Friday, October 9, 2009

4 Reasons Your Job Search Isn’t Yielding Results - Part 3 of 4

Are you tired of your job search? Tired of hearing from hiring managers “you don’t have enough experience” – or not hearing from hiring managers at all? I understand your frustration and want to help, so I've created a 4 part series that will share the "Top 4 Reasons Your Job Search Isn't Yielding Results" and release one tip per week – this is week #3!

Reason #3: Your Resume supplies Information on Not Directly Related to Position: Take a look at your resume, then take a look at a job description featuring the type of job you are applying for. Do the words match? Can you identify at least 3 sentences in the job description that match the wording on your resume to show how you are a “match” for the job? If not, that means that hiring managers can’t see the “match” either.

Information supplied on resume and in an interview should match the wording in the job description (with accomplishments). Always omit duties that do not match or relate to the role that you are applying for.

Try This Approach Instead: Read the work experience section in your resume and ask yourself “Would I perform some of these tasks listed in my new position?” If the answer is no, then remove the statement in question.


Thank you for taking time to read this article. Stay Tuned Next Week For Tip #4! Feel free to share your comments and tips below!

Friday, October 2, 2009

4 Reasons Your Job Search Isn’t Yielding Results - Part 2 of 4

Are you tired of your job search? Tired of hearing from hiring managers “you don’t have enough experience” – or not hearing from hiring managers at all? I understand your frustration and want to help, so I've created a 4 part series that will share the "Top 4 Reasons Your Job Search Isn't Yielding Results" and release one tip per week – this is week #2 - want week #1? - CLICK HERE!

Reason #2: Listing Job Duties Instead of Accomplishments: Over 90% of the resumes received by hiring managers and over 95% of the resumes I received as a recruiter working in the human resources industry while hiring for companies locally and nationwide listed job duties instead of accomplishments. This doesn’t help the hiring manager understand why you are qualified for the position and how you can help their company - in turn you are not selected for the interview or the job.

Try This Approach Instead: If you don’t know where to start, think back to the time your boss, a co-worker, or a customer complemented you on your work. Think about a duty you performed to improve the office. Prior to your improvements and suggestions, think about how much time had been spent doing things the “old way” and now think about how much time it takes to perform these same tasks the new way. Now look at your resume and after each statement, write down the result of the duty listed and how it helped the company.


Thank you for taking time to read this article. Stay Tuned Next Week For Tip #3! Feel free to share your comments and tips below!

Friday, September 25, 2009

4 Reasons Your Job Search Isn’t Yielding Results - Part 1 of 4

Are you tired of your job search? Tired of hearing from hiring managers “you don’t have enough experience” – or not hearing from hiring managers at all? I understand your frustration and want to help, so I've created a 4 part series that will share the "Top 4 Reasons Your Job Search Isn't Yielding Results" and release one tip per week - starting this week!

Reason #1: E-mailing Your Resume – Only: Did you know that on average, a hiring manager’s e-mail inbox may receive over 200 resumes for each posted job position?

I am not saying that you shouldn’t e-mail your resume. What I AM saying is that e-mailing your resume isn’t enough. E-mailing your resume is easy to do, so easy that thousands of candidates are doing exactly the same thing.

Try This Approach Instead: Go ahead and apply to that position posted online, just make sure to send your resume via fax, hand delivery, and good ole’ fashioned snail mail when you can.


Thank you for taking time to read this article. Stay Tuned Next Week For Tip #2! Feel free to share your comments and tips below!

Friday, September 18, 2009

You Are What You Say You Are

There is a quote by the famous T. Harv Eker that states "You will live into your story.” Basically, whatever you tell yourself, you will become. This can be both good and bad. Good, in the fact this can propel you to become better as a person and as a professional. Bad, in the fact you can undermine and sabotage your success without anyone playing an active role.

Your mind determines the story and your success at your job search. Tell yourself everyday WHY you are great. Review old documents that complement your ability to write on certain subjects. Take time to pat yourself on the back for those complements and commit these accomplishments to memory. Don’t be shy. Put these on your resume as well. These high grads on various class projects are EXACTLY what hiring managers are looking for. Especially if you haven’t had any prior experience in the job you are applying for!!!

Now that you are visualizing yourself as the wonderful person that you truly are, try these approaches to make yourself stand out:

Use Post-It Notes: Send your resume via mail with a Post-It Note attached with a approving phrase like “Good Candidate” or “Quick Study”

Send Candy: Send your resume via mail with a small bag of peppermints attached to your cover letter. The top of the cover letter can state “Life is sweeter with (insert your name) as your insert job title”.

Network: There are 6 degrees of separation between who you need to know and who needs to know you. Join your local professional association as a member and start meeting people in your profession. Ask questions and let them know what you are looking for and how you can help an employer. Keep doing this. You will get results.


You can make your life and your career the story that you want. Just take the first step to living your story – You are what you say you are!!!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Whine or Cheese

Can you believe it? In less than 4 months, this year will end and a new one will begin!


Don't wait until next year to make new year's resolutions. If you are unhappy with the way this year has been progressing in regard to your job search, then now is the time to swing your career into gear. No excuses and no regrets should be your sentiments by the time you reach January 2010 (Did I mention it will be here in less than 4 months?).


Every experience you have had this year, be it bad or good, has taught you a lesson. If you do not learn from it, you will fall into one of the two categories – Whine or Cheese.

Whine
You remember the one; it is the person in your office that blames everyone for the current problem or situation at hand. They whine about the gossip in the office, they whine about the time everyone comes in to work, and they whine about the amount of money so and so makes. Sound familiar? Well, hopefully not too familiar.....

If this sounds like you, or upon further reflection you realize is sounds more like you than you care to admit then make a vow to change right now. Stop saying “it’s not fair” and stop listening to people that say “it’s not fair”. Start putting your energies into rectifying the situation at hand. You will find if you put all of your effort into correcting the situation and avoiding those that whine about situations then you will begin to see it improve.

Cheese
Nathan from the book Who Moved My Cheese stated, “Have you noticed we don’t want to change when things change?” The book is a story about change and how 4 characters in a book handle the change of the “cheese” or goal always moving around. A small book, one could read it in 20 min while standing in the bookstore.

The important truth that pervades this book is that we must anticipate and accept change. It will come whether you like it or not. Your career will change. Your job and the daily duties in it will change. Every job applied to in your job search requires a resume that has been changed to reflect the job you are applying to. You will change your mannerisms in each interview. Each interaction with your current manger will change based on what is going on that day. Accept and embrace this fact. Truly successful people understand that change brings challenges, but it also brings learning and opportunity.


