14. December 2011 | Show Originial

Recently, we stumbled upon a company that is trying to do something admirable for job seekers this holiday. Blake Bradford, a clothing company, is offering 1$ for any Like that they receive, up to the first $3,500, on Facebook. Donations will go to Career Gear, a non-profit dedicated to providing business attire male job seekers.


Blake Bradford will also donate $10 to every Career Gear inspired tie purchased. Check out their website or Facebook page if you want to contribute. Be sure to help out as soon as possible because this charity will only be going on until January 2nd, 2012.

Picture Soure: https://www.blakebradford.com/Career_Gear_Philanthropy_Partnership (Photographer: Courtney Parrie) 

05. December 2011 | Show Originial


This past Friday, we took part in another Hire Friday Chat forum on Twitter. If you were not a part of the fun, I’ll bring you up to speed. Our Hire Friday Chat topic was about The Art of Asking Interview Questions, and was hosted by John Kador (@jkador) and Adam Eisenstein (@McGrawHillJobs). This was a very educational forum, explaining why it is important for jobseekers to ask questions during the interview. Here is a recap of the chat’s questions and some of the best answers: 

Q1. Why is it important to ask questions? 

A1: @JanisSpirit: Asking questions shows engagement, involvement and wanting the job. ASK! 


Q2. What kinds of questions are appropriate to ask?

A2: @DavidALee: Ask questions you can't find answers elsewhere. If its on the website and you ask...Fail!


Q3. Should you save your questions until the end of the interview?

A3: @BrendenMWright: An interview is a conversation, a dialogue. It's not a cross-examination. Engage!  


Q4. What are the best questions you’ve heard?

A4: @prettypinkpro: What is the leadership like in the organization? What is the leadership like in this particular division?
@comerecommended: That I've heard: "How would you define 'success' at this position?"


Q5. Should you ask the interviewer for a critique?

A5: @MikePetras: Ask in softer way: What is the next step in the process? Sometimes they'll tip their hand. 


Q6. Why should you ask for the job?

A6: @ResumeDrEliz: Sure. If you truly want the position, close with a powerful, enthusiastic statement that says just that. 


Have you been involved with #HFChat yet? Share your experiences with us on Facebook!




02. December 2011 | Show Originial

A lot of older jobseekers wonder whether their age is a disadvantage in this job market. The answer is yes and no. Unfortunately, employers may choose to pass on an older worker for a number of reasons. For example, hiring managers may feel that seasoned candidates are more expensive and less in touch with modern technology. To mitigate some of these perceptions, you need to bring some youth into your resume. To help you make some of these changes, I made a checklist of things you should look out for:


1. How much of your experience do you have listed? You’ll be showing your age if you have more than 15 years worth of experience on your resume. If the skills you’ve acquired during your most recent jobs are relevant to the job that you’re applying for, list it without indicating a year that those skills were gained. 


2. Are you listing dates too often? Years are an ultimate indication of age. If you list all of your experience with the years attached to them, employers will be able to approximate your age, which may scare them away. I would recommend not listing dates at all.


3. Is your resume specific? You’ve probably acquired many skills at places you’ve worked over the years. Use these to your advantage by highlighting the skills that are relevant to the job that you’re applying for. This works best if you turn your resume into a functional resume. 


4. Are you tech-savvy? Emphasize the fact that you’re up to date with the nuances of modern technology. If you have a LinkedIn account, make sure that it is updated and that you provide a link to your profile on your resume. I advise that you customize that URL to shorten the link and make it easier to memorize. You should also make sure that you are capable of emailing your resume because many employers request digital copies these days. 


Need more advice? Feel free to ask us on our Facebook page. 

Picture Source: http://www.conversationagent.com/2010/04/how-to-use-checklists-to-do-better-pr.html

30. November 2011 | Show Originial


Think that the holidays are a perfect time to take a break from your job search? Not so fast, my friends. The holidays are actually a prime opportunity to continue your job hunt. So before you kick back and put your job seeking efforts in hibernation, read this blog for a list of several reasons why you should keep at it:


1. A number of job hunters are taking a break as well: Don’t think that you are the only job seeker out there that is thinking about hanging it up for the holidays. Use this period as an opportunity to expose yourself to more employers, while there is less competition. 


2. More events to network at: One of your friends may invite you to an office party. What better way to network? Get introduced to people who know people, while working in the fact that you’re looking for work into the conversation. People will be willing to help you find leads at these events as long as you take it easy on the eggnog. 


3. Check in while others are checking out: After the holidays, many companies have some turnover. Use this knowledge as an opportunity to get interviewed before the new years. You may get an offer take a position that will be vacant soon.


4. People will see your desire for employment more: Employers will notice how many people are taking a break from their job hunt. They will also notice the few that are still going strong during the holidays. Be apart of the latter group to better your chances of gaining employment.


