Weekly Top 3 Job Search Tips

January 31, 2010

Here are the top 3 posts I’ve selected for this week. Please feel free to comment or add your own posts.
First up is from the WSJ’s Laid Off and Looking blog by John Brownrigg on Mishaps During the Hiring Process. These are the things that could go wrong that did. You probably have a few stories of your own you could share here. Here’s an excerpt:

Recently, I have dealt with a few failing job prospects, where yet another “perfect fit” didn’t work out. I met a company’s internal recruiter at an airport, where he was going to rent a car and drive me to the office for my interview. When the rental car personnel ran his company credit card through the machine, it was rejected. Assuming a malfunction, she called the numbers in, but the card was still rejected. I’m not sure why I didn’t turn and run, but I stepped in and used my credit card to rent the car. The hiring manager seemed perplexed at my story, and the interview did not go well. The recruiter disappeared by the next day, the hiring manager reluctantly took a couple of calls but then also disappeared, my expenses were never paid, and I didn’t get the job.

Next is Meg Giuseppi’s post Never on Sunday, a reminder that we need to take a break now and then from the internet (yes, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, the job sites, all of it.) Here’s an excerpt:

When I recently visited my elderly, ultra tech-challenged father (he still has trouble with his answering machine – forget about him ever getting a computer), I brought along my netbook to see if I’d be able to pick up a signal at his house.

He marveled at how small my laptop was. “Is that a full computer?” he asked. I told him it was. We talked a bit about how far we’ve come with the Internet and technology.

He shook his head and asked, “Is the Internet open 24 hours a day”? Of course, I answered “yes”.

I think he was politely nudging me to put the thing aside while we were visiting. But did that little question of his ever hit home with me.

Finally, here’s a great blog for those over 40. It’s titled appropriately enough, Interns Over 40 and has some very useful tips. I’m including their weekly list of the top rated sites by their readers in this post.

01/22/10 Readers weekly choice of the Most Read Career Transition Articles. (or how to quickly find out the best of Internsover40).Grab a cup of coffee. Put on your favorite Weekend Tunes. We are giving you a chance to catch up on your weekly reading and viewing with a list of the most popular Stories on Interns over 40. These are the the top 4 stories that your peers have read this past week. Hope you find them valuable. We look forward to reading your comments.
1. Mistakes Older Job Seekers Make:http://internsover40.blogspot.com/2009/11/7-mistakes-job-seekers-over-50-make.html
2. Where are the Jobs in the Next Decade:http://internsover40.blogspot.com/2010/01/where-are-jobs-in-next-decade.html
3. Interview Questions and Answers For Older Worker: http://internsover40.blogspot.com/2009/10/8-interview-questions-answers-for-older_31.html
4. 10 Ways to Make Your Cover Letter Stand Out:http://internsover40.blogspot.com/2009/12/10-ways-to-make-your-cover-letter-stand_10.html
New Career Transition Tools:
Job Seekers: Post your Resume and Search for new careers or new industry:
http://ow.ly/ZwE7

Let me know which one of these you like best.

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


Tired of Working for Someone Else? Here’s an East SF Bay Course for Entrepreneurs

January 29, 2010

Not everyone is ready to jump back on the hamster wheel of another corporate job, subject to the whims of the economy, a bad boss or unfulfilling work. There are many resources available in the East Bay for the job seeker, but what if you’ve reached the point that you no longer want to work for someone else and are ready to make the leap to working for yourself?

Steve Goveia, a CPA at Greenstein, Rogoff, Olsen & Co. has put together an 8 week course covering the major aspects of starting your own business. Together with Greg Vervais of Vervais & Associates, they have delivered the course over the past year resulting in the creation of 45 new businesses.

According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, small business — firms with fewer than 500 employees — drives the U.S. economy by providing jobs for over half of the nation’s private workforce. Small businesses are also the top job creators right now, as the large corporations are still mainly on the sidelines with regards to hiring. So 45 new companies in the East Bay have the potential to add more employees and help fuel more economic recovery.

The course covers the main elements of starting a business – from having the passion for an idea all the way through funding and getting started.

For more information on the class, contact Steve at sgoveia@groco.com.

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 Weekly Job Search Tips

January 21, 2010

First up is How to Build a Powerful Executive Network by Meg Giuseppi. This really is an excellent post. Her blog is focused on the senior level job searcher, but the advice applies to anyone. Here’s an excerpt:
You probably hear it all the time if you’re job-hunting. Networking is the best way to identify and position yourself for new job opportunities.

Reconnecting with your existing network and connecting with new people can help you tap into the “hidden job market” of unadvertised positions and new opportunities created around your unique promise of value.

It’s okay to circle back to your neglected network and re-build. You also need to cast a far-reaching net to connect with people at your target companies. Read the rest here.

Next is a short video featuring Jeff Taylor, founder of Monster.com on Boomers using social media. This video has some interesting facts: For example, 12,000 people are turning 50 years old every day and 8,000 are turning 60 every day. That’s a bit staggering, isn’t it? And most of those people have been using computers in their jobs for years, so they are very proficient online.

The drop off seems to be around 67 – 68 years old where going online is not as comfortable or familiar. One big difference, Jeff notes, is that this demographic knows how to write, and not just in 140 character bytes (OMG!) Pretty interesting.

Lastly is a short post by Jason Alba (again!) with his 5 Second Elevator Pitch.

I think it was Liz Ryan who called this a “bumper sticker” (great concept).
In LinkedIn they call it a Professional Headline.
Some call it a tag line.
It is the bite-sized value proposition… I might get bored listening to your poorly-crafted 30 second elevator pitch, but I can’t help but digest your 5 Second Elevator Pitch.

One of my favorites is from Carol Fletez, who is an IT professional in the D.C. area. Look at how fantastic her 5 second pitch is:

Helping Companies Migrate from Mainframes to the Future!

This might not mean anything to you but I used to work in a mainframe environment. Mainframes are cool and powerful, but many times you feel like you are in the bedrock era. Carol’s very simple phrase… Helping Companies Migrate from Mainframes to the Future! … is just clever! It brought a grin to my face, and immediately I assumed she has an expertise in legacy systems and new stuff, and marrying the two. Anyone who has been around mainframes will know what this means.

Guess what? She also has this sentence on her email signature – she is getting that branding in multiple places (as she should).

What is YOUR 5 Second pitch?

Which one of the three is your favorite?

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


Looking for Your Next Encore Career? Free e-book!

January 16, 2010

Many older job seekers are looking to do something more meaningful than just another job or what they’ve been doing for years in their next career chapter. Some have quit their regular jobs voluntarily, but many have been cast adrift against their wishes due to the severe recession.

For these people, the hardest question to answer is “What am I going to do next?”

According to Marc Freedman, founder and CEO of Civic Ventures and author of Encore: Finding Work That Matters in the Second Half of Life, “searching for a new job, a purpose-driven job, isn’t easy
at any age. It’s certainly not easy at, or beyond, midlife. What exactly do you want to do now? Can you afford to work for less? Is it worth going back to school? Will employers be receptive to what you have to offer?”

Encore.org has published a free e-book that tackles this dilemma. “The largest generation in American history is in transition, moving beyond midlife to a new stage of life and work. Tens of millions of people between the ages of 44 and 70 say they want encore careers that combine personal meaning, continued income, and social impact,” says Friedman.

The book provides answers to the following questions in a short, visually pleasing format with case studies for each:

* Now that I’m ready to get started, what should I expect?
* What do I need to know about job hunting these days?
* How do I prepare for the possibility of earning less money?
* How can I update my job skills?
* How do I finance the transition to an encore career?
* How can I turn volunteering into a job?
* How do I transition from a corporate job to a nonprofit one?
* What does it take to break into health care?
* How do I become a teacher?
* What is a green job, and how do I get one?
* What are the encore career opportunities in government?
* What are the options for striking out on my own?

Click here for your copy of the e-book.This e-book was published with the support of the MetLife Foundation.

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


Weekly Roundup of Top 3 Job Search Tips

December 13, 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. First up this holiday season is a short but relevant article from Heather Huhman’s blog, 4 Tips for Making the Most of Holiday Job Hunting. Heather focuses on entry-level job seekers.

If you’re searching for an internship or entry-level job this holiday season, here are some tips to help you be as effective as possible:

1. Attend holiday parties. Holiday parties — whether hosted by friends/family or your professional association — are great opportunities for networking. Be sure to remain professional! You should have fun, but note your primary goal is to connect with people who might be able to help with your search.
2. Send holiday cards. Mentors, hiring managers, etc. — they should all receive holiday cards. Be sure to handwrite personal notes inside each one. Applied for a position but haven’t heard back yet? Drop the hiring manager a holiday card wishing them seasons greetings — and remind them why you’re a great fit.
3. Don’t take a holiday from your search. December is prime time to be searching for a job, so don’t put your hunt on hold! In fact, you might find hiring managers more willing to conduct informational interviews over coffee.
4. Complete a short (but intense) “winter internship.” Not everything stops during the holiday season, so this might be your chance to complete a 2-3 week internship at the company of your dreams. Most organizations don’t advertise for these positions, so make a proposal and send it in!

This post is part of the Career Collective effort founded by Miriam Salpeter and Jacqui Barrett-Poindexter.

2. Meg Giuseppi’s Executivecareerbrand.com always has some great advice – I particularly liked this article: Resume Lingerie and 10 Other Guerrilla Job Search Strategies. What’s not to like about an article that has ‘lingerie’ in it? Here’s an excerpt:

Are you having a tough time landing an executive job?
Maybe it’s time to consider shaking things up and innovating an unconventional search campaign to position yourself above the crowd.

Yesterday I took an eye-opening Reach Personal Branding teleseminar, “Job Search Secrets Revealed”, featuring Guerrilla Job Search Gurus Kevin Donlin and David Perry of Guerrilla Job Hunting.

David and Kevin guarantee that, because most people don’t use guerrilla tactics, you’ll blow the competition away.

2. Get a subscription to ZoomInfo’s FreshContacts.
They boast a database of 45 million professionals at 5 million companies. Start compiling a list of key decision makers at each of the companies on your list.

