Sunday, November 15, 2015
Many job seekers think that the holidays are a bad time to find a job so they back off on their search efforts; that is a myth. There are actually three reasons that the holidays are a great time to start or continue the search.
Reason One – Companies are Still Hiring – Even More So
A poll reveals that 69% of recruiters report hiring as many, if not more people in the month of December than any other month. Why? Well, December marks the end of one budget year and the beginning of another for many companies.
Have you heard the expression “use it or lose it” when it comes to company budgets? Managers do not want to lose a headcount because they haven’t filled it before the end of the year, so they are hiring now to fill those seats.
Next, companies are ramping up hiring to have people in seats at the beginning of the year. Hiring managers want to fill positions as soon as possible to help with the immense workload and to keep from losing an unfilled position should the company decide to have a hiring freeze if budgets are adjusted down.
And, in order to reduce tax liabilities, companies want to book expenses within the calendar year and that includes expenses related to hiring.
These are just a few of the reasons companies still hire over the holidays.
Reason Two - You Have Things to Do First to be Successful
The process of searching for a job is actually step 4 of a successful search*. Quoting Coach Wooden, “When opportunity knocks, it’s too late to prepare.” Be ready before opportunity knocks on your door. Be sure you have addressed the first three steps and have all of your marketing materials ready to go.
Step 1 is Attitude. There are two aspects to having the right attitude. The first aspect of attitude is understanding and accepting that the job market has changed. If you believe, “I have found a job before, I can do it again” without understanding what you need to do differently, then you will have a very hard time finding a job.
The job market has changed; the resume formats have changed, in fact the resume is the 6th most used piece of marketing materials (meaning there are 5 others used as often if not more so). The methods to look for a job have changed. Are you mistakenly relying too much on on-line applications? Take this time to understand the new job market and revise your approach.
The second aspect of having a good attitude is giving yourself time and permission to process the loss or fear so it does not negatively impact your body language, word choice, or the energy you need to do the job search. Don’t think you can fake it. Your micro gestures can’t be faked and that is the reason lie detectors work so well and psychics can conduct cold readings. Like leftovers in a refrigerator, emotions do not get better with time. Take them out and deal with them now.
Step 2 is Aptitude and that means knowing your product – YOU. You need to be able to give a powerful, concise answer to the question “Why should we hire you over your competition?” When asked “what are your strengths” do not give the blah blah blah answer by saying “I’m detailed oriented, I’m a people person, I’m a quick study, I’m organized, I’m a hard-worker…” That is the answer too many interviewees give because they think that is what hiring authorities want to hear – it isn’t. They want to know your real strengths.
Your search will be more successful and take a shorter amount of time if you identify and document your prior accomplishments (STARs), identify your real strengths, and developed a personal brand. Be sure you know your product and how you are unique from your competition.
Step 3 is Altitude which means identifying the specific job title you are pursuing and developing your resume based upon the criteria companies are looking. Then identify and target a list of 5-10 companies you REALLY want to work for. Having a target company list does not mean you wouldn’t take a job with another company. Less successful job seekers take the passive approach, waiting for companies to post positions. Instead proactively work to get a job with your target companies. Read RightChanges’ comprehensive article Why and How to Work a Target Company List.
These three steps must be completed before updating your marketing materials. Also, remember that your resume is the 6th most used piece of marketing materials. Know what other items of marketing materials you need as much if not more than a resume and how and when to use them.
Reason Three - Less competition.
While others are stepping back in their search, step forward.
You have probably seen the skit in cartoons where a troop is standing in a line and the drill sergeant asks for someone to volunteer for a dangerous mission by stepping forward. All of the members of the troop, except one, step back making it look like the one guy stepped forward. In that case it is not good to be the one who is left standing in front. But in the job search, you want to be the one who is stepping up. When others are missing out on opportunities, be the one who is there when opportunity knocks.
Use this time to network into opportunities before someone else does.
CHECK OUT THESE OTHER RESOURCES
View the free 5-part video series, The 5 Deadly Sins of the Job Search, to be sure you are not committing any of the most common job search mistakes.
Consider giving the book Found a Job Yet? And Other Questions NOT to Ask! as a gift for friends and family in your life. The first half of the book covers how the job market has changed and what job seekers have to do in order to be successful. The second half covers what people can do to help the job seekers in their life be successful.
While working with clients, people often ask what additional resources we recommend on various job search topics and to succeed in the job and in life.
