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The Wise Job Search aims to provide the "Best of the Best" information, resources, and ideas to help you go from "I didn't get the job" to "I start on Monday!"
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Networking: No more cold calls!

One of the most intimidating challenges for most people in their job search networking is to make "cold calls" to people they don't know.

For many, the thought strikes fear in their hearts, it paralyzes them, and it's why they don't "buy into" the necessity of networking in their job search.

Calling someone without any connection to them can, at times, be intimidating even for great sales people. A job search is a sales process! However, for someone that never wanted to be in sales, it can feel worse.

Can you be an effective job networker without having to make cold calls?  You bet! Here's how…


Keep adding links to your chain! While calling someone without a "connecting" point may be tough, calling someone through someone else's referral is certainly much easier. Your objective with each networking call, conversation, or meeting is to get additional names of people to connect to.

While you're certainly interested in hearing about job leads… never ask for them! People are not walking job boards and it's highly unlikely that they would know of an appropriate opening for you off the top of their head. When you ask about a job, the conversation usually becomes silent and awkward. People generally want to help, and as soon as they realize you're in a job hunt, they're likely to tell you about jobs if they know of one. However, what doesn't usually occur to them, is that you want additional people to talk to. Giving them another option often gets you more results!

Successful networking is like building a chain. Connect one link to another, to another, and to another until you land on one that may have the right opportunity for you. If your networking is focused on asking for a couple of additional contacts from each person you talk to, you will have an endless supply of "warm calls" you can make.

How to ask… Start with people you know: family, friends, neighbors, former co-workers, other parents on your kids sports teams, your accountant, hairdresser, dry cleaner, and anyone else you can think of. Let them know you're in a job hunt and make your objective clear…
"Networking really is the best way to find a new job, however, it's tough sometimes to reach out to people I don't know. The best way is for me to call people based on referrals from others. I'd really be grateful for any names of other people you think might be worthwhile for me to talk to. People that seem well connected themselves, people in my field or industry, people that you might know at one of my target company's like ABC Corp, or XYZ, Inc., or people that you might reach out to if you were in my situation."
How to make the warm call… Once you have a name, or two, or ten… it's no longer necessary to call someone without a connection. It's much easier to pick up the phone and say something like…
"Hi _______, my name is _________. I was talking to __________ recently and they suggested I connect with you regarding the networking I'm doing for my job search. Did I catch you at a good time?
Then give a brief elevator speech about yourself, and ask for further referrals in the same way you asked your previous acquaintance!

Keep building your chain, and soon you will find yourself talking to someone that says… "Actually… I know of a position that may be a great fit for you!"

All done without having to make a single cold call!

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Staying On Top Of Your Job Search - III

 

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In what is now apparently becoming a series of posts with the same theme and title… consider yet another excellent tool to help you manage the tidal wave of information you need to manage in an effective job search…

FreshTransition.com

In previous "Staying On Top Of Your Job Search" articles, I pointed out other terrific tools to keep up with the multitude of contacts, opportunities, and pieces of information that you accumulate and pursue in your search. Both JibberJobber.com and 44Score.com give you outstanding resources for your process. Both are both very reasonably priced, and although they are very different from each other both in feel and in their pricing models, they are each very effective.

Fresh Transition is different in its approach and feel as well… with the added benefit of being absolutely free! I've always believed that 'Free is Good'!

In addition to the tool itself, Fresh Transition also has a cadre of writers to provide additional career search advice easily accessible on the site to help you through the process. Preparing to tailor a resume for a particular job posting? Read appropriate articles on how to do it effectively. Pretty handy.

Each site will appeal differently to different personal preferences of job seekers, so explore each one and decide what might work best for you. I believe Fresh Transition is another very worthwhile option and certainly think it's of value to mention it here!

Here is an instructional video to give you a flavor of how the site works…


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Get More From Job Boards!

job_boardsMonster, CareerBuilder, Dice, and the hundreds or thousands of other job boards online, and consolidation sites like Indeed and SimplyHired are great resources to find potential openings in your field. Most job seekers, however, don't use them as effectively as they could for their job search.