Today, you stand at the edge of opportunity and challenge. Make a choice - whine or cheese anyone?

Friday, September 4, 2009

How To Use Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and Social Media To Help You Find A Job

Almost a year ago I joined Twitter.com with one question in mind – Can Twitter help our Kaplan University students find a job?

As I learned more about Twitter.com, the next question became – Are lawyers and legal professionals on Twitter?

As time wore on, the next question became – Are hiring managers on Twitter? What about LinkedIn?

After almost a year of being on Twitter.com (and reading MANY books on the topic) and exploring other “Social Media” sites such as LinkedIn and Facebook, I can happily answer YES to all 3 questions.

When I First Started Using Twitter…..
With unemployment approaching staggering highs, I wanted to find a way to share job search tips that people could use quickly and easily and find legal professionals and hiring managers for our Kaplan University students. For a short time, I felt as if I were "Tweeting" in the dark (posts to Twitter.com are called "Tweets"), looking for lawyers that shared an interest in social media sites for the purpose of networking and sharing their insights into the legal field seemed daunting. How do I find them? How does this Twitter thing work? How can we converse with only 140 characters (the key to sharing ideas using Twitter)? But, I kept going in dogged determination always asking "Do Lawyers Tweet?"

Determination Pays Off With Twitter….
My determination paid off! Lawyers, legal professionals, and hiring managers DO “Tweet” and they are networking, talking, and sharing. These "tweets" are vibrant, informative, and interesting as people share insight into their worlds (and available jobs). To make your profile stand out
-Make Sure You Project a Professional Image
-Post Relevant Information Related To Your Field To Establish Your Reputation
You can also locate people with like interests on Twitter by using the “search” feature, hashtags feature (the “#” symbol), and looking at other people’s profiles to see which people they are “following”.

LinkedIn….
After experiencing success with Twitter, I decided to try to locate job opportunities and network on LinkedIn by conducting a “LinkedIn Experiment” over several months. The key “take-aways” include:
-Join Groups
-Utilize the Job Boards
-Create a Marketable Profile/Brand Yourself
-Utilize the Recommendation Feature

For More Details On Using Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and Social Media:
What to learn how to use social media? Want to learn more about how to find a job using Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and Social Media?
CLICK HERE or copy and paste this link – http://khe.acrobat.com/p11992736/ in your web browser. It will open a live webinar presentation that I conducted with our Kaplan University students that provides step by step instructions on how to use these sites and tie everything together with an action plan at the end of the presentation.

Note: I am also happy to announce that this article has also been published in Kaplan University's newsletter for our students.

Friday, August 28, 2009

You Know More Than You Think


If You Have No Experience....

For those of you without experience, one may think that you have nothing to offer hiring managers. However, the opposite is true!!!


Where & How To Locate Your Past Experience....

Think of the industries you have worked in the past. Experience you gain working in your industry gives you in-depth experience and a shorter learning curve compared to someone without prior knowledge or experience in that field. Use the knowledge you have to apply for an opportunity in the industry that can use your expertise. The following are examples of where to start your job search. These are examples are not set in stone. You have intangible skills that can cross over into any other industry.

Position:
Medical Assistant


What Do You Know?
Medical terminology and the how to translate (in laymen terms) how a medical procedure, error, or illness effects a client and the potential opportunities to build a case

Where to apply:
Hospitals
Law Firms with a Malpractice specialty
Law Firms with a Personal-Injury specialty
Public interest groups


Next Position:
Nursing Home Assistant


What Do You Know?
Proper elder care and nursing home procedure

Where to apply:
Larger nursing home companies
Assisted living retirement communities
Law Firms with an elder care specialty


Next Position:
Phone company employee

What Do You Know?
Proper telecommunications procedure and violations of regulatory compliance

Where to apply:
Local phone companies
Public interest organizations



Position:
Tax Preparer


What Do You Know?
Government procedure for taxation and penalties for improper tax filings, in addition, to shades of interpretation for filing purposes

Where to apply:
Law Firms with taxation specialty
Public interest organizations


See! The "What Do You Know" section lists your knowledge in terminology that anyone could understand without a lot of jargon. This is one of the keys to finding a job if you have no experience in a field! When something is simplified in a way that anyone can understand your impact, it increases the chance of you finding a job!

Thanks for taking the time to read this article! Feel free to share your comments below.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Grabbing The Attention of Hiring Managers - The Testimonial


Switch roles with the hiring manager for one moment. Wading through hundreds of resumes with job experiences all looking the same



  • Company name

  • Job duties: maintained calendar, Answered phones, etc.

  • Objectives not centered on the company -- To find a (insert job title) job that will challenge me and allow me to use my skills effectively.

  • Resumes that are difficult to follow due to all experience with each respective company written in paragraph form and resembling a novel instead of a resume.


In addition: These resumes add to the hiring manager’s concerns and questions of competence and credibility.

How Can You Grab The Attention Of The Hiring Manager?

How can you as a job seeker grab the attention of the hiring manager and ease some of their concerns about your credibility? At this stage, the answer does not lie in references provided with your resume. The answer lies in a unique approach that companies have utilized for years – testimonials.


Testimonials:

Testimonials help add credibility by providing evidence that your product (that means you) works. Start thinking of yourself as a business and the work produced as the product. The satisfied “customers” are your managers, co-workers, professors, and classmates. How have you helped improve your “customers” lives? Did you take initiative on a project and help complete it ahead of deadline? Have you been complemented on your contribution on a group project for class? Have found yourself in the situation of training new hires and the person learned the new material faster with you in comparison to being trained by someone else?

Contact previous employers, classmates, and professors. Ask if they would e-mail a statement to you praising you for your accomplishments in areas such as work ethic, reliability, multitasking, document preparation, interpersonal skills, working well under pressure, strong communication skills and customer service. Ask them to keep it specific but vague. Avoid use of industry jargon (unless is it the industry you will be working in).

Example:

Here is an example highlighting strong work ethic from a restaurant manager:

“I will never forget the time Jane worked several hours after the restaurant closed to make sure we had everything we needed to open early the next day.” “It was short notice and she had important plans that evening, but she canceled them to make sure we had everything we needed”
--John H. Manger, Steak Restaurant – Chicago, IL

The more people that you can show are satisfied in areas hiring managers find valuable, the less reluctant hiring managers will be to consider giving your product/you a try!!


Thanks for taking time to read this article. Please post your comments below.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Unleash the potential in yourself…..

