6 SIMPLE JOB SEARCH TIPS (That we all Forget)

By Jenny Foss for The Muse:

The irony of job search advice: There’s so much available that you don’t have to spend more than four seconds Googling about before you land on some nugget of wisdom or another.

Yet, at the same time, there’s so much available (some of which completely contradicts other advice you’ll find) that it can easily overwhelm you. Which, in fact, is probably the exact opposite outcome you’re looking for when you go sleuthing for genuinely useful counsel in the first place.

So let’s do this: Let’s boil things down to a short list of sound, timeless job searching tips that’ll help you fine-tune your strategy so that you may sail through the process (or at least cut out some of the unnecessary time and frustration).

1. Make Yourself a “Smack-in-the-Forehead” Obvious Fit

When you apply for a job via an online application process, it’s very likely that your resume will first be screened by an applicant tracking system and then (assuming you make this first cut) move onto human eyeballs. The first human eyeballs that review your resume are often those of a lower level HR person or recruiter, who may or may not understand all of the nuances of that job for which you’re applying.

Thus, it behooves you to make it very simple for both the computer and the human to quickly connect their “Here’s what we’re looking for” to your “Here’s what you can walk through our doors and deliver.”

Tip

Study the job description and any available information you have on the position. Are you mirroring the words and phrases in the job description? Are you showcasing your strengths in the areas that seem to be of paramount importance to this role? Line it up. Line it up.

2. Don’t Limit Yourself to Online Applications

You want that job search to last and last? Well, then continue to rely solely on submitting online applications. You want to accelerate this bad boy? Don’t stop once you apply online for that position. Start finding and then endearing yourself to people working at that company of interest. Schedule informational interviews with would-be peers. Approach an internal recruiter and ask a few questions. Get on the radar of the very people who might influence you getting an interview.

Tip

By lining up with people on the inside of the companies at which you want to work, you will instantly set yourself apart. Decision makers interview people who come recommended or by way of a personal referral before they start sorting through the blob of resumes that arrives by way of the ATS.

3. Remember That Your Resume (and LinkedIn Profile) Is Not a Tattoo

Yes, your new resume is lovely. Your LinkedIn profile, breathtaking. However, if they don’t position you as a direct match for a particular role that you’re gunning for, don’t be afraid to modify wording, switch around key terms, and swap bullet points in and out. Your resume is not a tattoo, nor is your LinkedIn profile. Treat them as living, breathing documents throughout your job search (and career).

Tip

If you’re a covert job seeker, remember to turn off your activity broadcasts (within privacy and settings) when you make edits to your LinkedIn profile. If your current boss or colleagues are connected to you on LinkedIn, they may get suspicious about all the frequent changes.

4. Accept That You Will Never Bore Anyone Into Hiring You

Don’t get me wrong—you absolutely must come across as polished, articulate and professional throughout your job search. However, many people translate this into: Must. Be. Boring.

Wrong, wrong, wrong. Realize that few people get hired because they had perfect white space on their cover letters, memorized all of the “correct” interview questions or used incredibly safe, common phraseology (i.e., clichés) throughout their resumes. All of this correctness is going to make you look staged and non-genuine. Instead, give yourself permission to be both polished and endearing. Memorable, likable candidates are almost always the ones who go the distance.

5. If You’re Not on LinkedIn, You Very Nearly Don’t Exist

Considering that more than 90% of recruiters use LinkedIn as their primary search tool, this is not an understatement. If you’re a professional, you need to not only be on LinkedIn, you need to be using it to your full advantage. Don’t believe me? Think about it this way: If tomorrow morning, a recruiter logs onto LinkedIn looking for someone in your geography, with expertise in what you do, and you’re not there? Guess who they’re going to find and contact? Yes, that person’s name is “not you.”

Tip

If you figure out how to harness the power of no other social media tool for job search, figure out LinkedIn. It’s (by far) the best resource we have available today for career and job search networking, for finding people working at companies of interest, and for positioning yourself to be found by a recruiter who has a relevant job opening.

6. Thank You Matters

I once placed a candidate into an engineering role with a company that manufactures packaging equipment. He was competing head-to-head with another engineer, who had similar talents and wanted the job just as badly. My candidate sent a thoughtful, non-robotic thank you note to each person with whom he’d interviewed, within about two hours of leaving their offices. The other candidate sent nothing.

Guess why my candidate got the job offer? Yep, the thoughtful, non-robotic thank you notes. They sealed the deal for him, especially considering the other front-runner sent nothing.

