job search

Last night I met the strongest man in the world. And he is looking for a new job. 2

Last night I met the strongest man in the world. And he is looking for a new job. He currently works in a hospital, the hospital that helped save his life almost 13 years ago.
The strongest man in the world has been awarded three Emmys, The Associated Press Award for Best New Jersey Newscast and two Corporation for Public Broadcasting Awards as a Television Producer. The strongest man in the world has traveled the world teaching others how to be the best in broadcasting, even traveling to Russia and Kosovo (that’s a story in itself). His opportunities were endless, his enthusiasm enormous and his confidence unshakable.
When the strongest man in the world came in contact with Kryptonite, his whole world collapsed. It took away the use of the entire left side of his body and stirred up his mind so he couldn’t articulate his thoughts. This would have dampened the spirits of a mere mortal, but not the strongest man in the world. He found the antidote to the Kryptonite was his own attitude about the effects it was having on him.
Within weeks, the strongest man in the world was walking and talking. He learned to read again, to interact, to strengthen the limbs that the kryptonite had made fallow. Soon the strongest man in the world was helping others in the hospital who had also come in contact with kryptonite, sharing his experience and sharing his vision of a better future, a stronger future, a future free of the effects of Kryptonite.
More than a decade later, the scars from his encounter with Kryptonite are not visible to the naked eye. The one that remains is the ability to feel unshakeable confidence. Yet as you talk with the strongest man in the world, you see that his regaining this skill too, is inevitable. Having come so far, he is ready to face the job market and get back to the work he loves, the creativity and collaborative endeavors that allow him to use his superhuman strength for the good of others. The right job will be found, the career path once again joined.
I believe there are more Emmys in his future. For after all, to me, he is the strongest man in the world.

The Shocking Truth About Today’s Jobs Number 1

Bleak May unemployment report suggests economic recovery may be stalling

The Labor Department reported on Friday that the nation’s economy added only 69,000 jobs in May, bringing the unemployment rate to 8.2% – The Washington Post  

Until this morning, the Jobs reports over the past few months have been encouraging. People are actually quitting jobs. In some sectors, good paying jobs are going unfilled. So why did the one point uptick send the markets into a tumble and cause network reporters to spend the day saying “the jobs sky is falling”?

The shocking truth is that things really haven’t changed since 2008. People are playing their cards closer to the vest. Employers are stretching the limits of their existing employees productivity rather than hire. And businesses, unsure of the political climate, are reluctant to invest in long-term projects which create new jobs.

WASHINGTON — A new study from the Labor Department’s Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that the Great Recession that technically ended in 2009 has doubled the time it takes before the average unemployed person either finds a job or gives up looking for work.

Each month, BLS announces the latest unemployment rate and several other characteristics of the workforce, including the length of time people have been jobless. Last Friday’s announcement brought news that the average unemployed person had been looking for work for 39.7 weeks as of May (the median length of unemployment rose to 22 weeks). Huffington Post

So the truth is landing a job is going to be work. You need to have a long-term focus even if “you need the job now”. If you start with the right attitude, you will greatly increase your odds of success. Avoiding highs and lows helps keep your emotional energy intact. Make sure you set goals for how many interviews you will have, resumes you will send and the amount of time you will spend networking to find work.

When you get interviews, think of them as just a step in the process. Keep your routine going until you find yourself in a new hire orientation. Then you can relax and congratulate yourself for a job well done.

3 Ways Job Seekers Tell Stories During An Interview 3

What kind of story are you telling?

The more I speak with job seekers, the more I am certain that those who are getting hired tell a better story. They have taken the time to think about their past experiences and have practiced telling specific stories about specific actions they have taken.  They can tell an employer what the problem was, what action they took to solve the problem and how it came out.

During an interview for any position that involves interaction with customers, you will most likely be asked something like “tell me about a time when you had a problem customer; what was the problem, what did you do to resolve the problem and how did it turn out”?

Here are three ways people answer:

1. Having interviewed several thousand applications, almost two-thirds  will gloss over their answer. It’s as if they are taking a few experiences and mashing them together, then talking in general terms about it. There is a generic “someone was upset, I called a manager, I think it was ok”. Even getting that out of many applicants is a struggle. Sadly, many applicant stand out because they can’t tell a simple story of how they helped someone.

2. Without a magic potion that will make the applicant’s nose grow with each “untruth” they tell, an interviewer can never be 100% certain if the applicant is telling the truth. Yet some applicants feel the need to embellish their story in order to make themselves look better on paper or sound better in an interview. Most experienced hiring managers will understand what is going on. Just be yourself, sincere, honest and enthusiastic. Making up stories is never the right answer.

