Month: November 2016

“I’ve Sent Out 1,000 Resumes and Still No Job”

 

1000-resumes

Recently I had a professional say this exact statement to me. If you can relate to this statement, I’m here to tell you that you should stop sending resumes out and diagnose the problem. No one should ever have to send out even hundreds of resumes when they’re looking for a job. Over my career, I don’t think I’ve ever had to send out more than 10 resumes before I had a job.

If you find yourself at a point where you’ve sent out 20 resumes and you haven’t been contacted or you haven’t received an offer, it’s time to take a step back from the job search and figure out what might be going wrong.

There are numerous roadblocks when you’re searching for a job. Following are some of the more common ones that can trip you up and what to do about them.

It All Starts With the Resume

I could jump on Indeed right now and for every one resume I found that was written well, I would have to look through at least a hundred resumes. I can’t stress enough that your resume is the ONLY document you have to sell yourself. If it is written poorly or reads like a novel you aren’t going to get a call.

If you want the next employer to know how great you are by putting every achievement you’ve ever accomplished during your employment history – think again! The recruiter sees your resume first. Most recruiters on average are responsible for anywhere from 30 – 40 positions. If each position has 100 resumes to review well, you do the math. Recruiters don’t have time to read each resume. Instead, they scan resumes looking for key words and phrases. If your resume is filled with lots of words and endless pages, the recruiter isn’t going to spend much time on your resume if they even look at it at all.

Following are some tips to keep in mind when building your resume:

  • Responsibilities: Under each job, list ONLY one or two sentences related to your primary responsibility at that job. (Note: you can go to Indeed and search resumes yourself. You’ll notice that most individuals only list their responsibilities. Here’s something you may not know, most recruiters and hiring managers know what your responsibilities are based on your job title. You’re not selling what you can do by only listing responsibilities on the resume.)
  • Achievements: Under each job, list FIVE achievements. Achievements are what sell you and set you apart from your competition. There should always be more achievements listed than responsibilities.
  • Don’t write a novel – Keep your resume to 3 pages at most. If you’ve been in your career for 2-5 years, you should only have a resume that is 2 pages long. If you write a novel, I can promise you, your resume isn’t going to get read. Here’s another tip, after you complete your resume look at it. If the only white space is the border around the perimeter, you’ve used too many words. Re-read every line and cut out filler words such as, ‘and’, ‘just’, ‘then’, ‘or’, ‘but’, etc.
  • Customize each resume – No longer is it acceptable that you have only a single resume, unless you’ve recently graduated and you’re looking for your first job. Instead, you’ll need to customize each resume to the responsibilities of the job you’re applying to. I can’t tell you how many times I read resumes with skills listed that don’t have anything to do with the job I’m recruiting for.
  • Customize the cover letter – If you know you’re going to have to relocate, if you know you have gaps in your employment, if you’ve have multiple jobs, all of these issues need to be explained when you apply. Don’t think that the recruiter will overlook them. Recruiters are trained to pick up on these issues. Address relocation and gaps in the employment in your cover letter. If you have multiple jobs, include a ‘reason for leaving’ after each job.

Are You Really Qualified For the Jobs You’re Applying To?

If after reading the job description you think to yourself ‘I may not be qualified but I know I can do the job,’ don’t apply. Reason being the recruiter is only looking at resumes that have the skills required for the job. What you’re doing it setting yourself up for feeling bad when no one contacts you. I’m not saying that you can’t get a job like this, but the way to do it is through networking, not by applying blindly to a job.

Are You Only Sending Resumes Out?

There’s a strategy when looking for a job that includes sending resumes out but that shouldn’t be the only thing you do. In addition to sending resumes out, you need to make sure that you’re searching for jobs in the same places recruiters are searching for you.

Following are other ways you need to employ when searching for a job in addition to sending your resume out:

  • There is a professional association for just about any job there is. Join one and start networking because that’s where recruiters are looking for you.
  • Make sure that your LinkedIn account reflects your skills and that you are looking for a job.
  • Send an email out to your network of friends and family and ask them to share with their networks.