Tip

Consider crafting, original, genuine thank you notes (one for each interviewer) the moment you get back to a computer, following the interview. The speed with which you send the notes, and the quality, will make an impact.

And finally, remember that the interviewer cares much more about what you can do for them than what you want out of the deal. Certainly, they’re going to care a bunch about what you want once you establish your worth. But during the interview, you must demonstrate why you make business sense to hire, period.

Now, go forth and show your job search exactly who is the boss.

Ten Mistakes that are Killing your Job Search

By Liz Ryan

Years ago it was much easier to get a job than it is now. It was a straightforward process. You had one resume that you would send out in response to every job ad. You could only have one resume at a time back then because you had to type a whole new resume on a typewriter if you wanted to make one word change.

When you could finally afford it you went to a print shop and got 100 copies of your resume delivered to you in a box.

It was a grown-up moment to get those typeset resumes and say “Yes! I am a Business Professional now, people!”

You could choose cream, white, ivory, grey, pale yellow, buff or pale pink resume paper when I got my Box-O-Resumes in 1982. I forget which color I chose but I still have some of them in my garage.

Nowadays that colored resume paper is out the window. Don’t use it in your job search! Give it your kids or grand kids to scribble on.

When you wanted to apply for a job back then, you sent your resume in the mail. You sent a cover letter with each resume, in the same envelope. This was the principal way to get a job. You could also walk into the office or warehouse or factory with your resume in an envelope, chat with the receptionist and leave your resume. That worked. You could get a job that way.

Your friend who worked in the company could bring your resume into HR and literally drop it on someone’s desk. You can still get a job that way now, but it will work much better if your friend knows the hiring manager would be your boss if you get hired.

If your friend doesn’t know that person and can’t start a conversation with him or her about you and your awesomeness, then you’re better off sending that manager a Pain Letter with your Human-Voiced Resume, just like in the old days.

No one gets business mail addressed to them personally at their desk anymore, apart from spam mail. It’s very nice to open an envelope and see that someone is writing to you about you and your issues — everybody’s favorite topic!

It was easier to get a job years ago than it is now, but all that tells us is that now we need to develop new tactics to get a good job! There are not-so-great jobs everywhere. Only the pressure on those employers created by the departure of their best employees will get them to change.

If your job is a so-so job, you can launch a stealth job search at night and on the weekends and see what better opportunities are around.

The flip side of the disappearance of the old corporate ladder is that we are all running our own careers now. No one is in charge of your career except for you. You can’t and won’t have another boss who knows more about your career and your goals than you do.

The CEO of your career is you.
Anyone else who plays the part of Your Boss at any job you ever have is a partner to you as you move along your path. It’s still your path.

Here are ten job-search mistakes to avoid but don’t worry — there’s a remedy for each mistake on our list, below!

  1. Don’t restrict your job search responding to only job ads
  2. Don’t use an outdated resume
  3. Don’t forget your LinkedIn profile!
  4. Don’t brand yourself as ‘all things to all people’
  5. Don’t send the same resume to every hiring manager
  6. Don’t rely on online job application portals
  7. Don’t go to a job interview unprepared
  8. Don’t act too desperate or too submissive in a job interview
  9. Don’t bash your last employer (or any past employer) in a job interview
  10. Don’t stop job-hunting too early

Job ads are only one part of your job search activity, whether you’re a full-time or part-time job-seeker.

I want you to reach your specific hiring manager with your Pain Letter rather than responding to a job ad through a Black Hole automated recruiting portal.

When you do respond to a job ad, those responses should only take up about one-third of your available job search time and energy.

The other two-thirds of your resources will go to outreach to hiring managers on your Target Employer List, and networking.

You can update your resume every time you use it, and lots of job-seekers have three, five or even ten versions of their Human-Voiced Resume saved on their hard drive for different job-search situations. You might have one version of your resume for IT Network Technician jobs, one version of it for IT Security jobs and one more edition of your resume for IT Telephony Engineering jobs.

You know that you can do all three of those jobs with no problem, so you’ve created three versions of your resume to highlight whichever facet of your background a particular job opportunity requires.

Read Page Two of this Article

2016 Is the Year of the Hybrid (Job that is…)

A study from Bentley University suggests that 2016 is the year of the “hybrid job,” meaning that the most sought-after positions will be ones that require a combination of both hard, technical skills and soft, communication-based skills.

With technology driving the everyday lives of most Americans, a new kind of hybrid job blending technology with marketing is gaining in the market.

Specifically, these are occupations requiring a combination of programming skills and skills commonly found in design, data analysis, and marketing. In a 12-month period (April 2014-March 2015), more than a quarter million advertised job postings sought hybrid talent in positions such as User Experience Designer, Data Scientist, and Product Manager.

