Story of the Month
As a 23-year-old college graduate, l was looking for direction in how to go about finding a job to launch my career - a process which was totally new to me. I did land an entry-level position with a suburban Philadelphia bank, shortly after graduation. This job was not exactly what I wanted, but since I needed to start earning money, I accepted it. Even so, I knew I would need help to reach the next level in my career. During my tenure at this bank, I found you [Joellyn] through my college's Career Development website. I thought to myself, I would try working with you -- what did I have to lose?
We completed several career-related exercises, to determine my strengths and weaknesses, uncover my "Key Success Factors" and determine what types of job best fit my personality and work preferences. You also helped me believe in myself when it came to my career. These exercises really opened up new ways of thinking for me when it came to approaching my job hunt.
Eventually, the bank posted an internal position for a Loan Counselor / Assistant Manager within one of the branches. I was really interested in this position and knew that it fit my educational qualifications and career goals. So I put in my application and was granted an interview. Because of my work with you (especially knowing my Key Success Factors - invaluable!), I was able to clearly convey in my interview with the hiring manager what I could bring to the table in this new position - and I got the job!
Thanks, Joellyn, for all your help!
Jon Deesing - Loan Counselor/Assistant Branch Manager - Retail Banking
Summer is definitely over and fall is approaching. As the seasons change, so has the U.S. labor market and the economy, which I haven't written about since April 2007, because things were going relatively well at the time. Fast forward to today, I won't recap any of the shocking financial news or negative accounts about the U.S. economy and labor market that hasn't already been reported by the media. While I agree that times are tough, it doesn't help to focus on "doom and gloom" headlines longer than necessary. According to "law of attraction" principles, the more attention we give to negative news events, the more of them we will get. So, do the best you can to ignore the media and channel your thoughts in a more positive direction.
Keep in mind that the state of the US economy is not the only factor which contributes to securing employment. Jerrold Mundis, author of Earn What You Deserve, explains: "Realize that economies are personal, which is separate and apart from the national economy. There is no denying that the larger economy does have an impact. But the most it can dictate, barring complete collapse, is the manner in which you earn your living, not whether you can."
Recruiters are always searching the Internet for top talent to fill positions for their client companies. So, how can you get recruiters to notice you? Take a look at the article "Help Recruiters Find You on the Internet" written by Chick Simonds -- one of my recruiter-colleagues -- who will give you some valuable insider tips!
Among the top skills "most wanted" by employers from their staff is "communication skills" -- the ability to listen, speak and write. Thomas J. Stanley, Ph.D., author of the book The Millionaire Mind, says that communication skill is the #1 success factor listed among millionaires today.
From personal experience, one of the best ways I know to improve the way you communicate is by joining Toastmasters International, to develop your public speaking and leadership skills. When I moved to Massachusetts last year, Toastmasters was one of the first organizations I joined. (I belong to the Paul Revere Club which has been around for 20+ years.) I'm on track to earn my Competent Communicator (CC) designation and will also be competing in an area-level humorous speech contest, on October 7. To locate a club in your area, scroll down for details.
Here's to your Career Success!
P.S.: A great big "Welcome!" to all the new readers who subscribed since last month! You're going to love the resources you'll find here to help you find greater career success...Enjoy!
| Thanks for Your Referrals!
Many thanks to those who have referred family, friends, colleagues, acquaintences, and resources to me, including:
Help Recruiters Find You on the Internetby Chick Simonds
Recruiter with J. Joseph & Associates
Throughout my recruiting career, I have been observing and experiencing a paradigm shift in the way that most recruiters and job-seeking candidates find each other. Thanks to voice mail, electronic switchboards, virtual offices, etc., it has become increasingly challenging to speak directly with people. Thus, the Internet has evolved into the most effective and widely used communication tool for recruiters and candidates alike. © 2008 All Rights Reserved.
Recruiters typically find candidates through the Internet by posting their assignments on job boards, to attract candidates; and searching directly for qualified candidates, using common or complex search engines, depending on the type of candidate sought. To improve your chances of connecting with a recruiter, follow these guidelines before posting your résumé:
1) Tailor your résumé to match the skill sets and qualifications stated by the job posting. Be sure to include the appropriate keywords, phrases and other words that will attract the employer and the recruiter. For example, if you're an executive assistant and the job posting asks for Microsoft Office skills, then Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc., should be listed on your résumé.