In his book, Winning Job Interviews, Dr. Paul Powers, a management psychologist, provides a list of 12 psychological stumbling blocks related to getting a job. They are:

1. Lack of having a clear, realistic goal

Dr. Powers suggests that if you can’t describe the job you want in one/two sentences you shouldn’t be looking for a job. Before sending out endless resumes to jobs you think you might want, you need to first have a clear direction or you’re going to be spinning your wheels.

2. No control over the timing of the job search

If you’re job search was a forced search and wasn’t planned, you’ll need to first deal with any negative emotions surrounding your unemployment. If you don’t, you’re going to have a difficult time finding the next job.

3. You want to excel at a process that few are good at

Dr. Powers found that most people when searching for a job want to excel at it believing if they don’t find a job relatively quickly, they could damage their career. Recently, I was helping an individual who had flow charted the entire job search process as he saw it. It was a detailed plan with many steps. What I found is that this individual was caught up in the ‘process’ of finding a job which was stifling him from actually searching for the job. I’ve found this to be true with other professionals as well. If this speaks to you, Dr. Powers suggests finding a local support group to help you overcome needing to ‘excel’ at a process that really no one should be considered a ‘professional’ at, except for maybe a career coach or counselor.

4. No one likes rejection

As Dr. Powers describes, looking for a job is nothing but a series of rejections with good news thrown in occasionally. He states that just because you’re getting rejected, you aren’t doing something wrong. In fact, you’re actually on the right track. What I’ll add here is that if you are receiving rejection after refection take a step back and follow my guidance early in the article to make sure that there may not be a problem.

5. It’s unpredictable

Searching for a job is truly an unpredictable process with one exception. If you work hard at it, you’ll be rewarded in the end with a job.

6. It lacks structure

Ask 10 people how they found their job and you’ll find 10 different answers. There is little structure in finding a job and everyone has a different story to tell. Where you search for a job, how you search for the job and the time spent searching is uniquely up to you. For some individuals the lack of structure can be a big roadblock. That’s why I recommend the 3/50 Plan when looking for a job to help provide some structure to the process.

7. It requires asking for help

Most of us have a hard time asking for help. But when you’re looking for a job, research indicates that networking is one of the fastest ways to find your next job. Sometimes that’s hard for people do because they feel for whatever reason they are ‘less than’ because they are unemployed. Dr. Power’s recommends that by putting your pride in your pocket and reaching out of your comfort zone to network you’ll find a paycheck faster.

8. It requires blowing your own horn

Many people also have a hard time boasting about their accomplishments because we were taught that it’s impolite to talk about ourselves. When searching for a job, Dr. Powell suggests that if you don’t sell yourself, you’ll have a hard time getting hired. Without you sharing your accomplishments, no one will know what skills you bring to the table.

9. It’s lonely and isolating

Searching for a job is solely up to you. This is isn’t a team sport. And the loneliness can be made worse if your spouse is employed. When they leave for work, the house becomes empty and quiet. That’s why it’s important to join a support group of other individuals who are seeking employment, too. Dr. Power emphasizes that you need to know you’re not alone.

10. Self-doubt and your weak spot

Whether it’s your skills, your appearance, or your education, Dr. Powell suggests we all have a weak spot. It’s important to know yours and how to handle it during your job search.

11. Baggage

Dr. Powell defines baggage as the ‘unresolved negative emotions you have collected during your life.’ This baggage can also influence your ability to look for a job. Patterns that replay themselves could be a sign of baggage. As you search for a job, recognize your baggage so it doesn’t become a roadblock to getting your next job.

12. Entitlement

Dr. Power suggests that no matter what type of superior background you feel you have, or your credentials you’ve earned, no one is going to come knocking on your door with a career opportunity just because you feel that you are entitled to it.

