Posts Tagged ‘job search’

The Job Coaches :: Organize listing resources to search for the right job

November 5, 2010

By Jane Perdue, Principal/CEO with The Braithewaite Group.

Q: Where’s the best place to look for a job?

A: Knowing where to look for a job used to be straightforward: You read the help-wanted ads in the local newspaper, especially on Sunday. Now, like the number of cable channels, the options have exploded for finding open jobs. While the sheer volume of places to look for a job can be overwhelming, using simple steps can help you organize and focus your search.

–Use your network. Fifty percent of all jobs are found through networking. Tell friends, colleagues and relatives that you need a job. Ask them to share job information at their company with you. Tap into social media networking sites such as Linked-In, Plaxo or Digg. With its exploding growth, Twitter is another source. Go to search.twitter.com and enter jobs, career, hiring or job angels in the search box.

–Check major job boards for general positions. If your area of expertise applies to many industries, skills such as administrative support, supervision, etc., use Monster.com, CareerDirect.com , Indeed.com or CareerBuilder.com.

–Tap into local job boards and services. Charleston offers a number of online job-hunting resources: charlestonjobmarket.com, SCIway.net, Charlestonjobs.com, charles.sc.jobs.com, postandcourier.com and lowcountrytoday.com. Be sure to check out the services offered by The Trident One Stop Career Center in North Charleston.

–Visit the career placement department at your alma mater. Many colleges and universities offer free job assistance to students and recent graduates, so give them a call.

–Check out specialized job boards. If you know specifically what job you want, target Web sites that focus on that industry. CoolWorks.com, mediabistro.com, artsusa.org, salesgravy.com and accountingjobstoday.com are just a few examples. Internetinc.com offers a list of the top 100 niche job sites.

–Watch the classifieds. Not all jobs are posted, but the local newspaper remains a viable source of open jobs. If you are targeting a particular industry, trade journals and magazines are other sources.

–Target specific companies. If you have a clear idea of the company you want to work for, frequent its Web site to look for job openings.

–Use online job boards that specialize in freelance work. If you’re tired of the 9-to-5 routine, check out sites that specialize in freelance opportunities: guru.com, elance.com, sologig.com, sparkplugging.com or workathomesuccess.com.

–Executive positions. If you are looking for a job with a six-figure salary and have funds to invest, TheLadders.com and ExecuNet.com are resources that require a membership fee to see their job listings. Using a recruiter who specializes in your area of expertise is another alternative.

So the best place to find a job means understanding the kind of job you want, then organizing job listing resources to match your needs. That can simplify what otherwise can be a complex process.

First appeared in the Moxie section of The Post and Courier Friday, August 21, 2009.

Marketing yourself gets the job

September 16, 2010
Virtual Resume & Letter

Image by Olivier Charavel via Flickr

By Dorothy Perrin Moore, a professor of business administration emeritus, The Citadel.

Q: I am a recent newcomer to Charleston. I feel that getting a job depends on who you know. But I don’t know many people. How can I get a job without contacts?

A: Four things: First, understand it is not about you. The approach, “Here I am, here is what I have done,” will not interest many recruiters. Anyone with a job opening is interested in what you can do for them.

Second, market your skill set. Your education, background and employment record will be important, but sending the same resume and cover letter to 50 different potential employers and following the same personal script at any resulting interviews only makes you one of the crowd. Take advantage of the job coaching sessions held by the Center for Women. Having a job coach review your resume will enable you to gain a fresh view of your accomplishments and transferable skills. The position you find may not be in the job field you just left.

Third, make any position you apply for your sole focus. Do some research to find out what the company is likely to want. Tailor your resume and cover letter to their position description and explain how hiring you will advance their interests.

Finally, create the networks you need. Who you know and who knows you is important. As a newcomer, attend professional meetings and events of all kinds. Get involved in community and social organizations and your church. Circulate. Talk to people. Volunteer. Keep busy and always be professional. (See below.)

Q: I keep reading that the way I dress and act and carry my body is critical to a successful job search. What does this mean?

A: Appearances count. Most people make up their minds about someone in the first 10 seconds. A friend, a specialist in interviews, recently told me, “When she came in for the interview, I knew she thought she was wearing appropriate clothes, but she wasn’t.”

Unfair because people don’t see the inner you? Perhaps, but that’s the way things work. Proper attire and the projection will effect not only every job interview but also every potential business and social encounter.

Classic works best. In attire, this means ankle-length, well-tailored slacks or a knee-length skirt that is not too tight, a blouse with sleeves below the elbow or at the wrist and is not see-through, tight or cleavage revealing. Go light on accessories. Avoid long hanging or big loop earrings, jangling bracelets and long painted fingernails. Professionally groom your hair. Wear shoes that enclose the toes. Avoid heels that can get caught in a grate, sidewalk or carpet. Sandals and flip-flops are out.

Remember the importance of the first 10 seconds. Practice pitching your voice low and speaking slowly and clearly. Shake hands firmly. A shrill, piercing voice, nervous laughter and a handshake like a bear or a fish will strongly impact that first impression.

Upset that projecting a professional appearance in your job search excludes piercings, tattoos, strangely colored cosmetics, miniskirts and the sexy clothes you see on TV? OK, go ahead and make a strong statement of your personal right to express yourself. Just understand that you will probably need an independent income for the duration of your job search.

First appeared in the Moxie section of The Post and Courier Friday, July 24, 2009.

