Job Search 101. Online a Waste of Time?

Is a job search focused online a waste of time?  You decide.

Do you realize that 68% of available jobs are NEVER posted online? (Source: Statistic Brain, Online Employment Job Posting Website Statistics)

Take greater control of your job search.  It’s what you do with your time that will fast track you to that next possibility. 

man searching online for job

The Job Search Online Struggle.

Did you know the average response rate for online job boards is 4%?  Are you willing to chance your success finding and landing a new job through the maze of online job boards? 

What does this mean?  You will need to seek out opportunity and avoid waiting for that perfect job to surface online or hoping that the “hiring fairy” will come knocking on your front door.

How do you begin a successful job search?

  • Research companies of interest, visit their corporate sites and direct career portals, determine how to outreach after you acquire the mailing address and key contacts (i.e. Director of Human Resources, Hiring Manager, Department Manager) as a result of your research. 
  • Investigate startups, new companies coming into your area or those that are expanding and register to attend hiring events or meetups. 
  • Invest in building your online personal brand and connect with former colleagues by creating a profile on professional social sites like LinkedIn, it’s FREE (over 500 million people can’t be wrong…). 
  • Target specific people, industries, companies, and events for greater success uncovering opportunity by building your net-worth (i.e. net-work).

Tip:  Get connected!  Referral to an internal champion at a company or job role of interest will leverage your impact and increase your chances for getting hired.  Who do you know?

Good companies are always looking for good people!  Get found and get hired by making yourself known to others, volunteer, or simply show up to that next networking meetup in your area.  Get out of the house!

Your next contact may lead you to that key decision-maker when one of the following may occur…

A current employee:

  • Retires
  • Relocates
  • Exits workforce for personal reasons, i.e. pregnancy, sick parent, goes back to school, career change, health concerns, disability
  • Starts their own business
  • Quits
  • Recruited
  • Transfers to another Department
  • Released from Company

Tell everyone and anyone you are looking for a job.  You never know who may know whom and that could translate into a potential lead.

“Someone knows someone, who knows someone, looking for someone…just like you.”-Denise Anne Taylor, Career Coach.

Looking for a job is a full-time job.  Why?  Hours can be spent managing your job search; research, job interviews, networking events, meetups, submission of online applications, more research.  So don’t make the mistake of jumping in and heading for the “help wanted” sign…seek out specific opportunities, ask for help and control your search through people you know.  See more online statistics from Statistic Brain

Good luck!

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The Rejection Letter. Hiring with Heart.

Are you responsible for hiring?  Can you remember what is was like when you were looking for a job?  Yes, it may be uncomfortable and most people would prefer to avoid the thought of being unemployed.  However, it is important in order to identify and enhance a key area of the candidate experience; the rejection letter.  

Reflection on Rejection

Reflection on Rejection

Almost 60% of job seekers report having a poor candidate experience. (Source: Future Workplace and WorkplaceTrends.com)

Many candidates report no follow-up or acknowledgment of their progress during the application or job interview process. 

Additionally, many job seekers have been frustrated by the “cookie cutter” automatic reply that has little or no empathy or understanding of their experience in the process.  It is not uncommon that a rejection letter is received immediately (as little as 20 minutes) after spending time applying online and in the worst case scenario, no feedback or followup after preparing for and executing the phone screen or face-to-face job interview.

With the use of applicant tracking software and standard generated replies, it appears something has been lost;  hiring managers and organizations have failed to put themselves in the shoes of the job seeker.  Hiring with Heart™.

While it is true that everyone must be treated equally and with no hint of discrimination or bias in the hiring process…does it mean that solutions cannot be formulated to meet compliance and enhance the candidate experience while leaving your company brand in good standing with those seeking to be a part of your team? 

The team at the  Society for Human Resource Management offer several resources and tools for crafting thoughtful responses using the Interview Rejection Letter or the No Interview Rejection Letter you may find the templates of value and here is one example from their site:

Dear [Insert Name]

It was a pleasure meeting with you to discuss your background and interest in the [Job Title] position within our organization. We appreciate your time, attentiveness and patience throughout the interview process. We did have several highly qualified candidates for the position and it has been a difficult decision, but we have chosen to pursue another candidate for this position who we feel is best qualified.

We value your interest in [Company Name] and we wish you good luck in your future endeavors.

