Monday, 30 May 2011

Job Search Game Plan - Ten Powerful Tips To Keep You Motivated In Your Job Search!

We don't engage in a job search very often. Thus our frame of reference can quickly get out of focus and our whole job hunting effort can easily get derailed. Here are ten powerful tips to keep in mind as you work hard at your job search.

1. Don't let the negatives overpower you. In every job search there will be frequent rejections. Phone calls will not be returned. Resumes will fall into a "black hole," with no answer in sight. You will in short order feel like a failure. You will be waiting on someone else to take action, so there is the constant feeling of a lack of control.

Don't let any of these potential negatives sap your confidence or make you fearful of taking action. Remember, for every "no," you are one step closer to the desired "yes."

2. The future is where you should spend your time. Thinking about what you want and how you are going to get there is the most productive way to spend your time. You can't change the past except to learn for it.

3. Super size your job goal. What sort of job would be ideal? Think about the details of the desired job. Replay in your mind your mental picture of the ideal job. Do it several times a day. Don't let anything get in the way of your planned job.

4. Network to your advantage. Study how to make the best use of contacts. Feed off their positive energy. Since most jobs are found through some form of networking, it makes sense to spend the majority of your job hunting time in the networking area.

5. Resume writing is an art not necessarily a science. But one thing is clear; you have to make the connection in seconds. So design and format your resume to make the desired impression in those first few seconds. Be ruthless is deciding what needs to be important.

6. Focus writing the resume on your achievements. Prospective employers need someone to help solve problems. Experience and skills are important but not as important as quantifiable achievements. Highlight your achievements that match what the employer is searching for-this will lead to the desired job.

7. Practice, practice and practice some more. The best athletics know that they will play the game like they practice. The field goal kicker, who makes the long winning field goal in the last few seconds, has practiced that kick hundreds if not thousands of times.

Practice the telephone and face-to-face interview. Use a video cam and tape recorder to your advantage. Get input on you resume and your overall job search. Look for ideas to make your job search more efficient and focused.

8. Use lists to your advantage. Write out your daily, weekly and monthly activity goals. Work hard at moving the job hunting project forward. Develop a winning job search strategy by realistically working full time daily in your job search.

Don't accept excuses. Don't listen to that voice in your head that is telling you you'll make that follow-up call when you are in the mood. Or perhaps you'll make the call tomorrow because no one is in the office on Friday or at noon. Or maybe you'll call a possible contact next week because today you've got to cut the grass or wash the car. Be ruthless about making the best use of your time-every day.

10. Giving up is not an option. Persistence will win the day. If you expect your ship to come in you have to put a lot of ships out on the job search ocean.

With these ten powerful strategies you can turn an unfocused job hunt into a productive project that will yield you, as quickly as possible, the ideal job.

By John Groth

Saturday, 28 May 2011

Career Counseling for Change - Five Important Keys to a Successful Direction and Transition

Are you unsatisfied with your career and want to make a change? Do you feel like you are not achieving your full career potential? Do you want to make a change, but want to make sure it is the right career this time? Don't know what you want to do, but know its not what you do now?

People are most fulfilled and successful when they find work they love to do and that suits their talents and abilities. This article shares five important keys to making a successful career change. Some concepts may be new to you, some may not. I encourage you to read through them either way, and let them stimulate your thinking. The exercises included are optional, but you are invited to reap

the full benefits by participating in them.
Key #1: Establish a career direction based on excellent self-understanding.
The first stages of a career change involve thinking, self-assessment, exploring, and planning. You can embark on these steps now--without disrupting your current employment situation. After you know more about your new direction, you can decide when to make your move. A career-direction goal should always aim for the ideal career and job fit for yourself.

The first steps to identifying the ideal career involve self-assessment and generating insights into what career will make you most satisfied while meeting your needs. Research shows that people who are most satisfied and motivated in their careers are people who have a career that reflects their values, interests, skills, and talents plus their ideal work environment.

How can you clarify these kinds of self-understanding insights? You can do this first of all through a process of reflection on your favorite passions, skills, and interests as well as preferences. Career tests or assessments can also provide help here, and lend some objectivity to the exploration. There are a number of reliable and valid career-oriented tests that are widely available through career counselors and coaches.
Career counseling is geared exactly for this purpose. You may enjoy and benefit from the guidance of a counselor or coach to facilitate the development of a career direction based on who you are. This kind of self-understanding then translates into identifying specific careers that match up with who you are, and are likely to bring you the most satisfaction and motivation.

Here are some tips:
 Think ideally. What do you really want?
  • Listen to your longings and desires.
  • Pay attention to what attracts you.
  • Stay away from things that repel you.
  •  Understand fully your unique style.
As you go about a career change, it is important to realize you cannot do everything well. You must choose a career direction and a job based on your best abilities and strengths. There are businesses that very much need the capabilities that you are able to provide.

