Monthly Archives: April 2011
Smart Job Search Tactics
The Easter and Royal Wedding holiday is a time when many people are off on the 11 day break and this will include the majority of decision makers.
As a result interviews are hard to arrange and most people stop looking for a job effectively. However using your time effectively could put your name at the top of the list when recruitment resumes.So try these ten smart suggestions.
1. Update your LinkedIn profile- ensure it is 100% complete and use the new features recently made available.You are 40 times more likely to gain a job with a complete profile.
2. Set up a twitter account and use it to update your status and job search on a daily basis. Google will find you and so will other recruiters soon after the holiday.This activity will increase awareness of your availability tenfold.
3.Network with people who interest you and can help develop your contacts on LinkedIn and search and join relevant groups to you, your industry/profession , H.R. and recruitment prou.This takes time but people may have a little more time currently.
4.Set up a facebookpage as your professional page keep it wide open as a chatty informative page on you and the services you provide.Lock down your personal page so only friends and family see everything.
5.Use RSS feeds effectively- set up google reader to search for and pull down the RSS feeds you want and configure it to search for relevant jobs using aggregators.Thus the best jobs will come to you in real time with no delay.
6. Buy yourself a smart phone and learn to use it. Configer the app for My6sense to receive your RSS feeds and relevant information from LinkedIn straight to your phone. Down load an app that allows you to upload your cover letters and send them from your phone to interested parties.
7. Use the phone and ring your contacts that appear to be the most promising. Speak to people ask for help and advise (not a job) and you’ll we surprised how helpful people can be.Ask them to comment on your CV don’t be defensive and demonstrate to them you have taken on board their advise.
8. Relax don’t panic let people know how well your job search is going and how your new initiatives are bearing fruit! No one wants a stressed out desperate candidate.
9. Be prepared to find and apply or send your CV to 155 people in 3 weeks.Get on their databases and again the jobs willl start coming to you.Be smart!
10. Always renew yourself-we’ve mentioned updating your LinkedIn status but also renew your profile on the job boards every Sunday evening ready for the next week. This will position you near the top of any candidate search list in your skill set .This week do it on Monday night remember the long weekend…. and relax!
Successful Career Transition, six steps and the flexible labour market
Many people are now facing a dramatic career change in the next few months or year. Some will have it forced upon them others will be fed up of re-applying for their job and want to take charge of their own career.Some people will move across the world others sectors,industries or domains and many will face moving from the private to the public sector. Some will relish the challenge others will dread it but for everyone it is a challenge and an opportunity to grow and achieve.For everyone though there are a number of things they must get right.
1. Your State of mind - This is easy to talk about but hard for many to sort out. Do you look at the glass of water and see it half full or half empty?
If you are very upset finding it difficult to focus then you have to remove the trauma of career change first and foremost.For many the first chance to talk about it is at the next interview and then when everything pours out they wonder why they didn’t get the job. Find someone and talk talk and talk till any bitterness is out of your system.If that does not work seek some professional help- when you do you’d be surprised nowadays how many people are also seeking professional counseling.Don’t be proud and stupid be honest with yourself and look after your confidence.
For many career transition is a choice they have made and a challenge to relish! Whether it’s your choice or a decision that has been forced upon you the trick to be successful is to see the process as an opportunity and try to enjoy it. In short become a “the glass is half full” person.
2.The opportunity- decide upon your personal brand and it’s positioning! What’s this marketing /HR /Recruitment speak i can hear people saying?
Quite simply what are your skills and achievements, what can you do what have you proved you can do? How relevant are these skills to a career? People often refer to these as your key transferable skills and to be transferable you have to be able to deliver them in a new environment. These need to be split between your personal strengths and your business/career skills and experience. They need defining and you need to learn how to communicate them effectively naturally illustrating your skills with practical examples either in the work place or your personal life.
One of the simplest and best examples of this i’ve seen was by brother in law who was running a milk franchise as a milkman working hard getting up early and making very little- no matter how hard he worked he could not ignore his industry was in decline.He looked at his milk float decorated by children from the promotional competitions he had been running, the thank you notes, from grateful residents,the awards he had received for community service and started to calculate his personal strengths and career skills. He stopped dwelling on the money he was loosing and started to look at opportunities to use his administrative, face to face communication and community skills.He then researched a whole series of careers completing a S.W.O.T. analysis on each looking at the strengths weaknesses opportunities and threats of each. His conclusion was that a career in nursing would be best suited but the weakness was that he would have to completely re-train over a period of several years. However this was also the opportunity he would be able to apply his strengths and move into a career where he could continually learn and grow.He discovered and created a POSITIVE MENTAL ATTITUDE to CAREER TRANSITION without professional help but by understanding himself and talking to many friends and colleagues.
Incidently he was successful and now years later is qualified and manages a team of nurses having a fufilling career.
Now i know we are not all going to be male nurses but the principles are exactly the same and you will need people to give you feedback on your strengths and how they see you.Seek advice talk to as many people as you can but then make a decision! You will then need to build a CV that reflects you strengths skills and experiences to communicate to the world the opportunity you have to offer.
