Why Creating a Job Search Plan is a Good Idea

If you’re looking for your first job, a second one, or to replace one you’ve lost, then creating a job search plan can be very useful and effective. It’s a good idea to plan things out in advance so your job hunt covers all of the angles and possibilities when it comes to places of employment. The most important thing to do is decide on what type of job you’ll be looking for.

This is typically easier for somebody who has just come out of college as they usually look for a job in the field they’re trained for. However, for others, it may be a little bit harder trying to figure out what type of work to go after. This is especially true for people who don’t possess as much training and education. Many people are put in the position of having to take any job offer that comes along.

You should make sure you have a good resume made up that highlights your education, work experience, and skills. There are many employment agencies that can help you do this if you’re not sure how. There are also several types of firms that can help you in a job search and offer you some testing to see what type of career suits you the best. You’ll also find that a lot of internet sites are useful as they offer articles and tips on creating a job search plan.

Most of the companies that are in business to help people find employment will charge a fee for their professional services. However, in some parts of the world, there will be government-assisted programs that are offered free of charge. When you have your resume in order you then need to know where to look for jobs.

There are several places where jobs are listed such as the classified ads of local newspapers and magazines, job boards at employment agencies, and job-listing sites on the internet. In fact, you should be able to find quite a few sites online that list employment opportunities. Some of these sites will let you sign up as a member and choose the type of jobs you’re looking for. They will then filter those jobs and send you the relevant ones to your email address.

It’s also a good idea to let other people know you’re seeking work. This means informing your friends and family, former co-workers, and neighbors etc. Many people often find a job because of who they know in the community not because of what they know.

However, you must remember that you’re actually marketing yourself and trying to sell yourself to potential employers. This means you must show them that you are dependable, reliable, trustworthy, personable, organized, capable, and skilled. It’s important that you show up for interviews on time and well dressed.

It’s also recommended that you do some research on a business that is going to interview you. Show them that you have taken the time out to become interested in the company and feel free to ask questions during the interview. Creating a job search plan is well worth the time and effort for most people.

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The Harsh Reality of Today’s Work Place

My husband says that the tone of the work place is like Survivor Island. He’s an engineer who has worked in a lot of different states at various manufacturing facilities and according to him everyone is trying to see who can get voted off before they do.

I can’t help but wonder if this is in all industries now? Have reality shows put us in this posture that “team work” has been replaced with “scheme work?” Should we always be on guard all the time? Is paranoia common place in the work place? What gives?

I have a friend who is a high-end hair stylist and she says that the work place has become much more “stern” compared to ten years ago-that employers demand more but offer less.

We’ve certainly seen lots of new requirements in the last decade regarding what it takes to get through the door of a company and actually become an employee-from drug tests, to credit reports, to background checks. And now most states have “at-will employment,” which means that employment is presumed to be indefinite for both employers and employees. The unfortunate truth about this is that it produces an atmosphere of mistrust and disloyalty, and is far more favorable for the employers than the employees. In short, employees get the shaft and employers hold all of the cards!

I think that the most unfortunate by-product of these new developments is that it gives no wiggle room at all for employees to have problems or make errors. It puts people in fear for their job whenever they have anything that comes up in their life that might prove to be interference with their work. There’s no room for being human!

I can remember when it was three strikes you’re out regarding dismissal of an employee, which meant you’d give the worker two verbal warnings and one written. I recall this from when I was an Office Manager in California, and responsible for the hiring and firing of all employees. One of my employees was caught lying and stealing-she was given three warnings over the course of time to change her behavior. When all three warnings did not produce change she was dismissed, but it was only after she was given a chance to change. Fairness prevailed!

Of course I realize that many of these developments have to do with the fact that so many employees were suing their employers that it created a huge money problem for companies. In 1987 California juries ruled in favor of employees in over 2/3 of such cases and granted an average award of 1.5 million dollars. Still, I find it interesting that the United States is the only major industrial power that maintains a general employment-at-will rule. Canada, France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Japan, and Sweden all have statutory provisions that require employers to show good cause before discharging employees.

