http://www.examiner.com/examiner/x-31324-SF-Career-Coach-Examiner~y2009m12d31-100-job-search-tips-for-2010-from-Fortune-500-recruiters–free-ebook

December 31, 2009

There are scores of articles and blogs with tips on how to land a job, but very few from recruiters of the companies that many are targeting: Fortune 500 companies. That’s because very few recruiters from these companies write about what they are looking for in candidates.

Now, thanks to Dan Schwabel, an author and writer of the very popular Personal Branding Blog, he has offered on his site a free download of a book by 10 recruiters from his company, EMC Corporation.

“This is the first eBook of it’s kind by Fortune 500 recruiters that gives job seekers an inside look at what it takes to get a job at a large company or any company. It comes at a time when people are desperately trying to get jobs, yet lack the necessary “behind the scenes” information to beat the recruiting process. That has changed as of today!” said Dan.

Here’s a sample of 10 tips from the book:

1. Don’t be negative: The interview process is slow and frustrating. Don’t let this shake you up.

2. Be prepared. Do more research; study the company and the job. Prepare specific examples that can demonstrate your skills and capabilities

3. Use your personal network; let people know what opportunities you are looking for.

4. Treat recruiters and prospective employers with the same courtesy that you expect from them. You may want to pursue another future opportunity with the same people, so leave a good impression.

5. Build a skills inventory: Candidates need to know themselves and then know how to present themselves.

6. Network, network and then network some more!

7. Dress professionally and act professionally. Remember, everything counts!

8. Ask questions. You need to interview the company just as much as they need to interview you!

9. Ensure you are part of your school’s alumni network.

10. Send a thank-you note outlining why you feel you are qualified and ask for the job!

To get the free e-book, you do not need to register or give any information to get it. Says Dan, “I have a very special holiday gift for all of you job seekers out there or friends/family of job seekers. Most of you are probably taking time to rest during Christmas/Chanukah and New Years, but I think the best use of your time is to search for jobs when everyone else isn’t. It’s very similar to launching a major PR campaign during a weekend, when other companies aren’t. It is a proven way to stand out!”

Click here to download the free e-book.

By the way, you can see my columns on career coaching and transitions at SF Examiner.com.

JP McDermott is a financial services and insurance advisor in Walnut Creek, CA. specializing in career transitions. He is also a career and financial coach, a freelance writer on career coaching with SF Examiner.com, and has been volunteering his time and experience to various non-profit, service and civic organizations.
JP lives in Danville with his wife Candy.

Check out his LinkedIn profile http://www.linkedin.com/in/jpmcdermott
JP Headshot1


Weekly Top 3 Job Search Tips

December 28, 2009

As we approach the New Year and New Decade, joblessness does not celebrate the holidays. So here are the top 3 job search tips (or what I think are the best of the blogs/articles I’ve come across this week.)
I hope you had a terrific Christmas and all my best for prosperous, healthy 2010.

1. First up, a short post from the WSJ’s Laid Off and Looking blog, Using the Holidays to Network.

While contacting recruiters during the week between Christmas and New Years may seem like a wasted effort, there are plenty of other ways you can build up connections for the job search. Attending holiday parties or speaking with family and friends about your search can help build your network during this time, writes WSJ’s Sarah E. Needleman. It’s also a great time to reconnect with contacts with a quick holiday card.

Here, Ms. Needleman shares advice on job hunting over the holidays.

With the holidays here, you may be inclined to put your job-search efforts on hold while you celebrate. But career advisers say laid-off professionals should keep at it—as “bah hum bug” as that may seem—because the season offers some unique opportunities to boost your odds of success.

Besides, “your bills aren’t taking a break,” says Jeffrey Garber, founder and chief executive officer of 360Jobinterview.com Inc., a virtual career-coaching company made up of more than 300 human-resources executives. “Make this week work for you.”

Start by accepting invitations to holiday parties or get-togethers, says Randy Block, a career-transition coach and consultant in Boyes Hot Springs, Calif. If friends you don’t often see invite you to a gathering at their home, try to attend. You’ll be exposed to people you haven’t met before—and you never know where a job lead might come from.