So the next time you find yourself in a situation where you’ve been searching for a job for months and sending out an endless number of resumes without any success, take a step back and see if any of these roadblocks might pertain to your situation. Sometimes it’s as simple as tweaking your resume. Other times you might need to diagnose deeper psychological issues that could be preventing you from getting the job.

Best Places to Find Accounting, Finance, Payroll, Budget and Cash Management Jobs

accounting-jobs

If you are an accounting, finance, or cash management professional looking for a job I’ve put together a tool kit of the best places to look. Recruiters have to spend their time searching for candidates in places where there are the largest concentration of professionals with the skill sets they need to fill their jobs. I’ve done the homework for you and pulled together a listing of the places recruiters spend time looking for professionals in these fields.

Specifically the tool kit includes:

The Best Job Boards to Search

I’ve included a list of job boards specific to these professions and discuss why it’s also wise to use the major job boards like Monster, Careerbuilder, and Indeed.  In addition I provide the one job board that most companies use to post their jobs and is the least known job board to professionals.

Personalized Boolean Search Strings

Boolean search strings are basically commands typed into a search engine that use operators like AND, OR, and NOT, to let the power of the search engine find data across numerous platforms. Recruiters don’t have time to search all the job boards there are today. So they use Boolean search strings to locate resumes from anywhere on the internet. Boolean search strings can also be utilized to find jobs so you don’t have to sit and search one job board at a time. I’ve written personalized search strings that can be modified based on your individual job titles. In addition, I’ve provided a search string that can pull jobs from specific job boards. Boolean searches are one of the best tools to speed up your job search.

The Best Professional Associations

Recruiters spend a lot of time searching and networking with professional associations. I’ve provided a list of the professional associations in these fields that are not only great places to network but have job boards and resume databases. You’ll want to make sure that you get your resume into their systems. Locate a local chapter of the association that fits your skills and attend a meeting so you can network with other professionals who are working in the field.

The Best Staffing Firms

Staffing agencies can be another useful tool in find a job. Keep in mind that they won’t find you a job. They’ll represent you to their client, the company, only if you have the skills the company is searching for. I’ve provided a list of some of the staffing agencies that work in these fields. Search for some of the boutique firms that are local to you area, too. I’ve provide a list of ways that you can go about finding these boutique firms. In addition, I’ve provided the questions you need to ask before you let any agency represent you.

Ideas for Networking

Most jobs are located through networking opportunities. I provide you with a list of suggestions of where you can network. One of the biggest networking opportunities that most professionals don’t take advantage of when they’re looking for a job, is to alert their professional contacts to their job search.

How to put Social Media to work for you

LinkedIn is one of the main tools recruiters use to find professionals. I go over what you need to do to your own LinkedIn profile so that recruiters can find you.

How to Find and Target Specific Companies

I tell you where you can go to research companies in your area who might be searching for someone like you and how you can contact them.

If you follow all the advice I provide in this tool kit, I can guarantee that your job search will be more productive.

To get your free TOOL KIT, CLICK HERE.

LinkedIn – Researching Companies

 

linked-in-company-search

With all the mergers and acquisitions going on in the business world today in addition to the companies going out of business and those starting-up, it can be hard to know the companies in your area who may be hiring. Not all companies post their jobs on the various job boards. LinkedIn can be one tool  to use to conduct research on companies in your area.

 

Following are the steps you can use to find companies in your area.

Step 1 – Use the drop down from the search menu and select ‘company’ search.

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Step 2 – Enter the ‘industry’ you are interested in finding companies. In the example below I’ve typed in ‘aerospace.’

Listed beneath the search box you’ll see the results. Notice there are over 24,000 companies listed. The search returned results from anywhere in the world. You’ll want to narrow your search to your area.

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Step 3 – Notice the menu on the left of your screen. Here you can specify location, industry, and even the size of company.

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Step 4 – Select the drop down for ‘Location.’ You can either select United States or under the “add” feature you can enter your specific location. If you select ‘Industry’ you can select ‘Aviation and Aerospace.’

