Archives for May 2011
If you have found yourself looking for a job in the past couple years, you are probably all too familiar with the frustration that usually accompanies the search. People with jobs will give you advice-they’ll tell you to update your resume, rearrange your resume, make your cover letter more personal but shorter, more informative but more concise, do more networking and less searching, do more searching and less emailing…you get the idea. The point is, you can follow these “tips” until you’re blue in the face, but what it usually comes down to is who you know. In fact, a recent statistic noted that nearly 80% of job positions filled in the last year were given to those with a personal referral.
If you’re thinking your search is now hopeless because you’ve already tapped into all of your personal referral resources, think again. With the ease of networking via the internet, there are several networks you can use not only to find connections you already have, but also to make new connections, so your personal connection well will never run dry. Almost anyone who has used the internet to help with their job search and networking will be familiar with Facebook and Twitter, but let’s take a look at few other sites, with a more professional twist, that will give you a leading edge in your efforts.
Plaxo: As far as keeping up with your contacts, Plaxo is your one-stop-shop. Not only does it store all of the contacts from your phone and computer, but it also tracks updates from your contacts from their Twitter and Facebook feeds, so you know what’s going on in their lives before you get in touch. This is especially helpful if you’re reaching out to an old friend or ex co-worker about a prospective job. It will help take away the “cold call” feel and help you get back in the loop quickly so you can get right to what matters.
Ecademy: This tool allows you to connect with other users on a business and social level. Essentially the “business happy hour” of the web, you can connect with people based on business connections you already have, as well as find groups of people who are interested in the same topics as you. For job searchers, this can be a great way to make real connections based on business concepts while getting your name and needs out there to people who trust you.
ZoomInfo: If you need to know more about the people within a company you’re interested in, ZoomInfo is a great source for you. It has been around for over 10 years and holds a database with the information of thousands of professionals. In addition, recruiters often use this site to find potential job candidates, so whether you know how to use it or not, it is always beneficial to set up a profile.
Xing: This is another tool geared towards gathering professionals in a social environment. However, for people looking for a job, this is a great site to join, as it has systems in place which specifically encourage social networking. Not only are there forums and discussion groups, which are always beneficial for job seekers, but there are also appointed “ambassadors” for each community with a decently sized constituency which then hold “events” which allow for the participation and communication of other members.
Whether you use one or all of these helpful technologies, the main idea is to get your name out there and build trust surrounding your name. While these tools help, there is no substitute for hard work and honest time spent, so get out there and make it happen for yourself. You might even end up with more than a job; you might just find your purpose.
Erin Kennedy, CPRW, CERW, BS/HR, is a Certified Professional & Executive Resume Writer/Career Consultant and President of Professional Resume Services, Inc. She is a nationally published writer and contributor of 9+ best-selling career books. She has achieved international recognition following yearly nominations of the prestigious T.O.R.I. (Toast of the Resume Industry) Award. Erin has written thousands of resumes for executives and professionals.
As a proud member of PARW, CDI, AORCP, Erin also sits on CDI’s Credentialing Committee for new certification candidates and serves as a Mentor for CDI’s Member Mentoring Committee. She also is a featured blogger on several well-known career sites. Reuse of this article is encouraged but must include a link to http://exclusive-executive-resumes.com. Want to know more about Erin Kennedy, CPRW? Read her LinkedIn profile at: http://www.linkedin.com/in/erinkennedycprw
- Job Hunting Tips: Ideas For Undercover, Stealth Job Searching! (boomersnextstep.com)
- Social Networking And Your Resume (boomersnextstep.com)
- Trouble Writing Your Resume Or LinkedIn Profile For Your Six-Figure Job Search? (vickandassociates.com)
Do you know who are you talking to? When you write a cover letter, send a resume, introduce yourself, explain what you do, or ask for advice, do you tailor your message based on who you are talking to?