3. Zig when everyone else is zagging.
With the average job search today taking 28.5 weeks (the highest since they started keeping data in 1948), you can’t do what everyone else is doing. Realize that in job search, you’re in the middle of a sales and marketing campaign.

4. Resume Lingerie or Guerrilla Resume.
Create a resume that captures attention and, just like lingerie, is designed to tease them into what’s possible – a one-page, highly-charged, full-color branded resume.

On the lefthand side, place 3 or 5 (always an odd number) logos of current/past employers, universities attended, snapshots of awards, etc. People are drawn to graphics. They prefer to look at pictures instead of read words. They buy based on emotions.

3. For all the frustration involved in the search, there is often a silent partner that is there emotionally for you. Here’s a timely article from the WSJ’s Laid Off and Looking blog on ‘Saying ‘Thanks’ for Support from a Spouse’ by Christopher Janc. Here’s an excerpt:

To the spouses and partners of those that are currently out of work: Please keep in mind that what your significant other needs right now is support. Being unemployed and looking for a new job in this market is far more stressful than many are willing to let on. Pressure from family members only makes the situation worse. I was unaware of how anxious my wife was about our situation until I received the offer letter from my new employer. The lifting of 10 months of fear and stress showed on her face almost immediately. It wasn’t until that moment that I realized just how supportive she had been.

So I thank my wife for being there for me. For encouraging me to go to the golf course when she could see the stress starting to build. For tolerating my little side projects like this blog. For trusting me to approach the search the way I wanted, and for not nagging me on the occasional days I decided to simply hang out and do nothing until noon.

Which is your favorite?

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


10 Great Tips for an Older Job Seeker

December 10, 2009

Are you older and out of work? The sad fact is that it’s harder for the more mature worker to get a job offer in this employment climate today.

We’ve all heard of the glass ceiling, but there’s another insidious workplace phenomenon that can be especially galling for older job seekers: the “gray ceiling.” According to AARP, it often takes considerably longer for people to find jobs if they’re over age 55. To combat this trend, consider these tips:

(1. Convert your resume into a date-free zone. Graduated from college in the ’70s? Really got going in your field in the ’80s? As impressive as your history is, those dates don’t need to be in your resume. Neither does a detailed listing of every single position you’ve ever held. Focus on your most impressive career successes and highlights from the past 10 to 20 years, and don’t spell out the year you graduated.

(2. Network, network, network. It’s always easier to find a job if you know someone on the inside. Think about all the friends, colleagues and contacts you’ve ever made in your industry and start reaching out to them. Let them know you’re looking for work and ask whether they know of any openings.

(3. Look to every possible resource. Another way to network is to get career and job-search assistance through One-Stop Career Centers (www.careeronestop.org or toll-free 1-877-348-0502) and through programs offered at many public libraries. If you’re a college graduate, contact your school’s career services department; many colleges and universities provide their alumni with lifelong assistance. Local offices of any professional associations for your field also could be helpful.

(4. You are experienced – Use it!. True, potential employers may send you packing with lines like, “You’re overqualified for this position,” but you may be able to counter such quick dismissals with a few one-liners of your own. Tory Johnson, founder of Women for Hire, suggests these responses: “I thought about that very issue before I applied. I realized that because I’m committed to this line of work, my experience would be a tremendous asset.” Or: “I have 20 years of experience in this industry. I’d love to apply that insight to solving problems and creating successes for this company and mentoring other people.”

(5. Highlight your flexibility — and be flexible. A rap against older workers is that they’re not willing or able to adapt to new technologies and new ways of doing things. Depending on your industry, give examples of how you’ve stayed current and how you plan to keep doing so.

(6. Keep your skills fresh. Find free or low-cost computer classes offered at libraries, churches and continuing education centers. Also check with local colleges and universities about extension programs that offer courses for professional development, and look into classes offered through community colleges, and accredited online degree programs.

(7. Find a new career or industry. Let’s face it: Your entire industry may be imploding on you. So, for instance, if you’ve worked in finance for years, do you know of any former colleagues who made the leap to positions that allow them to work with numbers for different kinds of employers? Or if you’re thinking about transitioning out of real estate, can you brainstorm other areas where you could apply your sales and negotiation skills?

(8. Research your industry. Especially if you’re changing careers, study occupational data so you can find out which sectors are hiring right now. The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Outlook Handbook can help you learn about job sectors that may be crying out for your specific skills. CareerBuilder.com also publishes information about who’s hiring in its “Advice & Resources” section. Finally, don’t forget LinkedIn’s Companies section.

(9. Stay positive and optimistic. Negative thinking and speaking can hurt your search. Are you viewing yourself as experienced and knowledgeable, or just old? Most employers want to hire energetic, positive people. To stay positive, remember how much you have to offer. Stay focused and confident about all the ways you can help employers succeed.

(10. Consider consulting or contracting. If you’ve been spinning your wheels for far too long trying to find a full-time job, remember that you can always make yourself available as a consultant or contractor. Companies may be reluctant to hire you permanently in this economy, but they may gladly tap your expertise for projects where they could really use your help.

What are some other tips you are using to stand out from the other younger job seekers?

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