Monday, October 16, 2017

Are You Working Smart in Your Job Search?

Are You Working Smart in Your Job Search?

If you want to achieve more success in your job search, it is time to verify you are doing what is needed to find and land that opportunity. It is a matter of working smarter not necessarily harder.

As I mentioned in my last article (, the fourth quarter is a great time to look for a job.  You will want to take advantage of this time by maximizing your approach.

Here are a few questions to ask about your job search. If you answer NO to any of these, then there are changes you can make to be more successful.
  1.  Do you know and use in the interview your REAL strengths using Strengths Finder 2.0 instead of giving the answer everyone else gives (I’m a people person, organized, detail oriented, blah, blah, blah)?
  2. Have you identified and documented OVER 70 of your accomplishments and interview stories in STAR format? Are the bullets on your resume used for accomplishments and not just part of the job description?
  3.  Was your resume built using multiple job descriptions to ensure the keywords, skills, and experiences are emphasized for the job you are pursuing.
  4. Do you have a well-honed, 30-second elevator pitch that does not include the phrase “I used to…”?
  5. Do you have a job search business card so you have a professional way of sharing your contact information?
  6. Is your LinkedIn profile complete? Does it include a headshot? Have you tailored your LinkedIn URL? Do you use LinkedIn as an active tool in your search? Are you active in LinkedIn groups?
  7.  Have you identified 5 – 10 target companies that are more than just the best known companies in town.
  8. Do you have a Networking Guide (or Marketing Plan) that you distribute to people who offer to help with your job search but can’t hire you themselves?
  9. Are you using the T cover letter format to highlight what a great fit you are for the specific job posting? Do you position the cover letter in the same document as the resume so everyone that sees the resume benefits from the T cover letter?
  10. Does your job search include multiple approaches with no more than 20% of your time applying on-line and working with recruiters?
  11. Have you taken training (including on-line or self-study) since you have been in transition?
  12. Are you networking with employed people? Do you know where people in your target industry and target companies go to network?
  13. Do you repost your resume on-line every 3 weeks? Do you use industry or career specific job boards?
  14. Do you know how to have the company share the salary range and how to postpone further salary discussions until they have offered you the job?

If you answered NO to one or more of these, then get with a professional job search coach to power up your search.  It can make all of the difference in getting the results you want.

Judi Adams The Affordable and Successful Job Search Coach

Monday, October 9, 2017

3 Reasons the Holidays are a Great Time to Start or Continue Your Job Search

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. And we are not talking about "seasonal" work either - we're talking careers. 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?

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 Need to Get Prepared 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. 90% of resumes do not make it passed keyword software because they were built historically instead of for the job being pursued.

Only 15% of the available jobs are posted. Therefore you need to identify and target 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. Remember that your resume is the 6th most used piece of marketing materials. Know what other items of marketing materials you need to be a successful job seeker.

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.

Now is the time to see how you can add success to your job search.

As my holiday gift to you, click this link (or paste this shortened URL into your borrower: ) to play my new, two part video RightChanges Job Search Success packed with information to improve your job search success.

Judi Adams

*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.