Tag Archives: #jobsearch

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This is not a habit you need to break because it is out of date or simply annoying; proceeding with an unfocused job search is a waste of time.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.

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Professional Ghosting

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Remember telephone books? When was the last time you used one? Today we all Google what we need and companies that can not easily be found in these search results typically don’t get as much patronage.

The same principle applies to you. It is important to have an appropriate, online presence.

4. Having no professional, digital presence 

I reconnected with a former co-worker a couple of weeks ago and he said that he was not on Facebook. I immediately thought he was lying and probably trying to hide something.

I know that there really are people who don’t use social media but it’s weird. Many employers search for applicants online and having no digital presence can be just as harmful as having inappropriate search results.

Just to clarify, I am encouraging you to develop a professional digital presence. There are some simple ways to start:

  1.  Sign up for LinkedIn
  2. Update the LinkedIn account you signed up for years ago
  3. Start a blog about issues pertaining to your area of expertise

Taking one of these suggestions provides another method of defining yourself as a professional. You can discuss accomplishments, demonstrate knowledge, and of course grow your network online.

Terrifying Career Habits to Leave in 2016

We are officially 23 days into the new year and most of you have scrapped or at least modified your resolutions for the year. It’s okay, we can resolve to leave resolutions in 2016 and turn our attention to making changes that can actually help you move your career forward.

Every day this week, I will provide one common, career related mistake that you can definitely leave in the past.

1. Including an objective statement on your resume

Please believe me when I say everyone is over objective statements. Very few give insight on who you are as a professional, they take up space on your resume, and are a complete and total insult to people reviewing your resume.

Do you really need to use space on your resume to say that your goal is to get a job with the company? Submitting your resume makes that clear.

Instead of including an objective statement, put your energy into:

  • Crafting accomplishment statements for roles that you have held in the past. Focus on telling the hiring manager what you have accomplished, not just what was prescribed by a job description.
  • Highlighting skills specific to your industry. Do some research and make sure the language you use to describe your skills and experience is up to date and relevant.
  • Writing a cover letter that explains your skill set, accomplishments, and of course why you will be a “value add” to the company and department.

In 2017, quit it with the objective statements. If your objective is to get hired, they do not help!

Infusing your career search with holiday cheer!

holidaycheerlogoDon’t let the #holiday season put the bah humbug in your #career progression. Use the cheer that the holiday season brings to infuse your efforts with life! #jobsearch

Whether you are preparing for, enjoying, or recovering from the holidays, it is safe to say that your career goals will not be top of the mind for the next few weeks. Believe it or not, it is fairly simple to leverage the holidays to help with your career progression.

Tip 3: Break the ice with a little holiday chit chat

Use the holiday season as an icebreaker during interviews or networking opportunities. Despite religious affiliation or background, the holidays bring about some very common experiences that allow us to make small talk with strangers.

No matter how uncomfortable the situation (i.e. awkward networking event or job interview) almost everyone can participate in chit-chat crowded stores, their love or hate of the prominent smells of nutmeg and cinnamon, and of course feelings of excitement and anxiety about spending time with family.

Whether it is the commercial aspect or the spirit of the season, there are common experiences that help us connect to one another. Leverage this time of year to expand and re-engage your network by easing some of the pressure you feel about networking. If you missed any of my previous tips, check them out here: https://takeishascareeradvice.wordpress.com/.

Infusing your career search with holiday cheer!

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Tip 2: Ask Santa for help for with your career

There is still time to respond to the question “what do you want for Christmas” with a request for career-related items. Whether it is clothing, technology, software, or simply business cards Santa has room in his bag for a variety of gifts. Instead of receiving that countertop growing garden, ask someone to gift you an annual membership to a professional association. Decline the chia pet and request 100 business cards.

While everything goes on sale during this time of year, people are also more giving of their time. Our friends and family have talents that can be very beneficial to our career progression. A novel idea would be to ask a friend to design your logo or give you one or two lessons in a particular software that they have mastered instead of buying you an actual gift.

This approach is a great way to keep your career goals at the forefront during the holiday season while making sure that your network knows what you are working on.

If you missed tip one posted earlier, check it out here: http://bit.ly/2gYTyXX.

 

 

Infusing your career search with holiday cheer!

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Whether you are preparing for, enjoying, or recovering from the holidays, it is safe to say that your career goals will not be top of the mind for the next few weeks. Believe it or not, it is fairly simple to leverage the holidays to help with your career progression.

Tip 1 Spread Some Holiday Cheer

Use the season as an opportunity to reconnect with members of your network. Extend a holiday greeting via social media or email. If you are really ambitious, send actual holiday cards. Don’t worry, you are still within the allowable time frame to send cards without breaking any rules of etiquette.

Whether you send a greeting digitally or via snail mail, include a quick note about what you are looking forward to or will be working on in the new year. Your message will seem timely instead of calculated.

 

Career Gratitude: what are you thankful for?

gratful-bubbleOn Thursday (Thanksgiving Day), I will sit around someone else’s table, grateful that I did not have to cook a turkey that I never planned to eat. Each person will take a turn sharing what they are grateful for and I am almost certain that not one person around that table will show gratitude for something career related.

I am not talking about gratefulness for your job because it brings you money, things, and the ability to take care of your family. Those are important reasons to show gratitude but not quite the same as favorably reflecting on the opportunity to grow as a professional.

Take the time to acknowledge successes, challenges that have aided your growth, and other career moments that you should be grateful for this holiday season.

This article from Forbes has some great ideas about showing gratitude through forward facing and private behaviors.

If you still can find nothing to be grateful for on your current path, let’s talk. Comment on this post or find me on LinkedIn.

Just remember, encouraging thankfulness is not the same as promoting complacency. Never stop assessing and moving forward in your career.