Tag Archives: jobsearch

Want a Job? Five Things You Have to Consider, NOW!

When you’re looking for a new job your number one priority is finding said job right? It better be! To help you move your search along here are five things to consider:

  1. Don’t expect any one thing or tool to be a silver bullet. One of the real frustrations with job-search is that you just never know where your next job is going come from. For many its networking, for others it might be a job-board or a recruiter. Do not ‘expect’ one thing to be your savior – invest your time in several but focus on what is proven to work (networking).
  2. Don’t get fooled by gimmicks (especially if you have to pay for them).  Anyone who tells you they have the ‘total package’ for your job-search and guarantees their ‘system’ will get you a job is a liar. Don’t be fooled and do NOT write them a $5,000 check.
  3. Listen to those that know. If you went to the doctor for an illness and he told you to do XYZ you would listen right? Then why don’t you take the same approach with your job-search and listen to all of those folks that talk about how good networking is?
  4. Don’t be afraid to try new things. Let’s see. You found a job twenty years ago by doing XYZ and now you want to do the same thing. I’ll talk to you in six months when you are still looking. The time is now to look at new things whether it be an online networking site, a personal website, or making a stand to manage your career.
  5. Keep your skills current. Watch webinars, go to seminars/conferences, take a class read articles, volunteer, do anything and everything to keep your skills fresh, clean, and up-to-date. Otherwise you will pay for it in the interview.

There you have it – five things to do, not do, watch, avoid, and think about for your search.

What would you add to the list? Anything?

Until next time, good hunting and good luck!


These Words Will Get You Laughed At More Than Hired

I am a big believer that you really do have to sell yourself (and sell yourself well) to get hired in any economy, especially this one. On the other hand though some people have taken things to the point where they look just plain silly.

I can almost guarantee you that if you use one of these words/phrases listed below to describe YOURSELF (ie NOT someone else describing you) on your resume, LinkedIn profile, Twitter profile, or really anywhere else you are probably getting laughed at and not hired.

  • top  gun
  • ninja
  • superstar
  • guru
  • rock star
  • expert
  • top notch
  • top shelf
  • Jedi
  • ‘Yoda like’

You have been warned.

Until next time, good hunting and good luck!

Major League Baseball and Job-Search

If you’ve ever watched a pro baseball game you know two things are true – it is as about as entertaining as watching paint dry and they have a statistic for everything.

Now, most of the stats are ridiculous (ie “he’s the first left-handed batter to hit the second pitch of a game to the third baseman since 1988”) but some (batting average, runs batted in, etc) are worth having and it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out they keep them to track how a player is doing.

When it comes to job-search what are you tracking?

Could you tell me the number of jobs you are applying to per interview? Can you tell me the number of interviews you are having per offer? What about the number of networking calls you are making vs. the number of networking meetings you are having?

I would guess that if 1,000 people read this post 990 cannot tell me any of the numbers requested above which is VERY poor.

How can you judge what is working and what is not if you are not tracking what your activities are. If I were looking for a job today I would go MLB all over it and be able to put together a data story that would impress any MBA out there.

Until next time – good hunting and good luck!

The Good News About Looking for a J-O-B

In most cases when conversations are had about job-search the talk is more about current activity (where are you interviewing, etc) than the end result (a J-O-B).

The truth of the matter is you WILL land somewhere, so why not focus on that rather than the daily grind of looking for work. It more than likely won’t be on your schedule (it rarely is) but the good news is there is a job out there with your name written all over it.

When talking about the art of looking for work you never know when, where, and how an opportunity is going to develop so you need to have a plan that includes all different avenues to get there (networking, recruiters, social media, applying to jobs, career fairs, etc) and having all of your ducks in a row to sell yourself at the drop of a hat.

If you need encouragement in your search please know that I pray for all of those looking for work on a very regular basis as I know how difficult job-search is and know the pains associated with it (financial, emotional, spiritual, self-confidence, etc) all too well.

Until next time – good hunting and good luck!

Eight Sure Fire Ways You Are Screwing Up Your Job-Search

There are as many ways to find a job as the day is long and over my career in helping folks do just that I belive I have seen just about all of them. On the flip side, there are as many ways to screw up a job-search and today we are going to highlight eight of them.

  1. A recruiter / employer knows before they even post a job opening that you are going to be one of the first to apply. I think if most recruiters are being honest they know exactly who is going to apply to a position before they even post it. In fact, a recruiter friend recently told me that he was hesitant on broadcasting a role because he was starting to feel bad telling the same people no every time.
  2. A recruiter / hiring manager knows your phone number as soon as it pops up on caller id. Congrats you have moved from candidate to stalker. I would lay off of the following up a little bit and give the recruiter / hiring manager a bit of time to make decisions and move the process along.
  3. You are not easily found online. If you are looking for a job your information needs to be findable on LinkedIn, through Google, on Twitter, on Facebook, and on the job-boards (even if you just post a confidential resume). Recruiters are hunters, you are the prey, and if you cannot be found you  are going to make life much harder for yourself.
  4. You think that your resume and ability to interview are second to none. There is not much I can say here other than a reality check is needed.
  5. You have not worked on growing your network. Simple rule to remember – either network or don’t work. The reason that so many people say to network as part of your job-search activities is BECAUSE IT WORKS!
  6. Your computer and / or Oprah is your best friend. Get out from in front of your computer, turn Oprah off, and re-review number five.
  7. You have not worked to keep your skills current / improve your skills while you have in search. One of my favorite questions to ask is, “What are you doing to keep your skills current and up to date” and I am always shocked and appalled by the number of times I hear ‘nothing’ or complete silence. Your skill-set is a living, breathing thing. If you don’t feed it, it will die.
  8. Your phone feels like you have deserted it. Go back and review number five. If you are not working the phones you need to review your whole job-search strategy.