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OR

Instead of using the menu on the side bar in the search box you can type in the industry then using the operator ‘AND’ you can specify the location. In the example below I’ve requested companies in Aerospace in the state of Colorado. Notice the results of this search returned 179 companies. This is a more manageable number to look through. You can either ‘follow’ the company, check to see if they have job postings under a career page, or go to their website to search for open positions.

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Another way to research companies in LinkedIn is using the menu at the very bottom of the webpage. If you click on ‘companies’ Linked In provides a comprehensive listing of companies in different industries in various locations.

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Next week I’ll cover how to use ‘Groups’ to locate a job. 

How Often Should You Call the Recruiter

recruiterHave you had a phone interview with the recruiter or you’ve gone on site and interviewed and now you’re waiting to hear what’s next?  Should you call the recruiter?

Recruiters are extremely busy.  Normally they have anywhere from 20 – 30 and sometimes even more positions they’re working. On any given day they could be conducting phone interviews, on site interviews, reviewing resumes, advertising positions, and making offers.  Sometimes it can be difficult getting in touch with them.

Here’s my advice regarding contacting the recruiters.

If you were given guidance from the recruiter after the interview follow that advice.Hopefully you remembered to ask where the recruiter is in the process of hiring at the end of the interview.  If the company has just started the search it’s going to take some time for the other interviews to be completed.  It could be weeks before you hear anything. But if the time has passed when the recruiter said they would follow-up and you haven’t heard, it’s acceptable to contact the recruiter. In the conversation, it’s acceptable to ask the recruiter how often you could follow-up.

If you find yourself in the situation where you’ve received an offer from another company, contact the recruiter.  Recruiters appreciate you alerting them to another offer.  They’ll talk to the hiring manager and if you’re the candidate that the company wants, they just might extend you an offer, too. I’ve seen companies act very fast in these cases.

If it’s been a week since you interviewed and the recruiter never told you when you might hear something it’s acceptable to follow-up with the recruiter.

One thing, try not to contact the recruiter on a Monday or a Friday.  From experience, Mondays are extremely busy days.  Many times recruiters will schedule a lot of phone interviews or on site interviews on Mondays.  On Friday, hiring managers are trying to wrap their week up and they will provide feedback on candidates, interviews, as well as relaying information for any new positions that need to be opened up before the weekend.

Bottom line, recruiters don’t like to leave you hanging. Most of the time if you haven’t heard anything, the recruiter doesn’t know anything. Often times recruiters are just as frustrated not hearing anything from the hiring manager.

The best advice is to remain patient and continue your job search. Just because you thought the interview went well, never stop looking.  Even if the company said they are going to give you an offer, keep looking.  I’ve seen where hiring managers have let a candidate know they were the one and the position ended up getting canceled.

 

 

LinkedIn – the Summary and Experience sections

linkedin-summary-and-experience

This is the second article in my continuing series how to best utilize LinkedIn to find a job. In this article I’m going to cover the Summary and Experience sections. In addition I provide a word of caution related to who you decide to ‘follow.’

The Summary Section

When you’re searching for a job, you want to make sure that you make it easy for the recruiter to know that you’re looking as I explained in the article LinkedIn – The Profile Box  Next, you want to provide the recruiter with a brief snapshot of who you are so they’ll want to continue reading. That’s what the Summary section is used for.

Specifically, include the following items in the Summary Section:

A description of your greatest strengths – If you’re a rock star Java developer say so. If you are exceptionally talented in developing e-marketing campaigns let them know that. List five to seven strengths. Your strengths should be skills where you might be considered as a subject matter expert. Be sure to include skills that are applicable to the job that you’re searching for. For example, in my world I’ve had a career as a Certified Public Accountant before moving into Human Resources. I wouldn’t want to list my skills as a CPA if I’m looking for a job in Human Resources.