Key #2: To a successful career change is to take stock of your skills, natural talents, competencies, and strengths, and to be able to articulate these well to potential employers as well as others.
Go with your strengths, and be able to communicate them impressively.If you think you have already identified your skills, talents, and strengths, and are looking for work that emphasizes these, great.
Take this opportunity to ask yourself, "Am I successfully saying no to careers and jobs that do not focus on my favorite skills, talents, and strengths?"

Focus your career direction into a career and job for which you are especially equipped. Each person has natural talent and intelligence in one or more areas. The idea is to be very clear on what you are naturally gifted at and let your talents guide you to your next career.
To further discover or clarify where your strengths and talents fall, think back on your life and previous work experience. What tasks and projects came easiest to you? What were the most important accomplishments in your life? What have you received the most recognition for?
You may want to ask several friends what they see as your greatest professional strengths. Career assessment can also yield good information. Take stock. Write down a list now. What themes emerge as you reflect on this?

This is a valuable exercise for self-understanding and career direction, but also when it comes to getting a job. The better you can articulate who you are and the talents and skills you bring to a business, the better impression you make on a potential employer.
There are a number of variables to consider in choosing a career or a job, including the market realities. This brings us to another concept that is necessary to be successful in your transition.

Key #3: To identify a career that involves what you love to do, can be the best at, and for which you can be well compensated.
Imagine a Ven diagram consisting of three overlapping circles. One circle represents those activities, tasks, functions, and roles that you love to do. All of us at one time or another have experienced doing work that really did not seem like work because we enjoyed doing it. That's what I mean by work that you love to do.
The second circle represents work that you have the potential to be best at--work that you can do better than most others. This means tasks and projects that you have the right skills and natural talent for, and excel at. Work that you will be highly competitive at and perhaps (potentially) better than anyone else.

The third circle represents work that you will be paid well for. If there is work that you love to do and are great at, it will not matter unless someone will compensate you what you need. It is important to understand and take into account the realities of the job market.

Now, in this Ven diagram, the three circles overlap with each other equally. In the center is an area where the three circles converge and all three circles are overlapping. This is the area that represents the right career(s) for you. You want to consider careers or jobs that align with these three areas--work that you love to do, can do best, and will be well- compensated for.

By the way, if this sounds similar to Jim Collin's Hedgehog Concept in his book "Good to Great", it is. It is an adaptation of his model for business success applied to career success. I highly recommend his book.
So now, I suggest you take a few minutes and apply this to yourself. Where is the convergence of these three circles for you? If you cannot discover this, how will you find out? When all is said and done, one of the biggest factors in a career transition is money. Although you may love the idea of quitting your job and jumping into your next career, financial realities are in play.

Key #4: To transition smoothly into your next career, plan the best
way to juggle the finances to support you along the way.
I know from my work as a career counselor and coach that the money issue can cause significant angst and difficulty. Here are some ideas for managing it well.
  •  Use your current income wisely. If you have a job, keep it. There's a saying that its easier to get a job when you have one. Before initiating a move: increase your savings, reduce your expenses, live within, or better, below your means for a while.
  •  Build cash reserves through supplementing your full-time job with other work. You can get a part-time job, do contract work, etc.
  • Add a part-time business to your full-time job. If you must let go of your full-time job, then do what you can to produce an income while you are in transition.
  • Get an interim full-time or part-time job.
  • Do contract or freelance work.
  • Have a well-paying part-time job while you work on starting a business, if that will be your next career.
  • Use consulting gigs to generate income. Put your key strengths and capabilities to good use to generate income as a consultant while in transition.
  • Work full-time or part-time while attending school to prepare for your next career, if that is your plan.
A number of these options also have fringe benefits. While providing income, you can hopefully put yourself in positions where you can develop skills, experience, or contacts for your next career. How will you make the finances work during your career transition? Take a few minutes and jot down your thoughts.

Key #5: Network, network, network.
People who are most successful at career change and job-hunting use methods that require more effort. People who are less successful do the usual: passive methods such as sending out resumes, going through agencies, looking at the ads, and using the Internet. There is nothing wrong with these methods; in a strong job market they may be sufficient.

More active approaches include researching organizations in detail, doing informational interviewing, and building a network of contacts. These methods involve more work, but they are also the most effective.
Despite the fact that we are in the age of the Internet (it is estimated that about 5 to 10% of jobs are filled by on-line job boards--not bad, but what about the other 90%?), networking is still the best strategy.
So, to be successful in making a career change, it really pays to build a strong list of contacts and reconnect with them. If you don't know how to network effectively or your skills could be better, it is a good time to work on this. Consider utilizing the help of a career counselor or coach.

Never underestimate who your friends and associates know. Keep track of your contacts as your list grows, and revitalize old relationships.

Your contacts may be the key to getting job leads, crucial inside information, getting the attention of whoever is hiring for the position you want, and many other valuable benefits. Many, many people have a job they love because they knew someone who knew someone.
Now comes the end of this article on keys to a successful career change.
  •  Establish a career direction based on excellent self-understanding.
  • Take stock of your skills, natural talents, competencies, and strengths, and be able to articulate these well.
  • Identify a career that involves what you love to do, can be the best at, and for which you can be well compensated.
  • Plan the best way to juggle the finances to support you along the way.
  • Network, network, network.
I hope you have enjoyed this article and are now taking steps to make a great career change. What was the biggest thing you will take away from this? What questions remain unanswered? Where will you go from here? Write out your thoughts.

