choose the right candidate who will thrive, grow and be happy here at CSN Stores. In the end, that’s really best for everyone.

On Finding a Job in the Learning and Development Industry

s 2010 gets going, many in the L&D industry continue to face the job-search struggle. Many more will encounter a similar need this year or in years ahead, so I thought it might be helpful to provide a blog posting with some resources to aid your search. I'm not talking about the obvious "big and broad" sites for job hunting, places like Monster, CareerBuilder, and others, or the social networking sites, like LinkedIn, that can be so crucial during a job search. Rather, I want to share some sites and other resources that focus on just our Learning and Development field.

First off, many of the key organizations in our industry provide help for those searching for work or looking to further develop their careers. A few of these (with an emphasis on North America) include:

See also page 84 of the July T+D Magazine, "Know Your Value in the Marketplace," by Judy Estrin.

Another good resource is the salary data provided on page 24 of the October/November issue of Training magazine.

And my friend Mike Lally provides sage advice in his presentation on Using Social Media in Your Job Search.

And lastly, an interesting and perhaps, at times, humorous resource for you is this wiki of obsolete skills.

So those are just a few links that I hope will be helpful for those in the job hunt in the L&D industry. What key resources did I miss? Which organization sites and job banks are the best for Europe, Asia, and other areas of the world? What sites have you found helpful in your own job search or career development? Please provide good links in the comments to this post!

— Thomas Stone (Tom_Stone@elementk.com, and on Twitter @ThomasStone)

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Friday, January 8, 2010

Try 500 Job Search Web Sites Free

The Department of Labor (DOL) is inviting job seekers to take a free test drive of nearly 500 of the most popular job search and career development Web sites.

Until Jan. 15, 2010, all members of the public are invited to explore the participating sites, review them and provide feedback to the DOL. All of the participating job search and career sites have agreed to allow job seekers free access as long as they enter the sites through the DOL's Tools for America's Job Seekers Challenge Web portal -- http://dolchallenge.ideascale.com/.

The Tools for America's Job Seekers Challenge represents DOL's first effort to bring together online job search resources. It also job seekers, and workforce professionals, to vote for their favorite job search and career sites.

In late January, the DOL will announce the job search sites receiving the most positive feedback from the public. An alphabetical list of all tools that were submitted during the contest will be posted on the Department of Labor Employment and Training Services Web site as a lasting job search and career information resource for job seekers.

"Even in these challenging times, there are jobs out there waiting to be filled," said Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis in a press release. "By leveraging the resources of hundreds of private and public sector career Web sites, we have created a major online asset for job seekers and an innovative way to gauge which tools appeal most to consumers."

Original Article

Bridging the qualifications gap

With their litany of requirements, job postings, especially ones for higher-level positions, can seem like an impenetrable barrier between you and the perfect opportunity. That's because few employers are willing to compromise when it comes to what they look for in new hires. They'd rather wait for a candidate who fits the opening exactly than risk a costly mistake. So, what can you do when you know you're capable of performing a job well, but your skills and experience don't completely align with its requirements?

The good news is that the candidates who look perfect on paper aren't always the ones who get offers. By considering yourself from the hiring manager's perspective, you can begin presenting yourself as an investment rather than a gamble. Here are tips to convince an employer that, despite initial appearances that may suggest otherwise, you truly are the best person for the job.

Reconsider the fit. First, make sure you're not wasting your time and the hiring manager's by applying for a job that you have no hope of getting. Do you come close to matching all of the criteria? If the ad indicates that 10 years of experience are required, and you have only three, don't submit your r?sum?. However, if you have nine years of experience, the firm may be willing to consider your application. Although a small gap between your qualifications and the job requirements may not be a cause for concern, a hiring manager is unlikely to consider you a viable option if the difference is significant. Also keep in mind that some employers will stand firm no matter what and interview only those individuals who meet their criteria exactly.

