How To Revive A Stalled Job Search With High-Payoff Activities

How To Revive A Stalled Job Search With High-Payoff Activities[EXTRACT] I frequently talk to potential clients who tell me they have been conducting a job search for X months without any success, or that they have sent out X number of resumes with virtually no response. When I press for more details, almost invariably, I … Continue reading “How To Revive A Stalled Job Search With High-Payoff Activities”

How To Revive A Stalled Job Search With High-Payoff Activities[EXTRACT]
I frequently talk to potential clients who tell me they have been conducting a job search for X months without any success, or that they have sent out X number of resumes with virtually no response. When I press for more details, almost invariably, I hear stories about resumes posted in online resume databases and resumes sent in response to ads found on online job boards.What is wrong with these job search techniques? Well…nothing is fundamentally wrong with them. In fact, they play an important part – a small part – in most well-constructed job search plans. However, these are extremely low-payoff job search activities, and if these are the only techniques you are using, the chances are far greater than not that your job search will generate disappointing and slow results.If you are unhappy with the results of your job search, it is time that you took an objective look at your job search techniques. Are you spending too much of your precious time and energy on low-payoff job search activities while you ignore those that will produce the positive results that you want and deserve?While the more effective job search activities – such as networking -usually require people to step out of their comfort zones, the returns generated by your investment of your time and energy will almost always be worth it.So, if you find yourself stuck in a stalled, ineffective search for your next job, here are some high-impact tips that are almost certain to have a high-payoff on your effort through a faster, more successful job search.1) Take a hard look at your resume. Like it or not, your resume is your first introduction to most employers, and your only chance to make a good first impression. Effective resumes are highly focused marketing pieces that are strategically written and designed to sell YOU as THE best solution to a potential employer’s needs and problems. Your resume should be written to convey and illustrate your unique value proposition, with succinct “stories” that differentiate you from your competitors in the job market. Does your resume accomplish these goals? Is it focused effectively? Does it accurately present you in the way that you wish to be presented? If not, it is time to rewrite. If you need help, resume writing is our specialty at Distinctive Career Services.

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2) Now, take a hard look at your methods. Do the methods you are using in your job search convey professionalism at every step? Is your approach courteous and does it illustrate an understanding of common business protocol? For example, do you always send at least a brief letter of introduction when you send a new contact your resume? I can’t tell you how many times a prospective client tells me he isn’t getting calls on his resume, and when I quiz him he will tell me that he has been sending his resume as an attachment to emails, and then admits that he has not been including an introductory note. In this day and age, when everyone is concerned about viruses and spam, do you honestly believe that a recipient will open an attachment that arrives with a blank email? Of course not! Or…Does the message on your answering machine make you sound like a polished professional or a party animal? Is your email user name a professional-sounding one or a cutesy one? You have tough competition in the job market. Details matter! Courtesy and business protocol matters! Everything you do in your job search should convey an impeccably professional image. My best advice: Apply some basic common sense and remember your manners. Do these two things and you will be fine.3) Ramp up your networking efforts. Of all of the possible job search methods, networking is the most effective by far, and yet it is the method that the fewest people use. I know that you don’t want to hear this, but no matter how uncomfortable it might be for you, networking is absolutely crucial and is the fastest way to your next position. Remember that when you are networking you are not asking people if they know of an opening or to give you a job, you are just asking for referrals or advice. Would you be upset if someone you knew contacted you to inform you of their job search and asked if you might be able to offer any advice or point her in the right direction? Of course you wouldn’t. In fact, you might even be flattered. This is the same reaction that your personal and professional networking contacts will have. If you don’t have frequent face-to-face contact with your network, the quickest way to jumpstart your search using networking is to send your resume and a brief letter to every single one of your contacts, and then follow up with a phone call a few days later. In most cases, people will be more than happy to help you out. But whether they are able to help you immediately or not, follow up with a brief handwritten thank you card. This is a gesture that will make a lasting positive impression.4) Do your research; don’t just blindly and indiscriminately send out your resume. Research the geographic and industry areas that interest you and identify the companies and opportunities that seem most promising and intriguing to you. Now research some more. With the vast quantities of information available on the Internet, you really have no excuse not to research thoroughly. Identify the hiring decision-makers and learn all you can about them and their company, their competitors, their challenges, and their future potential. This is a great time to call on your professional network. Who do you know who knows someone who knows some else at the company you are interested in? Once you have an “in” through a referral, it is time to make sure you are absolutely clear on your value proposition. In what way do you feel you could add value to the company? How would hiring you be beneficial? What is the return on investment that the company could expect if they hired you? Once you have the answers to these questions clear in your mind, it is time to approach the targets.