Saturday, 21 May 2011

Best Way To Change Careers - Use a Career Development Transition Model

Nowadays, career transition companies offer people who are thinking of a career change different programs and methods and are applicable for all ages of individuals. According to your needs, the career Seeker company will provide a variety of adult career development models. These companies cater to the needs of middle-aged professionals, young adults and executives who are all contemplating a professional career.

Very often, people find that the career they have chosen is not right for them. They realize that they are better suited for something else. They start growing stressed and weary about their work. They do not feel any job satisfaction. And all this leads to them bringing home work stress and taking it out on their family and friends.

If all this sounds familiar to you, it is time you seek expert advice. You can win this battle by settling for an adult career development transition model. It is not so easy to change careers. You can easily think that you'd like to be a photographer and start searching for jobs of that description. But when it is time to send your resume or attend an interview, you do not get the desired response and you do not know what education or skills you need in order to pursue photography.

There are many different ways of approaching career transition. First, analyze the stages of development you are going through. A career search does not involve finding a desired work alone. Your occupational career and your life career should fit together.

One career development model says that there are four factors based on which a person is ready to change careers. These are support, situation, strategies and her/his self. Of them, the first factor is self. How ready are you to make changes and seek a different career? It is always difficult to face change and so help from a suitable transition expert can be very beneficial. Your situation is the second factor. 

Suppose you need to start off on a rank that is lower, will you be willing to makea change like that? Can your routines hinder you from making this change happen? Is there some reason you cant make this change easily? Support comes next. Does anyone among your family and friends object to you changing your career or are they in compliance? The last factor is the strategies. These include the actions and plans that you make for making this change happen.

The internet has a number of career development transition model available which can offer you many approaches. You can find a company or a coach in career transition and seek their help to develop and head into the correct adult career development transition model. Be sure to check the net for experts in your local area.

By Abhishek Agarwal

Friday, 20 May 2011

Job Presentation Skills Rules - Why You're Anxious and What to Do About It

"I'll See It When I Believe It" is the title of a book by Wayne Dyer and it perfectly captures why people feel anxious when making a presentation. In fact, it represents why people feel anxious at any time.
Think about a situation where you experience anxiety. This could be on a job interview, a first date, travel to a new country or, what I am going to be mostly addressing, delivering a presentation. What exactly is making you anxious?

To understand this, you need to understand a bit of how our brains function.
Our brains are designed to ensure that we survive the future by predicting that future. When our existence depended on hunting, accurate predictions about where animals will graze ensured a food supply. If we can predict how an audience will respond to our presentation, then we can plan for how to handle that response. If we can predict the future, we can plan for any contingencies in that future.
Sometimes, this makes sense and works in our favor. For example, I live in Arizona. If I don't predict that it will be cold when I travel to see my sister in Chicago in January, I'm likely to bring the wrong clothes and suffer the consequences.

On a first date, we can select a restaurant to go to and predict what we should wear. Otherwise, we might be embarrassed showing up at a fancy restaurant in a t-shirt and jeans.
When planning for a presentation, we might find out the room we're going to be presenting in, the people who will be there and plan for what we will say all in the interest of predicting what will happen in the future so that we can prepare.

The problem is that, in all our predicting, we can never be sure of what will happen in the future. We can only predict based on what has happened in the past and hope that the future will be just like that. This leaves a vast landscape of the unpredictable. And since our predictions are based on the past, we bring to our awareness only the things that match our beliefs about ourselves, others, and the world. Everything else gets filtered out ("I'll see it when I believe it.").

If, for example, we predict that an audience will be hostile, that's what we are looking for, so even the most innocuous question might be interpreted as hostile. If we predict that we're going to be judged negatively, then when we see two people whispering, we'll think they're criticizing us. If we think that we're unprepared, forgetting what we're going to say even for a moment will be confirmation of how unprepared we are.

The key to successful performance in any realm whether a first date, travel or presenting, is to stay present (as in presentation skills).
There are lots of ways to do that but the easiest and most common one is to use your breath. Your breath is always in the present. You can't breathe in the future or in the past. You can only breathe in the present.

So if you notice yourself being anxious:

1. Take a slow breath in and count to 3.
2. Exhale slowly for a count of 9.
3. As you exhale, say the word "relax," or "present," or "peace" or whatever word has meaning for you.

Do this a few times as you are setting up your slides or arranging your notes or looking for a laser pointer or remote or taking a drink (only pretend this. Don't breathe as you drink).
I once saw a sign over a casino entrance that read, "You must be present to win."

I'm a consultant, speaker and author of "Present and Persuade: Create Talks and Speeches That Capture Hearts and Change Minds."
I title my articles "Presentation Skills Rules" for two reasons:
1. There are rules to presenting that, if followed, will make you a master of persuasive presentations.