Sincerely,

[Name]

[Title]

[Company Name]         (Source: Society for Human Resource Management, May 2016)

Final Thoughts.  Delivering rejection can be difficult and uncomfortable and the idea of hiding behind technology may be easier to manage than seeing people for more than a bullet point or task…isn’t time to rethink the conversation as shifting talent markets and increased competition make it more challenging to engage qualified candidates?  

Are you a job seeker?  Do you have a story regarding your experience with rejection in the hiring process?  If so, share, and help hiring managers understand the value of Hiring with Heart™.

The Talent Gap. Who is to Blame?

Is it a lack of qualified candidates or is it a lack of talented and skilled labor?  As of today, there is no shortage of talent in the jobs marketplace.  However, there is a shortage of  conversations centered around a resolution.  Who is to blame? the employer? the job seeker?  This question demonstrates today’s struggle employers and job seekers are experiencing when engaged in the masterful shell game; hiring and getting hired. 

What can be done?  Businesses and organizations need to effectively employ legacy or institutional  knowledge transfer of more seasoned workers onto new and emerging talent within their organizations, construction and other skilled trades need to amp up apprenticeships to leverage the ability for knowledge transfer before it is too late, and educational institutions need to begin forging new concepts for career planning by offering coursework and learning that supports a brighter future for great possibilities with marketable skills that are in demand, now and in the future.

With an onslaught of retiring workers on the move, it is imperative that businesses create strategies to bolster continued growth into the next decade and that job seekers plan for a career path versus a J.O.B. (Just Over Broke).  

Online Job Search

Looking for a Job.

Individual responsibility is a necessary requirement to defining a career pathway and seeking out resources, in the local community and remotely, that offer training and apprenticeships to prepare for future careers with emphasis in technology, skilled trades and beyond.   

HR executives and hiring managers claim it is the lack of qualified candidates. Job seekers claim it is a lack of good paying jobs and difficulty uncovering viable opportunities. Both are correct and in most cases, the employer and the job seeker, are to blame.

10 Reasons Employers and Job Seekers Stand in Their Own Way:

1. Candidates applying for job opportunities that they are clearly NOT qualified to execute. 

Tip:  Technology is used to process online job applications.  Robots “read” resumes.  If your resume does not feature specific required qualifications you will receive a rejection email in your inbox.

2. Resume’s that do not build value or demonstrate the ability to fulfill the requirements featured in the job posting.

Tip:  Make the investment and hire a qualified career coach or use online resources to ensure your resume is properly read by the software “robots” used to filter resumes in online application tools and that is easily read when sharing or supplying manually through email or other channels.

3. Failing to use a cover letter that connects the resume and work history to the job qualifications and requirements in the job description. 

Tip:  Less than 30% of job postings require a cover letter, however, that doesn’t mean you should not have a cover letter.  What you should know…keep a cover letter to one page, focus on three to four key skills/abilities featured in the job description and match to your qualifications.  Be specific and avoid oversharing personal information, many people have talked themselves OUT of a job by revealing too many personal details.

4. Candidates with “one size fits all” generic degrees or a background with no specific direction or focus. 

Tip:  If you don’t know what you want to do or where you are going on your career pathway; how can an employer understand your value and where you fit?

5. Employers in need of candidates with Science, Technology, Engineering, or Math (STEM) skills or skilled trade background and the selection of qualified individuals is limited.

Tip:  Attract motivated, reliable, and dependable candidates with the possibility of learning new skills or a trade by investing and spending the monies necessary for engaging potential new hires.

6. Candidates not engaging the necessary planning and preparation for job interview success; “just showing up” is NOT enough.

Tip:  Prior Planning Prevents Poor Performance.  Behavioral interviews are most common and understanding how to respond to job interview questions using the proper formula, with practice, will help hiring managers understand your ability to do the job.

7. Employers looking for “Superman” when “Robin” will do.

Tip:  Is there potential?  Potential is a key factor when evaluating talent.  Does the candidate have the POTENTIAL with existing abilities to be “upskilled” into a role versus waiting for the perfect hire?

8. Candidates failing to execute a resume that is adaptive for upload and filtering by Applicant Tracking Software (ATS) and the lack of keywords sprinkled throughout the document in order to “get found” to “get hired”.