List some of your achievements – Your achievements will set you apart from your competition and are what make you unique. List five to seven of your top achievements and be sure to quantify your results when you can.

Include a statement as to the position you’re looking for – Be specific about what type of position you’re looking for. Don’t just say that you’re looking for a management position. Instead, say that you are searching for a position where the company could benefit from your exceptional sales leadership abilities. Basically include an objective statement in the summary section.

Experience Section

You don’t need to list all of your responsibilities and achievements for all your jobs. If you have more than 10 jobs, I recommend listing the first seven. Under each job list your primary responsibility and then list at least 4-5 achievements. Again, make sure your achievements match the type of position you’re searching for.

Your goal in providing information about yourself in LinkedIn is to put just enough to pique the interest of the recruiter so that they want to reach out to you to find out more.

Finally, one note of caution related to ‘Following’ companies and/or groups. Recruiters can see who you’re following. And they do look so they can find out more about the person you are. Who you’re following is like putting personal information on your resume. Keep it professional. There are other social media outlets you can use to be well – social.

Next week I’ll go over how to conduct company research using LinkedIn. 

Best Places to Find Architecture and Engineering Jobs

engineer-jobs

If you are an architect or a professional looking for a job as a mechanical, quality, electrical, aerospace, RF, or any other engineering type position I’ve put together a tool kit of the best places to look for a job. Recruiters have to spend their time searching for candidates in places where there are the largest concentration of professionals with the skill sets they need to fill their jobs. I’ve done the homework for you and pulled together a listing of the places recruiters spend time looking for professionals in these fields.

Specifically the tool kit includes:

The Best Job Boards to Search

I’ve done the research for you and come up with top  5 job boards that are devoted solely to posting jobs in engineering and the top 3 job boards that are focused on posting jobs in the architectural field.  Then, I’ve also listed job boards that are specific to certain engineering fields. For example, I’ve listed 3 job boards specific to chemical engineers, 2 job boards specific to the civil and construction engineering fields.  There are job boards for electrical, environmental, quality, petroleum as well as other engineering disciplines.

You’ll want to make sure to get your resume into their databases as well.

In addition, I’ve provide the one job board that most companies use to post their jobs and is the least known job board to professionals. No is isn’t Monster, Indeed, or Careerbuilder.

Personalized Boolean Search Strings

Boolean search strings are basically commands typed into a search engine that use operators like AND, OR, and NOT, to let the power of the search engine find data across numerous platforms. Recruiters don’t have time to search all the job boards there are today. So they use Boolean search strings to locate resumes from anywhere on the internet. Boolean search strings can also be utilized to find jobs so you don’t have to sit and search one job board at a time. I’ve written personalized search strings that can be modified based on your individual job titles. In addition, I’ve provided a search string that can pull jobs from specific job boards. Boolean searches are one of the best tools to speed up your job search.

The Best Professional Associations

Recruiters spend a lot of time searching and networking with professional associations. I’ve provided a list of the professional associations in these fields that are not only great places to network but have job boards and resume databases. You’ll want to make sure that you get your resume into their systems. Locate a local chapter of the association that fits your skills and attend a meeting so you can network with other professionals who are working in the field.

The Best Staffing Firms

Staffing agencies can be another useful tool in find a job. Keep in mind that they won’t find you a job. They’ll represent you to their client, the company, only if you have the skills the company is searching for. I’ve provided a list of some of the staffing agencies that work in these fields. But there are also boutique firms that are local to you area, too. I’ve provide a list of ways that you can go about finding these boutique firms. In addition, I’ve provided the questions you need to ask before you let any agency represent you.

Ideas for Networking

Most jobs are located through networking opportunities. I provide you with a list of suggestions of where you can network. One of the biggest networking opportunities that most professionals don’t take advantage of when they’re looking for a job, is to alert their professional contacts to their job search.

How to put Social Media to work for you

LinkedIn is one of the main tools recruiters use to find professionals. I go over what you need to do to your own LinkedIn profile so that recruiters can find you.