There's the obvious benefit of finding appropriate jobs that are posted on them, however, some of the not so obvious ways to look at them are rarely pursued. Sometimes the most valuable information is not the jobs that are posted!

Consider…

Companies only post some of their openings. It generally costs companies money to post positions on job boards, and the largest ones are the most expensive. So they typically only post a portion of the positions they are trying to fill. With that in mind, it's generally wise to assume that where there's smoke, there's fire!

If a company has several positions posted on a job board, yet none of them seem to fit your background well. There's a good chance they may have additional openings too, some of which may be a better fit.

Check the company's own website to check for other jobs. Use LinkedIn to find contacts and call several people to ask who they know within the organization that might be looking for someone with your background. Google the company name along with some of your key skills to find additional clues.

Find target companies. Some of the most effective job search strategies involve targeting companies, not just ads that are posted. Once an ad is posted online, hundreds or thousands of people see it and a great many apply. A job seeker has a great deal of competition for jobs that are openly advertised. Building relationships with companies that interest you, however, enables you to be in the right place at the right time when an appropriate opportunity arises. Being the only candidate, or one of a very few leads to better results.

Searching job boards for the kinds of companies you'd like to work for and creating a target list can be a very effective way of using a job board even when appropriate jobs aren't listed.

Compare job descriptions to confirm what portions are part of a template, and what's important. Most companies use standard templates for most of their job descriptions and only change details in the Requirements section. Comparing multiple job descriptions from the same company across various fields can help you determine what wording is part of their template, and what is unique about a specific job. Focusing on those unique aspects will help you stand out from other candidates that miss those important points.

Find recruiters in your field. Like the employers themselves, recruiters generally only post some of their openings online. Searching through job descriptions in your field or industry, whether they are a fit or not, can help you find Recruiters, and Firms that specialize in your field. Those recruiters will likely have other positions that have not been posted and some of those may fit your background. It's often difficult to find relevant recruiters for your profession. Looking for them through job boards is an excellent resource to connect.

Compare recruiters job descriptions to companies. While a recruiter can be a great ally in obtaining a position, there are times when it may be better to approach the company on your own. The recruiters client is the company, and their role is to find the best person they can for the position. If they don't believe you're it, or for some other reason you are not able to make progress with them, you can sometimes figure out who the company is through the job description the recruiter has posted.

It's very common to use their clients wording from their own job description in the description they post themselves. Cut and paste a unique sentence or paragraph from their job description and paste it into Google. You may find where the company has the same job description on their own website or in some other spot. You can then pursue the position on your own when you weren't able to learn who the company was from the recruiter. (If the recruiter does share the company name with you, however, do NOT approach the company on your own, it will likely burn a bridge with the recruiter, and ultimately with the company when the recruiter tells them what you did!)

Figure out what's hot. Read job postings from a more objective point of view to learn areas that are in great demand. Often, job seekers only read job descriptions quickly to determine if a position fits their skills or not. However, if you look for commonalities, you can learn a great deal. Are there specific tools, processes, or other skills or certifications that come up consistently that seem to exclude you from consideration? Those may be areas to get additional training or development. Keep track to see how often they really appear and consider how likely it would help you in qualifying for some of those roles. Don't miss the forest when staring at the trees.

Viewing job boards from a broader perspective will help you get more information and better results. Be creative, be curious, and become a detective!


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Targeting Companies vs. Job Boards For Your Job Search!!!

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Is the Resume Dead?

Relatively frequently these days, I see articles about the demise of the resume. That it's obsolete, unnecessary, an anachronism, and even a 'boat anchor' when trying to portray yourself as a state-of-the-art job seeker. The argument generally says that LinkedIn, Facebook, other social media, and Google itself gives an employer all they need to know about someone and a resume is redundant.

Is that true???

Certainly not!