2. Being a master of presentation skills means that you can rule over your audiences. Not in the sense of dominating or controlling them, but in the sense of being able to produce a predictable outcome with your audiences.

You see, when presenting, anyone can produce results some of the time. But when you understand the rules of presenting, you will know how to produce results every time. And that's when you'll understand why mastering the rules allows you to rule over your results.

By Larry Barkan

Thursday, 19 May 2011

Five Powerful Body Language Tips to Ace Your Next Job Interview

Getting a job in today's tough economy is hard. The current recession is characterized by unusually high levels of unemployment, which makes it harder than ever for the unemployed to get back on their feet and back into the workforce. There are too many people competing for too few positions resulting in a job search process that is often be brutal, depressing and all too often unsuccessful. 

It is not enough to be qualified and to have all the right references, you often need an additional edge to separate you from the pack of other job applicants. You can get this edge through effective management of your body language.
Many job applicants are sabotaging themselves because they are non-verbally communicating low confidence and low self-esteem. You need to focus on avoiding this in your next job interview.

To represent yourself successfully in a job interview you need to project an air of confidence and ability. High confidence sells while fear and doubt poisons the impression you make on others. A lack of confidence manifests itself in your body language and can ruin your chances in a job interview.

Recruitment firms around the globe are reporting that candidates, frustrated by seemingly endless job interviews and fruitless job searches, are displaying negative body language patterns that cause them to fail their interviews. After a string of failed job interviews many job seekers tend to fall into a death spiral and this can be deadly for your job search.

The job interview death spiral happens after you have had several unsuccessful job interviews. The failed job interviews cause you to lose self-confidence, which is projected through your body language during your next job interview, contributing to your failure, which of course deepens your lack of confidence. This spiral can lead you into despair and cause you to eventually give up completely on finding a job.

To prevent this death spiral from happening it's important to project confidence and avoid making a bad impression. Managing your body language and avoiding the most common body language mistakes is a very important part of an effective and successful job interview.

How important is body language? Research points out that up to 93% of the impact you have is influence by factors other than the words you use. It's not enough to say the right things, you need to non verbally back up your words with the right image and impression.

Try these five body language tips during your next job interview:

  • Use a firm handshake - In the mind of most people weak and limp handshakes equal weak character. Be sure you deliver your handshake with a firm grip while looking them right in the eye.

  • Watch your posture - There is a definitive difference between a confident posture and a posture that communicates low self-esteem. The best advice is the same your mother gave you, sit up straight (ramrod down your back) with your feet firmly planted on the floor. Again, slumping equals low self-esteem or even disinterest.

  • Make eye contact - Regular, strong eye contact is associated with confidence, honesty and boldness. Making eye contact is vital.

  • Monitor your vocal delivery - Experts estimate up to 38% of our communication is conveyed by our voice and vocal qualities, which means you need to pay attention not only to what you say but also how you say it. When we're nervous we tend to speak faster and at a higher pitch, which robs of our authority. Take a tip from the acting profession and practice speaking slowly and deliberately.

  • Pay attention to the Interviewer's body language - In today's competitive job market being qualified for the job and having strong references is not enough. You need to convince the interviewer that you'll be a good fit for the company and its values. You do this by reading the interviewer's body language and responding appropriately. You need to show the proper amount of "social intelligence" and awareness to stand out from the other interviewees competing with you for the job.

So there you have it, five aspects of body language and nonverbal communication that will better your odds of succeeding in your next job interview. While having the correct body language might not win you the job, the wrong body language can definitely guarantee you won't.

By Steven D Chambers

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Job Interviewing Skills - How to Mess Up Your Next Job Interview

A number of job seekers have a pretty good resume, however they can't seem to muster a good interview to save their lives! With fewer and fewer interview opportunities available, mastering the art of interviewing is a definite must. Learn from other people's mistakes and avoid these interview blunders: 

  • 1. Not Being Ready To Answer Their Questions Well.
If you are like most job candidates, you may get uncomfortable during a job interview. One way to boost your confidence is to be prepared. Prepare yourself by practice interviewing with someone who will give you honest feedback. As you find areas that need improvement, you can make corrections on the spot.

  • 2. Talking Negatives.
So, your last job really sucked. What ever you do, don't speak negatively about them. Negative or critical statements can be seen as a reflection on you. If you're asked about any former employer, be respectful in everything you say about them. Remember, negative comments during an interview never help. 

  • 3. Talking Way Too Much.
A lot of Interviewers don't have a lot of extra time. They are going to ask you specific questions, and they usually prefer concise answers. If you provide them a rambling response, they may think you lack professionalism. A fantastic way to get ready to answer interview questions, is to practice how you answer standard interview questions right before an interview. This will help you to conduct a much more impressive interview.

  • 4. Presenting Opposite Communications Styles.
It's essential to create an impressive first impression. A great way to do this, is by taking advantage of something called mirroring.