5. Stay motivated: We all have been job hunting at one point or another. Most of us have been to a point where we wanted to take a break. The problem with taking an elongated break is getting the motivation to start again. Stay determined  in your job hunt until you exhaust every resource and turned over every stone.  There is no problem with taking a day off here and there to recharge your batteries, though. 


Have questions, comments or need advice? Share with us on Facebook. 

Picture Source: http://www.infifthgear.com/2011/make-returns-less-painful-for-holidays-2011/


Hire Friday Twitter Chat Recap
by: Brandon Lawson
18. November 2011 | Show Originial

Happy Friday everyone! Every Friday, there is a huge forum on Twitter amongst HR professionals and jobseekers called #HFChat. I encourage you guys to hop in on these conversations because valuable information and advice are shared during this hour. Another perk of joining in is that you can contribute to the conversation and network with everyone involved through Twitter. 

If you’re not able to attend, don’t worry because I have you covered. Every week I will do a recap of what went down by letting you know the weekly topic, questions and answers. This week’s topic, hosted by Paul Anderson, was Critiquing Companies as Part of Your Job Search. Here are some questions, with great answers by participants:


Q1. If you see a poorly written or confusing job description, what should you do?

A1: “Poorly written - Use as excuse to call and ask for clarification?” - @MaureenSharib


Q2. Do employers prefer applicants from job boards, employee referrals networking, or …?

A2: “Employers prefer the RIGHT candidate - no matter how they get in front of them. Being a referral is big.” – @HeyOverbey 


Q3. What would cause an employer to blacklist you as an applicant?

A3: “Being a pest rather than being merely persistent. Do not go overboard and forget to respect the employer.” – @cachinko


Q4. How can you make your resume stand out before the holidays?

A4: “Discuss your availability to interview and be available during the holidays – a lot of candidates disappear during this time.” – @BruceRecruiter


Q5. What are some of the ways used by recruiters to cull through all the resumes they receive?

A5: “They may deep six resumes that are too short or too long. Jam packed with verbiage, difficult to understand, too many buzz words.” - @CyndyTrivella 


Have you been involved with #HFChat yet? Share your experiences with us on Facebook!

16. November 2011 | Show Originial


If you want to land a job, you may want to think about rewriting your résumé. Chances are you have cliché phrases, buzzwords, or annoying jargon that drives the Human Resources guys nuts. To help you appease the HR gods, we will give you a quick list of some of the most common résumé words that they want retired:


1. “Salary Negotiable”: Don’t you think it would be odd if your salary were NOT negotiable? You may want to think twice before wasting space on your résumé to state the obvious. An HR professional may think that you are just adding this to pad space on your résumé. 


2. “Career Objective”: Back in the day, it was popular to have the top section of your résumé stamped with an objective, like “To obtain a position as a [insert job title here] that leverages my skills and experience as well as promoting growth.” HR professionals have seen this one too many times, and it drives them crazy. You should replace your “Career Objective” with a “Mission Statement” that summarizes your background, core competencies and accomplishments to show what you have to offer to employers. 


3. “Team Player”: When you consider that there are few jobs where you don’t work with others, “team player” becomes an overrated term. Regardless of how talented you are most companies will not hire someone that does not work well with others, so consider team player as a given. 


4. “Experienced”:  This is a vague term especially if you’re not putting a specific length of time behind it. Saying “Created Excel spreadsheets for marketing strategy meetings” is a lot more specific than “experienced at creating Excel spreadsheets.” 


5. “Detail-oriented”: So you pay attention to details to prevent from making mistakes? Awesome. Unfortunately, employers are not fans of mistakes either, and tend to hire a lot of “detailed oriented” individuals. Having this quality doesn’t make you special in a work environment; it just means you’re like everyone else. What qualities truly set you apart from the rest? 


6. “Hardworking”:  Anyone can say that they’re a hard worker. The description of your work history should imply how hard you worked over the years. 


7. “Proactive”: This is another word that is overrated and overused. Without explaining a scenario where being proactive paid off at a job, the word has no substance to HR. 


8. References Available Upon Request: This is another statement that HR will consider a given. If a manager wants to hire you, they will assume that you will have references available. 



Questions? Comments? Share them with us on our Facebook page.


11. November 2011 | Show Originial

In this economy, it can be very difficult to land a job if you do not have skills that stand out. Believe it or not, the skills that you acquired in the military are often valuable to employers. Employers may consider hiring veterans over civilians for many reasons, including: the ability to battle through adversity, leadership qualities and working well in a team environment. 


One skill often learned in the military is the ability to battle through adversity. Employers value this quality because of the countless issues that can arise within the workplace. Employers also like people with the ability to work under pressure. In most work environments, it is imperative that companies have employees that can do their jobs effectively under time constraints. 


In addition, employers also value the leadership abilities that you may have acquired during your time in the military.  There is almost nothing more valuable to a company than someone that can come in and motivate employees to become more productive at their job. Another quality of being a good leader is the ability to strategize. Having a strategic mind means that you can help companies formulate ideas that can contribute to their long-term success.  