On www.RightChanges.biz, we have compiled and continually add to the resources we HIGHLY recommend.
Topics Include: Attitude, Knowing Your Product, Determining the Right Job, ADD / ADHD, Life Skills , How to Network for Those Who Don’t Like To, For Family and Friends of Job Seekers, Interviewing, Negotiating – Getting What You Deserve..
For more on each category and the full list of resources go to www.RightChanges.biz
In order to hear Judi Adams at area events for free share information that will help you succeed, go to www.RightChanges.biz and click the Hear Judi Live tab.
Remember, 69% of recruiters place as many if not more people in the month of December than any other month. Now is the time to see how you can add success to your job search.
Have a very happy Thanksgiving and keep the job search moving forward, successfully.
Judi Adams is the CEO of RightChanges, the Affordable and Successful Job Search Coach. RightChanges’ clients who completed the personal coach series landed jobs they WANTED.
*The Six Steps of the Job Search are the copyright of Crossroads Career Services. Judi Adams of RightChanges is a professional affiliate of Crossroads Career Services.
Thursday, October 29, 2015
There are, of course, major things that can keep you from getting employed. I have addressed these major mistakes, along with how to correct them, in the free YouTube video series titled “The5 Deadly Sins of the Job Search”.
There are also small, careless things you might be doing that lessen your chances of success or flat out get you eliminated.
I work with job seekers every day and I see these careless mistakes all too frequently. It is my job to bring them to your attention so you can be sure you are not doing something that eliminates you from consideration for employment.
1. Not Following Instructions
This world is moving fast and you are in a hurry to land the right job. But if you do not take the time to read and follow the directions, it can cost you the job.
There are an unusually high number of people who obviously do not read the directions. These job seekers come across as poor candidates. Fast is not necessarily better especially when you are trying to present a good first impression.
What can be Behind It?
There can be any number of reasons people are missing out on important information. Here are just a few possibilities.
Small Screen: If you read your e-mails on your phone, you will want to wait and read the important correspondences when you can easily read the entire e-mail on a larger screen (like on your PC) so you do not miss what is being said.
Trying to be Quick: People shoot off a reply without reading the entire document or assume what is being said in the rest of the message. By missing a key detail in a job posting or e-mail, you can be ruled out as a candidate just as quickly as you replied.
Multi-tasking: Some people are proud of being able to multi-task. In fact scientist have done studies that prove that people cannot multi-task activities that require brain power. Pay attention to the important tasks.
Just Ignoring the Instructions: There are times people read, but ignore, the instructions. This conveys that you cannot or will not read and follow directions. If this is how you operate when you are trying to make a good first impression, hiring authorities know it will not get better when you are onboard as an employee.
There is one time, and one time only that I can think of, where I encourage job seekers to not follow instructions and that is when the company asks the candidate to include salary information in the cover letter. My suggestion instead is to write “I need to understand more about the job before I can address the question of salary. In addition salary is only one part of the compensation package. I would need to know more about the other aspects.”
Other than in that situation, job seekers need to know that by not following the instructions, they are possibly eliminating themselves from a job opportunity.
More than just not following directions can cost you the job. Here is a list of them.
2. Not spell checking your documents and e-mails
With the advent of spellcheck, there is no reason a document should be sent out with a spelling error. Word and Outlook, as well as other document software, have settings to automatically spellcheck a document before it is sent or as you type.
3. Misspelling the person’s name
When corresponding with a person, it is vitally important to spell the other person’s name as they spell it. It amazes me that people with unusually spelled names commit this mistake as often as others.
4. Calling to get the date / time or address after that information has been sent to you
When information has been provided to you, it is your responsibility to keep track of it. To interrupt someone else’s day with a call or e-mail to request information that you were previously provided indicates that you are not responsible enough to keep track of important information or that you believe their time is not valuable.
5. Rescheduling, canceling, showing up late, or not showing at all for an appointment
Critical issues come up time to time that make it impossible to keep a set appointment: illness
or death in the family, car accident, etc. Not showing at a party is one thing. Not showing for a
professional appointment, showing up late without calling, or canceling at the last minute
indicates lack of commitment or respect for the other person.
With professionals who schedule appointments, canceling or not showing may not only cost
the professional money but more importantly keeps others from using that time.
6. Not coming prepared to take notes
One of my favorite expressions is that “Memory does not get better with age”. When you go into a meeting without the tools to take notes, you clearly give the impression you are not prepared or that you do not believe anything worth remembering will be shared.
