Author Archives: Laura Cooke

2014 Resolutions for your Job Search

Goals 2014During the last week of the year, many people focus on making changes in their lives.  Whether you’re unemployed, or looking for a different career, you should definitely consider your job search as an area to change.

Why?

If you don’t have a job yet, it can’t hurt to try some new strategies.  What better way to kick off a new year than with entirely new job search resolutions?

As you make your checklist of things you want to do different with your job search in 2014, consider the following:

1.  Let Go of Baggage

So many people carry negatives from the past year into their future endeavors without realizing that their baggage often prevents forward momentum and success. If something went wrong in 2013, such as you didn’t get the job you wanted or you had a less than stellar interview, let it go. Don’t think about these events as failures or allow them to undermine your self-esteem. Instead, see them as teaching moments.

Write down anything positive and useful you learned from parts of your job search that didn’t go your way and then put the negatives behind you!

2.  Redesign Your Resume

Advice about resume design hasn’t changed much over the last decade. Your resume shouldn’t be more than two pages. Ideally, it should only be one page. It shouldn’t overwhelm the reader with a lot of font styles and colors, or feature a lot of unnecessary personal details. On the other hand, it doesn’t hurt to draw attention to it with something different. For example, consider replacing black bullets with a splash of eye-catching color or add a QR code that links to an online video of you outlining your skills.

When in doubt, ask a college friend, professor or local career center to help you, or hire a professional resume writer.

3.  Update Your Wardrobe

Interviewers often associate clothing colors and styles with career and personality traits. Stick to simple and conservative options for your first meeting. Well-fitted clothing makes the best impression. If you’re on a budget, find a single style of top or dress shirt in several positive career colors that you look great in that also matches different suits you own; or use new accessories, such as a tie, scarf, pocket handkerchief or necklace, to create different looks. If you can’t afford to buy at retail prices, check out end-of-season and pre/post holiday discount rack offerings or buy at thrift stores and consignment shops.

Used clothing stores typically offer more than retro professional styles. Some receive donations of newer fashions from department stores and price them at only a few dollars.

4.  Reconnect With People

The best job search leads are usually referrals from people job seekers know. Make a list of your current and past friends, coworkers, supervisors, teachers and schoolmates and then do everything you can to reconnect with them. Typically, this method will result in at least one person who recommends an employer, knows of new job openings or has job search strategies you’ve yet to try. If you’re hesitant to reach out to people from your past by phone, break the ice by asking them to connect with you on social networks like Twitter and Facebook and job networking sites like LinkedIn and Plaxo.

Don’t forget to use this valuable resource to its fullest: Besides mentioning your job search, ask for references from people who know you well!

5.  Make Twitter a Resource

Many employers now tweet links to new job postings on Twitter. Employers do this for several reasons: First, they want to make certain that a job applicant understands the importance of social networks. Second, they consider Twitter job seekers to be people who aren’t afraid to use technology to save time and improve their lives. Lastly, they consider traditional classified’s searching as a passive style of job searching; whereas, they recognize job seeker’s who use Twitter as active searchers.

An active searcher is often considered energetic and associated with being an out-of-the-box thinker and a dedicated, hard worker.

6.  Broaden Your Search

Although you should narrow your job search to an occupation you think you’ll enjoy, you shouldn’t narrow job site options. Write down a list of things you would like and dislike in a new job and work site, including outdoor environmental conditions. Instead of sticking to a local area, consider jobs in other cities, towns or even countries that match the “likes” on your list. If you’re in a situation that requires you to remain in your local area, such as you care for elderly parents or your spouse has a great-paying local job, consider virtual employment options.

Perform online keyword searches for “freelance” or “telecommuting” jobs or check out virtual job employment sites, such as eLance, Guru.com, oDesk and iFreelance.

Do you have another job search resolution for 2014?  Share them below by commenting!

Using Video for your Resume – The highs and lows

We are often asked about whether it’s really a good idea to use video for your resume.  Many recall the laughing stock of Wall Street who’s video resume went viral…..in a BAD way.

Business Failure

http://www.nbcnews.com/id/15250703/ns/business-forbes_com/t/students-video-resume-has-wall-street-howling/

However, there are times when a video for your resume DOES help.

A video resume is mainly important when and if your personality, speaking skills and presence are desired attributes for a job.  Typically, this would include postings such as customer service, sales, marketing or any leadership position where you’d have to present your ideas to teams or large groups.

What’s important is to determine whether a video resume would help or hinder your chances in a job search.  For example, do your personality and communication skills help you stand out from other candidates?  Would a video resume be off-putting (is the company very traditional or non-technical in nature)?

Here are some tips on how to create an effective video for your resume:

http://mashable.com/2011/01/17/tips-video-resumes/

Remember, all parts of SuccessorE’s eResumeTM are optional.  Only use them when appropriate and if they will give you a better chance of standing out based on what the job requires.

Have you tried video for your resume?  Was the experience good or bad?  We’re interested in your stories.  Please comment below.

What to do before you start looking

When job searching, it’s often difficult to stay focused and directed in your activity.  There’s many things you need to start doing such as establishing a network, polishing your brand and cleaning up your online presence.  This article helps illustrate the items you need to take care of:

Success

http://www.recruiter.com/i/4-things-to-do-before-you-even-start-looking/

What else should we add to the “to do” list?