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5) Consider a targeted e-mailing of your resume to headhunter/recruiter firms. But don’t just use one of the cheap broadcast services that send your resume out to some unspecified list of 1000s of supposed recruiters. If you are going to do this, use a high-quality service that uses an up-to-date database of recruiting firms that they can break down and segment based on the firms’ specialties. This is one of the services that we offer to our resume writing clients at Distinctive Career Services. Approaching the distribution of your resume to headhunter firms in this way ensures that the recipients of your resume are individuals who have a sincere interest in learning about you and your credentials. They will try to match you to their current searches, and if you are a fit, you will get a phone call right then. Otherwise, they tend to database your resume to search in relation to future recruitment assignments. Of all the suggestions, this is the most passive and the easiest for you to implement with the least amount of work. But, passive or not, if you are in a profession that is among those often handled by recruiting firms, you should definitely make this a part of your overall job search strategy.Finally, I can’t stress enough how important it is for you to follow up. Be assertive and approach your job search as if it is a job in itself. Schedule your activities, keep track of the contacts you have made and the resumes you have sent, and follow up regularly and consistently.Yes, there is no doubt that job searching can be a highly stressful time. But you do have choices about how you will spend your limited time and those choices can have a profound impact on the success of your search. Choose to focus on the high payoff activities and you will find yourself back to work, in the job you want, much faster than you thought was possible.

Job Search Tips: How to Make Time to Look for Another Job

Job Search Tips: How to Make Time to Look for Another Job[EXTRACT]
Techniques for Getting More Time for Your Job SearchHire a Pro to Do Your ResumeThe process of getting your resume finished can be enormously time consuming for most people. Any such time delay is bad enough, but the resume writing part of your job search is at the beginning, meaning it kills your momentum and sandbags the whole effort. So be smart and farm the job out to a professional. Quickly you’ll not only be done with this all-important job search tool, but you’ll almost certainly get a far more powerful resume than you’d be able to write on your own.Look For ShortcutsSeek out any possible ways you can free up time. Buy prepackaged dinners for a while. Pay your daycare provider to stay with the kids a little longer. Simplify your wardrobe and grooming so you can run out the door faster. Get a laptop so you can do work in a coffee shop in your spare moments. If you really brainstorm, you can come up with dozens of ways of freeing time. The extra minutes can really add up to a great job search.

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Choose Job Search Techniques Based on Your Available TimeThere are myriad ways to find a new job, but some take more ongoing time than others. For instance, although networking is highly touted as the most effective job search method, it also tends to be one of the most time consuming. That can make it difficult if you have to stay at work late into the evening. In comparison, online job boards aren’t as effective as networking, but they take less time and allow more flexibility in terms of when you use them and how long you commit to them at a time. Take a good, honest look at what you can really devote to your job search and focus on methods that fit your schedule best.Get the Most Out of Your Lunch HourThere are lots of great things you can do for your job search during your lunch hour. If you have a laptop, you can work on resumes and cover letters in a coffee shop (just make sure it isn’t frequented by your boss). Or, better yet, use your lunch hour for networking by calling your contacts and offering to meet. Also keep an eye out for professional organizations that have luncheons. Be creative. This is your hour of freedom in the workday’s prime time, so put it to good use.Make it RoutineThe old saying “The system is the solution” applies here. Set up a routine system for your job search that you can stick with, and then push yourself to do it every single day until it becomes habit. For example, make a point of sending a certain specific quantity of resumes every evening between 7:00 and 8:00 p.m. Or step out and make a predetermined number of calls every day at 10:15 in the morning. Your daily job search method should be as ingrained of a habit as brushing your teeth. You’ll know you’re on the right track when you feel funny blowing it off for just one day.

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Think SmallThe key to squeezing a job search into your life is to find what you can do every single day — even if it’s a tiny amount — and stick with it. Don’t be discouraged if all you have time for is emailing one resume a day. It’s better to do that every single day than it is to send three one day, none the next, and one the day after that. By sticking with small, do-able goals every day, you build momentum and confidence. And that’s a big part of making your job search successful.Combine these tricks into your own method and you’ll soon find plenty of extra time for a job search. To adapt the miser’s money philosophy, “Watch the minutes and the hours will take care of themselves.” And a new job will follow.

Job Search Technique – Find Managers on Social Networks

Job Search Technique – Find Managers on Social Networks[EXTRACT]
Hmmm… Being unemployed stinks. Finding a job is a killer. How do I find the job? Why don’t I begin by finding the hiring manager instead? If I can do that, I might be on my way to getting the position I am want. Maybe social networks offer the key I need to unlock the doors to the job market? Could be? So where to start is the question?Well… Don’t go to wide and thin. Finding a job requires concentration and concentration means focusing your attention where it matters.What do we suggest? Focusing your attention on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn really covers 95% of the field. So if focus is king, then we have a clear line on where our work will begin.

