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
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Know What You Want

November 18, 2009

Remember that big term project you slaved over for days or weeks in school? You were focused! You had to do the most thorough job, researching, contacting companies, people and maybe even staying up all night before it was due, pulling it all together. For what? A grade, right? The satisfaction of doing the best you could and maybe getting an “A”?

Have you put that type of effort into your job search?

I meet people, recently laid off, and ask them what they want to do next. I often get “well, I can do sales, or operations, or project management. Oh, any company will do.”

Good luck with that. People can’t help you when you’re that general.

I spoke with someone yesterday who knew exactly what he wanted to do next and he identified the 4 companies that he’s targeting. I was able to go into LinkedIn and immediately find people I could introduce him to. He’s doing that with everyone in his network, and starting to get interviews.

Being laser focused on what you want makes all the difference in your search. Instead of fishing and hoping a fish will swim by and see your bait, you are now hunting – armed with knowledge of your “prey”: who the hiring manager is, where they went to school, who’s worked for them, what the culture is like, and most important – what problem they have that you can solve.

In addition, your focus and knowledge gives you the confidence that you will get that position. And with that confidence and knowledge, you probably will get it.

That’s a bit better that getting an “A”, isn’t it?

What are you doing to put that kind of focus into your search? Share your ideas and successes here.

By the way – Career Coach Megan Pittsley writes a Job Search column for The Examiner and is looking for success stories of finding jobs through your Success Teams. If you have one, let her know at megan.pittsley@gmail.com

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