12 Steps to Targeting Success in Your Career or Job Search
Is your job search sagging? Are you still looking for that ideal next job? Or are you about to begin looking for new work and are not sure of the best way to go about it? What you need is a way to evaluate your job search strategies to see whether or not they are working effectively for you.
Ready to get started? Here are 12 building blocks to a successful job search and the goals that will help you get to where you really want to be in the world of work:
1.) Making networking phone calls:¬† Effective job searches begin and end with networking. Start by making a list of everyone you know: family members, extended family, friends, present & past co-workers, faith community colleagues, barber/hairdresser, dog groomer, neighbors. Even list the clerks who work in your favorite grocery or video store, bank tellers and gas station attendants. Everyone! Call or talk to each person on your list (most people can easily produce a list of 50-100 people). Target: Make 3-5 new networking phone calls weekly.
2.) Contacting employers before openings occur:¬† The process of applying for a job before an opening is known to be present is referred to as "accessing the hidden job market" - and doing so is critical for job search success. By using a great on-line tool such as Reference USA to access employer information, you can mail targeted resumes and cover letters to companies that match your size, focus and sales criteria. Target: Mail 5-10 targeted but unsolicited resumes with cover letters weekly.
3.) Responding to online postings:¬† There are literally hundreds of sites like Monster.com, and you can pour hours and hours into searching them for job opportunities. Remember to search on multiple titles or portions of titles and to post your resume at every opportunity. Target: respond to 3-5 postings weekly.
4.) Responding to newspaper help wanted ads:¬† This is the favorite job seeking strategy of searchers everywhere, but guess what? Out of every 100 resumes an employer receives, they will throw away 92-95! Target: Submit only 3-5 resumes and cover letters weekly in response to help wanted ads.
5.) Identifying new employers to contact:¬† Find employers the old-fashioned way: in phone books, through networking leads, through word-of-mouth, in reference sources and online databases (such as Reference USA, mentioned above), through articles in local papers and through the Yellow Pages of your local phone directory. Target: Identify and research 5 new employers weekly and use them to fill your quota for #2, above.
6.) Contacting recruiters and employment agencies:¬†¬† It's not appropriate for every job seeker to contact recruiters and employment agencies, but if this strategy makes sense for you, then by all means make use of them. Target: Contact 1 new recruiter or agency weekly.
7.) Making follow-up phone calls & sending thank you letters/cards:¬† Sending out resumes and cover letters is only the first step in the process of developing relationships with employers. About 1 ¬Ĺ to 2 weeks afterward, call them to verify they received your materials and to inquire about next steps. Always follow-up on interviews and make is a habit to send thank you letters or cards afterward as well. Target: Make 5-10 follow-up phone calls weekly and send a thank you letter or card for every job interview or informational interview you participate in each week.
8.) Managing your references:¬† How do you "manage" references? Supply each one with a copy of each version of your resume. Keep them up-to-date on what is happening in your job search. You don't need to call them weekly, but you should generate news every few weeks at least. Give your references a copy of all the references you're using so each one can refer an employer on to someone else on the list if asked. Prepare your references by giving them background information, adjectives and descriptive words that "sell" your best stuff. Target: Contact each reference at least once per month during your active job search and contact everyone when that perfect opportunity comes along to prepare them.
9.) Practicing interview answers:¬†¬† Don't just practice the night before an interview. Target: Practice your interview answers and questions at least 1 time per week.
10.) Practicing the salary negotiations process:¬† Ditto with salary negotiations. Target: Practice your strategies and responses at least 1-2 times per week.
11.) Staying socially connected with employed others:¬† Job searching is extremely lonely, so make sure you stay socially involved with family and friends. Target: Get out of the house at least 2 times weekly to see friends or extended family.
12.) Managing your attitude and energy:¬† This is the most important building block of all, because without a positive attitude and high, focused energy, you won't achieve the result you want. Targets: Do at least 1 fun and creative thing outside your house weekly.
Why not take Fridays off (if you're unemployed) and enjoy! Absolutely, categorically don't job search on weekends. Exercise, take care of your body, and journal. Feed your mind good books and your spirit hope.
Strengthen or do more of what works. Adapt, replace or fix what does not work. Reevaluate your search progress every 30 days for as long as it takes for you to find the work you really want. And, if your job search results do not markedly improve within 45 days, see a career search professional for individualized assistance.
Cheryl Lynch Simpson is a Spiritual Director and Solutions Coach who helps women discover and create the life they've always wanted to live.¬† Cheryl is the author of over 30 print/Internet articles and the founder of Coaching Solutions For Women, a coaching website that produces and showcases career, business, and life solutions that improve the life balance of today's busy women.¬† For a complimentary copy of her latest e-book, Ten-Minute Stress Zappers for Women Service Business Owners, visit http://www.coachingsolutionsforwomen.com.
Five Qualities Employers Want
More than ever, employers want employees who can produce results! Here are five qualities employers seek in such employees.
Job Search Techniques: Smashing The Gray Ceiling
For decades, women have chaffed at the invisible glass ceiling which prevents their moving into the high executive brackets that their competence, knowledge and skills have earned. The same amorphous barrier confronts older workers both in terms of advancement within a company and, most especially, when a job change is required. There is an adage in the military that if a rank above major has not been obtained within twenty years, it never will be. The ranks of early military retirees are sprinkled with majors who knew that ten or fifteen more years would never bring a Colonel's cluster.
Keep Your Phone Costs Down!
When you're looking for work, some of your expenses will change. You may not commute daily since you won't need a monthly commuter ticket, but each time you travel to an interview by public transportation, it will cost more.
