Saturday, December 24, 2011

Be yourself

When job hunting you should always be yourself and no one else. This is part of how you set yourself apart from the competition out there. You need to do your best to differentiate yourself from anyone else. While there are limits to what is acceptable, if you're different you'll be the one noticed. Your resume will come to the top of the proverbial stack. This is precisely what you want, to stand out from everyone else. Your personality, the way you write, your body language are all part of what I would call your package. This is your advertisement to an employer, it's what they see.

Let's go a little further into the concept of a package. When you go into a store take a look at the boxes, the packaging that an item comes in. There are many parts to that package, there is the way it looks and the way it communicates. As a rule it will tell you what benefits that the item will bring you though it won't usually directly state that, you infer it in your mind. This is also something that an employer does when they look at your resume. They infer what the benefits are that you are bringing the organization.

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Friday, December 23, 2011


Historically, from about a week before Christmas until about the 2nd or 3rd of January there isn't a lot of hiring that happens. This doesn't mean that you have to stop applying for jobs however though I might be even more selective who I apply to. What I will recommend is researching more the companies that you are interested in working for. The more you know about a company or the job the better off you will be when you have an interview. Believe me, I've made the mistake of not knowing what exactly I was interviewing for with very predictable results. Needless to say that I didn't get the job every time that was the case.

I'll also say that now is a good time to double check your resume and cover letters. You want to make sure that they are saying what you want them to say, the image you want to present. Remember, you resume is a bit like an advertisement in some ways. It presents an image of you to the mind of the person reading it. An effectively written resume will make the person reading it want to meet with you. Following this advice will definitely help you to be prepared for the new year.

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Thursday, December 22, 2011

Pure economics

One basic rule that you get from reading Adam Smith economics is that an increase in demand of something will increase the price. In this case I'm thinking of labor, it's also a commodity just like gasoline and cell phones. As the economy recovers and hiring increases labor will become more valuable. Employers will have to compete with each other for employees. This means that there will be wage increases over the next few years. I've seen a few indications that it is happening here at least in call centers at least here.

Part of why it is already beginning to be a bit noticeable here where I live is that so many of my former coworkers had to relocate. They didn't really have a choice if they wanted to work, they had to move to another town. Now, here in call center customer service there aren't as many people as there used to be. In fact, I would say that there are half as many. More recently one call center began offering a $500 bonus and another changed job classifications this week. The change in job classification, in this case brings higher wages are indications regarding the value of labor. All in all, it's a positive if you are looking for a job as you'll not only have an easier time finding a job you'll make more money too.

Another thing that comes with an increase in wages is other opportunities that open also. While the company that offers increased wages may not be hiring many businesses nearby will have an increase in openings. For me this means that any place within 3 miles of a business that increases wages there are new opportunities that will be available. So take heart, we've been through the worst of the downturn and it will be getting better. Opportunities will be increasing for the next several years with each year bringing more. Wages for the opportunities will also be increasing.

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Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Military downsizing

Over the next few months there will be many who are just leaving the military and they'll be looking for a job. If you are one of those that is getting out of the military you have to know how to sell yourself effectively. Most employers don't exactly have openings for snipers, diesel mechanics and explosives experts. That being said there are some great openings in the mining industry for the explosive experts and the diesel mechanics. Primarily otherwise I would probably market communication ability, that you can follow instruction and that you can get the job done. Having been there this worked well for me as I was in Desert Storm.

For your best results while looking for a job don't mention most of the things you did in the military. Most employers don't want to hear it as it doesn't apply to the vast majority of jobs. I remember when I got out of the military the reaction wasn't very good among employers. It didn't take long for me to stop mentioning that I had been in the Army where I had been a diesel mechanic. How you explain what you were doing becomes very important for becoming employed is something I learned. From what I've been seeing regarding people getting out of the military nothing has changed since 1991.

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Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Keep clear

When hunting for a job it's easy to let yourself get frustrated, I've been there myself a few times. I remember well thinking about the coming bills and wondering how I was going to pay for them. Also I was sending out a lot of resumes and not getting responses from anyone. It seemed like I was sending my resumes into a black hole and it was very frustrating for me. When I changed my attitude however that began to change and I began to get responses from employers.

Your attitude affects many things including how you write and how talk to people. It affects how you'll also do at interviews and it affects you in so many other ways including your body language. So clear your mind of negative thoughts and the problems you're facing. This is something that I had to do myself, at one time I was very negative and I showed it to everyone. This cost me a lot over the years though I couldn't see it then as the negativity colored my perception.

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Monday, December 19, 2011

A little break

We are of course coming to one of the biggest holidays of the year here in the US and that is Christmas. It's the perfect day to take a break no matter what you are doing and I do mean the whole day. Make sure you clear your mind from the job hunt for at least the one whole day, believe me you probably need the break. You'll be able to hit it hard again the very next day but you'll feel better and be a bit fresher. You also need to take a little break every now and then during a big job hunt. Taking a little break now and then is a good thing as you'll be more relaxed during interviews which can't hurt.

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Sunday, December 18, 2011

Interesting tool

I had heard that there were a lot of job postings on Twitter but I had never seen them until recently. I found a search engine for Twitter called twitjobsearch. It searches through all of the Twitter posts to find job openings. This is one search engine that needs to be part of your job search tools. Primarily, it seemed to have a lot of postings for customer service positions that it found. It didn't have very many restaurant openings if that is what you are looking for I'll note. It could be different elsewhere though than it is here. Whatever your employment choice is you need to maximize your job search as much as possible and twitjobsearch can help with that.

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