Demand both a boon and a challenge

These hybrid jobs are a classic example of technology driving job creation, and workers with the needed skills can command salaries comparable to those for positions with more advanced technical requirements. However, at the same time, these positions call for a set of skills that aren’t typically taught as a package.

The training ecosystem preparing job seekers for these roles is relatively weak, and these roles do not typically align well with established higher education programs.

Computer science programs and traditional vocational IT schools do not usually teach the broad business skill sets these roles require, while design and business schools yield graduates without the necessary technical knowledge.

The talent deficit can be seen in the higher salaries in these hybrid fields, as employers compete for the available talent.Yet this challenge is not as daunting as it could be. The training to prepare for an entry-level hybrid job can often be addressed without the equivalent of a second degree.

The technology skills that mix with more traditional business competencies to define these jobs are relatively accessible and easy-to-learn. Accelerated learning programs can often provide the short-term training needed to address entry-level skill needs.

Key findings from the report include:

  • These roles are in high demand: More than 250,000 positions were open in the last year for hybrid jobs.
  • Data analytics, digital marketing and mobile marketing are growing especially fast: Demand for data science skills has tripled over the past five years, while demand for digital marketing and mobile skills has more than doubled.
  • Web development and mobile development positions are in the highest demand: More than 100,000 positions for web and mobile developers have been available over the past year.
  • These jobs pay well: Advertised salaries for these roles range from $65,000 to $111,000 per year. This range is well above the national average starting salary, and in line with IT roles requiring more significant technical training.
  • Mobile development, data analytics, and product management positions pay the highest salaries: These roles each have an average advertised salary of more than $100,000, demonstrating both their high value to employers and the shortage of qualified talent.

To provide the detailed and fully up-to-date information contained in this report,  Burning Glass has mined its comprehensive database of nearly 100 million unique  online job postings dating back to 2007. Burning Glass’s spidering technology  extracts information from close to 40,000 online job boards, newspapers, and  employer sites on a daily basis and de-duplicates postings for the same job, whether  it is posted multiple times on the same site or across multiple sites.

Burning Glass’s  proprietary data is supplemented and contextualized by additional indicators from  the Bureau of Labor Statistics and other published sources. All data is sourced  Burning Glass except where indicated. All Burning Glass data in this report reflects  all job postings collected in the US between April 1, 2014 and March 31, 2015.

Best Job Search Advice?

Chances are you’ve received plenty of career tips over the years, whether solicited or not.

“Helpful” suggestions, job-oriented advice can range from the eminently sage (“Do what you love”) to the highly questionable (“Do what pays the most”).

Embracing the good advice can lead to a brighter, wealthier future. On the other hand, implementing those bad tips into your professional plan may lead you into a hard-to-reverse downward spiral. What’s the best career advice anyone has shared with you? What’s the worst advice you’ve received?

Share your insight by commenting to this post, and thank you!

The Origin of Job Interviews – Very Funny

Breaking News: Arizona: US Court Blocks Aspects of Immigration Law

Arizona Will Appeal Ruling on Immigration Law

Weigh in on Breaking News of critical importance to the HR Community.  Share your thoughts and comments below.

Parts of an Arizona immigration law take effect Thursday after a federal judge blocked several of its most controversial aspects.

The preliminary injunction, issued Wednesday, means that, at least for now, police are prevented from questioning people’s immigration status if there is reason to believe they are in the country illegally.

U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton also blocked provisions of the law making it a crime for people to fail to apply for or carry alien registration papers or “for an unauthorized alien to solicit, apply for, or perform work,” as well as a provision “authorizing the warrant-less arrest of a person” if there is reason to believe that person might be subject to deportation.

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer said the state would file an expedited appeal to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, signaling a legal escalation that some expect will end up before the U.S. Supreme Court.

SHRM San Diego, 2010 – were you there?

The Society for Human Resource Management hosted its annual conference and expo in San Diego last month, with a lineup of visionary speakers, seminars and workshops.

Speakers included Steve Forbes, President and CEO of Forbes, former Vice President Al Gore, Angelia Herrin, Editor of the Harvard Business Review, Michele Toth, Vice President of Human Resources for Northrop Grumman, Shannon Deegan of Google, Conrad Venter of Deutsche Bank AG, and author Marcus Buckingham.

Did you attend?  Did you dance in the Flashmob? We’d love to hear your thoughts, what you learned, and what was the most fun. Comment below and tell us your best experience!