Here are a few examples:
  •  If the interviewer talks slow and deliberate, so should you.
  •  Match the interviewer's interests. If they have certificates and diplomas up, talk about education.
  •  Match their posture and mannerisms.
  •  Mirror their mindset and attitudes as closely as possible.

Interviewers will be attracted to people they feel comfortable with. The whole idea is to build a rapport with the interviewer.
Your great resume is just the beginning. Now you just need to perfect your interviewing skills. If you use the advice provided in this article, you can feel good about knowing that you'll be landing your next job soon.

By Mark Duin

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Golden Tips to Launching Your Career As a Financial Advisor

They're no question that we're at a financial cross roads. Now more than ever there's a need for qualified financial advisors to help lead us down the path to financial security. These careers are not only lucrative but rewarding as well. It's important to understand everything that goes into becoming successful. Let's take a closer look at some important tips that should be followed when building your career.

With all the financial problems facing people today, there is no single best solution. By being independent of any set financial institution, you'll have the freedom to choose the right financial products to meet your client's needs.

Don't go it alone
While you should be independent of a specific financial institution, it's important to make sure you you're not totally along in your endeavors. There are several independent marketing organizations that will give you the training and tools required to succeed in this competitive business.

Build a referral network
Networking and word of mouth is the best form of advertising. By being referred by a friend, your clients will be more willing to trust your judgment. This is why it's important to team up with qualified professionals in your area.

Selling isn't import
Contrary to popular belief selling yourself isn't that important. It's all about positing and taking care of your clients needs. By satisfying your customers, not only will they keep coming back but they will tell their friends and business associates about the services you provide.

Ask the right questions
When meeting prospective clients, don't spend a lot of time talking about yourself and your qualifications. Instead focus your attention on your clients needs by asking the right questions. What are their goals? What is your risk tolerance? How do you feel about...?

Communication is key
Stay in touch with all prospective clients. It could take several meetings for them to agree to work with you. Don't be pushy. Many times this will turn people off. Always be polite and keep their needs in the forefront.

Start small
While it's true that you need to spend money in order to make money, don't go overboard when starting out. Try to keep your start up cost to under $500. Limit your risk in the beginning and then you can expand your business after it becomes profitable.

By Tim Bock Platinum Quality Author

Monday, 16 May 2011

Job Search Success Tip - Narrow the Scope of Your Exploration

You're working in a job that doesn't offer you the kind of personal and professional growth you've been searching for. You're left unfulfilled, and even worse, you're beginning to dread going back to the office each day. You've been working with several headhunters, without success. You've been spending several hours a day reviewing job leads, submitting your resume, and trying to follow up on a timely basis. It seems like you're doing everything right - so what's going wrong?

Many job candidates who find themselves in an unfavorable situation like the one described, often begin to widen their search. They feel like perhaps if they are open to a variety of positions, they will be more likely to land something.....anything, that will get them out of their current situation. The truth of the matter is in order to gain faster results in your job search, you must narrow the scope of your target position.

What is a target job? Prior to looking at any prospective employment opportunities, it is important to set up the parameters of the search. To complete this task, the candidate must create a list of between twenty and thirty prospective employers that have an excellent reputation in their industry, and whom they would personally want to work for. After completing the list, the next step is to obtain the contact information for each of the hiring authorities responsible for staffing your area of expertise.

Why not just submit a resume through a website? In order to stand out from your competition in the market, it is imperative that you take additional steps to set yourself apart from "the pack." It is far easier to visit the HR website and perform a copy and paste of your resume. The problem with this is that every uninformed job seeker is doing exactly this. Your resume has between five and ten seconds of screening time with any recruiter or hiring authority. Considering the brief time frame you have to "wow" the employer, it's obvious the successful job seeker has to take steps above and beyond, to maximize their candidacy.

The secret is in the follow-up. By setting yourself up for a successful job search, you're placing yourself ahead of other employment seekers. Since you took the time to research the companies you are targeting, and obtained the hiring manager's name and contact information, you can easily follow up until you get either an invitation to interview, or a rejection letter. Never assume that because you have not received a call from the company, they are not interested in interviewing you.
Your resume could have been on a secretary's desk, and she misplaced it. Perhaps Human Resources' computer system crashed, and they lost all of the submission data on the date you sent your resume. Something could have happened that prevented the call, and your resume got lost in the shuffle. For this reason, it's important to remain diligent in your follow-up efforts, and they will pay off in the long run.
Manage your job search like you will perform on the job for the employer. When you're serious about obtaining your next position with one of your target organizations, you will naturally articulate this through your words, preparation, and actions.

Likewise, when you take a half-hearted approach toward a career search, you will not obtain the intended results, and consequently, end up spinning your wheels. Make every effort to effectively manage the employment exploration process through strategic planning and action steps, and you will ultimately land your next job in the most expedient manner.

