Weekly Top 3 Job Search Tips

January 11, 2010

Here are my top 3 articles on job search tips I’ve found since the New Year began. These are compiled from the many articles and blogs I read on the economy, jobs and the best strategies for finding them.
1. First up is from Polly Pearson, who reached out to me after I mentioned the excellent e-book 100 Job Search Tips from FORTUNE 500 Recruiters.
Turns out Polly, who is VP Employment Brand and Strategy Engagement at EMC and was the co-creator of the e-book, has a terrific blog. Here’s an excerpt:

Ask yourself how you are staying up to date on your profession. If it involves learning from people in your department or company, going to an annual conference, or being a member of a professional organization, that is not enough. Get Better At What You Do.

Action: Connect with thought leaders in the space you want to know more about or master. Don’t leave anything “hot” for the “young kids,” or the people with seniority. Learn about it. Thanks to Google, Bing, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Amazon, and good old fashioned volunteering via personal outreach, anything you want to know about is just a click, or request, away. 99% of information and connection with the thought leaders in the space you wish to master is free.

Ask yourself (and reply honestly!) if you are leveraging the resources at your disposal today. Get Better At Using What Is Available to You.

There are LinkedIn professional groups on just about every topic. In these groups, people are having real-time discussions and solving real-time problems. By listening to, and eventually joining, the conversation you’ll pick something up. This will make you more valuable at your current job — and people you work with will start to notice. As chief salesperson and chief marketing officer, how are you making sales calls, building relationships, and looking for potential space to advertise? Now is not the time to be meek or shy. You need to be proud of the product you are selling.

Are you recruiting recruiters? This was called to my attention just this week by JP McDermott over on Examiner.com. Don’t forget to market yourself (and this means many contact attempts) to the people with the jobs! Understand they are busy, but also make sure they know your elevator pitch and how you can help them. Check out Polly’s full article here.

2. Next up is Polly’s EMC colleague and Personal Branding expert and best selling author, Dan Schwabel. His blog Personal Branding has a very good post on job boards and their new role in your social job search. Here’s an excerpt:

If you’re a job seeker, or you were in the past, then you know what a job board is. It’s a database of “open” positions at companies looking to hire specific talent and they are searchable by multiple filters, such as geography and company name. They make money per job listing and have other advertising options, such as banners. In November, The Conference Board reported that job postings were down by 83,000 in October. Other figures I’ve seen over the past few years have shown the decline in job postings, not just because of the economic turmoil, but due to the high costs associated with each posting.

I’ve spoken a lot about the demise of job searching and the rise of “people searching” in the past. The idea behind this concept is that we get jobs through people (you get interviewed by a person, not a fax machine) and hiring managers and recruiters are freely accessible on online social networks. It all comes back to a relationship driven system, instead of a job board driven database. That is not to say that you should ignore job boards altogether. Read Dan’s full post here.

3. Lastly, Jason Alba, founder of job search website JibberJobber, discusses how Twitter can be used networking. I’m still on the fence about Twitter – there’s no doubt it’s incredibly popular, but I’ve wondered about it’s effectiveness as a job search tool. I’m slowly coming around – Jason asks the same question and uses Keith Ferrazzi’s recent trip to Guatemala to make a point. The story is pretty amazing, too. Read it 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
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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 Roundup of Top 3 Search Tips

December 6, 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. This from Jason Alba, who is the founder of the job search tool JibberJobber.
I don’t care what the news might say about how things are getting better. And I don’t care if we’re on the upswing from this recession.

The bottom line is, this is really, really hard. We all know business owners who have gone out of business. We all know people who have lost their jobs. We all know people who have been in a job search for over a year. If there is a light at the end of the tunnel it sure seems really dim, or like a pinhole.

In a Yahoo Group I’m on someone said that this is the worst she’s seen since the Great Depression… I agree with that… but there are a few differences. Here was my response to her email. I hope this can give you hope – I didn’t plan on sharing on this blog when I wrote it, but it’s been on my mind all night/morning:

Individual greatness has and will come from this, however. For me, one of the greatest things I think I can see from this is that people start to consider their careers differently – it is no longer the company’s to manage, it is MINE. What can I do to have some kind of income security?

As people go through this paradigm shift we’ll see the evolution of the career – it has to happen – we’ve been forced into it (by virtue of lack of loyalty between employers and employees) – now the economy is forcing us to really, really address it.

Anyone want to trust their career to HR? Maybe a few years ago, but many people now are “getting it.” It’s a hard lesson, for sure, but I think we’ll see a more empowered workforce come out of this.

Chris Brogan recently wrote in his newsletter that there might not be a lot of jobs out there, but there is a TON of money – can we, as personal career managers, start to think about how to create income security (as opposed to job security) by earning some of that money?

If so, then we’ll see a terrific product when all the dust settles.

It might be a crappy economy, but that doesn’t mean we have to let that dictate what happens to US! Retool and conquer!

2. Next up is from Dan Schwabel’s Personal Branding blog. It is an interview with Alan Collins, author and former HR VP at Pepsi. Here’s an excerpt:

What tools do you recommend for a job seeker?

The number one tool I recommend for any job seeker is their personal network. Most recruiters will tell you that networking will deliver more job interviews to you than any other method. More than answering ads. More than hitting the online job boards. And more than putting your resume down Monster’s black hole and hoping that you’ll get some hits. The tough thing about networking is depending on your personality, it’s either a lot of fun or a lot of work.

For me, I’m not a natural networker, so it’s work for me. So, if you’re like me, you have to discipline yourself to do it. But if you’re in the job market, you must do it. Good networking takes effort, sincerity and time. Start taking people to lunch. Start attending cocktails, dinners, and networking events. Set goals for yourself. For example: “I want to have a good conversation and exchange business cards with at least 3 people during this event.” There’s an old saying that you should dig the well before you’re thirsty. Well, this applies to networking. LinkedIn is also a great tool for helping you do this too.
For more of the interview, click here.

3. Last but not least is an upbeat article from Career Coach and Examiner.com columnist Megan Pittsley10 Holiday Gift Ideas for Job Seekers.

Which is your favorite this week?

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 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 and his articles on Examiner.com http://www.examiner.com/x-31324-SF-Career-Coach-Examiner
JP Headshot1