Saturday, January 21, 2012

Follow up

This can be one of the most important things during a job search to be the most successful. There are a number of things involved, what you have to say, how you say it and as always timing. If you don't say what you need to say at the right time it won't do you any good. Having a proper follow up is what made the difference in a lot of peoples job hunts the last couple of years. Looking through many of the job hunt blogs you will find many stories where this is the case. Keep any follow up correspondence short and to the point to be the most effective.

One in particular that I'm thinking of didn't do well at an interview. It turned out that a family member of his had died the day before. He wrote a very nice note that explained what had happened and he asked for a second chance. If given it he would do much better at a second interview. The hiring manager was very impressed by this approach and gave him another interview. He was successful at that one and now is very happily employed at that company.

"Success comes from taking the initiative and following up... persisting... eloquently expressing the depth of your love. What simple action could you take today to produce a new momentum toward success in your life?"

Anthony Robbins quotes

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Friday, January 20, 2012

Addressing a cover letter

This can be confusing for someone, especially when you don't know who you are addressing. The greeting in some ways can be one of the most important things in the letter. There was a survey done where hiring managers were asked about it. Here are the results of a study conducted by Saddleback College on what they preferred:

Dear Hiring Manager (38%)
To whom it may concern (26%)
Dear Sir/Madam (18%)

Correctly addressing a cover is actually fairly easy to do. At least it's fairly easy if you know what the employer prefers. This will increase your chances of getting the job in every instance. It will put your application package at the top of the proverbial stack. Once it's at the top of the stack you have just about assured yourself that you don't have to hunt for a job. Personally, this is what I prefer as I really don't find job hunting is an activity I love doing. Getting that first paycheck however is one I always cherish.

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Thursday, January 19, 2012

A different tack

A nautical term that applies to job searching is taking a different tack. In sailing, that refers to changing the direction that you are heading at the moment. You might be adjusting the sails, the rudder and a number of other things that has to do with the boat. How this applies to the job hunt is changing a little what you are doing to be more effective. It might be that it seems that your job has seemed to enter a lull where not much is happening. When this happens it's time to have a refresh on what you are doing.

It doesn't hurt to try new things, especially when on a job hunt. Besides the more things you try the more ready you will be when the unexpected happens. Once in a while the unexpected things will really throw you for a loop. You'll be a bit surprised and it could ruin your chances depending on how you respond to it. Just always be aware that things can change in a moments time, they will not always stay the same.

Everything flows,
nothing stands still.

Plato, quoting Heraclitus

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Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Mentioning names

One thing that will definitely increase your chances of success during an interview is saying the interviewers name. Two to three times is best at the appropriate times during the interview. It shows that you were paying attention when you first entered the room and met them. So often, the interview process feels so impersonal overall. By saying their name you are putting a personal touch on the interview. You attract the appropriate attention to your skills and abilities.

During my own job hunts I began to put it into practice starting about 2007. There were of course times that I would forget to do it because of paying attention to other things. There are so many things to pay attention to during an interview at the same time. It's pretty easy to forget to do something out of all of those things. While saying their name or not by itself is not a deal killer it is a good way to improve your chances greatly. This I've seen the results of myself when I've practiced it.

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Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Getting recommendations

This is a great thing for authors like myself, I would love lots of recommendations to read what I've written. I'll admit it would increase the sales of my books, could even make my books best sellers. This doesn't necessarily apply to social network sites as hiring managers don't pay attention. Most of the people that are recommending you don't really know and hiring managers know this. I've even had letters of recommendation with me at interviews that were ignored. It's just not a part of the process they use to decide whether to hire you or not. I'll admit I have absolutely no recommendations on social networking career sites from my connections.

You'll be more successful demonstrating you have the skills and knowledge they are looking for. This needs to be a part of your resume and you need stories that demonstrate it in an interview. After I began having a few of these stories ready in advance I was much more successful. This is part of what got me the job I'm working at now and the last three or four jobs. You need to keep the stories short and to the point for the best results. They usually have a number of candidates to interview for a specific position.

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Monday, January 16, 2012

More on keywords

Earlier today I was uploading another book to Amazon and one of the things you have to think of is keywords. How will they find your book if you don't have good keywords? This same concept applies to every time you apply for a job anywhere. You need the appropriate keywords for your particular field in the application. Without them you will not get found I assure you. It is also one of the factors that they use to select your application or resume for further consideration.

What are keywords you might ask if you haven't been reading this blog before now. Simply they are identifiers that are specific to a given job, usually skill sets and particular knowledge. For retail customer service which is what I do it is words like communication, cash drawer, etc. When I worked in call centers it was also touch typing, Outlook and a few others. It really depends on the position that you are applying for on what keywords that you use. They are a very important part of the selection process and will continue to be.

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Sunday, January 15, 2012

The next year

It's looking like the job market is well on its way to improving through this next year. This is good news for everyone hunting for a job now and for the coming year. There is also some not so good news also that comes with that bit of news. There are a lot of job seekers that have dropped out of the job market recently. They will start to search again with the improving job market. This means that there will be a lot of competition out there for any available position.

There is presently 4.3 job seekers for every opening that is posted and it will continue to be the case. While I realize that this is bad news it also means that you need to be on top of your game. You can be a success also a gain the job of your dreams though you may need stepping stone job. For me, my stepping stone job was with Kmart of all places. Because of working there I was able to get my present full time position in commissioned retail.

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