The top 5 Qualities you must bring to any job application

We’re always on the lookout for the inside scoop and wanted to provide some insight on the top qualities recruiters look for.  Here’s an article on a recent study:  http://www.recruiter.com/i/the-five-star-qualities-that-todays-employer-wants-to-see-in-candidates/

Young businessman

Now, think about your resume and try to work in examples of these attributes into your deliverables:

Professionalism, High-Energy, Confidence, Self-Monitoring, Intellectual Curiosity

If you’re stuck, ask former colleagues on how your demonstrated these traits.  If you haven’t had the opportunity to demonstrate them on the job, are there other organizations or environments you’ve displayed them (volunteer organizations, associations, school, etc.)?

Any thoughts / ideas?

Join the E-volution! The traditional resume just won’t cut it anymore

Join the E-Volution!   The traditional resume just won’t cut it anymore

Rip up Resume

So you have 5 years experience in marketing and you want to apply for a job posting you saw on a website.  You don’t know anyone at that company to get you an “in”.  The average job posting has 200 applicants, so how does your experience look on paper?  Well, the traditional resume looks like this:

Sample Resume

How are you going to stand out among the other Marketing professionals in the same boat?

Well there are several ways to optimize your job search and SuccessorE Inc. includes them in their free eBook:  How to stand out in the competitive Job market:  http://www.successore.com/help/free-ebook.html

SuccessorE Inc. provides a platform for candidates to stand out well beyond their resume to showcase the package of what they have to offer.  Introducing the eResumeTM, they allow recruiters to practically have the interview at first glance:

eResume

Hiring Managers will get a much better sense of the candidate, who they are and what they have to offer their organization.  The candidate gets to put their best foot forward when there’s only one chance to make a first impression.

Sources state that recruiters prefer video or electronic resumes (http://www.recruitingblogs.com/profiles/blogs/benefits-of-video-resume-over)

The eResumeTM isn’t just for Marketers.  Anyone can use it to stand out among other candidates.  With the end of the University and College year nearing, thousands of new grads are about to hit the job market looking for work and with limited experience, an eResumeTM might just make the difference.

SuccessorE is offering a free 10 day trial to create your eResumeTM .  They offer new clients a series of emails that will help them create each piece of their eResumeTM including best practices and video tutorials.  You can also have SuccessorE create your eResume for you if you  need that extra help.

Stand out in the job market and create an eResumeTM today.

SuccessorE Inc. is a Calgary Alberta based Company and is proud to offer a percentage of profits to not-for-profit organizations.  Contact us at www.successore.com or info@successore.com .

What questions should YOU ask at the job interview?

We all know to prepare for the questions prospective employers are going to ask us during the interview, but what questions should you prepare to ask them?  Remember a good fit has to work both ways, so you want to ensure the company will provide you with the values, culture and future opportunities you’re looking for.

Interview

http://www.forbes.com/sites/robasghar/2013/03/05/the-two-key-questions-to-ask-when-youre-interviewed-for-a-job/

Any suggestions as to what else you could ask?

How to exude confidence

There is a saying “fake it until you make it” and while you may think this has a negative connotation, the theory is, even if you don’t feel comfortable, if you act like you are, it will eventually become natural.  Here are some key points on exuding confidence at work.  These items are also very applicable when interacting with prospective employers or recruiters.

Success

http://www.forbes.com/sites/jacquelynsmith/2013/03/11/10-nonverbal-cues-that-convey-confidence-at-work/

Keep practicing!

The Inside Scoop: What Recruiters look for on your job application

Image converted using ifftoany

In most fields, it’s an employers’ market.  With hundreds of resumes pouring in for a single opening, recruiters often begin their review in weed-out mode.  In this competitive market, it’s more important than ever for job seekers to understand what recruiters are looking for and adapt.   When preparing your resume and communicating with a recruiter, keep these five issues in mind—because the recruiter will be.

·         Tailor your resume to a specific job:  With the high volume of resumes passing through a recruiter’s inbox, generic isn’t going to get you noticed.  Read the job description carefully and create a resume that focuses on your most relevant skills and experience.  And, because many recruiters use software to scan for specific skills and experience, tailor your language to the posting as well.

·         Narrow your focus: On a related note, recruiters are often wary of an applicant whose experience is too broad-based.  While this means a wide range of skills, it may also send the message that you don’t know what you want to do and may not be committed to the position you’re seeking.  When preparing a job-specific resume, stay focused—recruiters generally aren’t looking for renaissance men.

·         Write a specific cover letter for each job:  Just like tailoring your resume, a personalized cover letter will help protect you from the initial weed-out.  Aside from demonstrating that you haven’t just mass-emailed your resume as many job seekers do, a good cover letter may save you from the first-round weed-out by closing an apparent gap in skills or experience, explaining a period of unemployment or describing why you’re interested in a particular position.

·         Make sure your resume and reference information are up to date: Whether out of laziness or an attempt to blur unemployment dates, many applicants fail to update resumes—especially with termination dates.  Don’t let a recruiter learn that you’re no longer employed from someone else, or surprise her by revealing information in an interview that conflicts with your resume.

·         Don’t make work for the recruiter: It may sound harsh or even unreasonable to suggest that if the recruiter has to revisit an attachment to get your contact information or convert a file to a different format in order to read it, you’re likely to get passed over.  However, with the volume of resumes recruiters receive, it’s a practical reality.  They’re busy and moving fast, and if you haven’t made it easy for them chances are that they’ll just keep moving…on to the next applicant.

It’s a tough market out there, but people are getting hired every day.  There are several key factors which determine whether or not you get an interview, and some differ depending on the position or the recruiter.  However, the tips above will give you a strong leg up as you let recruiters know that you’re invested in a particular job and willing to work to set yourself apart from the large pool of job seekers in competition with you.