Hopefully none of these eight things apply to your search but if any of them are a review of how you are conducting your search should be had (like right now).

What would you add to this list? It could end up 100 long for sure – look forward to your thoughts and comments.

Until next time – good hunting and good luck!

Does Weight Loss Hold The Secret To Finding A Job?

It’s the beginning of the year and people have made their ‘resolutions’ (99.9% of which will be forgotten by March) – to lose weight, to get more involved in Church, to find a new job, etc. 

Over the course of my many years living on this earth I have given up on making resolutions because I am human, I get lazy, and I put them off until next year just like everyone else. However, about mid-January, Christina (my much better half) and I made a goal (NOT a resolution) to get in better hape in 2012.

We have started keeping better tabs on what we eat and when we eat it and have also started doing P90x together to help the process along. I am not going to say that the plan is fool-proof and that I look amazing (yet) but I can feel a difference in the way my clothes fit and my overall energy level for sure.

The other day I sat down and really thought about what the process of losing weight and getting in shape and realized just how it and job-search are alike.

To lose weight you need to eat less and exercise more. Simple formula but can be hard to do because it takes drive, determination, and effort. Because of the difficulties that lie there within there are people that try to sell miracle products that are supposed to help you get the end result without putting in the work (they don’t work).

The formula for job-search success is a simple one as well. Focus on networking and building your brand while talking to a recruiter or two and applying to a job every now and then along the way.

Just like with weight loss, job-search success provides a simple path to success but very few take it because it takes drive, determination, and effort. As with weight loss there are people that offer miracle solutions that promise to get you hired quickly (they don’t work).

Back in 1968 Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell sang “Ain’t Nothing Like the Real Thing” and when it comes to weight loss and job-search you can try the ‘miracles’ but there is nothing like getting back to things that are proven to work.

If you decide that your job-search and career are worth the extra effort take a look at our previous post on networking to help get you started.

Until next time – good hunting and good luck.

Does Cairo, GA and ‘Syrup Country’ Hold the Secret to Landing a New Job?

Have you ever been to Cairo? Georgia – not Egypt. Didn’t think so.

Could you show me where it is at on a map (without the map in this post)? Didn’t think so.

Can you tell me anything about it without using Google? Didn’t think so.

So how can a town you have never been to, never heard of, and know nothing about impact your job-search? You’d be surprised.

Cairo (pronounced like Karo syrup, not Cairo, Egypt), known as Syrup City,  is a small town (population, 9,000) in south Georgia that is 30 miles north of Tallahassee, FL.

For being such a small town it has produced its fair share of people who have helped shape the world, including baseball player Jackie Robinson, Teresa Edwards (Olympic Gold Medalist), Daryle Singletary (country music singer) and Mickey Thomas (lead singer of Jefferson Starship). Most importantly, however, it is the home town of Christina, my much, much, much better half.

So now that the commercial is over the question still remains – how can a small town in the middle of nowhere affect your job-search? Read on.

They have created an identity and brand for themselves that makes people want to know more. If you look at any list of the best highschool mascots put out by Sports Illustrated, ESPN, or anyone else you will find the Cairo Syrupmakers (yes I said Syrupmakers) always ranked high on the list.

They could have gone with the wildcats, rebels, predators, bears, tigers, lions, or any other popular name out there and they chose someone who makes syrup as their namesake and a pitcher pouring syrup as the mascot of their highschool athletic teams.

My wife has a Syrupmaker pullover and without fail it is a conversation magnet every time she puts it on. People want to know what a syrupmaker is, what it means, where it’s from and everything else about it. If by chance they know the meaning behind it they beam with pride like they are part of a special club that has exclusive membership.

The take away: What is the brand you have created for yourself? Are you a lion, rebel, or bear just like everyone else or are you a Syrupmaker? Do people remember you and want to discuss you and what you are about?

They take pride in themselves and their product. If there is one thing that Cairo is, they are proud of their Syrupmakers. If you drive around town you will see signs everywhere that say ‘Go ‘Makers’ or ‘Syrupmaker Pride’.

On Friday nights during high school football season the town nearly shuts down to watch the ‘Makers play. In fact this football season they played a state playoff game near Atlanta (nearly three hours away) and had more fans in attendance than the home team.

The take away: You have to take pride in your craft (both your function and your search) and be your biggest cheerleader because no one else will be. If you are not excited about what you do and your quest to find a new opportunity why should anyone else be?

They have created a community. In Cairo (and in small towns everywhere) people know one another, generally care for each others well-being, and help each other out because it’s the way they do things and their way of life.

The takeaway: From a job-search perspective if you do not build a community that you can call on for networking purposes, support, and help you are going to find yourself in bad shape very quickly.

So does Cairo have the magic bullet to you landing your next opportunity? Maybe, maybe not – but it sure does have the roadmap for laying a good foundation.

Until next time – good hunting and good luck!