Starting on the right foot

As mentioned earlier, I get pretty much daily updates about networking events, other social events, jobs and general tips that I’ve been sharing with all of you.

Tomorrow being Monday it’s time to start climbing that hill again.  So here are a couple of tips from Rob McGovern of Careerbuilder:

First, become obsessive about skills fit. With the overwhelming flood of resumes in the market, recruiters have become hyper selective about “fit”. When they are screening resumes they are methodical about finding candidates with a perfect skills fit. In this recession we are long past the days when companies would take chances on poorly fitting candidates. This means you need to spend intense time researching and understanding job listings and making sure to tune yourself as a strong skills fit. You’re much better off spending your time on the few jobs where you are a great fit, than wasting your time spreading yourself far and wide.

Second, make sure your resume is near-perfect. Company recruiters must pass over the majority of candidates and an amateurish resume makes their job easy. A well polished and professional resume makes you stand out in the flood of poorly qualified candidates. A professional resume says you are polished, articulate, and focused on strong written communications. A mistake to avoid is asking your friend to review your resume. Companies are now using sophisticated resume review systems, and you need a resume deigned to work in the system. This truly isn’t a game for your friend, the pseudo expert. Jobfox is the country’s largest resume writing service and we’re helping candidates get far more interviews.

I hope these tips help with starting this next week off on the right foot and your search is fruitful!

What did you do today?

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You can never be over prepared…

I get job and general updates on a daily basis and lately they are all revolving around interviews and how one can prepare to ace them.  I think it would only be fair to share them with all of you.

The first two come from the Communications Jobs site:
* Mistakes that Could Ruin Your Interview talks about arriving late or too early, getting too friendly with the hiring manager and talking about previous work experiences that may not have been all that great.
* Three Tricky Interview Styles and How to Ace Them goes into some detail about behavioral, case study and stress test types of interviews.

These next few tips are in regards to resume writing:
* Sell Me- Don’t Tell Me says that you should focus on making yourself stand out through your resume.  Instead of just talking about what you did, highlight your accomplishments.
* Writing Resumes and Cover Letters-Words and Phrases to Avoid is a really great article that I suggest everyone reads.  Among other things, it gives sample words that one should avoid when writing their resume or cover letter; such as aggressive, creative, determined and others.  I know I’m going to go through my resume and tweak it!  The article also mentions not forgetting about key words which I talked about in an earlier posting.

I wish you luck!  I am on to a quick visit to California to visit my parents…here’s to 9 hours in planes and airport terminals!

What did you do today?

Tips to surviving the second interview!

Welcome to Tuesday!  I hope your job search is coming along.  As someone who is also searching I feel as though I’ve hit a wall and have been running into the same jobs over and over again.  Maybe this is a week to explore your other hobbies and get back at it next week, when it will be the beginning of a new month!

For those of you who are interviewing, congratulations!  I hope you are getting through the interviews swimmingly and if you are moving on with the interview process and are crossing your fingers for a certain job then lets talk about some next steps.  I know I gave you a couple of links to some sites that give no no’s while job hunting and other tips.  Today I’d like to continue that and share some other tips I have seen, especially ones that have to do with second interviews!

* If you have time, take a drive to the place of the interview to make sure you know where it is and how long it takes to get there.  Don’t forget that maybe the company has moved locations so the directions on the website may not be the ones you should rely on.  Check with your point of contact so you don’t get lost!

* First and foremost, we all know to look well put together before an interview.  Career Rookie gives great advice on What NOT to Wear for an interview.

* The same site talks about Making a Good First Impression.  It only takes about 20 seconds for someone to make up their mind about you!

* There are dozens of questions you may be asked regarding your background, your future and your weaknesses.  Take time to prepare so you aren’t caught off guard.  The following site gives sample questions for a number of different fields.

* Second interviews are a fantastic accomplishment!  Pat yourself on the back.  I’ve looked into some sites that give tips about making a good impression during your second interview and found the following tips very helpful.  Quint Careers talks about the do’s and dont’s of second interviews such as being prepared for more behavioral questions and knowing what to do if you are taken out to lunch.

Good luck out there!

Now I’m off to get the Outliers book by Malcolm Gladwell and learn about how it’s very hard for someone to become a Bill Gates and how your upbringing really does have a lot to do with who you become.

What did you do?

Back on the Job Hunt Horse

I have to admit, I had to take the week off from job searching.  I applied to some positions but I just wanted to use my energy on blogging, searching for new topics and attending the social media seminar I wrote about.

As I got back on the job search horse today I came across an article from Doostang that in my opinion addresses some obvious “no no’s” when it comes to job searching but I think none the less it’s important to share them because the most basic details get lost in the shuffle when you are sending out dozens of resumes a day.

I also came across the Boston Business Journal site which is a great resource for networking and career advancement events in Boston.

If this is your “week off” from job searching here are a couple of ideas for budget friendly events around Boston:

* The Liberty Hotel is holding its weekly events for those interested in culinary arts, fashion, music or simply a place to start happy hour with your  friends.

* lululemon is also holding its weekly Monday run and Sunday yoga session; both are free of charge.

What did you do today?

Quite an Accomplishment!

I’d like to thank…the internet universe!

I received a comment on one of my first posts which talked about short-term goals.  The comment mentioned googling something and in the process the user came across my blog.  I decided to look into some of the tools that were provided by wordpress.com and it showed the peak times when my blog was looked at and the key words that were used to find my blog.