Here are some observations…

 

A resume tends to be considered most authoritative. While people can, and do, put anything they'd like about themselves online, a resume is generally considered the most trusted document regarding their work history and experience. It's very common to see someone's LinkedIn profile online, and then get a very different perspective of the person's background when viewing their resume. Often, people are primarily focused on creating a certain impression online, while they consider a resume to be more of an official document that requires greater accuracy and disclosure when presenting it for consideration to a potential employer.

While someone can certainly put that kind of focus on their online profiles, a recruiter or employer generally assumes the resume is the most thorough and accurate representation of a candidates background.

A resume can be tailored. An online profile can, and is, viewed by any number of people and potential employers. It generally has to be a one-size-fits-all type of document since it's impossible to know who will see it. A resume, on the other hand ought to be tailored for a specific role, company, and circumstance. It can be tailored to emphasize your most relevant skills and experience for a specific position. It becomes a more effective vehicle to help an employer connect the dots between their requirements and your related background. That becomes virtually impossible to achieve through an online profile available to everyone.

A resume can be printed as an easily readable document. As much as we are living in an electronic age, the reality is that some situations still require a printed document. A job interview is one of those circumstances. You will almost never find an employer in a job interview reviewing an online profile or reading a resume on a computer screen. They print it out to use it as a reference for discussion in the interview process. An online profile is not as likely to print out in a well formatted fashion and creates a less than ideal impression when it's seen on paper rather than on screen.

There's no question that the world, and effective job search strategies are rapidly changing. What is effective today may not be in 5 years from now. However, given the reasons above, it's highly unlikely that resumes will become unnecessary in the job search process any time soon. While the components of an effective resume may change, the necessity of having one will not in the near future.

So, create a document that works!


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An Effective Resume for Today!

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Employers want "Emotional Intelligence"

Emotional Intelligence is a term heard often these days. Books on leadership discuss it, personality assessments address it, and occasionally employers will mention it when they are evaluating potential new hires or promotions.

What is Emotional Intelligence, and how do you get it and demonstrate that you have it? Good question… here are some observations…

Wikipedia describes Emotional Intelligence as:

Emotional intelligence (EI) is the ability to identify, assess, and control the emotions of oneself, of others, and of groups.

Generally, it’s being able to correctly perceive and respond appropriately to the underlying emotions of the people you come in contact to.

So why does this matter in a job interview?

Often times, someone with strong Emotional Intelligence (EI) is perceived to have very strong communication skills, or to be “quick” or ‘“on the ball”.

Since they can often understand what’s really being conveyed by the person they’re talking to beyond the words that are spoken, they can respond in a way that addresses more than what’s been articulated. They are perceived to “get it” faster than someone with low EI. Any employer would like to hire someone that’s quick to understand and effectively communicate and address concerns with others.

So how do you get EI?

For some people it’s innate. It may be a natural part of their personality, or something they’ve learned through their upbringing and their family dynamics. However, it is something that can be learned and developed whether you already have it or not.

It primarily comes down to effective listening and observation!

Too often, people don’t really listen to the people they are conversing with. They are more preoccupied with what they are going to say next, rather than paying close attention to what the other person is saying, or how they are expressing themselves with their body language. Listening, not only to their words, but also to their voice inflections, their boldness or uncertainty, their comfort or irritation, or other aspects of their tone. Observing, not only their lips, but their stance and posture, evidence of stress or anxiousness, looks of concern, joy, curiosity, anger, caring, or boredom. Paying attention to all these things and more can give clues about the persons interest, concern, or other aspects of the conversation.

When their voice and body language don’t seem to match their words, it’s evidence that there are other things going on in the background. Being willing to ask about and address those additional issues will make you much more effective in getting to the root of a problem or persuading others to your point of view.

If you want a potential employer, a current co-worker or boss, or a friend, child, or spouse to perceive you as “getting it”, learn, develop, and demonstrate a high degree of Emotional Intelligence. You will be pleasantly surprised by the results.


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