Find an ally. A referral or introduction from a professional in your network is indispensable if you're a job candidate who almost fits an opening, because your contact can speak to the hiring manager on your behalf and articulate strengths that may not be apparent from your r?sum? alone. Mine your network to try to locate a contact who can give you entree into the company. Web sites like LinkedIn and Facebook can be especially effective at uncovering valuable links. But be careful about approaching someone you don't know well. You need to establish trust and credibility with a person before asking him or her to go to bat for you.
Address concerns upfront. Don't try to hide an apparent shortcoming in your application or during an in-person interview. Instead, acknowledge the concern and then reframe it. For example, if you haven't held the exact title under discussion, have you successfully performed many of its duties in other roles? Or if you're obviously overqualified , you might note that you are looking to improve your work/life balance by seeking a slightly less demanding position than those you've held in the past.
Reduce risk. Under current conditions, employers may feel like they are going out on a limb by hiring a candidate who doesn't match their criteria to a T. Consider shortening that limb by finding ways to reduce the hiring manager's risk. For example, would you be willing to start on a project or contract basis to prove your abilities?

Thursday, January 7, 2010

10 Smart Tips For Savvy Job Seekers

by Matthew C. Keegan

Yesterday, SayCampusLife shared tips on how using LinkedIn—the professional networking site—can be beneficial in helping you find work, particularly if you are a college senior.

Top TenToday, we’re going to share with you some advice from Andy Chan, vice president for career development at Wake Forest University, who identifies three major roadblocks to the job seeker’s success: poor marketing, poor networking, and poor mind-set. To that end, let’s review what Mr. Chan identifies as ten resolutions to help people overcome these obstacles:

Roadblock #1 – Poor marketing

“Many people don’t realize that the way they are marketing themselves just isn’t working, and they never get any feedback,” Chan said. “The best way to get feedback is to ask for it from people who do a lot of hiring.”

1. I will ask friends or acquaintances who manage and hire people to evaluate my cover letter and resume and give me real feedback – even if it hurts to hear it.

2. I will ask these same friends to conduct a practice interview with me and give me “tough love” feedback.

3. When I find an attractive job on the Web, I will apply immediately (with a tailored cover letter and resume) and search for friends and colleagues who could act as referrals to help me network into the organization.

Read Tips 4 - 10


Job Expert Q&A: Scott Steinberg’s Top 10 Job Hunting Tips

Ten tips every 2010 job seeker should know, straight from our job hunting expert.

Searching for a job in 2010? Be glad, says our resident job expert, publisher Scott Steinberg, who’s advised over one billion people on using technology to find gainful employment. “Courtesy of the Web, social networks and online services, all the tools you need to find full- and part-time work, or start a promising new career, are right there at your fingertips,” he says. As a supplement to our online job hunting guide and rundown of vital career building strategies, we asked him to compile a list of ten job hunting tips that every serious professional should know. Following are his essential strategies for boosting your career or landing the job of your dreams:

1. Customize Your Resume

“One size fits nobody – you should always custom-tailor your resume to each different employer and position,” Steinberg insists. He also suggests looking for keywords (common terms recruiters might enter into computerized searches, such as “sales associate” or “senior engineer”) in job descriptions. Once identified, he says, work both these phrases and common alternatives into the document, and early on within it at that. Still, however you adjust it, your CV should also read naturally and be brief and to the point (think two pages max), while an individualized cover letter is imperative as well.

2. Focus Your Job Search

While large job search engines like Monster and CareerBuilder.com can be effective, you’re often better off using more targeted services focused on specific industries, salary ranges or regions, Steinberg says. Also worth noting, he claims: “It pays to concentrate on the 5-15 companies you’d most prefer to work for rather than employing a shotgun approach.” He recommends signing up for email newsletters, participating in online company forums or attempting to contact current employees for informational interviews, among other strategies. The thinking being that you won’t just do a better job by emphasizing quality over quantity – you’ll also maximize chances of being noticed.

3. Invest in Continuing Education

Best practices and technology standards change rapidly, according to Steinberg, making it imperative that you always stay abreast of the latest developments, whether currently employed on no. “Keeping your skills up-to-date and polished makes you more valuable to your employer, and shows an aptitude and willingness to change,” he says. This sort of flexibility is going to be even more important going forward, Steinberg claims, as a flooded marketplace comes under further pressure from an onslaught of new, newly unemployed and/or international workers also vying for a limited pool of positions.