How to Find and Target Specific Companies

I tell you where you can go to research companies in your area who might be searching for someone like you and how you can contact them.

If you follow all the advice I provide in this tool kit, I can guarantee that your job search will be more productive.

To get your free TOOL KIT, CLICK HERE.

LinkedIn – The Profile Box

I’m starting a series of articles regarding how to best use LinkedIn for your career search as well as managing your career. Every Thursday, I’ll pick a different topic to cover.

So you don’t miss a topic be sure to sign up for my newsletter and have my articles delivered direct to your email.

 

linkedin-the-profile-box

Today I’m going to go over your profile box with your picture. This is one of the first places the recruiter looks because it provides your job title, a description of your current situation whether you’re working or not, a listing of the previous companies you’ve worked at and your education. It’s important that the information be clear so the recruiter can get a snapshot as to who you are.

I’ll walk you through each section of the profile box below using my own LinkedIn account as an example.

Your Name

linkedinname

Here you want to put your first and last name. You don’t need to put your middle name or initial. I have my initial since my website uses my middle initial. Don’t use a pet name that your friends call you. If a recruiter is trying to locate you by your name, they won’t know your pet name.

Your Title(s)

linkedintitle

Beneath your name you want to list the different job titles that are applicable to your skill sets. These are the job titles that recruiters will be searching for. You might think you only have one title but many jobs have different titles depending on the company. For example a software engineer can also be known as an application development engineer, software developer, software application developer, etc. If you don’t know some of the other titles, you can search the internet for jobs and see what other companies are calling the equivalent position.

Your Location and Category

linkedinlocation

Regarding your location, if you live in a suburb of a larger city and you would normally work in the city, select the city for your location. Recruiters will search for individuals who are willing to work in the city.

Regarding the category, select the one that best fits your profession.

Current Job

linkedincurrent

Your current job is automatically pulled from what you list in the experience section. See below for what’s listed in my experience section. You can see how LinkedIn automatically pulls the information.

linkedinexperience

If you’re searching for another job then you want to list as your first company in the experience section a statement like: Currently seeking other opportunities. This statement will show in your profile box and a recruiter will know right away that you’re available. There are varying opinions regarding showing that you’re unemployed. My advice is to be clear about your availability. As a recruiter I appreciate the fact that you’re someone who can start work right away and that you don’t have to be convinced to leave a job.

Previous Companies

linkedinprevious

LinkedIn will automatically pull these companies from your experience section. If you are a consultant or someone who has worked through temp agencies on assignment at a company, don’t use your consultant company name, or the temp agency name as the name of the company you’ve worked for. It reflects better on you if you use the name of the company where you were on assignment. In the experience section you can explain that you worked contract or that you have your own consulting company.

Education

linkedineducation

LinkedIn will automatically pull the name of the school that’s listed first when you enter your education. If you were to click on my education you would see that I have a MBA and BBA. I wanted the school where I received my MBA to be listed first since it’s in Colorado. Keep in mind what school you want to appear in your profile box if you’ve attended more than one school. For example, you might have attended a community college and obtained an associates’ degree and then completed your bachelors’ degree at another university. I would make sure that the school where you received your bachelors’ degree was reflected in your profile.

Your LinkedIn Address

linkedincustom

Make sure that you edit your address to take out the numbers LinkedIn automatically assigns. You’ll want to make sure to copy this link and put it on your resume. It looks more professional if you customize your link to reflect your name only.

Contact Information

linkedincontactbutton

linkedincontactinfo

When you click on your contact information include as much information as you feel comfortable. At minimum you need to include your email address and a phone number where the recruiter can contact you.

Your Profile Picture

linkedinprofilepicture

 

Finally it’s important to include a professional looking profile picture. It doesn’t need to be taken by a professional photographer, but if you’re looking for a job you want to present yourself in a professional manner.

Next Thursday I’ll cover what to include in Linked in the summary section and in the resume section.