3. Having taken the time to think about your job experiences before the interview and the ways you have helped customers, you pick the experience that most closely fits the job you are applying for and you simply relate the story like you would tell it to a family member.

“It was Christmas Eve, I was the store manager for Best Products in Hopewell, VA. My phone rang about 8:30 PM and it was a customer who had bought a large ride on car for his 4-year-old son for Christmas. He was putting it together and found the battery was missing. He was very upset that his son’s Christmas was going to be ruined.

I told him to meet me at the store and I would get him the battery. I called my assistant manager to meet me there, just in case it was a setup (it wasn’t) and I went to the store. We found the battery the man needed and his son’s Christmas was saved.”

While you may not have solved a customer problem on Christmas Eve, I am certain you have gone out of your way to take care of a customer issue. Maybe you dropped off a set of plans on your way home, you called someone and got a needed repair done quicker or  you beat a deadline for a customer and made him or her look good as a result.

Take a few minutes right now and go back through your customer service experiences. Then you will be ready for your next interview, standing out for the right reasons. You will set yourself ahead of two-thirds of the applicants just by this one idea.

And if you feel like sharing, I know we would all benefit from hearing your personal “Christmas Eve” story.

After you do what everyone else is doing – try this to land a job 1

 

What Associations have you researched?

So you have subscribed to the weekend edition of the NY Times, you are reading the job listings on jobs boards and you went to a job fair. You have contacted Aunt Millie who knows a guy who knows a guy at a company you want to work for. Your resume is out there and you’re sitting pretty waiting for the offers to roll in.

If this strategy isn’t producing the desired results yet, you may want to include this in your  job search tool bag. Do some research on Associations and trade groups relevant to your industry, or the industry you hope to break into. These publications can  help in your job search. Many companies advertise in industry publications to attract talent that is already skilled in the field.

You can also use these industry publications to network. By scanning each issue, you can quickly see who is being recognized for their work, who has landed a new position and even who is retiring. This sets up a great reason to contact these people. You might send: a personal note from you congratulating someone on a promotion, a note recognizing the value of the research someone published or a card thanking someone for their years of service. Done the right way, you have created a personal connection. This would not be the time to discuss you and your job prospects. It needs to be about them.  A follow-up down the road can begin a more specific conversation.

For my jobs board One Stop Jobs Online I belong to the International Association of Employment Websites. One of the resources offered is a Directory of Associations by category. This would be a good place to start if you are not currently researching Associations  in your job search.

Another benefit of Associations is to  see what is going on in your industry. This gives you great talking points when you interview.

So do the traditional job search activities and then look for the not so obvious. It may be the lead that lands you in your new hire orientation!

 

You’ll never believe the tool I found to prepare for an interview 0

One of the keys to success in the job market is to research the companies you are interested in. This has been made almost child’s play with Google Alerts.

If you have not set up an alert for each company you are seeking a job with, then you are missing out on an easy to use tool. You can search just the company, you can add the names of individuals you will be interviewing with or the CEO  of the company. Another search might be the industry you are in.

Google alerts can be sent to your email as they happen, so you have up to the minute information. Or if your inbox is very crowded, they can be sent daily.

Don’t skip the research step in your job search. Information is power. The more information you have, the better you will feel during the interview.  Try this out and let me know what you think.

 

The most dangerous threat to your job search 2

What are you telling yourself?

You probably guessed it before you began reading. The most dangerous threat to your job search isn’t the competition, the out of the blue interview questions or even the lack of jobs in your field. The most dangerous threat to your job search is you. This threat shows up in many ways, but negative self-talk can keep you on the sidelines. Alleydog defines Self Talk as:

Self Talk: Self Talk refers to the ongoing internal conversation with ourselves, which influences how we feel and behave.

For example, you find yourself in a traffic jam while rushing to work one morning. You self-talk could be pessimistic and you might think, “My whole day is ruined. If I don’t get to work on time, I’ll never hear the end of it. My boss will think that I’m no good and will surely pass me up for that promotion I’ve been working all year for.” You will then start your day in a bad mood and feel demotivated thinking that there’s no point in working hard since you already ruined your chances for a promotion.

On the other hand, you could have a more positive self-talk and think, “I’ll probably be no more than ten minutes late. I guess I’ll just have to take a quick lunch instead of going out to eat. If I can turn in my report before the end of the day and make sure that it’s error-free, I might still have a chance to get that promotion.”