4. Leverage Social Networks

Using social networks such as LinkedIn, Plaxo and Facebook, it pays to create a professional looking profile and source recommendations from friends and colleagues. Afterwards, says Steinberg, it’s important to actively set about connecting with peers, potential mentors and prospective employers and let them know you’re searching for work, especially since they’re literally all just a click away. “With upwards of eight in ten job opportunities going unadvertised these days, you really are who you know,” he asserts.

Read 5 - 10


5 Insider Tips for Job-Seeking College Grads

With unemployment still in the double digits, December college graduates face a grim job market

Posted December 30, 2009

The latest data from the Labor Department show that employers might be beginning to dip their toes back into the hiring waters, but that doesn't mean finding gainful employment will be easy for recent college graduates. It will take a combination of networking, assertiveness, and tech savvy to land that first job, counselors say.

Click here to find out more!

Harrison Barnes, founder and CEO of the job search website EmploymentCrossing.com, says applying for jobs now could give winter graduates an edge. But heeding some key advice—not just winging it—is still a must. "It's not a seller's market. It's still a buyer's market," says Ed Koc, research director at the National Association of Colleges and Employers.

Here are some strategies to keep in mind:

1. Make a personal connection before the interview. Scouring the job search boards online and sending out dozens of applications blind might sound like a solid way to get in the game, but experts say that all that does is get you lost in the shuffle. More and more employers are instead posting open positions to their own websites, so a slightly better strategy might be to decide which companies you're specifically interested in and then apply directly through the firm. But even that method might be an exercise in futility.

"The trick now isn't getting the interview and getting the job. It's getting the interview, period," says educational consultant Eric Yaverbaum, president of the website CollegeClickTV.com, which partners with U.S. News to provide video reviews of colleges nationwide. To do that, you're going to want to try to get to know, face to face, the people at the places where you're trying to get hired, before the interview.

One way to do that is to research the most prominent associations within the industry you're interested in and then attend their events and conferences. Every industry has them, they're scheduled regularly, and experts say it's a great way to start the networking process. If you want to go into public relations, for instance, check out the Public Relations Society of America. "Join the community you want to be a part of before you even have a job in it," says Yaverbaum. "That personal contact is what gets you remembered."

Mark Smith, assistant vice chancellor and director of the career center at Washington University in St. Louis, recommends talking shop with friends of parents and with parents of friends. But don't flat out ask for a job, he says.

"If you know what type of work you want to do, talk to them about the industry, and ask them if there are other people you should be networking with," says Smith. If you meet them at a party, tell them you want to learn more, and arrange to meet them for coffee or at their office. Dress nicely, bring a copy of your résumé, and ask them about other individuals or firms to contact. And keep the lines of communication open after that. If you do ask directly for a job, and he or she says no, the conversation could be over.

Going the online route is a good idea if you're using it for social networking. NACE estimates that almost a third of employers are using social networking websites, including Facebook, in their recruiting efforts. If you have a Facebook profile, consider tidying it up to look more professional, and post a status update such as "Looking for leads in the marketing field in New York," says Smith.

And think about creating a profile on LinkedIn.com. If you meet a potential contact in person, ask if you can connect with him or her on the site. But don't simply glue yourself to your computer screen. "It's easy to hide behind the Internet, but that's not enough," says Yaverbaum. "You want to get the people face to face."

Read Tips 2-5

Online And Offline Strategies To Network Well In 2010

If you're one of the millions of Americans who lost a job in 2009, you've probably started networking.




You're attending conferences, sending resumes and calling friends of friends.

Perhaps you've discovered that networking has changed since the last time you job-hunted.

While old-fashioned techniques still work, a new wave of high- and low-tech strategies has emerged. Outreach activities now include raising your online profile, volunteering your time and expertise to a worthy cause and attending informal gatherings where socializing supplants business talk.

The most successful networkers seek gainful employment with laserlike focus. They research what they want and whom they want to meet. Then they target their efforts to pursue what matters most to them.