3. Now become a “doer”- not a thinker! Be action orientated! With your mind set straight and the thinking exploring stage over you have to be action orientated.
a) Develop your CV and complete it within a week.This is long enough to do an excellent job gain feedback fine tune and test.I’ve been in an outplacement environment where career coaches have spent weeks working with candidates on CV’s this is to long and you loose momentum.I’ve met candidates (one last week) that thought they could produce their CV in 3 hours.You must strike a balance and get the right result for you. Oh and don’t believe your CV has to be 1 or 2 pages long it needs to have good copy and may be 3-4 pages long as long as it has a good summary page defining your personal brand defined in a personal statement and displaying the key words and long-tail words (short phrases) around your brand.Your CV has to be right for you, appealing across the range to different groups of people, recruitment agents, H.R. and client managers and interviewers.Once you have produced your CV don’t get caught in to an endless cycle of re-writes concentrate on researching and marketing your skills to the right people!
b) Research who you intend to send your CV to then send it and keep sending it against a clear set of personal achievable targets. Agencies manage 80% of the recruitment market in the UK so love them or hate them, you have to use them.You also have to deal in volume – the old add-age of the rifle and the shot gun is out of date you need a semi automatic rifle making many well targeted shots with your CV.The internet has changed everything and without volume you may be unlucky no matter how professional your approach.In dealing with hundreds of people in the last 24 months they need to make 155 well targeted applications on average to find success. For a doer that is 10 applications a day and 3 weeks work 9.00am till 5.30pm every day with no time for Jerry Springer on the TV or doing the washing. This should yield 3 interviews and at least one job, if you stray from these figures something is going wrong review your techniques. If your still working in a job while searching for a new one, then you have to be well organised contactable during the day and be prepared to work evenings a weekends to hit your targets. By the way make sure your phone, voicemail and email all work effectively.
4. Learn the tactics to apply for jobs efficiently and effectively - To find success you need a highly efficient production line with a good spreadsheet or database to help manage your job applications so that any point you know exactly where you are.Very quickly you will loose track unless you efficiently manage your job search.You need to do so much more that simply hit the apply button on the job boards, you have to speak to people and communicate your brand.The correct tactics are so important and the devil is in the detail as this is where so many people go wrong failing to gain interviews and never knowing why they have fallen short.
Have you worked out how to use aggregators and RSS feeds to manage these into google reader and a smart-phone using my6sense? You need to be a smart intelligent job searcher finding jobs in real time before they expire usually as quickly as 4 hours later.
For many the best opportunity for career transition is to move into contract work or interim consultancy or management positions. Many future employers may not take you on full time but will be less reluctant to give you a 3 month contract.In practice such a contract may last nearly 2 years never more or you will loose the tax benefits of being a contractor.Managing a contract career can develop your career keeping you up to date and more than doubling your earnings provided you can find work quickly. A professional contractor needs to become a professional networker.
5) Become a Professional Networker - Very few of us are natural networkers we have to learn how to become one and adopt it as a lifestyle approach and not a one off to find one job. The good news is now in the new digital age it could not be easier. With your email system, LinkedIn, facebook, google buzz and Twitter you can make a real difference and physically see the results from your work.
If you’ve worked in the UK for the last 10 years you may not know it but you may have a very good network you can deliver- the secret let everyone know you are looking for work.If you have just arrived in the UK then you are going to have to start your network from cold and that means working very hard to network with recruiters because it is the fastest way to become known. There are over 11,000 relevant agencies in the UK for most professionals and therefore you have to discreetly play the field.Each agency will probably ask you to concentrate on them, but few of them will have the volume of vacancies to ensure you find success solely with them.
Networking is a two way process and you have to learn the skills simply broadcasting your availability is not enough.In the era of Social and Digital professional networking you cannot ignore the biggest website in the world facebook. However i’d advocate ensuring your personal profile was clean or locked down and developing a professional page for the world to see.LinkedIn is the best professional site and 80% of your effort should go here, developing your network in the right areas.You must have a 100% complete profile with this you are 40 times more likely to get a job. Twitter can be your broadcasting tool not to tel me the contents of your breakfast but to communicate positive messages that are google search-able and update your status throughout LinkedIn and your network. With Twitter you can automate your updates and you will increase the effectiveness of your networking 10 fold, the bonus is that you will also discover new opportunities to job search as you become familiar with it, but to start with use it as your broadcast tool.Lastly google buzz -you should have your profile on the biggest search engine in the world and link it to your network once automated there is very little to do to maintain it.It is also naive not to believe that the biggest search engine in the world won’t prefer it’s own ..you!
6. Preparation and practice – deliver your personal brand professionally. To be successful you have to be able to communicate effectively and for 90% of people this means firstly planning you fit for a role and then practice, practice, practise to deliver it effectively. You have to be able to develop your telephone skills for screening conversations and telephone interviews and you have to be able to deliver a good interview.This is more than simply answering the questions that are asked of you but having your agenda to deliver your fit for a role and as to why you are the best candidate (your Unique Selling Point). If you are not asked then you need to state it anyway by listening and linking to the the points made by the interviewer.
Now many people are shy or at best out of practice and this is why practice makes perfect.Do rehearse so that you become confident and plan your interview to make your strategy and tactics clear for the interview.It will be easier than you think!
Finally don’t forget from my previous blog that you must give a positive impression through being: flexible, available, organised, intelligent and enthusiastic.