Job search 1.0 is to tailor your message to highlight the best of you. But be confident that there are many great things about you and not all of them are as relevant or eye-catching to everyone you encounter. Sometimes it’s obvious: if you are speaking to someone from your alma mater, mention your education; if you are applying for a posted job write to get the hiring manager’s attention for that specific industry, function, and company.
But in your everyday job search, your reach is much more expansive. You are talking to people from a variety of sectors and at a variety of levels. Some are peers, some are mentors, some are directly in a position to hire you. If you are consulting while you are jobseeking, some contacts are potential clients or prospective employers or both. I am coaching someone who has a business and is still deciding if he wants to attract investors, joint venture partners, or employers (i.e., go back to the traditional role of employee). He himself doesn’t change but his message needs to adapt based on what an investor, a joint venture partner or an employer needs to hear, and he needs to do so fluidly in a way that doesn’t contradict his other aspirations. He must position differently to each audience.
Positioning for multiple audiences is tricky stuff – this is job search 2.0. You must know yourself AND the prospect AND what you hope to get as you combine the two. This requires a high degree of self-awareness, mastery of job search strategy and marketing, and finally the ability to be specific to the audience in front of you while remaining flexible to the broader audience of your total search. But once you get to this higher level of the positioned job search, you will see there is no better way to search. It may seem counterintuitive at first, but being able to position yourself very specifically will enable you to appeal more broadly. When your eyes are fixed on one target, you’re more attractive to that target and become more attractive to everyone else. You also learn how to focus more effectively on other targets and can repeat the process as needed.
So stop appealing to the masses and learn how to focus on a single pursuit. You will actually broaden your reach by narrowing your positioning.
Caroline Ceniza-Levine helps people find fulfilling and financially-rewarding career paths, as the co-founder of SixFigureStart®, career coaching by former Fortune 500 recruiters. Caroline has recruited for leading companies in financial services, consulting, media, pharmaceutical/ healthcare, and technology. She is the co-author (along with Donald Trump, Jack Canfield and others) of the best-selling “How the Fierce Handle Fear: Secrets to Succeeding in Challenging Times” 2010; Two Harbors Press.
- Job Hunting Tips: Ideas For Undercover, Stealth Job Searching! (boomersnextstep.com)
- Job Search Emails – Avoiding the Spam Filters (boomersnextstep.com)
- Engaging Your Audience in Job Search – The Cover Letter (Part I of II) (boomersnextstep.com)
- Job Hunting Basics: Get This Right, Get A Job! (vickandassociates.com)
Are your children now adults with homes of their own? If you are experiencing empty nest syndrome, you may find that your home has become too big for you. You are no longer raising a family and do not need all of the extra room that you find you now have. You also do not need all of the extra work that is involved in taking care of a larger house. Now may be the time to downsize to a smaller home that will be easier to maintain and much nicer to enjoy.
If you’re tempted by the idea of de-cluttering your life and downsizing to a smaller home for your golden years, there are a number of factors to take into account before you make your move.
Consider Purchasing a Ranch Home
If you have mobility problems due to arthritis or other afflictions, you will definitely want a home that is all on one floor, eliminating stairs and the accidents that can happen on them. Even if you presently do not have problems with mobility, you may decide a home on one level may be a wise decision for the future.
A Small Bungalow May Be Perfect
If you do not require a great deal of room now that the kids are grown up, you might want to consider investing in a home that is small and cozy. The rooms will be easier to clean, and you will also save money on heating bills in the winter and air conditioning bills in the summer.
If your new home has a small lawn and backyard, you will have less to maintain on the outside of the house. Lawn care can be exhausting work, especially for older individuals. Plus, you will want to free up your time to do activities that you really enjoy. You will want to make your smaller residence easy to care for, and that will include less maintenance to the outer property and landscaping.
Location, Location, Location
It will also be convenient for you to have a residence in a good location, where you will be close to stores, doctor’s offices, friends and family. If you are within walking distance from various amenities, this will be a way for you to get exercise that will help to keep you healthy and fit.