"You need to have a clear, specific message," said Michael Melcher, a partner at Next Step Partners, a leadership development firm in New York City.

If you say "I'm looking for work," you won't stand out.

If you say "My background is in property-casualty underwriting, and I'm exploring risk-management opportunities in the insurance industry," you sound more credible and make it easier for others to help.

On The Line

As you ramp up your networking in 2010, monitor your online presence. Soon after you introduce yourself to strangers, expect them to type your name into a search engine to learn more about you.

"As much as possible, you want to control what someone finds out about you online," said Heidi Roizen, a Silicon Valley entrepreneur who recently spoke to students at the Stanford Graduate School of Business about networking. "Google your name so that you understand what's out there. Correct inaccuracies, update your bio and remove anything that's potentially embarrassing."

Better, establish your own Web site. This lets you assemble all relevant information in one place. Post your resume, highlight your feats and describe your activities, presentations and media appearances.

"Creating your Web site makes you do some hard thinking about what you want people to see and how you want to present yourself," Roizen said. "It's also an easy way for people to find what they need to know about you."

In terms of social networking Web sites, many experts suggest that job seekers create a profile at LinkedIn as a starting point to connect with other professionals. Selectively expand your network and update your status regularly.

Among the newest types of online networking tools are Web sites that identify members' whereabouts in real time. This can help you connect face to face with someone if you're stuck on the same train or running errands a block away from each other.

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Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Five Steps to Reaching Your 2010 Career Goals

By Greg Scott Neuman

January 1st, 2010 will not just be the start of a new year, but the beginning of an entire decade. It’s an excellent opportunity to set big plans in motion; like millions of others, you are probably reflecting on your past achievements and thinking about what you want to accomplish in the future. You might even be considering major career changes – either advancing your current career or starting an entirely new one.

Starting down a new career path requires careful planning. Lack of preparation is one of the main reasons why so many people make New Year’s resolutions, but so few actually keep them. These five steps can mean the difference between achieving your career goals and staying in the same job for another decade:

  1. Set Specific Goals – “Earn more money” or “get a promotion” are usually too general to help you formulate a successful plan. It’s too easy to technically meet such a goal without actually achieving anything significant (after all, getting a 2% cost-of-living raise qualifies as earning more, but it’s not really a major step forward). Instead, think about all the changes you want to make and then list them in detail. “Get promoted to sales manager with a pay increase of at least 5%” is a good, specific goal.
  2. Determine What Training You Need – Depending on how much education you currently have and what kind of credentials your goals require, you might have to go back to school. This could be a minor task or a major commitment; a certificate in HTML might mean one semester of online classes, while an Executive MBA can require two years of full-time study at a major university. Carefully research what kind of education your new position or new career will require, then find an accredited school that offers it at a price you can afford.
  3. Get Educated – Once you know what credentials your career goals require, you have to go earn them. If you are already a working professional, this will probably mean evening classes and plenty of discipline to balance the needs of your job against the requirements of your coursework. Online classes can be a big help with this; if your school offers them, take as many as you can. The flexibility and self-pacing of online study can be a huge benefit to working students. And finally, don’t forget to explore all of your financial aid options, including employer reimbursement programs. The less time you have to spend worrying about finances, the more you can spend studying.
  4. Be Prepared for Setbacks – Whenever you’re working toward a major goal, there will be occasional problems. Don’t allow them to become excuses for giving up on your career aspirations. Instead, learn from your mistakes; determine what went wrong and why, then correct the problem so you can succeed on your next attempt.
  5. Get Your Name Out There – Once you have the credentials you need to get the job or promotion you want, pursue it aggressively. First, update your resume with your new degree or certificate. Then submit it to your potential employers by every means available. Employment websites are a good place to start, but not to stop. Having your resume on the Internet casts a wide net that could eventually land you your dream job, but more precise targeting usually speeds the process along. This means attending job fairs, sending emails and even applying for jobs in person. Find out how each potential employer prefers to receive resumes, then make sure you submit yours that way. And remember to update your profile on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and other social networking sites. Finally, always follow up on call-backs and requests for more information (such as references) promptly.