Category Archives: job search

Don’t forget to work for yourself this holiday season

Looking for a JobWe have made it through Thanksgiving and are only a few weeks out from another holiday season. My thoughts are permeated by holiday preparation but I can not let my career goals fall by the weigh side. Don’t decide that you will start again in the new year.

These “7 LinkedIn Job Hunting Tactic that Work” are a fairly easy lift. Use your online time for good, not evil (or at least for frivolity all of the time) and do something for yourself this holiday season.

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Own Your Power During the Hiring Process

Looking for a JobIn the process of preparing and submitting resumes, practicing interview questions, and thinking about what to wear to an interview it is very easy to lose sight of the fact that you have power in the process.

Remember that you are selling quality products (your skills, experience, and abilities) and can determine how you want to be treated during the interview and hiring process. Employers are looking for fit and working to identify red flags and inconsistencies in your stories. Make sure you are doing your due diligence as well.

Processes that are unorganized and at times disrespectful tell you something about the organization or at least the person you are interviewing with. Know when it is time to walk away and put your energy elsewhere.

In this Forbes article, I like that Liz encourages Norah to take control of the situation and reclaim her ability to decide what the next steps should be.

 

Don’t Lie on Your Resume, Duh!

LyingI continue to be gobsmacked that people need to be reminded not to lie on their resumes.

I could go through each of the ten lies mentioned in the article but it all seems so obvious that I will simply say “Do not lie on your resume”. If damaging your reputation and demonstrating a lack of integrity are not valid enough reasons, try this: you will get caught!

We live in an age where everything is “Googleable”. In many ways, we are all public people and have an online profile that we hopefully control. Information about where you went to school, where you worked, and for how long is so easy to obtain it is unreal.

My advice, use your time to build important skills and experience instead of crafting elaborate lies.

Tracking Your Career Accomplishments

Accomplishement Jar_Rev

Here’s a fun way to keep your resume alive and your career mojo moving.

Late last year, I noticed people making “good things” jars. The idea is simple, write down the good things that happen to you throughout the year, decorate a jar (I am sure a vase will do in a pinch), and collect the stories.

So I decided to make one but instead of happenstance, happy moments that magically occur, I decided to record and collect career accomplishments and skills that I build throughout 2017.

It’s my “Accomplishments” jar and at the end of the year, it will be filled with career milestones, new skills that have been developed, and personal and professional achievements.

The lack of any of the above will provide me with insight on areas that need to be worked on.

I tell people that resumes are living, breathing documents that need to be visited on a regular basis. This statement is not new, but very few people are revising and updating their resumes on a daily, weekly, or even monthly basis unless they are actively searching for new opportunities.

A few recommendations for maximizing the usefulness of your “Accomplishments” jar.

  1. Prominently place your accomplishment container
    Put your jar in a space that is visible to not only you but to visitors to your home and office. It is a great way to start conversations with others about your goals. They may have opportunities or advice that can help you fill your jar with a few more accomplishments.
  2. Think about your language
    We work hard to achieve and grow as professionals. Make sure every accomplishment you drop in the jar acknowledges your effort. No one gives us anything. We earn what we get and if you can not comfortably say that, there may be some things to rethink.
  3. It is not just a good idea or decoration
    This fancy little jar provides a nice, sort of fun, way to track your career development on a regular basis. Just think of it as a creative way to keep that resume up to date.
  4. Separate accomplishments from skills
    Be creative when documenting your growth throughout this year. Perhaps you can distinguish achievements from newly developed skills by using various paper colors. Making a distinction will provide an easy visual of where you are making progress and where gaps may be forming.

It is important to celebrate, document, and assess your career development. Doing all three while mixing in a creative, craft project is a win-win. Let the collecting begin!

Searching while Unprepared

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Finally the ultimate no-no. If there was ever a career habit to break, it is this one.

5. Seeking jobs instead of building a career path

Kudos to you for firing off resumes one right after another. Have you stopped to think about what it is you actually want to do?

I know; you want to earn a check so that you can eat. Got it, please know that I do not think that it is a bad goal.

With all due respect to eating, however, be strategic about the positions you are applying for. Are they in your field of choice? Will they help you build a skill set that will serve you in the long run? Will the position help you make connections that will assist you in moving to the next level? Do you have a career path in mind or are you diving in head first and deciding to think about it later? Please don’t let the answer to that question be “yes”.

Think about this way, you typically decide where you are trying to go before you start your car. My car will not even allow me to set my navigation system when the car is in motion.

If my car is smart enough to know that there should be a plan for how we are getting to our destination before we take off, shouldn’t you be that smart? I know you are as savvy as my Hyundai.

Do some goal setting and develop at least a one to two-year plan and make sure that the positions you are applying for support your goals.

This is not a habit you need to break because it is out of date or simply annoying; proceeding with an unfocused job search is a waste of time. Successfully getting hired for a series of jobs does not build a career path.