But don’t hand out your résumé or bring up your job search while engaging with party-goers, asserts Mr. Block. “That’s a turn-off,” he explains. “It’s not about you.” Instead, he recommends asking people about their careers and employers. “The idea is to build relationships,” he says.

2. Dan Schwabel is one of the top writers and bloggers on Personal Branding and he works for EMC corporation on their social media efforts. He and a colleague are offering a free e-book on 100 Job Search Tips from Fortune 500 Recruiters compiled by EMC recruiters around the globe. Check out his post and download the book. Did I mention it’s free?

3. Meg Giuseppi seems to be a regular here and this week is no exception. Her excellent post for executives, Top 10 Executive Job Search Trends for 2010 is a must-read. Here’s an excerpt:
If you’re dipping your toes into a job search for the first time in more than a year or so, you’re probably overwhelmed by all you need to do today to land your next gig.

Things have changed . . . a lot.

While certain “old” job search tactics, such as networking, still yield great results, many new ones are evolving that should be added to your job search toolkit.

Embrace these new strategies — personal branding, building online presence, leveraging LinkedIn and Twitter, and many others — or get left behind others who are embracing them.
I’ve compiled a list of the 10 (actually 11) most important strategies to learn and leverage, in my latest post over at Executive Career Brand, 2010 Top 10 Executive Personal Branding and Job Search Trends.

Read here for the rest of this post.

By the way, you can see my columns on career coaching and transitions at SF Examiner.com.

JP McDermott is a financial services and insurance advisor in Walnut Creek, CA. specializing in career transitions. He is also a career and financial coach, a freelance writer on career coaching with SF Examiner.com, and has been volunteering his time and experience to various non-profit, service and civic organizations.
JP lives in Danville with his wife Candy.

Check out his LinkedIn profile http://www.linkedin.com/in/jpmcdermott
JP Headshot1


Collaboration as the New ‘New’ Thing?

December 28, 2009

Thom Singer’s excellent blog Some Assembly Required has been in my top 3 job search tips before, but I’m copying his full post on collaboration as we approach the end of this decade and look to a new year and decade ahead.

Collaboration is a great word – very positive, fun to say (it is – say it 3 times quickly) and has the best connotation (although one of the definitions is “the act of cooperating as a traitor, especially with an enemy occupying one’s own country” – well, never mind that one.)
It means the act of working with another or others on a joint project or something created by working jointly with another or others.

Working with other people. So is another popular word you’ve been hearing a lot of, especially if you’re in transition: Networking. These two words go hand in hand. Thom’s post digs into the buzz around the ‘C’ word here and points out some interesting facts.

2010 is being predicted to be “The Year of Collaboration”. The social media exerts are ringing the praises of this emerging area of sharing and creating as a new dawning of the ages.

The buzz around Google Wave and other tools that promote the ability for folks to openly share their projects and get useful input and feed back into their work is exciting…. but is it really a sociological sea change?

Some things lend themselves to an open source model, other things do not. Some people are open to sharing, others are not. Without the right connections and reputation, none of the tools will matter to the random user wanting input. The power here goes back to your network, brand, reputation and ability to create community. We will see the “Collaboration Elite” emerge much like we have seen the celebrities on Twitter and other social media platforms.

I believe the attention on the collaboration movement is more about the cool tools and the super-users than it is about the projects that will come from the collaborations. The process will work well for those who live and breath social media (but it already does work for those people) …. but will not flow quickly beyond those who are early adopters. Many in the greater business community are still avoiding the social media tools (the 2009 buzzy flavor of the month) and making excuses as to why they they will not use LinkedIn, Facebook or Twitter… they are hardly ready to join a mass collaboration movement (thus it will be fun and useful for those who are the social media gurus and mass users…and it will give them new things to talk about… but this not an change in society).

The best of the best have always collaborated with others (regardless of industry). The tools were not the sexy part, instead the creating of something bigger than the individuals could have ever done alone was the “wow” part. This is hardly new.

Also, open collaboration is a great concept when all the players are share the same morals when it comes to the “rising tide raises all boats” concepts… but there is still the need to monetize projects,…. and greed (and selfish people) will not disappear in the new year.