I believe that the “at-will” truth silently sets an undertone in the work place, and that the Survivor Island mentality sets a dog-eat-dog overtone; which in turn make today’s workplace at the very least unpleasant, and at the most deadly because it pushes people past their limits. Work was supposed to be a blessing in every way-it’s a sad state of affairs that it has become so brutal and hard to endure. Perhaps in this new century some new laws will come forth to protect both employees and employers.

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Job Search Tips – 4 Hints That Will Save You Colossal Amount of Time

A friend of my friend, after over 10 years of devoted service to the company, was made redundant during a massive layoff. Right away she made use of the outplacement services provided by her former company. (Some companies are very nice when they lay off people.)

She went to numerous job search seminars, workshops and consultations to get up to speed on the current job search practices. The workshops helped my friend’s friend to create a dazzling generic resume and cover letter. It made her sound like she was the belle of the ball in the industry. She was very proud of it. She started applying everywhere she could see HERSELF working. That took her another few months. Now the belle felt more like a Cinderella in act 1. She was extremely frustrated by not being able to land a job.

Finally, my friend recommended I have a look at her resume. I asked to see her resumes and job descriptions for which she applied or wanted to apply. What I found out that she was barking up the wrong tree. She was applying for positions that she would never be hired for. Recruiters simply did not see her as the right candidate. I pointed out that she needed to change her job search direction. Once she did, she found the job within less than a month.

So what did she do differently after our conversation? What is the right direction? What does it mean barking up the right tree in a job search situation? What is it about the wrong direction that prevents you from getting interviews? Here are four tips that answer all these questions.

Tip 1:

Do not use a shotgun approach. It is common, when desperate for a job, to apply everywhere you can conceivably see yourself working. I get it. You are smart, intelligent. You can master any task you set your mind to. So what’s wrong with applying everywhere? Why does not this method result in job interviews? Well, in the current market conditions recruiters receive hundreds of resumes. They have the luxury of picking the cream of the crop – those who most closely match the job description. So, for you to get the job, you need to become the cream.

Now you may ask, how do you become such a candidate. First of all, you need to identify your job search direction. Those jobs will be the ones that the recruiter is sure you can do if you started today. And they are sure that the job you can do today is the same to the one you did yesterday. In general, you will be hired for what you did in the last 5 years. Conclusion: focus on finding the job posting that 80 per cent resemble the tasks that you did in the last 5 years.

Tip 2:

Find a quick way to get information about job openings. Remember my friend’s friend and the workshops she went to? At those workshops she was given a fat package full of all possible sources for finding job openings. The majority of job search advice suggests to diversify your search to networking, job centers libraries, the internet and others. Out of all the possible sources, the internet is the most complete and efficient.

Of course, if you want to try the role of a person of leisure and sip ice tea on a patio while waiting for job opportunities to find you, then using sources other than the internet is the way to go. Being a recruiter and knowing where employers source candidates mostly from the online source, I recommend to devote 70 per cent of your time to the internet.

Tip 3:

Now that the internet is your preferred and major source for finding job postings, use job search engines such as Indeed and Canadian Eluta. These engines aggregate all job postings that become available on companies’ websites and job boards. Subscribe to their alerts. You will receive daily or weekly lists of all new jobs that have come up on the market. Make sure you set up your alert based on the identified scope of your job search from Tip 1. And apply to the jobs ideally on the same day.

Tip 4:

Do you find tweaking your resume a tedious task? Most people do. I know I do. You can’t avoid doing it. But you can make it easier on yourself. Create a master resume where you list every task you did while you worked. This accomplishes 2 things: one, it gives you a sense of pride of how much you have accomplished. You get a reminder of what a valuable employee your former employer lost. Two, using this master resume will drastically accelerate tailoring your resume to job descriptions. You will simply be removing irrelevant to information and leaving behind quintessence of your career.

When you start your job search with these tips, you will not only avoid needless frustration and sense of overwhelm. When you focus your job search in the area of your expertise, recruiters see you as a VERY desirable candidate. They will be falling over themselves to meet you at the interview.

Marina is a Certified Human Resources Professional, with over 10 years combined experience in coaching, human resources and recruitment. She worked at large and small organizations, and understands challenges of both recruitment and job search. Her Human Resources experience will shed the light for the candidates into behind the scenes decision making process of recruiters and hiring managers. This insight will be invaluable to job seekers who are having difficulties in getting recruiters to call them back for job interviews.