To Sell Your Existing Home, Give It Curb Appeal
Before you can move into your new home, you must first sell your present residence. To speed up the process, it’s a good idea to make improvements to the exterior so that it looks as enticing as possible. The lawn should be well maintained, and it would not hurt to have attractive flowers planted in locations that will be visible to prospective home buyers. Also, there should be no visible peeling paint, and the roof should be in good repair.
Do Not Forget The Inside
The inside of the house should be welcoming, and it is very important to remove all clutter from the premises. Prospective home buyers are not going to be able to get an idea of room sizes if each area is full of items lying around and taking up space. To enhance the appearance of your living room, attractive loveseat slipcovers can be used to revitalize aging furniture. Windows should be clean and free of streaks, and each room should have a clear purpose. When showing your home to others, turn on all of the lights in order to help the house appear bright and cheerful.
When you set up residence in a smaller home, you can look forward to peaceful, relaxing times in an environment that will not require a great deal of work and will provide you with many years of contentment. By downsizing you can free up time and money to spend doing all those things you’ve always wanted to do.
This is a guest article contributed by Caroline Smith of Getslipcovers.com. Caroline has written a number of articles for boomers and believes we should all live life to the full whatever our age!
Recently an associate of mine, Trent, who happens to be over forty and seeking a management position, asked me to write his resume and create cover letters. He expected he would have younger competition and initially wanted to play down his work history in order to conceal his age. Because he had one particular job with the same employer and a great track record of twenty years I suggested he play up his experience instead of playing down his age.
After reviewing Trent’s resume and the job posting he was targeting we discovered that the employer had listed leadership qualities as desirable. Trent had all the required qualifications on his resume so we decided on several attributes that would be important to this employer based on the job description.
In a few seconds you will be making a decision. Your decision will have almost no risk for loss yet will have the possibility of immediately solving one of your problems and rewarding you for a lifetime. By the time you reach the bottom of this short letter you will have made this decision.
Because we both know employees can be second only to customers when listing a company’s greatest assets, a wise hiring choice has immeasurable benefits. Attached you will find my resume for your open management position. While you will see my background meets or exceeds all of your required qualifications, no matter how impressive that resume might be, there are some things you cannot see.
A contagious enthusiasm that shines day in and day out that instills a sense of optimism among coworkers that can be an incalculable contribution to your organization.
A work ethic that sets an example and begins with employer respect and never ends at “quitting time.”
An expertise to follow instructions and prioritize tasks that comes only with experience.
Desirable leadership qualities coupled with the humility and strength that inspires others.
Your careful consideration of a job candidate is prudent and commendable and I therefore request only that you allow me the same consideration with a brief meeting to learn more about you, your company, and position. For while my work comes at a competitive rate, my loyalty and dedication are priceless and committed only after knowledgeable deliberation.
A. Job Hunter
P.S. As a person in your position makes timely decisions I will appreciate your immediate response at any of the following means of contact.
While your resume cover letters need to follow the age-old principle of advertising of AIDA – Attention, Interest, Desire, and Action, your message also must stand out. The letter I created starts with a bang to get attention with the line: “In a few seconds you will be making a decision.”
The letter then goes on to build interest and presents sought-after qualifications that most any employer would get excited about in order to create desire. The four attributes listed are all highly desirable qualities that can come with the time and experience of a candidate over forty.
While typically many experts suggest the call to action in cover letters I have often used call to action stepping-stones. This cover letter prepares the reader by telling them right off the bat in the first paragraph that they will be making a decision by the time they reach the end of the letter. These often work as stepping-stones in order to prepare the reader to take action. This letter contains two subsequent call to action statements. The first one is in the last paragraph and requests a meeting and the second call to action is more direct in the postscript which can be a powerful tool.
You can see more cover letters that have proven to get interviews for people of any age or profession from my OneClick Cover Letters program. Oh and Trent got the interview!
Copyright 2011 by Phil Baker – “The Hire Authority” and author of the bestseller on interview questions: Employer Secrets. Freely distribute this article but please leave article, author name, copyright info, and links intact.