Are You Looking To Be Freed?
How many of you have seen an animal chomping at the bit to be free? If you have visited a zoo, you can always tell the ones that know intuitively that this is not the correct habitat or place for them to be. When one thinks about it, the life of an animal in the zoo is not so bad. They receive food and shelter and all they have to do is look “cute and healthy” when people come to their part of the exhibit. So why are there still animals keenly aware that this place is not where they are supposed to be? They have the innate sense that there is more to life outside of the cage that they are in?

Are You "Chomping At The Bit"?

Where are you in your job search? Are you “chomping at the bit” to be free? Even though you are paid to look “cute, healthy, and busy” with your assigned duties do you have a sense that you still do not belong in that place. Your intuition may be right!!!

If you are “chomping at the bit” to be “free”, take a step back and find out why you feel the way that you feel. For those individuals that are currently working and want to stay with your current employer, find a way to incorporate new tasks that you enjoy. Develop a reputation for success in that area. Tell others about your accomplishments. Market yourself as the best person for the tasks that you love to perform. Soon, people will notice and soon, you will find yourself doing less of the job tasks that you didn’t care for and more of the job duties that you enjoy!!

If you are “chomping at the bit” to be free of your current employer, remember it will take work!!! Not working as a (insert job title here), but would like to become one? Start learning what hiring managers are looking for by speaking with them directly or reading about what their concerns are.

Suggested Steps...
For example, if you are looking to work as a paralegal, then a suggested first step would be to log on to
www.law.com or pick 5 companies that you would like to work for and schedule an informational interview with the head of the legal department. If you are a student or recent graduate use that to your advantage by asking as many questions about the field and what hiring managers are looking for (if you are not, that’s fine too). Remember keep it short (about 20 min or so) unless the person that you are interviewing would like to take longer. Keep in touch with the person you interviewed by calling periodically and/or asking for their feedback on subjects that are featured on www.law.com (or an industry specific website) or any industry knowledge you come across.

Soon, others will see your potential and help you in your path and journey to unleash it!!!

Good luck and unleash your potential!!!!


Thank you for taking the time to read this blog. Feel free to share your experiences and your comments below.

Friday, August 7, 2009

6 Ways To Bring in Interviews

Despite all of your hopes and prayers, phone calls asking you to come in for an interview will not magically appear out of thin air. You have got to get out there and hustle. The days of “point and click your way to a job” are gone.

Well, I’ve found the perfect solution. Close your eyes and cozy up to your computer monitor. Utilizing top-secret computer coding that I have developed in my secret lab located under my desk, I will now transmit to your brain the names of all of the companies in your area that are ready to interview you.

Well, OK, maybe not. **smile**

But for the record I have been thinking really hard on how to develop the technology on how to do this. (I’m only one brain cell away, I swear). Really, the key to an effective job search is for you to help yourself and I am going to offer tips to you on how to accomplish this. So, what I am offering you is way better!!



Spiffy Up Your Image:
Voice mail may not be in your job search plans, but if hiring managers call and your child answers the phone you bet your bottom dollar they will not call back. Nothing against children answering the phone or “cousin Clay” that loves to make callers laugh by pretending you are not home, but this is not the time. You want to project a professional image. Make sure your voice mail message sounds professional. No music in the background. No strange noises.

Target Your Energies:
Attend local professional association meetings. Try conducting a Google search on professional organizations in your area. Make it a point to attend at least one meeting per month. Stick with the same group instead of canvassing several. This conserves energy and more people get a chance to know you personally and help refer you to open positions.

Make the Most Out Of Job Fairs:
Don’t just stand in line at a job fair. Walk around. Listen to what other candidates are saying before you get in line. Grab a bottled water and give it to the recruiter as you walk around the job fair with the reason “I’m sure it is hard standing here all day talking – here is some water.” Smile, introduce yourself, and walk away. Within the hour, come back to the booth, stand in line and then speak to the recruiter. You will be more memorable.

Follow Up!!
Never collect a card and not follow up within 2 days. Most people never do this. You will be remembered. Try to send additional “helpful emails” in the form of articles and book recommendations.

Cross Promote other People:
You are seeking a position, but the person you met at the networking session is seeking an IT person or contract person. Don’t give up. Tell the person that if you run across someone that sounds like they might be a good fit, would it be OK to contact them. When you happen to run into someone, drop your old contact a line and see if the position they spoke of is still open. Even if it isn’t, you are remembered as “the one that tried to help.” You will be remembered by the hiring manager and will be called when something pops up for you!!!

Pick Up The Phone:
When all else fails, call the local companies in your area after faxing or mailing your resume to conduct an informational interview. Come to their door and learn their needs!!!


Thank you for taking time to read this post. Feel free to give your feedback and comments below.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Not Enough Experience…. How to Gain Experience....


Not Enough Experience….
It is the classic dilemma for any career changer. Employers want job experience, but have never worked in the capacity they are hiring for. What is a job seeker to do? Offer these options the next time a prospective employer says “you don’t have enough experience”.






  1. Offer to work on a contract basis (you would fill out an I-9 form and pay taxes)


  2. Offer to work on a part time basis (you gain experience and can see if this opportunity is a good fit” for you and the employer)


  3. Offer to work full time (you gain experience, are compensated, and receive benefits)


  4. Volunteer for a local non-profit agency, court house, law office, or corporate legal department

Now you have 4 new ways to gain experience to get your “foot in the door”!!!


Thank you for taking time to read this blog posting. Feel free to try these tips and post your success or questions below!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Getting Your Foot in the Door - Let’s Do Lunch!!!


Often, it is hard to break into a new field if you are unfamiliar with the “players” so to speak. Interviews are often intimidating to budding paralegals because of the lack of familiarity with the interviewer and the industry. However, by being proactive in your job search, you will increase your chances of securing employment. Start by being aggressive in learning about the problems your potential hiring managers’ face – offer to take them to lunch!!!

Step One
Pick 3 companies and/or law firms that you want to work for quite badly

Step Two
Call each company to learn the name of the hiring partner/senior paralegal

Step Three
Purchase a small set of plastic forks and knives from your local store along with medium sized envelopes and postage stamps.

Step Four
Using Microsoft Word, select “File”, “Page Setup”, and select “Landscape” to turn the document horizontally. Centering your font, type “LET’S GO TO LUNCH” in big letters, following with an explanation that you would like to learn more about the industry and would like a chance to “pick their brain” over a good meal (include your contact information).

Step Five
Tape a fork and knife on either side of the paper, stuff it in an envelope with the address of your targeted hiring manager.