Part of this becoming the “hot topic” is that there is always a need for a “hot topic”. Bloggers cannot keep writing about Twitter and Facebook in the new year …. as these have been done to death.

“Collaboration” is the new new thing. But is it?

Have A Great Day

thom

By the way, you can see my columns on career coaching and transitions at SF Examiner.com.

JP McDermott is a financial services and insurance advisor in Walnut Creek, CA. specializing in career transitions. He is also a career and financial coach, a freelance writer on career coaching with SF Examiner.com, and has been volunteering his time and experience to various non-profit, service and civic organizations.
JP lives in Danville with his wife Candy.

Check out his LinkedIn profile http://www.linkedin.com/in/jpmcdermott
JP Headshot1


COBRA Extension Signed into Law

December 23, 2009

President Obama signed the defense bill on Monday that contained the provision to extend continued health insurance benefits for laid off workers.

The law the President signed extends the 65% subsidy for an additional 6 months beyond the original 9 months that was to end December 31st. This subsidy is for workers laid off between January 1 and February 28th, 2010 and also to those laid off between September 1, 2008, and December 31, 2009, under the original bill.

The intent of the subsidy was to assist laid off workers from paying the full amount – 102% – of the health benefits they elected from their employer while working. The average monthly bill under COBRA for a family is $1,111, according to a study by Families USA. With the subsidy, the average monthly bill drops to $389. a significant reduction.

An estimated 14 million workers are expected to be eligible for the subsidy according the Hewitt Associates, a benefits consulting firm. The bill requires the employer to notify current and future COBRA participants of the extended 15 month eligibility. For more information about COBRA and this latest bill, go to http://www.dol.gov/cobra or call 866-444-3272.

By the way, you can see my columns on career coaching and transitions at SF Examiner.com.

JP McDermott is a financial services and insurance advisor in Walnut Creek, CA. specializing in career transitions. He is also a career and financial coach, a freelance writer on career coaching with SF Examiner.com, and has been volunteering his time and experience to various non-profit, service and civic organizations.
JP lives in Danville with his wife Candy.

Check out his LinkedIn profile http://www.linkedin.com/in/jpmcdermott
JP Headshot1


Top 3 Job Search Tips of the Week

December 20, 2009

It’s time for the top 3 job search tips this week I’ve found from the scores of blogs and articles I read and pass along. Also, I will be looking for your votes on which is your favorite. Feel free to forward this link to your friends in transition.

1. The first is a post from the blog Interns Over 40 on How Older Workers Can Find Work by Eve Tahmincioglu. Here’s an excerpt:

It’s a good idea to concentrate your job search on growth industries, advises Jeri Sedlar, who moderates a group on boomer social networking Web site eons.com and is the author of “Don’t Retire, Rewire!” Some areas to consider, she notes, include energy, health care, government and education.

But no matter what job you go for, you have to start believing in yourself and get across how great you are to a prospective employer, she stresses. “Imagine you are sitting on a shelf in grocery store,” she recommends. “Why would someone want to buy you? Should you be repackaged?”

Repackaging means updating skills or learning new ones, and being prepared to walk into a room with enthusiasm rather than despair and desperation. That doesn’t mean you have to go for a four-year college degree or go get your MBA. Experts suggest taking a few courses at a community college or online.

Start letting everyone you know you’re looking for a job, including former co-workers, friends and family. And make sure you have that two-minute elevator speech down so you can articulate what you’re looking for clearly and concisely. “Don’t just hand someone a resume,” Sedlar says.

There are a host of Web sites out there that offer job listings and job-seeking advice. In addition to AARP.org, which lists a host of companies that are older-worker friendly, Jim Toedtman, editor of the AARP Bulletin, recommends these sites as a good place to start: retirementjobs.com, seniorjobbank.com, retiredbrains.com.

We’ve all heard so much about the aging of the work force and how older workers will someday be in the driver’s seat when it comes to employment. Unfortunately, the economic climate today has put a squeeze on many 50-plus workers, Toedtman says.

And things probably won’t change drastically, he says, “until people develop portable skills and until employers value experience.”

