18. April 2007 | Show Originial
There has been much talk in the media about Web 2.0, but what exactly does term that mean? At the opening session of the ERE Expo 2007, this topic was discussed in great detail. Basically, 2.0 is a continuation of 1.0--or the beginnings of Internet functionality. Web 2.0 is all about the user becoming immersed in social network marketing, with sites like MySpace, You Tube, and Digg becoming more and more popular. It's also about the way we communicate now, rather than just by email, but more commonly by blogs, comments on blogs and IM?s. This is the first time in history that job seekers have been given all these tools to find potential employers, learn about interesting companies, and even network with possible hiring managers through video resumes, profiles and instant messages. How have these tools helped you in your job search? And what does Web 2.0 mean to you?
12. April 2007 | Show Originial
It's been almost two weeks since we launched the new and improved www.EmploymentGuide.com, and we would love to hear your feedback. Have you used Google Search Appliance in your job search yet? This feature not only allows you to customize your own search with keywords and specific locations, but also allows the results to appear much more quickly and accurately. Have you noticed that because of our improved posting process you don't see the same jobs appearing over and over in the search results page? Let us know what you think!
02. April 2007 | Show Originial

With the summer months quickly approaching, graduation is just around the corner. Your graduation speaker is likely to say there are so many opportunities and possibilities out in the world that finding the one that fits you is no easy chore -- and it's truer today than ever before. But it is about CHOICE. And sometimes the most obvious choice is not the right one for you.

Many of your peers are off to four year colleges. Some are off to the military services with promises of earned tuition after national service. Some are looking for work, putting further education off until a later date. And some of you are simply undecided as to what to do after high school.

Most everyone understands that future income will be based on the level of education achieved, and that is a powerful motivation to continue your schooling. But education beyond high school has become so easily available, that anyone can really customize their educational program to fit their needs, budget or even timing.

"I'm tired of school." Understandable, you've been at it since you were at least five years old. Time to try something else? Take a look at what experts see as the "growth" vocations in the next dozen years. This will give you an idea as to what job category you might want to explore. There are opportunities for growth everywhere. Education doesn't just happen in a school setting. You can get a great deal of experience working in a field and learning what you can on the job, while getting the formal schooling you need to be better at what you want to do later.

"I want to be my own boss." Easily said, not so easily managed. Where do you start? What do you have to know? Do not be afraid to start at the bottom because that is where you will start. Someone who starts as a waitress can master the knowledge necessary to rise in the restaurant/hospitality trades to manage a restaurant, or a chain of restaurants or even open and own a restaurant themselves. Like bookstores? Want to own one? Go to work for a book seller and learn the business from the inside. Treat your employment like an apprentice program and learn the business. Education doesn't just happen in a school setting.

"I need to make a living." Schools offer classes at night, on weekends, online and just about anywhere and place you can imagine. Many schools will tailor a specific course of study not only to meet your needs but your schedule as well. Schools compete for students in much the same way a business will compete for customers.

"Listen to your own voice." Peer pressure is powerful, and the easiest thing to do is drift with the tide. But this is your life and the decisions you make today are important. Talk to your guidance/career counselor. Talk to your parents and relatives or friends that have recently graduated from high school. Become a student of your own future by fully realizing your options.

02. April 2007 | Show Originial

There is a myth out there that each of us has a destiny, that we should pursue our "dream" for our career. As the myth goes, if we do what we love, we will love what we do and be successful. What if you love to play the piano? There are hundreds, thousands of us out there. We love the music the piano makes. I realized early in life that I didn't want to compete against the hordes of pianists out there, classical, jazz, etc. I figured I could satisfy my passion, and that it would be far more likely that I could feed my family if I chose a more "professional" career path.

Accidentally, I chose a career in sales and marketing. A job came available, and it paid fairly well, so I took it. Fifteen years later, I'm still working along that career path, and doing fairly well with it. That didn't stop me from ever wanting to pursue a musical career, however. Through the years, I've found outlets for my music, from accompanying students at colleges to teaching piano to children to helping run a children's choir at church. When the folks at church decided to host a talent show and called to ask me and my children to put something together, I jumped at the opportunity. Here's a way to pursue my dream, I thought. My children had a favorite song by Alison Krauss, "A Living Prayer." They wanted to sing that. I found the lyrics, but no music. At least, I couldn't find piano music. So, I took to the challenge and wrote some myself. Over the course of a couple of days, I was thrilled with the opportunity to write my own arrangement to Alison Krauss's song. I thought that maybe I could put this skill to work. It was a very gratifying experience.

The day of the big event, I had a busy work day. My team closed a big sale, and I was late getting to the talent show. I was supposed to bring a dish, and ended up running through Popeye's and picking up some fried chicken. When it was our turn, my family and I approached the piano. I hadn't practiced, nor had I warmed up my voice at all. I was so proud of my song arrangement though, I couldn't wait to play it. I played, the girls sang, and I barked my way through it. The crowd applauded politely. We weren't the big show stopper that I thought we would be. The song I arranged was lovely, but really nothing spectacular.

And, there it was. For some of us, our passion will never be our dream job. That's not to say that we can't derive satisfaction from it, however. I'm pleased I could find an outlet for my musical creativity. It also doesn't mean we can't have interesting, fulfilling careers. After the "performance," a woman at the next table asked me, "Do you work outside the home?" I answered, "Yes, I'm in sales." All the while I was thinking about that big sale and the big commission I would receive. She smiled and said, "Well, don't quit your day job."

02. April 2007 | Show Originial

If you have been applying for jobs throughout the holiday season, you may feel that despite all the networking you've done and all of the resumes you've emailed, you didn't get that job you wanted. Don't give up! There is still hope. Things slow down in Human Resources during the holidays as many people take vacation time. Now that it's a new year and work schedules are back to normal, it is the time to really amp-up your job search.

A good first step is to follow-up on all of the contacts you have made thus far. Persistence is a virtue which all employers will value, and as such, this should be one of your top priorities. An Excel spreadsheet is great way to keep track of the positions you have applied for, listing all of the people you have spoken with, the companies they represent and appropriate contact information. You should then contact those on your list to show them your interest in the position. This can be done by calling to check on the status of your application.

If it turns out that you didn't get the position you wanted, don't cross that company off your list just yet. If you made a favorable impression with your interview or initial resume screening, you still may be able to apply for a different position within that company and work toward that initial position. If you have your heart set on working for a particular company, be on the lookout for openings down the line. For example, you may want to work as an inside sales rep for XYZ Corporation, but they require three to five years of experience and you only have two. However, there may be an opening at XYZ Corporation for a call center representative that will eventually help you move into that sales position you desire.

In addition to traditional job searches in the paper and on the Internet, be on the look out for career fairs that may be held at the college you graduated, an area company, or one put on by your local Employment Guide. Career fairs are a great place to network with much less pressure than the standard interview process. Staffing agencies are another great resource for job seekers. Many companies today have chosen staffing agencies as a way to reduce the risk of hiring new employees. These companies would much rather someone else screen employees for them and be able to try them out on a temporary to permanent basis. Many employees find long term career opportunities through temporary assignments.

Happy Job Hunting!

02. April 2007 | Show Originial
We have listened to our job seekers, clients, and internal staff to create a new and improved www.EmploymentGuide.com. In addition to the obvious visual changes, the ease of click-through and keyword search, we are hosting a media center to hold our blog, videos, and future social media components. What do you think? Feel free to post away!