Tip:  Follow directions.  If a job description REQUIRES a Bachelor’s degree, your resume must meet the qualification.  If a job description PREFERS a Bachelor’s degree and you have an Associate’s degree, you can apply for that job.  REQUIRES vs. PREFERS.

9. Employers failing to be specific and clear as to required and preferred skills in the job description.

10. Employers poorly trained on appropriate interview techniques and strategies to uncover qualified candidates for hire.

These are just a few examples that stand in the way of good employers finding good employees that are eager to be of value and purpose in your organization.  Good luck!

 

 

 

 

Job Interview Strategy: Employment and Facebook Privacy.

Employment and Facebook Privacy.∗

There have been recent reports that companies are asking prospective candidates for their username and passwords to their social media content. This is in direct violation of the terms of service agreement that a user has made with the social media provider and compromises not only their information but also compromises the privacy that is expected by all of the connections/users.

How do your respond to such a request? Example: “While I respect the fact that you would like access to my account; unfortunately, I must adhere to the Terms of Service Agreement presented by (insert social media provider, i.e.Facebook) for the privacy and safety of my account and those connected to my account and therefore will be unable to do so. As you can imagine, I would also not provide the username and passwords that would be issued by this company, in the event I am hired, and I hope you can appreciate my integrity in this matter.”

Also consider, this could be a test to see how trusted you would be in situations that could compromise the security and policies of the organization. How? Well if you are too quick to give up your Facebook username and password, not to mention violating the Rights and Responsibilities as a Facebook user, would you do the same with their company information too? Something to think about.

Ethics and Integrity in the workplace are valued commodities and you would want to question the ethics and integrity of an organization that would choose not to hire you in the event you stood firm on your commitment to avoid relinquishing or compromising your privacy and the privacy of other Facebook users.

DO NOT relinquish your Facebook or social media username and passwords to a prospective employer as a precondition of hire , in this case, you would be violating your agreement to the Facebook Statement of Rights and Responsibilities and compromising the privacy of your connections. Even if you feel you have “nothing to hide”, this is not only about you, but the expectations of privacy on behalf of your connections as well.


Registration and Account Security∗∗

Facebook users provide their real names and information, and we need your help to keep it that way.  Here are some commitments you make to us relating to registering and maintaining the security of your account:
1.  You will not provide any false personal information on Facebook, or create an account for anyone other than yourself without permission.
2.  You will not create more than one personal profile.
3.  If we disable your account, you will not create another one without our permission.
4.  You will not use your personal profile for your own commercial gain (such as selling your status update to an advertiser).
5.  You will not use Facebook if you are under 13.
6.  You will not use Facebook if you are a convicted sex offender.
7.  You will keep your contact information accurate and up-to-date.
8.  You will not share your password, (or in the case of developers, your secret key), let anyone else access your account, or do anything else that might jeopardize the security of your account.
9.  You will not transfer your account (including any page or application you administer) to anyone without first getting our written permission.
10.  If you select a username for your account we reserve the right to remove or reclaim it if we believe appropriate (such as when a trademark owner complains about a username that does not closely relate to a user’s actual name).

∗Disclaimer: This is strictly the opinion of Denise Anne Taylor and should not constitute legal advice, if you question your rights please seek legal counsel.

∗∗Extracted from the Facebook Statement of Rights and Responsibilities.

Job Interview Strategy: Tell Me About Yourself…Solved.

jobinterview-70292-largeThis is NOT a trick question…

…many candidates appear bewildered and befuddled because silently they are thinking, “Well, what do you want to know?” or “Where do I begin?” or “Why don’t you just ask me specifically what you want to hear?” so let’s review what this question really reveals…

#1. Your Communication Style. If you are unable to clearly communicate about who you are, where you have been and your key skills and abilities in an effective manner; how can the interviewer expect you to clearly communicate about their products or services effectively once you are hired?

#2. Organized Communication. When you can communicate in an organized, easy to follow manner, then this demonstrates your ability to communicate in that same capacity once you are hired.

#3. Confidence. An individual that can exhibit a confident demeanor while expressing their work history will make a more significant first impression.

#4. Extended Conversation. It allows for the interview to take on a greater depth, and allows you to expand on accomplishments that correspond with the job posting. In other words, you get to sell yourself.

Most candidates self-sabotage their ability for success in this all important area by saying too much or saying too little or providing information that is of little value.

One of the most asked questions during the job interview is “Tell me about yourself…”, and it is the single greatest question posed when looking for a job, networking, and when meeting new people.

Maintain a chronological format and keep your reply under two minutes, practice, practice, practice, and continually evolve shorter versions for career fairs and networking events (also known as a 30-second commercial or sometimes called the “elevator pitch”).

Step 1: Start with your most recent position/role, state company name, your title, and job responsibility overview (one or two sentences) and a key accomplishment. Be brief.  Your goal is to generate interest and you can expand further as the job interview progresses.

Step 2: Next, take the job interviewer back to the beginning of your career history (How I began my career…) and walk them forward (chronologically) back to your current position/role; (dates in this statement are not required) stating company name, position and job responsibility overviews, add a key accomplishment, here and there, that applies to directly to the job posting.  Tip:  Bring a copy of the job posting with you to the job interview and use it for reference.

Make  Connections For The Interviewer.  “I accomplished…..and saw that you were looking for someone with this particular skill, expertise, etc., in the job posting…” or “This is where I gained the experience noted in your job posting.”

Step 3: Speak with confidence, enthusiasm, and practice so that you sound as though you actually did the work; avoid sounding as though you are uncertain as this will create a “red flag” for the hiring manager, recruiter, or job interviewer.

Avoid talking about hobbies, family matters, where you were in kindergarten etc., keep it professional. If you left the workplace for personal reasons (stay at home mom, caregiver, health, etc.) state something like; “I made a personal decision to leave the workplace to attend to family matters ( to further my education, care for my mother, etc.) .” Keep it simple.  Focus on your skill and abilities and the job role.  If you are confident about your choice; they will remain confident.

Good luck!

Always Speak Kindness.

Just a reminder to avoid the tailspin of gossip and harsh words by being deliberate with feedback and communication with others; demonstrate the willingness to exhibit a kind pleasing nature. Now…go take on the world!

Career Transition: Where do I go from here?

 

Map Location Direction Location Remote Relax Concept

Mapping out Your Future.

Are you ready to move out of your current job or industry and not sure how to start?  Have you been a victim of a job layoff or recent graduate frustrated while looking for a job?  Are you struggling with a recent disability diagnosis and can no longer do the work you have been doing? 

There are several steps you can take to transition yourself in the jobs marketplace.

First, begin by creating a list of all connections, contacts and previous colleagues;  LinkedIn the world’s largest professional networking site, is a good place to find people you may want to contact and reconnect and outreach to schedule a brief phone call or meet over a coffee to discuss options, possibilities and to gather information for job potential opportunities or referrals. Note: This is strictly to gather information and for no other purpose, do not ask to provide your resume at this point, unless it is requested.

“Someone you know; knows someone; looking for someone; just like you.”Denise Anne Taylor, Career Coach

Next, tell everyone and anyone you are looking for work or moving in a different direction; they will be your extended “eyes and ears”. This will keep you top of mind. 

Additionally, create eye-catching and  affordable business cards for your job search to use at job interviews, networking events, and when meeting new people.

Also, your resume will reflect your specialized field, however, in the cover letter you can separate your transferable skills and abilities, that apply across industries, and that  can transition to another role utilizing the job posting as a guide.

Remember, do not hesitate to outreach through networking events and engagements in your area through a local chamber of commerce or trade association. Research shows 80% of your success will be due in part to your circle of influence also known as your network.

In addition, have you considered going back to school to brush up on skills and bring them current for the jobs marketplace?  For example, do you want to master and explore new skills in coding, design, marketing, technology, and data — online or at their campuses around the world?  If so, try General Assembly.  There many possibilities for acquiring and learning new skills and many can be from the comfort of your home and online.

If you graduated from a local university, community college or trade school, contact or visit their career services department and they will have available resources to guide and assist you in your transition.  Campus career services departments are a valuable resource to current students and alumni.  Many alumni fail to use their connections and support that can be found through their alma mater, and it does not matter when you graduated; it just matters that you need help and support, now.  Career service representatives are employed and paid to service their student populations and alumni on all facets of their career pathway.

Finally, as you move forward, be sure to send a letter of thanks to those that have supported your efforts during your transition and update them on your successful landing of a new job opportunity.

Begin with these steps and good luck with your search! 

Updated 02/11/17.