Don’t forget to follow up one week after sending your mailer for feedback and lunch dates. During the lunch date, do not ask for a job, but gather information about the industry, its challenges, and recommendations on how to gain experience
Thank you for reading this blog post and feel free to try this information and give your feedback!

Friday, July 17, 2009

The Relationship between Job Search Success and Fear…


Regardless of your natural state of mind: From self confident to self doubtful, your fears can undermine your job search. Listed below are the proverbial “confidence traps” waiting to undermine your job search success. Regardless of your confidence meter, I’m certain you will recognize one of the items listed below.


  • Every decision made is made only after learning the thoughts and opinions of others. It is fine to take everyone’s opinion into account, but not following your own opinion can be costly.

  • Listening to the internal and external naysayer

  • Assuming that if you don't get the job, the hiring manager didn't like you

  • Blaming your lack of job search success on any of the following: You are not talkative enough, outgoing enough, friendly enough, smart enough, old enough, young enough, educated enough, or attractive enough.

  • Avoid implementing new job search ideas because the ones in the past may not have worked

  • Constantly beating yourself over the head as you recount all your “goof-ups” each day. The only crime in job searching is not learning from your mistakes so that you don’t repeat them.


Well meaning friends will tell you that your job search is failing because of lack of experience and to a certain extent they are right. However, I assert that lack of experience or shall I say not showing the hiring manager that you have enough experience can be traced, in part, to a lack of confidence. As a motivator and a career advisor I see first hand the affect that confidence has on an individual's success. By and large confidence grows from each small success that an individual takes towards reaching a goal. That is why I ask you to focus on one goal at a time with your resume creation! Once you showcase the accomplishments that relate to the duties of a paralegal on your resume, your biggest goal is accomplished. When you know where you're going, you're going to gather the tools and information you need to reach your destination.


Now it is Your Turn - Prepare to overcome your fear


  • Make a list of your personal confidence killers. Be as honest as possible.

  • Now make a list of ways that preparation can help you overcome your confidence killer.

  • Take the steps you outlined in section 2 above and write out solutions to your confidence killers.

Your Mindset..


  1. Think of someone you know that is positive and self confident. Write down the characteristics this person displays that give you the reason for your impression. Make a mental “note” to mirror that person’s actions daily. This way, it will come off “naturally” in the interview.

  2. Everyone needs someone to keep the momentum going. Join your local paralegal organization/professional membership organization, attend the meetings, and listen. Soon you will find someone that you admire. Tell the person that you admire and respect them and ask if he/she would mind if you kept in contact to “compare notes” on your findings in the industry. Viola!! You just found yourself a mentor. Everyone needs one!!

  3. This part will be hard at first, but release the 'naysayers' from your circle of friends and contacts. If it is a family member (you can’t disown them) that is a source of the negativity, just change the subject every time your family member starts to speak negatively. Thank them for sharing their opinion, and change the subject.

  4. Become self-aware of your own thoughts. If you find yourself putting yourself down, STOP IT RIGHT NOW!!! You do have something to offer employers. Your knowledge if valuable – you are valuable!!!

  5. Look the part. All actors prepare for their role by studying the person they wish to play. They study the way they speak, the way they dress, and even where they eat!!! Mastering and emulating these things doesn’t make you into a fake, it is just sound business advice and putting your best foot forward.

  6. Give yourself a “high five” (looks great when done facing a mirror). Complement yourself every time you master a success. “High five” yourself every time you meet a goal, no matter how small. This makes your confidence makeover more fun and lifts your spirits. This brings you closer to success.


Thank you for taking time to read this posting. Feel free to post questions or comments below!

Friday, July 10, 2009

5 Keys To Making Your Job Search Feel and Look Easy


Over the years, I've been lucky to be around a number of super-achievers and one thing that I have learned is that the way these people think is entirely different than 95% of the population. This ability to think differently is also one of the reasons why there are so few successful multimillionaires in this world.


Sometimes, changing the way you think and act will dramatically impact your job search results. Hanging around successful people is only one of the keys. If your goal is to achieve peak results in your job search, these five keys will help you get there:


Environmental Control: We are the company we keep and are the products of our environment, what we think about and surround ourselves with really matters. Select what you read carefully. It will fill your conscious and subconscious mind with a mental “tape” that constantly plays in your head. If you put negative things in by listening to people saying “you can’t do that” or “I don’t know anyone that is a paralegal” or “you are wasting your time in school”, then your mind will play that negative “tape” at the most in opportune time and you will loose momentum. This usually will happen when you are in the middle of an interview that is going successfully.


Work Ethic: Ever watch ice skating? Ever go bowling? Remember bike riding for the first time? Remember driving for the first time? All of these things have something in common, the person you saw doing these tasks made it look really easy. Remember how hard it was when you tried? If a person makes something look really easy, you can bet there was a great deal of work behind that person's performance.


Immerse Yourself In Your Job, Become The Expert in Your Job Role: Make it look EASY. Immerse yourself in your job search. USE the advice that I offer to you. Revise your resume to reflect what is in the job description and show with each line in your resume why you can do it better. Send it out. Send it out again. Follow up on the people you sent your resume to. Ask for 3 referrals. Ask for 3 more. Conduct informational interviews to learn about the company and the industry you want to work for. Ask for 3 referrals. Join your local paralegal association. Attend the meetings. Ask for referrals.


Put In An 8 Hour Day If You Are Not Working: Put in a 10 – 12 hour day if you are working. Give 8 hours on the main job and an additional 2 -3 hours to your search and your career. Others will think you found a job really fast because they are on the outside looking in. You will make the job search look really easy due to your success. But only you know that your success took dedication and perseverance.


Don’t Use The World "Work" to Describe What You Are Doing: All it does is feed into the mainstream idea of instant gratification and doesn’t inspire peak performance. Turn on the TV. or pick up a newspaper and there are countless ads promoting get rich quick or loose weight in a week – the results are “instant” this and “easy” that. The word “work” is a dirty word in mainstream media and society. However, working hard for something forces you to stretch beyond your comfort zone and grow. In the end you build a better quality of life.


Adopt these principals of success and combine it with positive thinking. You will see results in life, your job search and others will think you have it so EASY!!!


Thank you for taking time to read this post. Feel free to ask questions or leave feedback below!

Friday, June 26, 2009

If You Lost Your Job Tomorrow - What Would You Do?



If you lost your job tomorrow? What would you do? Are you prepared? Do you know who to call? Do you have an idea of where to begin your search?

Although our unemployment rates are the highest they have ever been, there are still people working - and this concerns me. Why? Because the people that are employed may be among "the walking Jombies".

Jombies? You ask? What is that? It's a term I've created that is a cross between the word "Job & Zombie".