I know it is hard to be objective when you are focusing on yourself, but that’s when you must.  Self talk can either work in your favor  and fuel your success or it can undermine your actions and keep you from landing your dream job. As you go through the job seeking process, you almost need to think of yourself as the job coach for yourself.

If you were advising a sibling, a close friend or your own children about a job, what advice would you give them? As you think of your own situation, is the advice you are giving yourself what you would tell them? If not, then you are not thinking clearly about the job prospect or yourself.

And don’t over think. The interview today may lead to a job offer, but you must remain focused. Talking yourself out of continuing the job search because you have a possible opportunity that sounds promising sets yourself up for disappointment.

So talk to yourself about how you are talking to yourself. It may just be what you need to  change negative thought into positive energy. The end result will be that warm fuzzy feeling that comes when you are sitting in your new hire orientation!

Job hunting is a delicate balance – Here are three ways to cope 1

Are You Stressing Over Your Job Search?

“Job hunting is a delicate balance between pride, desperation and humiliation.”        Amy Crabtree

Here are three ways to cope:

  1. Don’t stop- You may have found a lead to the best job on the planet and you’re sure after the telephone interview that next week will be it because they scheduled an interview. Now you have six days to kill until the interview, so you start thinking why should I keep looking, this job is in the bag. Instead of stopping your job search, pause for a few minutes, write down everything you remember from the phone interview, especially things that got a positive response and then keep searching. It  doesn’t matter if this job works out,  you have many more coming. Don’t stop until you are in a new hire orientation
  2. Don’t marry the company - I’ve said many times before, you can end up on an emotional roller coaster if you play the “I’ve got to have this job, it’s perfect” game. All jobs have perks, benefits and all jobs have drawbacks. Make sure you are painting a realistic picture of the company;  you may decide after the first interview that you don’t like their culture. Be open about the company and realistic about what they are offering and your stress will be less.
  3. Don’t think traditional – With all of the competition for jobs today, standing out is imperative. In the end, it’s about getting the attention of the company you want to work for. Within the corporate culture of the industry and workplace you are targeting, you need to tell your story. Share your personal brand with specific stories that give the interviewer a reason to remember you.

Amy caught the spirit of the problem. “Job hunting is a delicate balance between pride, desperation and humiliation.” Don’t be so proud that you stop searching because “they would be nut’s not to hire you”. Don’t be so desperate that you take the first thing that comes along, without making sure it is a good fit for you. And don’t worry about being embarrassed when you market yourself in a memorable way. It may end up being the talk of your first company picnic.

 

think and speak on your feet – part two 3

In part one I said that the ability to “think and speak on your feet” is an important skill that often determines your success in job interviews. And once you land the job, many kinds of careers and occupations require this skill. To practice for your upcoming interviews try this exercise.

The exercise had you: print out a list of questions before you read through them. Cut them apart and put them in a jar. When you are ready to practice “thinking on your feet”, stand in front of a mirror, pull out a topic at random and talk to the mirror for two minutes about whatever is on the paper.

Now I want you to do the same exercise, but this time with real interview questions. It’s ok to look at them before you cut them up and put them in the jar. In fact, I would suggest you write notes  for yourself about each question before you begin the exercise. When you actually practice your responses out loud, do not use the notes, as you won’t be able to do that in the actual interview.

Interview Questions

  • Tell me about yourself
  • Why do you want to work here?
  • What is your greatest strength?
  • What is your biggest weakness?
  • Can you give me an example from a previous job where you have shown initiative?
  • Where do you see yourself in five years?
  • Are you a team player?
  • What qualities do you find important in a coworker?
  • Can you think of a time when you dealt with a customer problem? What was it, what did you do to resolve it and how did it turn out?
  • How does your previous experience relate to this position?
  • When can you start?
  • Do you have any questions for me?

 

If you have been on interviews and were asked questions that you had trouble with, be sure to add them to your list so you will be better prepared the next time. And feel free to post those questions in a comment so I can share them with other job seekers.

The more you practice, the easier the next interview will be. Let me know when you hear those wonderful words, “you’re hired!”

Don’t Do it! Don’t Lie on your Resume 2

According to Hire Right, a firm that specializes in employee back ground checks:

80% of all resumes are misleading
20% state fraudulent degrees
30% show altered employment dates
40% have inflated salary claims
30% have inaccurate job descriptions
27% give falsified references

These are sobering statistics. The playing field is not level. Those that chose the path of un-truths or who stretch the truth run the very real risk of being found out. Most employers have a clause on the application making you verify that what you are saying is the truth. And when you’re information is found to be untrue, they will fire you.

Make the most out of what you have done, but don’t feel you need to embellish to the point of lying. No job is worth that.