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Second, attention to detail is the right way to start. We realize you are hunting a job and you want to identify those all important hiring managers. However, first lay a good foundation. Deliver complete thorough account and profile information. Be sure that when you find the manager you are looking for that he’ll be satisfied with what he finds when he checks up on you.Next, do some search preparation before you begin. Put together a list of key words you believe are the best for your position of choice. Look at industry news and events. Identify key participants, leaders, and attendees that may be part of your short list or that might be a good place for you to seek employment. Create a list of top companies and top companies in your immediate local area that you are most interested in and are largest in your field of expertise. With all of this identified you are ready to start the hunt.This brings up an important consideration using social networks. You are not only trying to find hiring managers. You are also trying to attract them. Success is waking up in the morning with an invitation to connect with one of the hiring managers you were hunting!

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Next look at each of the social networks. Find out how to use their advanced search features. If you aren’t that strong at this ask someone to show you what works and doesn’t setting up searches. With this behind you begin searching terms, locations, individual names, company names, hiring manager titles. Soon you will tons of prospective hiring managers pouring out of the systems. Reach out directly or through contacts for introduction and begin reaching out to these individuals seeking the job of your choice.

Job Searching Techniques – Why Door-To-Door Still Works

Job Searching Techniques – Why Door-To-Door Still Works[EXTRACT]
The other day, I was talking to two individuals at Starbucks. Both had been looking for a job for a number of weeks, and one had secured a job and the other one had not. One was using online social networking and contacting friends online to try to find a job, while the other had gone out and literally went door to door in business districts until they had found their job. Why do you think this is? Well, let’s talk about this for a few moments shall we?You see, door-to-door job hunting still works, and if you have a highly experienced skill, you should probably make a list of all the companies in your area, their vendors, and the other types of businesses in that industry sector and go and talk to each one individually. You can’t just talk to one or two, or expect to send an e-mail and get hired these days. Trying to use social networking might be wise, but if you are looking for something locally, you have to get out and go see these companies personally.

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This reality shouldn’t surprise anyone, as the same thing is true when you go out and do sales. You can spend lots of time on the phone, but eventually you have to get out in the field to meet and greet. I thought it was rather funny that one person had complained that no one is hiring, while the other individual got hired because they were doing the footwork in the real world not playing around online talking to their friends on social networks, and every so often mentioning that they were looking for a job.Victory goes to the bold in military battles, and it is usually the working actor the gets the biggest parts. They’ll sit around and wait for a big part in a major movie, they get out there and start working, taking any job they can, and they are networking in the real world, not hanging out and waiting for opportunity to knock on their door, because it usually won’t.

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This I suppose is a very good lesson for the up-and-coming generation who thinks they can do everything online. The online world of social networking can be a tool for business or for job opportunity seekers, but it is not the “be all end all” nor should anyone believe that it is. Indeed I hope you will please consider all this and think on it – then act accordingly.

Two of the Most Common Job Search Techniques and How to Get the Most Out of Them

Two of the Most Common Job Search Techniques and How to Get the Most Out of Them[EXTRACT]
There are many different job search techniques and when you are applying for jobs, you have to choose a strategy which is going to work for you. This will vary according to the type of job you are looking for and the amount of experience you already have, as well as your skills and qualifications.Newspapers and JournalsThe most common way to look for work is to read the classified ads in your local or national newspapers. This is not necessarily the most effective way to find a job, but it is still widely used by employers as a method of recruitment. So it is a good place to start, especially if you don’t have much experience or many contacts.It is important that you know which days jobs are advertised in each paper. Some will have general vacancies several days a week and others will have sections on specific days for different sectors. For example, education, IT and media may all be on different days. Some newspapers will also have graduate sections. So the first step is to find out what is advertised when and in which publication.

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There will also be specialist journals for different industries and you should find out which relate to your field of interest.To benefit most from this technique, you should make a list of when and where relevant jobs will be advertised and set aside time to respond immediately. Some advertisers will want to speak to you as soon as possible, others will require a resume or application form before any face to face contact is made.You will need to set aside time every week for the more complex applications and give yourself time to do thorough background research on the company and industry.You should prepare a generic resume and cover letter in advance and be ready to tailor these to specific jobs as soon as the ads appear.Always make sure you have made a note of the closing date for applications. It can be very disheartening to spend hours on an application only to find you have missed the deadline, which can easily happen if you are working on multiple applications at one time.AgenciesRecruitment agencies are another good place to look for work. Some operate a general service, covering many different sectors and jobs, while others specialized in one particular area of work. The advantage of agencies is that they can screen jobs for you and send your resume in response to suitable vacancies.

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However, it is important that you discuss your requirements in detail with the agency so that your details are going to the right employers. You should also check in frequently to see if they are finding vacancies and submitting your details.It is also a good idea to try several agencies and then settle with one or two which have the best vacancies and are making a strong effort to find you work.Making the best use of any job search strategies requires good organization and planning your time carefully.