Powerful Phone Interviews
Phone interviews are de rigueur with many organizations.
Pre-Interview Web Research
You have obtained an interview -- congratulations! You feel prepared to discuss your strengths, your accomplishments, your willingness to work hard and learn quickly, and your ability to fit seamlessly into the employer's needs. But... you don't know anything about the employer. You may not even be sure what kind of industry they are in. Do some quick homework before your interview and you may glean a basic understanding of their business that can set you apart from other candidates.
Networking Masterclass - Part 1 - Practicing Empathy
Practicing Empathy¬†A vital part of your networking skills is your ability to build rapport quickly and effectively with others. To build rapport successfully with another individual you need to understand 'where' they are coming from and have 'empathy' with them. ¬†People often think of empathy as a mystical commodity, a special, almost uncanny ability to experience the thoughts and feelings of someone else.¬† In fact 'empathy' is quite simply applied imagination and only requires a little exertion and discipline.¬†The next time you are sitting in a room conversing with three or more people, try this very simple activity:¬†Temporarily remove yourself from the conversation.¬† Be very quiet for a few moments.¬† Pay particular attention to the person doing the most talking.¬† Imagine the following things:¬†Imagine the physical sensations the speaker is experiencing.¬† Mentally place yourself in that person's body, sitting or standing in a particular position, eating the same food, drinking the same drink.¬† Mentally become that person.¬† Do you feel energised? Tired? Irritated?¬†Imagine what kind of day the speaker has had - using all your knowledge about the speakers' day. If you know little about the person, guess.¬† Continue to imagine yourself as that person.¬† How does your day colour and affect what you are saying?¬†Imagine the person's relationship's to everyone in the room - including yourself. Continue to mentally be that person.¬† What kind of feelings are generated by the people around you? How do they affect the things you say?¬†Now step back into yourself and rejoin the scene.¬† Does your own role in the conversation feel different? ¬†Empathy, like memory is a creative act, not a mystical property and it requires imagination and practice.¬† It lies within the grasp of all of us.
Internships: Bonkers or Brilliant?
I have something to say that's driving me batty. It's regarding graduates who fuss about not getting a job they like or not getting a job at all for that matter. Blah blah di blah?
More and more people are calling it quits to successful careers to create some personal leisure time or to pursue another career. This trend is becoming more popular and common. Years ago few people voluntarily quit a job midway through their careers, no matter how unhappy they were. It was not acceptable to leave one job without having another job to go to. There was a stigma present that you were damaged goods if you did so.
Rejection Got You Down in the Job Search?
REJECTION IN THE JOB SEARCH
Career Change - Creating Wealth & Happiness
Whether you have a business idea or not, here's what I want you to do?
Becoming A Home Inspector: What the Home Inspection Schools Dont Want You To Know
Chances are if you're reading this you've thought about becoming a home inspector. You may have even seen the ads that say you can make hundreds of dollars a day as a home inspector. Home inspection schools put many of these ads out. They paint a rosy picture about the profession and how easy it will be for you to make a ton of money virtually overnight. I'm a Professional Real Estate Inspector and I'm going to tell you what the home inspection schools don't want you to know about this profession!
Have Enough Money to Change Careers - Five Key Steps
At every talk I give, I ask the audience to tell me the reasons why people don't change careers. The most common answer given each time is "lack of money." So many people have such an exaggerated fear about money that they will not even take the time to determine how much they will need to do work they love in the first place!
The Hidden Job Market: Real or Imagined?
The hidden job market has been touted as the place to go if you want to find the best jobs. It's been said that this sector of the job market accounts for seventy-five percent of all the job openings out there. If that is true, then what we see in the classifieds and on the Internet job sites account for only twenty-five percent of all job openings. So the question becomes, is the hidden job market a myth or does it truly exist?
Electronic Resume Writing Tips That Boost Your Interview Appointment Success
Electronic Resume Writing Tips That Boost Your Interview Appointment Success
Are Your References Ready?
One of the most common forms of background check performed by companies hiring new employees is the reference check. They typically request that candidates provide them with three names of previous bosses. If you don't have three former bosses, then provide co-workers, teachers, college professors and/or professional colleagues as character references.
Pebbles in Your Shoe Dont Only Hurt your Foot But Cause Back and Hip Problems!
CIO Magazine ran an article entitled, "Ten Mistakes CIO's Too Often Make" written by Susan H. Cramm, former CIO and vice president of IT at Taco Bell and CFO and executive vice president at Chevys, a Taco Bell subsidiary.
Business Careers: Keys to Moving on from Retrenchment
You may be astonished to realize that retrenchment may occur more than once during the life of the modern day worker. In fact, career advisors report that we could expect to be made redundant up to three times during our working life.
Creating a Feng Shui Power Office: 6 Easy Tips to More Successful Surroundings
More and more people are looking to gain an edge in their working environments.¬† One method that business people are increasingly turning to is feng shui.¬† Feng shui promises that by arranging your office environment correctly, it is possible to create a better energy in your office, and that energy can promote further opportunity and advancement.
Whats Stopping You from Getting Your Next, Good Job?
This question comes up often when I'm working with someone to help them move forward in finding their next job.
From Bumbling Bosses to Cranky Co-Workers ? How to Overcome What Makes You Hate Your Job
I'll be the first to admit that I hated my job. It took many years for me to come to this realization since I kept accepting promotions in the hopes that the awful ache inside of my chest would go away. This ache was not a medical condition ? it was me longing to have a career where I could be happy.