Dealing with discouragement in the job-search process

September 9, 2010

By Barbara Poole, a master-certified coach and president of Success Builders Inc.

Q: I’m so discouraged. I’ve been looking for a job for months, but I can’t seem to get past first base with the employers I’m submitting applications to. Help!

A: Being in the job search process these days can definitely feel more like a marathon than a sprint. It’s an employer’s market right now and they can afford to be choosy and take their time filling positions. With an ample supply of applicants who have vast experience and are willing to take a cut in both salary and job level in order to land a position, it can be very discouraging to feel like you a swimming in a vast sea of competitors. Couple this with the very real economic pressures posed by being between jobs, and the impact on self-esteem that comes with transition, and you have all the ingredients for an emotionally challenging period of time – this, when you most feel the pressure to be upbeat and on top of your game.

While it is important to consider how you might redirect your job search, it is just as critical to deal with the psychological impact of a prolonged quest for employment. In fact, taking steps to ensure your own well-being may just be the most important element of your strategy right now, since you want to appear capable and confident for employers. Try these approaches to keeping your energy and your spirits up during this period of time:

1. Don’t take what happens in your job search personally. It can be very discouraging to be on the receiving end of what feels like an endless string of “no’s”, or worse yet, the lack of any kind of response to your applications. This is not about you; it’s largely about the circumstances of the job market right now. It’s important to remember that the search process is in many ways like the numbers game of sales. Rejection is just a part of the process, so don’t allow yourself to get too attached to any one opportunity. Give the application your best shot and then move on.

2. Build in rewards for yourself for the right activity as opposed to outcome. This is about identifying what you CAN control and letting go of what you can’t. In a tough market, it’s important to submit a sufficient number of applications and well-crafted resumes to harness the power of volume in your search. That’s the part you have control over. So acknowledge yourself for generating that activity and build in affordable little rewards for yourself like a bouquet of flowers from the market or the occasional Starbuck’s.

3. Take a time-out to do something playful and light. It’s difficult to make a full time enterprise of something that feels discouraging. Another way to reward yourself for generating sufficient job-search activity is to take a day off from the process now and then. Leave it all behind and go to the beach for the day, or take a bike ride to the park.

4. Step up your self-care. None of us runs well on empty, and it’s easy to feel depleted in the midst of a prolonged job search. It is really important during this period f time to eat well, get plenty of rest, and get good exercise and fresh air to protect your immune system and keep yourself in top form.

5. Lean into friends and loved ones.
There is nothing like the boost that community provides to lift your spirits when you’re feeling sad or frustrated. This is the time to lean into others for support, for a shoulder, or for a good belly laugh. Chances are you know someone else who shares your circumstances, so use this time as an opportunity to connect and be reminded that you are not alone.

Despite how discouraged you might feel, remember that slow and steady wins the race. Stay focused on what you can control, take very good care of yourself, and know that somewhere out there is a job with your name on it. In due time, you will find your way to it, and the frustrations of the job search process will be nothing more than a distant memory.

First appeared in the Moxie section of The Post and Courier Friday, October 9, 2009.

Finding the job that makes your heart sing

August 12, 2010

By Barbara Poole, a master-certified coach and president of Success Builders, Inc.

Q: I feel like I’m at a crossroads and I’d like to take this opportunity to find a job I really want the next time around. But that’s just the problem: I don’t know what I want. How can I figure this out?

A: There’s a silver lining to the clouds in the current job market. When jobs are plentiful and people find themselves in transition, they often go immediately back into a similar job in the same industry, the only real change being a new employer. While it can make for a fast and efficient job search, it can also lead to feeling unfulfilled, and that nagging sense of “more of the same.”

In today’s economy, finding your next position can be a bit more challenging. There’s no obvious “next assignment,” and the process of finding a new job takes longer. Although it can feel like a scary time, it can actually be a great opportunity to consider what you really want, and redirect your efforts to finding a job that will truly make your heart sing.

Many people operate under the misguided notion that there is one “right thing” out there that they should be doing, if only they could figure out what it is. In reality, for most of us there are plenty of things that we could do well and really enjoy. The trick is to do some good matching along a number of important dimensions that will have you headed in the direction of a good fit for you.

Start by considering what you are gifted at. Sometimes it’s hard to identify your natural abilities because you don’t have to think about them — they come effortlessly to you. Maybe you’re a born organizer; or perhaps you’re a great conversationalist. Your natural abilities are those strengths that are simply a part of who you are — you were born good at them and you would enjoy using them on the job.

Next, think about your interests. What do you find stimulating and compelling? If you want some easy clues, consider the subject matter in the magazines you subscribe to. Cooking magazines? Fashion? Science and technology? Notice what captures your attention.

What is your personality style? Are you gregarious and outgoing, or are you more reserved and quiet? Your personal style is an important clue to career possibilities.

What do you care deeply about? Your passions reflect your core values, and having a job that reinforces them will be fulfilling and satisfying.

Finally, consider how you like to work. Some people thrive on being in one place in front of a computer screen. Others need to be in motion, out and about, or they can feel caged in. Do you enjoy dressing to the nines in a business suit? Or is casual wear more your cup of tea?

By assembling these clues like a jigsaw puzzle, you can begin to see pictures emerging of the kinds of jobs you might really enjoy. Then it’s time to get busy converting these possibilities into action.

First appeared in the Moxie section of The Post & Courier on Friday, August 7, 2009


%d bloggers like this: