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. 

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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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Job Interview Strategy: Ask Questions.

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The job interview process is a two-way street; dialogue is the key to a successful encounter.

Remember the Five “P’s”, Prior Preparation Prevents Poor Performance.

Questions for consideration include:

1. What happened to the previous employee or why is the position available?
This will allow you to determine if the employee was promoted (This is a good sign and may indicate future opportunity if the company promotes from within.) or did they move on (This will indicate that you may have to dig deeper in your questioning to determine management style and corporate culture to determine “fit”.) or is the job a newly created role and the question can reveal the amount of turnover in the position. Beware:  If the position has had five people in that role in the last four years this may be a “red flag”, especially if they are no longer with the company, it could signal management or leadership concerns, etc.

2. What type of on-boarding or initial training is provided to ensure success?  Does (insert name of organization) support continuing education or certifications?  
This question allows the company to express the fundamentals they have in place to ensure your success through a detailed on-boarding and trainee program, continuing education, and resources or certifications for continued professional growth and development.  Ongoing training programs are proven to increase employee engagement.

3. What is the preferred management style of the (insert department, company, etc.)?
This will determine if the role is that of a “worker bee” with minimal contribution or does the culture support input allowing you to contribute concepts and ideas for growth and development of your role and the organization.

4. Would you paint a picture of the typical day in the role of a (insert job title)?
This will allow the organization to provide a snapshot of the role and what you can expect. Look for defined, confident replies.  Some companies allow for job shadowing to determine if a role is a good fit for you and the company. 

5. What challenges/problems/concerns are associated with (insert the department, the role, the company)?
This will reveal the pain they need to address and may open the opportunity for you to share background, skills, or abilities that may assist in overcoming the various challenges revealed and/or mentioned in the job posting.  How can you be of immediate benefit to help the team and the company achieve their defined goals and objectives?

6. How are expectations measured?
This will allow you to get a sense of how your progress and success or failure will be reviewed.  Does the company provide 90-day feedback and review? 6-months? or Annually?  The employee review allows for periodic feedback to assess your contributions and keep you on track for success in your role.

7. What are next steps in the hiring process?
This question should be asked at the end of your job interview. You will gain insight as to the hiring manager’s processes for moving forward and you will be able to navigate your next steps for outreach and expectations.  Should you follow-up by phone? email? When will they be making a decision? 

It is “OK” to ask questions. It is necessary and required! You are interviewing the organization and their team just as much as they are interviewing you. Why? Because you need to also determine “fit”, to learn if this organization’s culture and leadership environment “fits” with your work style and career goals so that you can flourish and succeed and contribute in a productive and meaningful capacity.  Good Luck! 

Career Transition: Where do I go from here?

 

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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.