We are not talking about the "cool" zombies featured in Michael Jackson's video "Thriller". We're talking about something much, much scarier.






Why Should Someone That's Employed Care Whether Or Not May Become a "Walking "Jombie""?
A person that's employed should care because if the person lost their job tomorrow, that person would fall into the pattern of the following "zombie like" habits as they search for a job which include the following steps:

  • Look Up Old Job Descriptions From Past Jobs Held
  • Create Resume
  • Create Cover Letter
  • Apply To Positions Featured On The Most Advertised Job Boards (Monster and CareerBuilder)
  • Look Through "The Want Ads" For Available Jobs
  • Apply To Positions
  • Ask Friends & Family If They Know Anyone That's Hiring
  • Repeat....

Over time, this approach results in a very frustrated job seeker, so the job seeker sends more resumes by "pointing and clicking and applying" to more jobs that are posted on online job boards and following this pattern....

  • Apply To MORE Positions Featured On The Most Advertised Job Boards (Monster and CareerBuilder)
  • Look Through "The Want Ads" For Available Jobs
  • Apply To MORE Positions
  • Ask Friends & Family MORE TIMES If They Know Anyone That's Hiring
  • Repeat....

And sadly, in a "Zombie" like state, the person continues this pattern feeling more and more frustrated - and still not finding a job.

How To Prevent "Jombieness"
In the past, I have helped adult job seekers find a job. Even those adults that had no experience in the field that they were targeting - I've helped them find a job. And we were happy - both the job seeker that just found a job and myself - until the unfortunate happens (for some) and the company lays off the person. The person seeks my help after several months pass of them attempting the job search on their own and they are unsatisfied with the results. After chatting with the individual, we both learn that the person fell into "Jombie" job seeker habits mentioned above.

A lot of time could have been saved (and the person could have found a job sooner) if they had tried the following:

  • Look Up Job Descriptions For The Type of Positions You Want To Work For
  • Identify Skills & Qualifications Listed In The Job Description That Match Your Background
  • Copy & Paste Identified Skills & Qualifications Into Resume
  • Create Resume Based Off Of The Job Description For The Job You Are Looking For
  • Make Sure Work Experience Section Contains Job Description Wording Verbatim Along With Results Of Actions/Accomplishments
  • Create Cover Letter Based On Job Description Of Job You Want To Work For
  • Apply To Positions Featured On The Most Advertised Job Boards (Monster and CareerBuilder
  • Look Through "The Want Ads" For Available Jobs
  • Apply To Positions
  • Ask Friends & Family If They Know Anyone That's Looking For Someone With A Background In (Pick 2 Things About Your Background That You Want To Be Known For)
  • Build "Online Brand" Through Actively Using Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, and Creating A Blog Discussing "Things You Would Want To Be Known For In Your Industry"
  • Talk To People That You Meet (Networking)
  • Conduct "Informational Interviews" With Industry Experts Frequently
  • Set Up "RSS Feeds" To Stay Abreast Of Industry Information
  • Create "Google Alerts" To Locate Job Opportunities And Deliver Them To Your Inbox
  • Set Up E-Mail Alerts For Jobs On Indeed.com
  • Contact Companies That Interest You
  • Attend Networking Events When Possible
  • Repeat....

WOW! That's A Loooong List!
Is this list much longer than the original - yes. But notice the most important thing, you first start with customizing your resume and cover letter to the JOB YOU ARE APPLYING TO. This step alone is key, the second most important step - TALKING ABOUT ACCOMPLISHMENTS. If just these two things are done first - it will improve the quality of your job search - significantly.

Of course, this is not an exhaustive list, but at least this should help you get started. If you are employed and reading this blog - great! Start trying these steps (If unemployed - start these steps - NOW!!!). If you practice these steps now and something happens to your job, you will be much closer to finding another one. And if you don't loose your job, then you have built some great relationships along the way! So it's a win win situation!

Thank you for taking the time to read this. Hope this helps. Now you know what to do if you were to loose your job tomorrow - and you are more prepared! Feel free to comment below...

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Job Searching Is A Lot Like Pizza


Still job searching? Wondering WHY you are still job searching? It could be that you need to change your "recipe".


Think about job searching like you think about your favorite food....


In this example, we'll use pizza.


Most people like pizza. It's been listed as one of the most highly consumed foods in America - and why not? There's plenty of choices. You can pick where you want your pizza from. The restaurant down the street or the restaurant a few miles down. You can pick your toppings. Cheese only? No problem. You like cheese and sausage - no problem (and it's usually readily available). Want something that's not the typical fare? Say cheese, pineapple, anchovies, and spinach? You place the order and it's ready shortly.


Most people will not compromise on their pizza. They want what they want so far as toppings and sometimes even places go. Some people will not stand for a pizza with certain toppings, no matter how much the delivery guy/girl begs them to take it.


Some people will even pay more for a pizza that they really feel has everything that they are looking for.


So how do people's pizza preference and job searching mix?


Think of yourself as a pizza and the hiring manager as someone that wants to "order" you. The hiring manager wants specific items on his/her pizza. They are very specific with the "toppings" that they want on their pizza. Each topping that they want represents a skill or qualification. When they look at the "menu" they are looking for these toppings and nothing else will do. So that means if the hiring manger wants mushrooms, then they are scanning the menu for that exact word - mushrooms. Mushrooms are also a form of fungus, however, if the menu said "fungus" instead of mushrooms, how many people do you think would order it? If you are looking for mushrooms on your pizza and you saw "fungus" on the menu as a topping - would you order it? No.


The "Resume Pizza" ..... Hold The Onions Please!

So now let's think of your resume as a pizza. The hiring manager is looking for specific toppings/skills that are on your resume - verbatim. They aren't really looking for anything extra. Nothing unrelated on your resume.


Example - Executive Assistant "Pizza"

Here's a job opening for a "High Level Executive Assistant Pizza" - these are the "Toppings":
- Handle all administrative work including meeting/calendar coordination

- Prepare correspondence including letters, emails (including dictation from CEO)

- Maintain accurate filing systems and extensive contact database


At a bare minimum, your "Resume Pizza" should include these words - verbatim - in the "work experience" section. If you have something unrelated such as "handled cash register" - consider that an "onion", something that wasn't part of the order. Why? Because the hiring manager ordered specific items for his/her "Executive Assistant Pizza", so your resume should reflect what was ordered. "Handled cash register" is not one of the requested toppings and shouldn't be on your "Resume Pizza" that is being customized to an Executive Assistant.
When you have the right toppings on your "Resume Pizza", like most people that order pizza, it increases the chances of the hiring manger calling your "pizza place" to place an "order". If your "pizza" is the best they have ever seen (meaning your "toppings" match what they are looking for) then they are even willing to pay more for your "pizza" as opposed to someone else's pizza that doesn't come as close to what they are looking for = Increased salary in job offer.


So are you hungry? Good! After you order a real pizza, sit down and create your "Resume Pizza" based on what the hiring manager is asking for.


Did this help you? Feel free to post comments below.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Hate Your Job? Ways To Cope & Still Be Effective.


Some people would say that this topic - hating your job - especially when most people feel that having a job is fortunate is a taboo topic. But, there is a groundswell of the American population that exists according to Peoplecomm.com that hate their job - 30% actually. Then there's a segment of people - 50% - that neither love nor hate their jobs, this segment is neutral. So how does one cope? Especially when hating your job causes an immense amount of stress and compromises overall workplace productivity.


Which brings up a very good article that i came across from "DailyPivot.com" on what to do if you DO hate your job. CLICK HERE or copy and paste this link http://dailypivot.com/2009/05/hating-your-job-how-to-turn-it-around/


Key Points Of The Article:


  • Identify What You Are Happy With

  • Develop Skills In Your Current Position That You Can Take With You Into Your New Role

  • Appreciate Your Current Job As Much As Possible


I Know It's Hard But.....
Right now you may feel under valued, under appreciated, angry, and resentful. But holding on to those feelings will taint your productivity and your ability to focus. When you are not focused, you can't work toward your goals. You can't strategize and think of what your next move will be - either to stay and "work it out" with your current employer or move on to a new one.

Most Importantly....
It's important to think about how you are able to provide for your family because of the current job that you have. The next time you purchase something, thank the heavens that it's the job that you have right now that enables you to pay for your family's needs.
Thank you for taking time to read this article. Feel free to post any comments or questions!

Friday, June 5, 2009

One More Reason To Use Twitter - Food Vendors Are Doing It


Twitter is a very usefull tool and ultimately you get out of it what you make of it. Want proof? Even food vendors have found a way to maximize Twitter. View the following article - http://www.seriouseats.com/2009/05/a-list-of-street-food-vendors-trucks-carts-using-twitter.html


This goes to show that if food vendors can utilize Twitter to help their business - you can utilize Twitter to help you in the business of finding a job! More tips coming soon!


Have ideas or questions about how to use Twitter to find a job? Feel free to post in the comment section below. Thank you for taking time to read this!

Friday, May 29, 2009

Are You My New “Kicker?" - Thanks!



When a baby giraffe comes into the world it falls 10 feet from its mother’s womb and lands on it’s back – ouch!

As it struggles to get up, its mother kicks it repeatedly until it places one hoof in one place and another hoof joins it in a struggle to gain its footing. Once the baby giraffe gains it’s footing – the mother giraffe kicks its hoofs from underneath it causing the baby giraffe to fall again – double ouch!

The mother giraffe does this so that the baby giraffe will remember how it got up the first time and learn to get up quickly the next time.

Why would a mother do this to its newborn? To save its life.

You see, all the jungle wants to eat the young giraffe. But each kick strengthens the young giraffe and when the young giraffe learns to get up quickly and run away quickly, it will be safe.


In Your Job Search, You Will Have A Lot Of “Kickers”
The job search is stressful, hard, frustrating, filled with rejection and sometimes you may feel like sitting down. Sometimes you may feel like a young baby giraffe – as soon as you have your “mental” footing, you have the hang of this “job search thing”, or you think you are going to finally get that long awaited job offer – bang - someone or something kicks you and you fall back down again. The “kicker” can be anyone or anything – family, friends, prospective hiring managers, receptionists – even your thoughts.

Thank Your “Kicker”
Next time you are “kicked” – silently thank your kicker. You see, all successful people in life never had it easy. They didn’t make it there by luck. Everyone that has achieved some goal in life has had a few “kicks” along the way. These “kickers” strengthened that person’s resolve and sharpened that person’s skills so that they could reach their goals.

Conclusion
If you look at the person or situation you are in as a “kicker” instead of viewing them as an immovable force preventing you from reaching your goals (or just someone/something that just doesn’t like you) then you will succeed!
Thank you for reading this posting, feel free to share your "kickers" in the comment section below.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Creating Your Own Job Opportunity: Corporate Blogger




I'm a huge fan of creating your own career opportunities. Why? Because when you create your own career opportunities, in the end, you never work a day in your life because it doesn't feel like work.



Now, before you stop reading because you are asking yourself "Create opportunity, I need money and a job now! I don't have the time for this line of wishful thinking" Hear me out....




Creating Your Own Job Opportunity By Creating A Blog....

What do you want to be known for? When a person needs help in subject "xyz" how do you establish yourself as that person? How do you even get in the running for consideration? What would your first thought be? Submit a resume? That's a start, but a well done resume is a summary of your relevant accomplishments. It gives a snapshot, but doesn't give someone the "whole picture" of how wonderful you really are. But a blog does!




What Is A Blog?

Write articles and post them online. That's the "quick and dirty" definition of what a blog is. A person can blog about anything. One could even comment on other people's blogs and news articles online and make that into a blog. Blogging doesn't take a significant time investment. One could start a blog by taking an hour per week to write a simple and short post. It also doesn't cost anything to create a blog (unless you want to pay), one could start with the user friendly application by Google called "Blogger" (this is what this blog uses).



How Your Blog Opens Up Career Opportunities For You

Establishes You As A Subject Matter Expert In Your Field....

Find your "niche", your "thing", your "passion", the thing that you would love to do - all day long. Then dedicate yourself to featuring nothing but information related to that topic only. Start by posting blog entries once per week on your topic. An example might be someone that's interested in trends for legal opportunities in the "Green Energy" industry. Therefore, anything that person finds related to that subject. Any thought that person has that is related to trends in the legal field as it relates to the "Green Energy" industry they would want to "file away" as great material that could be featured on their blog and write about it. By consistently writing about a specific area and dedicating yourself to staying on top of movements and innovations in your field you building up your reputation and "personal brand" as an expert over time. If a potential employer comes across your blog they will see your dedication and consider you when an opportunity opens up featuring your topic.

Shows How You Add Value - You Are Interesting...
Writing content for your blog and having a niche focus is one thing - a very important thing. However, don't loose sight of the fact that you are still marketing yourself. This is a living, breathing, and ever evolving professional portfolio of your capabilities. Therefore, keep in mind that you want to keep your content interesting to your readers. Not sure if what you've written is interesting? Post it and ask someone's opinion that's in the industry. Then ask someone that's not in the industry to give theirs. It's a great start to learning what works and what doesn't.