By  Chris Archer

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Get a Job! Tips for Organizing Your Resume

Whether you're a Vice President of Marketing or a recent college grad, your resume is the 'key' to opening the doors of employment. It is an employer's first impression of you and believe it or not, many hiring officials spend less than thirty seconds reviewing it. With only fleeting moments to make a first impression, it is imperative that your resume be organized.
Polish your shoes, practice your handshake, and take note of some tips for creating an organized resume that will catch the eye of even the most weary of HR associates:

  • Start by sitting down with your old resume and a timer. Give yourself fifteen seconds to read it. How far did you get? Were you able to read the whole page? Besides 'getting your foot in the door,' your goal is to create a resume that can be scanned top to bottom in less than 30 seconds. It must be organized to punctuate your strengths and highlight your employment-related achievements. Next, give yourself another fifteen seconds but this time skim your resume as if you were the person doing the hiring. What parts stood out? Was it a bold or italic phrase? Was it a tabbed column of words or a dollar sign? Think about what words or sections jumped out at you, circle them in red, and use them within the body of your new resume. For another opinion, take a fresh copy and ask a friend or family member to do the same.
  • On scrap paper, create a chart and write all of your past jobs across the top of the page. Below each job title list at least 2-4 duties/accomplishments relating to the position. Analyze each of those and ask yourself: Does this achievement have any relevance to the job I'm now pursuing? Will the reader of my resume be impressed by the money I've saved the company/the body of work I created/the skills I've acquired? If your answer is yes, the next step is to prioritize those duties and/or accomplishments.
For example, let's say you are an administrative assistant listing relevant duties and achievements from your last job. This is your newly-brainstormed, non-prioritized list:
  • answered phone calls
  • created and color-coded filing system to support VP of Sales
  • coordinated supervisor's travel arrangements
  • saved Sales department $12,000 by researching companies and switching office supply vendors
Now, take a moment to prioritize your list. Which description should be listed first? Which of the four will quickly catch the reader's eye? Depending upon the type of job you're applying for, if you saved your former company any money or increased their productivity in any way, that fact should be listed first.
Now read the list:
  • saved Sales department $12,000 by researching companies and switching office supply vendors
  • created and color-coded filing system to support VP of Sales
  • coordinated supervisor's travel arrangements
  • answered phone calls
Always position your strongest achievement first. Either they'll be impressed and move on or think 'Wow!' and continue reading directly below. An eye-catching first statement will positively affect every statement listed beneath it so choose wisely.
  • Use Bulleted Lists. As opposed to a sea of text, a bulleted list focuses the eye to a specific area on the page. They are often used to highlight your accomplishments instead of hiding them within bulky paragraphs.
Saved Sales department $12,000 by researching companies and switching office supply vendors. Created and color-coded filing system to support VP of Sales. Coordinated supervisor's travel arrangements. Answered phone calls vs.
  • saved Sales department $12,000 by researching companies and switching office supply vendors
  • created and color-coded filing system to support VP of Sales
  • coordinated supervisor's travel arrangements
  • answered phone calls
Remember, one of your goals is to make reading your resume as easy as possible. The reader's eye will dart straight to the bullet and focus on what is written to it's immediate right. If you want to hold the reader's attention, use 'action words' (verbs) next to a bullet (see example above). Employing strong action words will assist the reader in visualizing you carrying out those tasks for their company.
To an HR official, an organized resume can be interpreted as the sign of an organized person. An organized person has the potential to have an organized desktop, organized file cabinets and organized work habits. These are skills and qualities that employers desire in an employee. If you can present a company/organization with an organized resume it will put you one step ahead of your less organized competition.
  • Do not make 100 copies of your resume until at least one other person has reviewed it for errors and inconsistencies. Five minutes of 'editorial prevention' can mean the difference between getting an interview or getting a rejection letter.

By Stacey Agin

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Golden Steps To Reach Your Goal When Your Job Is To Find A Job

If you've been laid off or have somehow lost your job, you might find your self in the uncomfortable position of having your job be to find yourself another job. Unless you have gobs of money saved up, you'll have to hit the streets looking for a replacement that'll give you the weekly paycheck.
Many people are unprepared for looking for a full-time job under this type of pressure. Here's some tips that help you land a better job in no time.

Pen A Perfect Resume
Your resume is the first impression that prospective employers will have of you. Therefore, you want to really stand out from the crowd. The best way to do this, is to cater your resume to the job you are applying for. You want to highlight the skill you have that match the skills they need and remember to always be truthful.

Keep your resume short, with bullet items that highlight the important parts. You don't need to elaborate with a huge novel about what you've accomplished - that's what the interview is for, however, you do need to pique their interest enough for them to call you in for an interview.
Always include a cover letter with a short paragraph on why you are interested in their particular company or industry and how you think your skills will fit the job.

Submit Your Resume
Now that you have your resume written, you need to find places to submit it to. You could always go through a recruiter who has a list of jobs in your field open and can match you to them. You could also try using contacts you have in the business - call all your old friends and coworkers to try to ferret out any openings and companies who might be interested in working for. Finally you can check the papers and online job search websites.

