Earlier today, I was speaking with a client who is finishing her bachelor’s degree and preparing to begin her job search. I asked her what she was looking for and she replied “Something in finance.” Related: How To Approach Your Job Search Differently
Sick and tired of your cover letters ending up in the trash can? Then stop using the cookie-cutter copies! Related: 7 Examples Of Fresh New Ways To Start Your Cover Letter Back in the “good ole days” before e-marketing took hold, I received a daily abundance of “promotional junk mail” along with the usual bills and occasional personal correspondence. One that was always fun was the letter from Publishers Clearing House. It always contained the same message...
When I first began my career as a job search trainer, interview coach, and resume writer, a senior colleague shared the following observation: “People look for work the way they live their life." At the time I was not sure what she meant by this, but after working with job seekers for the last 25+ years, I find this to be so true. I recently met with an awesome young man who graduated from college two years ago with a major in history and a minor in computer science. He has been unsuccessful in finding suitable employment and had reached his maximum frustration level when he contacted me. I began our session by reviewing his resume and talking with him about his search activities. I learned a lot about this young man in the hour and a half we spoke. For one thing, he loves to talk and gets very excited when he is talking about the things that interest him. He is creative and intuitive and stated that prior career testing revealed he has strong inductive reasoning and is good at gathering and synthesizing information. He thrives in an environment where out-of-the box thinking and risk taking is rewarded. On the flip side, he admitted that he gets bored with routine work, has terrible handwriting, is extremely unorganized, and he tends to overlook details.
Recently, I attended a local job fair and spoke to several of the employers to solicit their response to the following question: "If you were to offer one tip for job seekers attending a job fair, what would it be?" The two answers given most frequently? "Dress professionally" and "Communicate what you want and what you have to offer.” This seemed like common sense to me, but considering how many employers mentioned these two things, it occurred to me maybe it goes beyond common sense and falls into the category of "you don't know what you don't know.”
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I have a good piece of advice – stop looking for a job. Yes, you read that correctly – structuring one’s activities around trying to land a job increases one’s frustration level, as well as the likelihood almost every day will end in failure. Those in search of a “job” are constantly throwing away opportunities to meet more people, to increase their visibility, and to position themselves as a solution to an employer’s problem – instead of a problem in search of a solution. Job seekers look for openings, and if they find none, they have nowhere else to turn. Or they find an opening and then cast it off (it’s too far away, it doesn't pay enough, they want someone with more education/experience, they know someone who worked there and they didn't like it) the self-imposed roadblocks continue to foil any possibility of succeeding. My recommendation: Structure every action you take around a more rewarding goal – to get an interview. Ideally, one should strive to have 20-30 interviews a week. “ It can’t be done,” you might be thinking, “I keep sending out my resume and no one calls me.” It’s time you retire your outdated definition of an interview as something that happens to you as a result of an employer reading your resume and giving you a call. Proactive job seekers know an interview is any conversation with anyone about their profession, industry or target list of companies and the skills, and experience and knowledge. These are conversations they initiate to gather and share information. What kind of information?