Top 3 Job Search Tips of the Week

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
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One Response to Top 3 Job Search Tips of the Week

  1. Art Koff says:

    8 tips for seniors seeking employment

    1. Register with temp firms in your local area as they don’t care about age but are more interested in your skills and experience. Also if you get work through a temp firm it helps build your resume for future work assignments.

    2. Try to get an interview with an employer you are not interested in working for to practice your interviewing skills. You don’t want to go to your first interview in a long time with the employer you are really interested in working for and make easily correctable mistakes. .

    3. Consider having your resume re-written or updated by an expert as the resume you used years ago is no longer appropriate.

    4. Search for a job in areas that connect older workers with employers seeking to hire them. Go to http://www.retiredbrains.com/Home/Retirement+Jobs/default.aspx and enter your city location in the “where” box and then try different job headings in the “what” box. Consider putting the word temporary after some of these job headings so the system will return job postings often more appropriate for older workers as employers are more likely to hire older workers on a temporary basis than their younger counterparts.

    5. Look for temporary or project assignments as they are much more available than full-time jobs.

    6. When applying for a job tell the employer you are willing to work on a project or temporary basis; this often gives you a leg up on younger workers or are often unable to accept this kind of employment. Temporary employment can often lead to full-time work.
    7. Get information on employer prior to interview. For example
    Contact someone who is at the employer who attended the same school you went to.
    “Hi. You and I went to the same school but graduated at different times. I’m interviewing for a position in your firm later this week and, before I meet with HR and the Hiring Manager, I would like to test out a couple questions I have about your firm on you and see what you think the answers might be.” (Later, ask if they will be your employee referral)

    8. Volunteer with a charity or non-profit. Although in most cases there is little or no monetary compensation it is often excellent experience and can possibly lead to employment with a firm that is seeking that particular experience or appreciates your work effort. It is also easier to find employment while you are working as you have a better mind set. Looking for a job on a full-time basis is not a very rewarding experience.

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