2) Don't use overly descriptive or elaborate language in your résumé - and don't attempt to inflate your job description. There is no shame in being a Sales Representative, Administrative Assistant, Product Manager, Mechanical Engineer, or Software Support Technician.
3) Be sure that your contact information is up-to-date and accurate. Nothing irritates a recruiter more than finding a qualified candidate with a disconnected telephone number, an e-mail address that bounces back, or a phone that just rings, with no voice mail or answering machine.
4) Update your job board posting (and contact information!) on a monthly basis, to maintain top positioning -- it's fr*ee!
5) Keep in mind that recruiters want achievers and employers want contributors. We don't need to see your job description; we need to see how well you did your job! For example, if you're in sales, we're much more interested in your sales performance, not merely what you sold and to whom.
6) Create a profile on LinkedIn.com or open a premium account with TheLadders.com. Recruiters actively use both of these resources to search for qualified candidates.
So, what should you do when a recruiter contacts you? First, do not feel obligated to submit a formal résumé immediately. Second, be absolutely certain you are comfortable with the recruiter, and you understand the assignment being discussed. Most importantly, make it abundantly clear that you are allowing the recruiter to share your credentials for the specific assignment only---not for the recruiter to blast your résumé throughout the country. Third, never lie about whether or not you have a college degree. A recent candidate of mine learned this lesson the hard way. Background checks are the norm, and degrees are among the easiest items to validate. It cost this young man a terrific job, and the irony is that the degree was not required, but truthfulness always is!
Despite the high traffic of job boards, employers are continually investing thousands of dollars in manpower and technology, to more accurately monitor responses to job postings and accelerate their search for qualified candidates. As the economy heats up, so will the search for candidates by employers and recruiters through the Internet-- so be ready!
About the author: Charles "Chick" Simonds is a recruiter with J. Joseph & Associates, specializing in assignments for sales and marketing professionals. Prior to recruiting, he enjoyed a successful career in senior sales management for several divisions of Bell & Howell. He can be contacted via email: firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone: 847.940.7044 -- and he will always call you back!
Career Action Planning (CAP) Session
Are you stuck, stalled or confused in your job search or career? Do you often say to yourself:
"If I could just find a satisfying position with decent pay and benefits AND a reasonable expectation of job security -- but this seems so impossible in today's economy."
"My biggest problem is getting interviews. I know the Internet is not the best place to look for a job but my networking contacts never seem to know of any opportunities, either."
"I'm getting interviews but no offers - what am I doing wrong?"
"Once again, I'm passed over for that promotion. Seems I'll never get ahead in my career."
"I want to change careers but have no idea how to identify my transferable skills - help!"
"The responses to my résumé are few and far between - extremely frustrating!! "
"I know my qualifications are top notch. But I can't ignore this nagging feeling that 'age discrimination' is the reason I'm not getting the job I want."
"I have a mixed bag of skills that are hard to sell to prospective employers, so I have to undersell myself to gain employment."
"I've been finding positions I am interested in, but have trouble convincing hiring managers that I have the relevant skills to do the job."
"I never seem to get the salary / compensation package I deserve, based on the years of experience in my field."
If you can relate to any of the above, you don't need to be in "career pain" any longer! These are all issues which can be overcome - but your situation will never change until you take some action!
So, take a step forward by scheduling your "Career Action Planning (CAP) Session" today! Within 2 hours, we will get to the root of whatever your career problem may be and come up with a workable plan to solve it, once and for all. To get started, complete the intake form on my website so I can learn more about your unique situation. Otherwise please call me at 508.459.2854 (Eastern time zone).
I look forward to connecting with you!
Quote of the Month: On "Limitations"
"Limitations live only in our minds. But if we use our imaginations, our possibilities become limitless."
-- Jamie Paolinetti (American cyclist, author and filmmaker)
| I really appreciate having you as a subscriber and I hope the content in this newsletter will help you be successful in your career.
See you in October!
Joellyn Wittenstein Schwerdlin
Certified Career Management Coach
© 2008 All rights reserved.