Impress Them In The Interview
When you do get an Interview, you want to be sure to impress them with your skills and knowledge of the job. Don't go overboard and be both full, and always be truthful. do some research on the companyy so that you can ask pertinent questions. If there Is some skills they you might be rusty and that the job calls for, do some homework so that you can talk about them intelligently.

Always show up for interviews on time, take traffic into consideration and make sure you get there to check in about five minutes ahead of time. Don't forget to dress appropriately, while this may seem silly it actually does go a long way to making a big impression. Don't be nervous! This is your chance to shine, remember that a lot of times the interviewer can be just as nervous or even more as an interviewee. Many people who are interviewing are just simply workers who lack interviewing skills, you can go a long way towards gaining their trust by being confident and easy to interview.

Follow Up
After the interview, don't forget to follow up with a brief thank you letter. in a letter thank them for their time and also state how your skills are a perfect match for the job and in your particular interests in that area. People want to hire someone who is a good match for the job and will stay and enjoy it, and not just someone who needs a paycheck.

Sending a thank you letter may seem a bit old-fashioned, but this will help to get your name in front of the hiring managers again. You wouldn't believe how many people don't do this and it really makes an impression when someone does.

Stick To A Schedule
Obviously, the more places you interview the better your chances of landing a job. You can't just interview one place and then sit back for two weeks waiting to hear from them. Therefore, you need to set up some sort of schedule or goal for yourself. Perhaps you want to make sure you get In five interviews a week, then set this goal and make sure you work towards it.
While finding a new job can be a bit scary and often tedious you need to treat it as if it is your job and work at it full-time. If you make a great effort to find another job you'll be back in the workforce in no time.

Saturday, 7 May 2011

Career Literacy - Six New Ways of Thinking That Will Change Your Career Future!

"If hard work and dedication were all it took to become wealthy, our grandparents would have been millionaires!"- Glenn

April is Financial Literacy Youth Month in the Bahamas thanks to the tireless efforts of my friend Keshelle Kerr of Creative Wealth Bahamas and her passion for empowering the next generation of Bahamian financially. But what is Financial literacy and why is it important to you?

Simply put Financial literacy is "the ability to understand and make informed and effective decisions about the use and management of your money." And while money is an important part of your everyday life, you will agree that few subjects are as intimidating or frustrating for you as money.

And while you are expected to make informed and effective decisions about the use and management of your money. You are challenged by the fact that you have not been taught how to manage your money effectively.

It is not surprising then, that your money worries maybe one of the biggest causes of stress in your life. And why improving your financial literacy may be the best decision you can make.

While you may have bought into the notion that all you need for financial success is to "get a job and work hard" by now you have realized that this is not the case. The fact is working hard is WORTHLESS - unless you know how to manage your hard earned money!

The truth is no matter how much time, effort and dedication you invest in your career, you will never achieve the success you deserve - unless you know how to take control of your money!

As you live in a society that makes you ultimately responsible for your financial future and the result you get from your money, here are six new ways of thinking that you can use to improve your own money making decisions.

   1. Think Wealth Creation. And the definition of wealth is simply how long can you go without a pay cheque. This should be the foundation of your financial planing as you will only earn a fixed number of pay cheques during your working years.
   2. Think Debt Free. You can not create wealth if your money is being consumed by debt. Therefore, you must evaluate every offer of credit critically. While credit provides the immediate gratification that we all desire it robs you of the opportunity to create real sustainable wealth. And once you allow yourself to get into debt is usually difficult to get out.
   3. Think Net Worth. By focusing on your net worth you will ensure that you maintain the appropriate ratios between your debt and assets. As your net worth is the best indicator of what you actually own.
   4. Think Financial Education. The best way to improve your financial literacy is learn as much as you can about money and how it works. commit to reading at least one book or magazine on money and investing each month. "Taking Control of Your Money Workbook is good resource to help you get started.
   5. Think Simplicity. One of the biggest challenges you will have is distinguishing between your wants and needs. So once you learn how to distinguish between what you want and need you will immediately reduce your spending by at least 38 percent. As most person spend 38 percent of their money on things they do not really need.
   6. Think Financial Goals. Setting financial goals may seem elementary but setting financial goals is the key to bringing discipline to your money management. And while it is important to live for today you must also plan for tomorrow.

Finally, you do not have to be rich to be financially stable all you have to do is change your thinking about how you are managing the money that you do have.

By Glenn Ferguson

Friday, 6 May 2011

6 Keys To A Stellar First Impression At The Interview

Your resume can be extraordinary and on paper, you are the shining star. The company needs you; your background and expertise are outstanding and a perfect fit for the open position. The next hurdle is the interview. The importance of the first impression at the interview cannot be overemphasized. You can look great on paper and totally blow it with a negative first impression. This is why rehearsal and preparation are absolute necessities. Remember, you only have 30 seconds to make an excellent first impression.
The keys to an excellent first impression are:
1) Your appearance. Be sure you are well groomed and dressed professionally for the interview. Although the company may have a relaxed dress code, the interview demands a professional appearance. You can dress down after you become an employee.