Show's That You Have "Stick To "Ittiveness"...."
Consistency is key. If you want someone to consider you as reliable for a job, you should show - reliability! Stick to your blog by posting regular updates. Don't abandon it. There will be times you feel as if you are "posting in the dark" and that no one is reading your posts. But there is always someone that will have read your post and may be trying to make the decision to come back and read again (or tell their friends about you). Also, consistent updates to your blog help improve your blog's search rankings.

Gives You A Reason To Network - You Have Something To Offer....
Think of yourself as a news reporter working for your own publication. You have a legitimate reason to speak to and to contact people now. You have something to offer - your past and future blog postings. You have an audience to share and inform. Therefore, don't be afraid to approach people. If you would like to be featured in someone else's blog as a guest poster or would like to interview someone because you would like material for your blog - go for it! If you see an article or a book that you like and would like to write a blog entry about it, try contacting the author. You never know, they may like the idea of you writing about them and may refer you to other opportunities - there's your networking! The "news reporter" in you has an obligation to share information with the world!



In Conclusion....
As the old expression goes "If you do what you love, then you will never work a day in your life." Taking this approach takes time to work. But all we have is time. We can choose to spend our days and years counting the calender towards retirement. If you are doing what you don't like or aren't excited about doing every day, then that calender seems like "the watched pot that never boils". Your days will feel loooong. If you use the above approach, then you take steps to change your employment situation for the better and wind up creating your own opportunities. You will use your time wisely and end up with opportunities that make you happy for the long term - and when looking at that same calender - time will just fly by!





Thank you for reading! Feel free to comment below!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Work From Home Jobs


Frequently I receive questions from our Kaplan University adult learners about how to obtain work from home jobs. First, let's talk about what a work from home job is and what it is not. I will also share a few work from home websites to help with your job search.

What A Work From Home Job Is:
A work from home job (also known as telecommuting job) is a great opportunity for someone that is independent, a self starter, and very disciplined.

Work from home jobs allow the person to accomplish more in the course of an 8 hour day than sometimes working from the office. This is due to the ability to control your environment and minimize distractions that can reduce productivity

A work from home job cuts down on commuting costs - a great plus.

In addition, a work from home job increases the chances of working longer hours. It's hard to "put the brakes on" when you know you can work "just a little longer" to finish (or get ahead) on a project.
What A Work From Home Job Is Not:
A work from home job is not easy. Employees that work from home are really WORKING. They do not have a chance to perform household chores and "mix in" a little work. Often, household chores become neglected because of how absorbing work can be.

A chance to cut down on childcare costs. Often, I've spoken to people that state they would like to work from home because they have children that require constant attention. If you have children or circumstances that require constant attention, it is best to consider hiring someone instead. Working from home requires a lot of attention and concentration.

How To Find Work From Home Opportunities:
Not all work from home websites are scams. There are some legitimate work from home sites out there. Here are a few listed below:



When Applying To Work From Home Positions:
Make sure you can talk "numbers". Some employers are hesitant to allow employees to work from home. They have visions of the employee relaxing and not finishing work related tasks. To offset this concern, keep regular notes on your productivity. List projects that are on the "docket" to complete and when you expect to complete them. If you complete the project ahead of schedule, then make a note of this as well. You want to prove that you are capable of being a responsible and trustworthy person.

Hope this helps - feel free to comment below!

Friday, April 17, 2009

10 Things Recruiters Wont' Tell You....




We love Careerealism for posting this article "10 Things Recruiters Won't Tell You, But I Will" As a former recruiter, and as a current career specialist for one of the worlds largest online universities I coach countless adult learners on how to find a job. Together, we tackle resumes, cover letters, job searching, and interviewing. Along the way there have been successes, crying, and shouts of joy. However, even the best resume, cover letter, and interview will not save a job seeker if the following offenses are committed below:
Here are the main points from the article:

  • Your interview attire is outdated/messy/too tight/too revealing/too flashy.

  • Your physical appearance is disheveled/outdated/sloppy/smelly/overpowering (i.e. too much perfume).

  • Your eye contact is weak/shifty/intense.

  • Your handshake is limp/too forceful/clammy.

  • You say ah/um/like too much.

  • You talk too much/use poor grammar/say inappropriate things (i.e. swearing) when you answer interview questions.

  • You appear overconfident/pushy/self-centered/insecure/aloof/ditzy/scatter-brained/desperate.

  • You talk too fast/too slow/too loud/too soft.

  • You giggle/fidget/act awkward/have facial tics/lack expression.

  • You lack sincerity/self-confidence/clarity/conviction.
For The Full Article CLICK HERE.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Are Lawyers and Law Firms On Twitter? Yes They Are!




Several months ago I joined Twitter.com with one question in mind - "Are Lawyers On Twitter?"


For a short time, I felt as if I were "Tweeting" in the dark (posts to Twitter.com are called "Tweets"), looking for lawyers that shared an interest in social media sites for the purpose of networking and sharing their insights into the legal field seemed daunting. How do I find them? How does this Twitter thing work? How can we converse with only 140 characters? But, I kept going in dogged determination always asking "Do Lawyers Tweet?"

The answer is - Yes They Do!

Lawyers, law firms, paralegals, and legal professionals in various legal industries are on Twitter and they are networking, talking, and sharing. These "tweets" are vibrant, informative, and interesting as people share insight into their worlds. My deepest thanks goes out to @Rex27 on Twitter for sharing the link to this blog posting called - Top 100 Twitter Feeds For Law School Students. This link lists lawyers on Twitter and more.

If you are on Twitter and wondering where to start - here you go!

Give me your feedback once you see the list. I would love to hear from you!

Friday, April 3, 2009

LinkedIn Experiment Part 7: Conclusion


Several months ago I started "The LinkedIn Experiment" to help people learn how to utilize LinkedIn to expand their network to help them find a job. It has been an interesting journey and I hope that you have found these tips useful.


In conclusion to The LinkedIn Experiment here are my final recommendations:

LinkedIn Is Not a Substitute For Face to Face Interaction: If you view LinkedIn as another medium to utilize in your networking arsenal then you are on the right track. LinkedIn is a great tool to discover new friends, business associates, learn new things to help you on your job, share great findings, and keep your finger on the "pulse" of an industry. Keep this perspective and don't throw "all of your eggs" in one basket to ensure job search success.


Join Groups: Join groups in your industry and if you find people that you are not connected to, but would like to connect to, then join their group to establish a connection.