7. E-mailing a Google Docs or drop box link instead of attaching the resume
The advent of the cloud for storing documents provides the capability to access documents regardless of where you are. However, do not require the recipient to go through extra steps to receive a document you are sending them. If you are e-mailing the link, you can just as easily e-mail the document.
8. Bringing a jump drive (or computer) and expecting the other person to print your resume for
When someone asks you to bring a document with you, bring the document.
9. Bringing your computer and assuming the company will provide access to their secured
Most companies have policies in place that limit who can access the company’s internet. Although some companies provide public Wi-Fi access, do not assume all companies do. Either e-mail documents ahead of time or provide your own Wi-Fi (many smart phones can serve as a hotspot).
10. Not demonstrating manners and interpersonal skills
Fifty percent of what an employer is looking for in a candidate is skills and abilities; the other 50% is a fit for the organization. Whether you are male or female, hold the door for someone who has their hands full, greet the receptionists professionally, and demonstrate other strong interpersonal skills. Otherwise, you have given them 50% of the reasons not to hire you.
11. When following up with someone, asserting the other person’s fault for not getting back to
you as expected.
“You said you were going to call on Friday” “I’m still waiting for an answer to my question I sent weeks ago”.
When following up with someone, asserting their fault for not responding only puts them on the defensive, making it so they do not look forward to working with you. You do not know what has transpired that has kept them from replying as they had hoped.
The best approach is a soft approach. Send the question again without indicating you sent it before. Do not remind them of when they said they would get back to you, just send them an e-mail or leave them a message that expresses your continued interest and that you hope to hear from them soon.
12. Waiting until the last minute to prepare; expecting others to make accommodations for you
at the last minute because you failed to prepare.
I love the quote from Coach Wooden, in fact I made it a part of my e-mail signature block “When opportunity knocks, it is too late to prepare.” Do not wait until the last minute to prepare. If you are unemployed, you have time to prepare BEFORE you need that resume or to prepare for an interview. Do not waste today. Get ready now.
13. Not turning your phone OFF completely during a meeting.
Some people have become numb to the sound of a ringing or vibrating phone. If there is an emergency situation requiring you to leave your phone on, let the other person know. Otherwise, turn it off completely when in a meeting.
14. Not being in a quiet location for a business call.
When you arrange to take a business call, be sure you are in a quiet location. Do not drive while talking on a business call. Find a quiet location without distraction of animals, children, household noises - you get the idea.
Keep in mind that you do not need to take an unscheduled call at that moment if you are not prepared, that is what voice-mail is for. No one expects you to be 100% available for unscheduled calls.
You are detailed oriented, a people person, and have strong interpersonal skills so do not do anything that proves otherwise. You may be in a hurry to land a job but pay attention to the small things that can set you apart.
Judi Adams is the Affordable and Successful job search coach. Go to www.RightChanges.biz to see how to get 4 hours of coaching for as little as $175.
Saturday, February 28, 2015
In the state of Georgia and many others states (see link below for other states), anyone 62 years of age and older is allowed “attendance at units of the University System of Georgia without payment of tuition or other fees”, in other words - FREE college tuition. If you are a Georgia resident aged 62 or older, you may be eligible to enroll in any of the 31 colleges and universities in the University System of Georgia tuition free. Again, this applies to many other states as well.
That is great news if you are interested in pursuing a degree or additional skills. You do not have to apply and hope for WIA funds. You get this benefit because of your age.
There are a few things to know, and I personally am excited about this benefit when I’m of age.
- You must apply to the school as if you were a new student, which means filling out the application form and supplying the required documentation, such as transcripts and proof of residency and age. If you are interested in taking graduate level courses, you must meet all the requirements for the program selected. Some institutes charge a nominal non-refundable application fee.
- It is on a space available basis. Do not let this requirement deter you. One article I read said not many people were denied access because normally someone drops out of each class.
- Some colleges put a maximum on the number of college hours you can take within a period.
- You can audit the class (meaning you do not have to finish all of the assignments) or you can take the class for credits (meaning you are responsible for successfully completing all assignments if you want credit).
- Some institutes exclude their continuing education courses and non-credit classes.
For more information, contact the Office of Admissions at the college or university of your choice.
For information about other states check out the website: http://www.aseniorcitizenguideforcollege.com/p/find-your-state-tuition-waivers.html
Note: Gen X’ers, Millennials, and Gen Z’ers, I’ll see you in a college class one day!