2. Next up is another from the WSJ’s ‘Laid Off and Looking’ blog.
I have been highlighting the latest trend in recruiters using LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter to find candidates – here’s another major corporation doing just that.

By the time a job opening is posted, there’s already a virtual pile-up of hundreds of resumes. And while it’s still a worthwhile strategy, John Campagnino, senior director of global recruitment at consulting firm Accenture, suggests that job seekers take time to build relationships to break into the firm once positions open up. Mr. Campagnino advises to “focus on social media and where you can, make personal connections through an employee,” because “one of the things that you don’t want to do is just send [your resume] to a Web site and hope for the best, especially if there aren’t specific openings.”

Here, Mr. Campagnino talks about Accenture’s recruiting strategies:

Where does Accenture find candidates that are not applying to official openings?

We are sourcing candidates via social networking venues. They need to be out there on sites like Facebook, LinkedIn, [and] Twitter because that’s where many corporate employers look to source quality candidates. It’s not only being out there so companies can source them directly, but it’s also being out there to build their own network in the market.

How important are social networks to your hiring strategies?

We are making our people the number one source for talent, and we just kicked off [the emphasis on social networking] over the last six months. My intention is to take our number today of 25% [directly-sourced employees] and bring it over 40% in the next two years. If people are trying to get into a company, the best way is through your internal contacts.

If someone is recommended by an employee does it get his or her resume to the top of the pile?

You’re always at a distinct advantage being represented by an employee. We have a pretty sophisticated system — it auto-matches and prioritizes employee referrals above everything else. When a recruiter comes into [his or] her office, the top listed people are always the employee referrals.

When job seekers get in touch with someone at the company, what’s a common mistake?

There’s no excuse today for not having a good level of understanding of what any company does. If you are going to reach out to an organization [we] should have a reasonable expectation that the [you] would understand the work that we do.

3. And finally a whimsical yet fascinating look from Thom Singer’s ‘Some Assembly Required’ blog at the things that have changed in the last decade (it is the end of the decade, you know!)

What’s next?

This decade is coming to an end.

It came in with all the attention on Y2K and is going out with our world forever changed. Many things, big and small, have morphed our society: The terrorist attacks on 9-11, the mass adoption of cell phones, and the changes in communication due to social media are just a few things that have impacted the ways we live.

Trends come and go. Products and services rise and fall in their impact. Everything has been changing since the beginning of time.

New York Magazine has a current list of the things that have gone obsolete from our lives in the last ten years. This includes:

The Rolodex – We all have databases and cell phones where we keep our contact information.

The Answering Machine – Voicemail in our phones has replaced the need for a separate machine.

The Lickable Stamp – Self adhesive rules the day.

Foldable Paper Road Maps – Three letter: G-P-S.

Cathode Ray Tube Television – Flatscreen TV’s outsell the old style now.

Incandescent Light Bulb – Already banned in Europe for environmental reasons, will soon be phased out in US.

Paid Pornography – They claim everyone gets their porn for free.

Smoking in Bars – Hmmm, I guess that depends on where you live.

Fax Machine – It was just a fad. A 25 year fad, but gone none the less (we all use email and PDF).

Hydrox Cookie – What? I didn’t even notice, but it is true…. one can only find Oreo Cookies now. I loved the Hydrox. RIP.

Cassette Tape – Now with it’s distant cousin the 8-Track.

French Franc – Euro.

Floppy Disc – I remember when thumb drives appeared, now they are king.

Phone Book – One just arrived on my porch last week. They had merged the white and yellow pages into one, as there is no advertising in it any more. Hello Google.

Polaroid Photo – Don’t count Polaroid out just yet, they are looking at releasing some new products.

Bank Deposit Slips – Ummmm I still use these.

Subway Token – I live in Austin, this city has avoided any real mass transit for decades, so I have no idea.

Interesting list of things that have gone away (or almost) in the last decade, but it makes me wonder what we will be talking about having had its time gone by in 2019.

Think about it. The phone book? Who would have guessed that this staple would now be a joke thanks to the internet and Google. Could Google be yesterday’s news tomorrow?