Another important military skill that may help you acquire a job is the ability to work in a team environment. Companies like people that can build a good rapport with other employees. There may be more skills that you developed during your time in the military that may be useful to a company, but the most important thing that you must do is be able to explain those qualities to employers.  See our other article on The Military and Resume Writing in this edition of the Veterans’ Transition Guide.


As you seek employment after the military, remember that the skills that you have gained are useful to you in the civilian setting. These skills put you at an advantage in the civilian job market. Employers recognize that your ability to handle adversity, work under pressure, and work in a team environment are valuable assets in any company. Good luck in finding employment!

09. November 2011 | Show Originial

Do you wish that you could get into a recruiter’s head, and figure out what you are doing wrong, or right in your job search? Unfortunately, I don’t have the power of telepathy. However, I can give you a short list of things that recruiters want you to know:


1. The Résumé Objective is Obsolete: Hiring managers are not interested in what you want from the company. They’d rather hear about how you could possibly add value to their team. You should delete your objective and put a summary in its place.


2. The Incessant Follow-Up Calls are a Turn Off: Some job seekers getting a little too phone happy when it comes to following up with an employer. Recruiters will contact you as soon as they hear something.


3. Add a Competency Section: This section will help recruiters see how you can add value to their team. This is your résumé at a glance, and it should tell employers if you have the core skills to do the job.


4. You are not Entitled to Anything: Don’t assume that you will receive a certain amount because you asked for it, or you earned it at your last job. Recruiters are usually willing to negotiate a fair amount, if it is within their budget. 


5. Be Transparent: Honesty IS the best policy, especially in the job hunt. Recruiters will never take anomalies on your résumé at face value, so be honest and clear when asked about them and a hiring manager may be more understanding. If you are not upfront about something then hiring managers will draw up their own conclusions.


Do you have questions or comments? Share with us on our Facebook wall.

08. November 2011 | Show Originial

The interview process can be a stressful one. Even with proper preparation, you will never be fully prepared for the mind of the hiring manager. To help ease some of the anxiety, here are a couple of thoughts that are more than likely running through the head of the hiring manager:


1. I didn’t read your résumé: Hiring managers may have skimmed through your résumé, and decided that they liked what they saw. However, between booking interviews with other candidates, meetings and other day-to-day tasks, they may not have been able to look at your résumé in full detail. This is part of the reason why it is essential to bring extra copies of your résumé with you to the interview. Make sure that you are familiar with every detail of your résumé so that you are prepared to explain to the hiring manager when required.


2. I’ve heard it Before: Some interview responses are common among job seekers (i.e. My biggest flaw is that I’m a perfectionist), and it tends to become monotonous to hiring managers. Try to make your interview memorable in a good way, and stay away from cliché interview answers.


3. How you dress is important to me: Your first impression is usually given off by what you wear, rather than what you say at a job interview. Give yourself a fighting chance by not looking like you just rolled out of bed 5 minutes before the meeting.


4. I will try to throw you off: Hiring managers may try to throw a curveball or two in your direction during the interview process. This action is not for the pure joy of watching you sweat it out; they want to see how you work under pressure. If you’re given an oddball question like “If you could have a superpower, what would it be,” don’t over think it. Answer the question while explaining you thought process. 


5. I want to impress you: You’re not the only person in the interview room looking to get a nod of approval. The Hiring manager is working to convince you that working for them is a great move for your career. This is a great opportunity to ask questions of your own to get them to open up about themselves and their time at the company. 

02. November 2011 | Show Originial


Small businesses are hoping that Creat Jobs for USA is a success. If you haven’t been to your local Starbucks lately, you have a good reason to stop by. Starbucks is teaming up with Opportunity Finance Network (OFN) to create a new project called Create Jobs for USA. OFN is a group of community lending institution, which main purpose is to provide funding to community businesses that could use our help. 


With the help of your donations, Create Jobs for USA will provide capital grants to select Community Developed Financial Institutions (CDFI). These CDFIs will then be able to provide funding to underserved community businesses (small businesses, non-profit organizations, microenterprises, etc.). The goal is to create enough funding to help in grow small businesses, thus creating new jobs.


To help the program hit the ground running, Starbucks contributed $5,000,000 for the cause. The good news is that you can help out, with a lot less money, today! Stop by your local Starbucks, or visit http://www.createjobsforusa.org/ and donate $5 to show your support. Not only will you receive a cool wristband, but your donation may also open up an opportunity for you or another job seeker in the near future.  


When you get a chance check out the cool YouTube video Starbucks made to promote the program.


What do you think of Create Jobs for USA? Like it? Love it? Share your thoughts with us on Facebook.  

Picture Source: http://www.createjobsforusa.org/Success-Stories/success-stories,default,pg.html


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