2) Be on time. Allow enough time to arrive a few minutes early. Arrive ten to fifteen minutes before the appointment, but no more than fifteen minutes. If you arrive too early, you run the risk of appearing desperate and the interviewer may feel rushed. You do not want a hurried interview.
3) Be polite and pleasant to everyone you meet at the company. When you approach the receptionist, smile and make eye contact. You would be surprised at how many managers seek feedback from the receptionist. They know you want to impress management, but how do you treat other people?
4) A firm handshake, eye contact and a smile will be remembered. When you meet the interviewer, stand tall and as you offer a firm handshake, smile and look into the eyes of the interviewer. As you answer and ask questions, be sure you maintain eye contact, smile and speak clearly.
5) Ask for the job. During the interview, be sure you verbalize your interest in the company and the open position. You are confident you can meet the company objectives and you want to be a part of the team.
6) Thank the interviewer. At the end of the interview, be sure you thank the interviewer for their time and consideration.
As part of the preparation process, prior to the interview, you should have a couple of good questions in your memory bank ready to ask the interviewer. Be sure your rehearsal includes answers to several common interview questions, and you have good answers on the tip of your tongue. Always take a copy of your resume to the interview.
After the interview, write a short thank you note to the interviewer. You can, in one sentence, remind the interviewer that you are prepared to meet company objectives. You can express your hope that you will become a member of the team. Keep your thank you note brief and sincere.

Monday, 2 May 2011

Effective Resume Writing Tips That Will Get You The Interview

Your resume and cover letter are the first things that a potential employer will see, so it's very important to make a good first impression. When a company places an advertisement for an open position, they are likely to receive hundreds of applications. Very few of these applicants will be asked to come in for an interview.

You need a few great resume writing tips to ensure that your resume makes it to the top of the pile.

1. Follow instructions. This may seem trivial, but the most important thing that you can do is to follow the instructions that the employers gives in the ad. If they say to attach your resume as a word file, don't copy and paste it into the body of an email. Things like this may seem trivial, but many employers do this as an initial test. If you don't follow the proper instructions, no one will even look at your resume.

2. One-page resume. Your resume should be one page long. Especially if you are under 40 years old. As you get older, you don't need to list every job you have ever had. If you are applying for a management position, there's no need to mention that you bartended your way through college. You'll end up looking silly.

3. Experience should be relevant. The experience that you are listing should be relevant to the job that you are applying for. If you are trying to enter a new industry, then highlight how your previous positions showcased the same skills that this employer is looking for.

4. Use powerful words and bullet points. A hiring manager is only going to spend a few seconds looking at your resume. You need to leave as good of an impression as possible. Bullets make it easier to read quickly. Powerful words make the employer think that you are extremely capable.

5. Use statistics. Whenever possible, use measurable statistics to prove your point. Don't just say that you "increased customer satisfaction", say that you "increased customer satisfaction by 50% in a 6 month period."
If you follow these resume writing tips and have a well-written cover letter, you should be getting interviews in no time.

There's fierce competition when looking for a new job. Many people are still looking for a job after unemployment benefits run out.
Don't be one of them!

By  Jess McCulley

Sunday, 1 May 2011

3 Opportunities to Make a Great Impression in the Job Interview

In your job interview, the details matter. The big picture is often the same, in terms of the process, but how you handle each individual step tells the interviewer a tremendous amount about you and how you'll approach the job. Here are 3 opportunities for you to stand out from your competition:

Make a great first impression by dressing well-usually that means you should try to aim for conservative but stylish. What you want is to look like you're on top of the trends while avoiding things that could potentially offend an interviewer (like a tattoo) or distract from your message (like strong scents or a low-cut blouse). I think pants are fine for women to wear, though. It can be an area of concern for female candidates, but pants as part of a professional outfit are commonly accepted.

Watch your body language, too. Lean forward, smile, be calm-no nervous, fidgety gestures. You want to appear honest, friendly, and confident.
Overall, you want your confidence and professionalism to shine through. If you're unsure about how you're coming across in an interview situation, make the investment in a personal interview coaching session.
You know you've got to do your research on the company before your interview-do you know why? It's because (1) you don't want to waste your allotted interview time on things you can find out on your own; and (2) it helps you formulate in-depth, knowledgeable questions (asking questions is important), come up with targeted answers for typical interview questions, and create your 30-60-90-day plan.

Go through your brag book and highlight things that you think will really play well with this interviewer at this company. When the time is right in the interview, you'll be presenting job-relevant information-it's evidence that counts.

Create a 30-60-90-day action plan for what you'll do in the first 90 days on the job. It doesn't have to be just has to show that you've thought about the position and how you'll be successful at it for this particular company. But remember, it's not a one-size-fits-all document: a 30-60-90-day plan is most effective when you include company-specific details that customize it.

Don't forget to coach your references! Give your references a heads-up that you're going for this interview, and maybe even remind them of particular instances or qualities that will be especially helpful for this position. Good references can be the finishing touch that convince the hiring manager to offer you the job.