The hot social media properties of Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and others could vanish as fast as they arrived when something new comes along.

Maybe the internal combustion engine could be gone in a decade as new ways to power transportation are discovered and fine tuned.

If the recession does not end, maybe jobs could become obsolete (okay, that was a joke)

I believe that the speed at which products and services appear and get wide spread adoption is increasing. The “new new” thing is coming… but what it it?

What is next?

Which is your favorite this week?

By the way, you can see my columns on career coaching and transitions at SF Examiner.com.

JP McDermott is a financial services and insurance advisor in Walnut Creek, CA. specializing in career transitions. He is also a career and financial coach, a freelance writer on career coaching with SF Examiner.com, and has been volunteering his time and experience to various non-profit, service and civic organizations.
JP lives in Danville with his wife Candy.

Check out his LinkedIn profile http://www.linkedin.com/in/jpmcdermott
JP Headshot1


COBRA Extension Approved

December 19, 2009

I have been hearing a lot from people concerned about their COBRA health benefits expiring. As Congress approved an extension of unemployment benefits a few months ago, the concern was that the COBRA extension (where 65% of the monthly benefit is subsidized) would be left to expire at the end of the year. In fact, many who started the program in March of this year saw that subsidy expire at the end of November.

This morning the Senate passed by a vote of 88-10 the $626 billion defense spending bill. Buried within this bill is a provision to extend subsidies for COBRA another 6 months. The bill now awaits President Obama’s signature.
For more on this read here.

By the way, you can see my columns on career coaching and transitions at SF Examiner.com.

JP McDermott is a financial services and insurance advisor in Walnut Creek, CA. specializing in career transitions. He is also a career and financial coach, a freelance writer on career coaching with SF Examiner.com, and has been volunteering his time and experience to various non-profit, service and civic organizations.
JP lives in Danville with his wife Candy.

Check out his LinkedIn profile http://www.linkedin.com/in/jpmcdermott
JP Headshot1


Is Age Discrimination Real?

December 18, 2009

I have been hearing comments lately from over-50 workers why they don’t use Facebook or LinkedIn or Twitter in their job search. When asked why, the usual responses are: I’m concerned about identity theft, I’m not very computer literate, or it’s just for kids and younger people.
The fact is that it is not for kids or younger people, unless you consider the recruiters out there (who are probably younger than you) that are using Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter as the initial screening tools. Why remove yourself from the game before you even got a chance?

I watched the movie “Up in the Air” recently about a “Transition Specialist” (George Clooney) who travels the country from company to company firing people. One scene has a clearly older man getting upset that he has just been fired. “What am I gonna do now?” He wails. “I’m 58 years old, for Christ’s sake!” My immediate reaction was he thinks he’s old, so therefore he is old. (It’s a great movie, by the way.)

Contrast that with a person I interviewed years ago for a project management position in my organization. I knew him personally as one of the most upbeat, positive people I’d ever known, yet had big misgivings about his moving into a new industry. He showed up in a suit (unusual at that time) and I’ll never forget what he said:

“JP – I’m only 52 years old – I have at least another 15 years of contribution I can make. And you know what? I’ll be the best damned project manager this company has ever seen!” I hired him, and he was right. He was promoted twice within 3 years and was a terrific leader.

My point is this: we are as old as we think we are. Does age discrimination exist? Sure it does. Does that mean you have to accept it? Absolutely not. If it is an issue with the company where you are interviewing, go find another one.

If you want to be perceived as a valuable contributor, then that’s who you are and who you must believe yourself to be. Focus on the value you can bring to the company and the problems you will solve for the hiring manager.

My friend used his age and experience as an asset because he believed it was an asset and he sold it. Why can’t you do the same?

By the way, you can see my columns on career coaching and transitions at SF Examiner.com.

JP McDermott is a financial services and insurance advisor in Walnut Creek, CA. specializing in career transitions. He is also a career and financial coach, a freelance writer on career coaching with SF Examiner.com, and has been volunteering his time and experience to various non-profit, service and civic organizations.
JP lives in Danville with his wife Candy.

Check out his LinkedIn profile http://www.linkedin.com/in/jpmcdermott
JP Headshot1