You can find more tips and advice related to your job search on Marina’s blog at http://www.careercascade.com You can also contact her at the following link http://www.careercascade.com/contact/

Job Interview Follow-Up Tips

While you may think that after you step through the door when a job interview is finished that the process is over,  it really is not. In most cases, you will not yet have the job. There may be many other people who are yet to be interviewed – some that may do better at the interview than you. So, how do you make an impression and pull ahead of the rest of the people who are applying for the job? We have a few tips for following-up after the interview that should help you.

First Follow-Up: Thank You

Immediately after your job interview, you should write out a personal thank you card and drop it in the mail. It should be really simple – not too cute or funny or unprofessional. Taking the time to send a thank you card can really put you ahead of others who are applying for the position you are. It doesn’t take a lot of time or money either. Make sure you send it to the appropriate people at the company – most likely the person who interviewed you.

Second Follow-Up: Email

A few days after the card, you should follow up with a short and simple email. You want to try to time the email so it arrives the day of your thank you card or the day after. You can’t time this perfectly of course, but a few days after you mail the thank you card should be long enough. Keep the email brief and thank them again, asking if they have come to any conclusions about the position.

Third Follow-Up: Phone Call

If you still haven’t heard anything in a couple weeks, try calling the person who interviewed you. Again, be professional and brief, but remind them who you are and ask whether the position has been filled. Your answer may vary, of course, but you are probably going to know whether or not you have a chance for the job or should keep looking.

Job Interview Follow-Up Tips

Here are some general tips to keep in mind for after the job interview.

Stay Professional – You want to make sure you keep up a professional appearance at all times – even in a thank you letter or phone call.
Keep it Brief – Don’t waste the other person’s valuable time. Get to the point quickly and end it there.

With these job interview follow-up tips, you should be able to stand out from the crowd of applicants – all with very little effort.

K. Paul Mallasch is publisher of California Jobs Info, which can help with your California Job Search.

Job Interview Attitude

Job interviews are something that almost every person has to go through at one time or another in their life. It should be a time of equal give and take from the interviewer and the interviewee. Even if the most you take away from a job interview is more practice, that half to one hour should have helped you in some ways if not many. Learning more about yourself in an interview shows you your strengths and weaknesses that you may have not noticed on your own. It is also a great way for you to preview your skills to the employer.

Every interview should be an opportunity to refine your interviewing skills while keeping your eye on the big picture. The most effective way to plan your interview and preview you to the employer is to get back to basics. Don’t think that just because you have been on countless interviews you are a pro. Getting back to the basics gives you a fresh mental start to each interview hopefully leading to a new beginning.

Look professional. The moment you enter a room someone will notice you. These are the first and most vital seconds of a first impression. You don’t have to have the latest fashion going on. It is how well you carry yourself and your confidence in your appearance that an employer will notice first.

Establish eye contact immediately. Speak with a steady voice and relax. When you introduce yourself or are introduced to the interviewer, shake hands in a firm manner. This will project a confident air. Always ask before sitting or wait to be offered a seat. This always indicates a respectful attitude.

Smile! Go to your interview with a good attitude. No one wants to work with someone who doesn’t have a good attitude so lighten up and smile. An interviewer is much more likely to warm up to you immediately if they feel that you are open to the conversation. Try not to fake your smile. It is hard when you are nervous to act calm but it’s something that you will need to work on if you want to project a natural smile in the interview.

Be yourself. If the interviewer doesn’t select you when you are being yourself (and fill the hiring criteria), with a professional attitude and a smile then the position may not be a good fit after all. Keep in mind that finding a job is a numbers game and from the interviewers standpoint, it is nothing personal. Remember that every interview is good practice for when you are interviewing for that perfect job and you finally get the offer.

The hiring process is changing in Recruitment due to inflated candidate numbers and Recruiters are having a hard time identifying the right candidate for the job. Be prepared to prove your worth with a resume, cover letter and reference page specifically designed to help you stand out from the crowd by pinpointing hiring managers desires and getting into the interview stage of the hiring process.
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