Utilize the Job Boards: Hiring managers and recruiters do list opportunities there. Since a job searcher can't afford to "leave one stone unturned" it is important to utilize every tool available.


Create A Marketable Profile/Brand Yourself: Customize your profile based off of the job that you are looking for (brand yourself). Every piece of information should reflect your experience or interaction with some element of the job that you would like to work in someday. This means irrelevant information shouldn't be listed anywhere in your profile. If you must post unrelated information or seek an audience for information that is not relevant to your search, create a separate profile instead.


Utilize the Recommendation Feature: As the old saying goes, "People buy from people they know." A few targeted recommendations that speak on the areas that you want to be known for speaks volumes in comparison to general recommendations that flatter but offer little "back up" for the areas that you want to be known as an expert in. When you include your LinkedIn profile on your resume, it also serves as a great portfolio tool to help you find a job.


Follow Up: If you promise to contact someone that you met on LinkedIn, make sure to follow up. This also applies to people that you promised to send a LinkedIn invitation to as well.


Hope you have enjoyed this journey as much as I have enjoyed writing about it! Scroll through this blog to read more about "The Linked In Experiment." Feel free to contact me with additional questions by posting your comments below.

Friday, March 27, 2009

LinkedIn Experiment Part 6: Your Past Employers




Like the ghost of Christmas past, where you have worked before will always "haunt" you. It will "haunt" you when filling out job applications, interviews, and even when filling out your LinkedIn profile.


When setting up a LinkedIn profile, pay special attention to the "Experience" section. This section is so important that you may want to take a few days - or a week - to correctly complete this section. Because it reflects - you - and communicates how well you could "do the job" if a hiring manager were considering contacting you for an open position.




First - Think of Yourself As A Company - "You, Inc."
Think of yourself as a company - "You Inc."

Think of the "Experience" section as the equivalent of a company website's "Products & Services" and/or "About Us" section. If you were to visit a company's website and read these two sections, it would give you a good idea of the following:
  • What the company has to offer/What does the company do


  • What the company can "do for you" - also known as the - "why you should care factor"
Depending on how well these sections are worded, readers may get an "extra bonus" because the company will share their accomplishments and awards in their field to establish credibility. Which leads us to...




What Does Your Company - "You, Inc." Stand For?
What do you want to be known for? If you are searching for a job, you want to create a clear and consistent message of who you are and when hiring managers should think of you.
For example, if you are seeking a paralegal/legal assistant career in family law then you want hiring managers to think of you as the person that can solve their problems by performing the job of paralegal/legal assistant well. Maybe you even have a track record in certain areas that a paralegal/legal assistant performs or encounters every day. Perhaps you even have a certain characteristic that "crosses over" into this industry very well - like demonstrating a professional attitude under highly stressful situations. Remember, hiring managers are human beings first. When a hiring manager has a problem they don't think of the solution to the problem in job titles - "Hmm, I'm really swamped and I have 10 more child custody clients to see today which means I will not leave the office until 11:00 pm tonight" **sigh** "Last week our clients got into a shouting match and it took a long time to calm everyone down and get back on track." **another sigh** "Would have been great if I had some help to handle these high stress situations so our office could stay on schedule...."


See, in this situation, the hiring manager doesn't think "Would have been great if I had a paralegal." The hiring manger thinks, "Would have been great if I had some help to handle these high stress situations so our office could stay on schedule...."




What Does This Have To Do With The "Experience" Section of LinkedIn?
A whole lot...
If you have experience in handling high stress situations - no matter where you worked in the past - and a bullet point under a company that you worked for in the "Experience" section - it would look like this:

ABC Employer
Job Title
  • "Demonstrated ability to address high stress situations resulting in improving operations and increasing client satisfaction to consistently meet deadline"
Then this will increase the chances of a hiring manager that comes across your LinkedIn profile wanting to know more about you (because you have experience in an area they need help in) which leads to an interview and possibly - a job.




Contact Your Last Employer
Remember last week's article on using the recommendation feature in LinkedIn? This is when you would utilize this approach. If possible - try contacting your last employer (it can be your boss, co-worker, or subordinate) and ask for a recommendation in the area that you want you/"You, Inc." to be known for. This way, when a hiring manager reviews your profile, the recommendation "backs up" your statements of "being able to do the job" thus giving you more credibility.
If you can't reach your last employer, then start with your current employer by securing recommendations that provide greater insight into the area you want to be known for.
Over time, taking this approach will help you find a job because you will have customized an Experience section based off of what hiring managers are looking for instead of just tossing a "laundry list" of past job duties that may or may not relate to the the job you are looking for - resulting in a more effective and targeted job search.
Give it a try!

Friday, March 13, 2009

LinkedIn Experiment Part 5: The Recommendation Feature


How do you feel when you are recommended for something? Good? "Warm and Fuzzy" Inside?

How do you feel when you are searching for something important such as a doctor, dentist, or a babysitter? Frustrated? Hopefull?

Imagine this scenario:
You are walking down the street and a complete stranger walks up to you and says, "Hi, I'm a doctor, if you need me give me a call"

Now imagine this scenario:
You are chatting with a co-worker and you tell them that you need to find a doctor. One week later, you co-worker drops a sheet of paper on your desk with the number to a doctor and recommends you give them a call.

Which doctor would you call? Doctor "A" off of the street or doctor "B" referred by your co-worker?

Most would pick doctor "B".

What Does This Have To Do With LinkedIn?
Everything... Or at least a whole lot. LinkedIn has a feature built in that allows people to recommend you. I HIGHLY recommend you use this feature. Employers and staffing firms "Google" candidates and sometimes look for candidates before a position is even advertised. Your LinkedIn profile looks more credible when you have recommendations and increases the chances of you being considered for a job.

But Wait..... Don't Just Ask For Any Ol' Recommendation....
You are building an "online brand" remember? So your recommendations will be different. Think about 3 things you want to be known for. These are the areas you want to build your "case" for. So, you will want people that can provide recommendations to "back up" that you can "do the job" in the areas that you want to be known for. Therefore, when asking for a recommendation - be specific. For example, if you want to be known as the best researcher in the world, then ask people that you have performed research for to write a recommendation based on their experiences with you in the areas of research. This way, if a hiring manager is looking for a great researcher, they will see that someone (or several someones) recommended you highly in this area.

In the end, you increase your chances of finding a job because of this unique approach because it increases your credibility and your ability to “do the job” better than anyone else.

Tell me what you think. Did this post help you think of using LinkedIn in a different way? Chime in!