Here comes the best part, if you were perhaps looking for some research and typed in “too many unemployed mbas” my blog is the second thing that comes up!

I’m so excited, thank you world of social media!

What did you do today?

Volunteering is always an option…

I know it’s hard to grasp the idea, but volunteering really isn’t the worst way you can spend your time.  First make sure that if you are receiving unemployment benefits that you are not volunteering for more than 20 hours a week, otherwise you may lose your right to receive them!

I got my first taste of volunteering through The Ad Club in Boston.  They put on great events such as the Hatch awards where the top advertising agencies gather once a year to receive their Hatch Award for the best ad, video, etc.  I knew this was right up my alley and wanted to get involved.

As I was perusing facebook I noticed that one of my acquaintances was volunteering at this years Boston Marathon and this opened up a whole new area that I hadn’t looked at.  The MASports association has great opportunities for those that are into sporting events and want to get closer to the game by helping out with the ticketing, food sales or any number of other duties.  For those that are into road races, jobmonkey has links to all the major marathons from where you can look at the jobs they may be looking to fill.

Explore your options and interests and this may actually be a time that you can allow yourself to partake in all of these activities!

Have a great weekend!

Highlights and take aways from the social media seminar.

We ascended the winding staircase of the Apple store on Boylston Street and realized that being even a couple of minutes late meant we would be sitting off to the side and unfortunately would not be able to see the Powerpoint.  I would have to say that was the one thing I wish would have been taken into account by the staff. 

Tyson Goodridge of Dialogue led the seminar/discussion.  The presentation itself was very interesting and for those of you who were not able to attend I took some notes on the most important aspects of social media.

* Social media is really the following three things:
Relationships
Content
Technology

* The uses of the various social media outlets:
Facebook is for you and your friends
Twitter is for you and your brand
Linkedin is for you and your company

* Content is the currency of social media, the better the content the more return.

* In order to be successful you cannot view social media as a one way discussion, it must be a dialogue.  Therefore remember, just like on a date use the 80/20 rule.  Spend 80% of the time talking about something other than yourself, especially when using Twitter!

* It’s not favorable to create two distinct identities, your personal identity and your professional identity.  Most users see through that.  Try to mold the two together, people would much rather see the human side of you shine through.

These next two are more for the business side of social media:

* A business that wants to use facebook should make sure to create a custom url.
For example: http://www.facebook.com/mycompany

* A company could pay to get their facebook landing page to look exactly like their website

* With social media you cannot measure ROI, you have to measure your Return on Relationships

I hope these have helped and I’ll make sure to keep you posted on other events and opportunities.

What did you do today?

Social Media seminar!

It’s almost the weekend again! You made it!  I know the snow yesterday made me take things slower while driving and take out some of my job searching aggravations on the driveway while shoveling. But now the snow-covered trees couldn’t look prettier!

I’m going to be attending the What Does Social Media Mean for Me? seminar tonight at the Apple store on Boylston Street. The topics at hand will be: why you should be on LinkedIn, what you should do on Facebook and the Twitter phenomenon.  The best part, this seminar is free and there are 8 tickets left.  Hurry and sign up!

What did you do today?

What are YOUR key words?

I decided to create a facebook group today for all unemployed marketers out there.  I will pull from this blog and other sources to keep the content fresh and up to date.  While looking for new ideas I came across an article talking about how one should use key words to their advantage.  Here is a link to the article and the excerpt I found most interesting.   What did you do today?

How to use keywords effectively

Step 1: Create your keyword list

Look at 3 job descriptions for the position you’re seeking and note the “must haves.” From this list, identify the qualifications that you possess. Choose at least 8 skills that you have and that are most sought after by employers.

Step 2: Add a Summary of Skills to Your Resume

Add the keywords from your list to a Summary of Skills section at the top of your resume.

Here’s an example for an Executive Assistant:

Summary of Skills

  • Advanced Microsoft Office Skills including MS Word, MS Excel, MS Outlook, MS Power Point.
  • 3+ years experience as an executive assistant for Fortune 500 executive.
  • Extensive experience in making travel arrangements, expense reporting and scheduling.

Step 3: Weave Keywords throughout your Resume

Also work the top keywords into the body of your resume, where relevant. For example, degree requirements would appear in your education section. Don’t worry about repeating the same keywords more than once. In fact, keyword frequency counts in many ATS’s so this can work in your favor.

When possible, use different forms of the same keyword to account for different search terms, including abbreviations and synonyms. So, if you reference your MBA also include the phrase Masters of Business Administration.

Adding the right keywords, will get you over the first hurdle of the job search and help you land the job that you want.

A Case of the Wednesdays?

As we all sit here and wait for this huge snowstorm, all I see so far is a wet street and some flurries, perhaps you’re wondering along with me when will this Wednesday be over? Yesterday was so unseasonably warm that I even wore shorts, with leggings…but none the less.

I’m sitting at the kitchen table, coffee in hand, with the TV in the background, a habit that I can’t wait to change once I’m back at work, and a candle that smells like pine is shining next to me.

As I apply to the sixth job of the day I’m thinking of some goals for today…like reading at least one chapter in my book.  I’m determined to finish reading Blink, by Malcolm Gladwell, by the end of this month.  I’m also really looking forward to the Hello Stiletto Shoe Club event tomorrow and more than anything am glad to have a real task tomorrow.

I hope you are doing a good job of keeping yourselves busy and are hoping for some snow!