Saturday, January 28, 2012

Unsolicited calls

I was reading one of the most interesting articles the other day. It was regarding receiving unsolicited calls from recruiters for a position they had open. Thinking about it that is a really good measure of how effective your posted resumes are. It was always nice to receive these when I was hunting for a job a couple of years ago. If you're receiving these types of calls you actually have written a very good resume. You might need to work on some other things in your job hunt so that you can achieve success.

However, if you are not receiving these types of calls you need to go back to the drawing board. When you read your resume does it entice you to take a closer look at you? If it doesn't then you really do need to rewrite it so that it can be more effective. The whole idea of a resume is that it advertises you, it entices someone to take a closer look. They will want to know more about you with a well written one and call you in for an interview. Believe me, you want these types of calls when you are hunting for a job. They have always made me feel really good when I've gotten one of these calls.

Quite often these calls will come within three days after you've reposted your resume. Now I don't know why entirely that is, but you need to repost your resume every few days. This will increase the chances of these calls happening. A few months ago I actually had one of these calls and I'm not in the market for employment. It was for a position at a call center that is fairly close to where I live here in Colorado Springs. What I had done is update parts of my resume on a couple of sites which I guess brought my resume up.

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Friday, January 27, 2012


Any achievements that you have had at jobs that you have worked at are very important. These are something that you need to bring attention to if at all possible. Especially the ones like employee of the month, college honor roll and security clearances. Other achievements that are very useful is if you've been given a leadership position. This apparently is something a couple of companies are looking for like Walmart. It really depends on the employer for the leadership position being called attention to as some ignore that.

Just about everyone has some kind of achievement in their career if they think about it. It might be that an employer had given you more hours of work in the last few years. That's an achievement in and of itself but save calling attention to it until the interview. Since behavioral interviews are what most employers will use it would be easy to add in at the right place. If you do take this approach make sure you also have a small story ready about why you were given more hours. Put that way you can easily see how it can be turned into an achievement and increase your chances.

To an extent achievements show your ability to excel in the job. That is the purpose of including them at the appropriate places of the process. This way the prospective employer will see that you will also excel with them also. There's been more than once in my own career searches that my achievements are why I was chosen for an interview. There is another achievement that works very well that I've found works well. It is if you went permanent after having worked as a temp employee at a company. At one I had no other achievements and therefore that was the only one. Put it on your resume then, otherwise then you mention during the interview.

While it was only during one job hunt after I worked for ICT Group it was an achievement. It went on my resume and looked great, made me more successful at getting interviews. The very next job which was with HP I managed to get employee of the month once. That was when I dropped the bullet point regarding becoming permanent at ICT Group. It really wasn't necessary to list any longer as employee of the month is a stronger achievement. However, I still mentioned becoming permanent during interviews to demonstrate I could excel.

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Thursday, January 26, 2012

Working in retail

From the research that I've conducted retail is one of the brightest spots in the job market these days. There is quite a bit of hiring going on at numerous companies. There is a couple of caveats I will mention here however. One, quite often the pay isn't the highest you're going to find elsewhere in the job market. Two, the hours and work/life balance may not be the absolute best for you. Still, I always look at the fact that having a paycheck is better than not having one. You just may have to downgrade some expectations a little bit.

That is presently where I am working is in retail for my day job. At first, it was for part time only where I only worked 24 hours per week. Now after almost two years I am actually getting 40 hours per week which is nice. Though my wife and I do have to live a bit on the frugal side it is a rather comfortable existence now. Based on my personal experience working in retail can be a very good choice for anyone. I'll just warn you that quite often that just about all retail jobs start out at part time. But if you apply yourself on the job it can turn into a full time position.

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Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Search success

It is sometimes very hard to know where the best places are to get a job. Where there used to be a lot of postings there no longer are as many as used to be. From my personal experience Craigslist has been the number one place for me to find jobs. Of the last four employers that I've worked for three of them listed the opening on Craigslist. This includes the retail establishment that I am employed at for almost two years now. Therefore I recommend highly searching for openings on Craigslist.

More recently there have been some search engines that search Craigslist openings. A few of these search also have mobile apps available so that you can check for openings anywhere. There are also a few apps and web sites that search Twitter for openings. While I personally didn't see a lot of job openings posted on Twitter it's still worth a look. What I did like most about the Craigslist app is that I could respond and apply where I'm at. If you have a smart phone you need a text copy of your cover and resume ready. That way you can submit for the job on the spot.

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Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Spell check

While spell check is a useful tool in word processing software you can't rely on it. Double check everything again after you have ran a spell check in the computer. Just make sure that you take a little break before you go through your entire resume thoroughly. You also need to double check how the sentences are constructed. If you don't do a double check it will probably reduce your chances for the position. This would be unfortunate for anyone to have happen to anyone, I've had it happen to me at one time.

Taking a little extra time on your resume when building will save time later. It will also decrease the amount of time that you are hunting for a job. This is something that I can state from personal experience in having to job hunt the last couple of years. If necessary, I would also recommend having someone else take a critical look that notices errors well. There was more than once I had to do that after I began to learn how to create a resume.

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Monday, January 23, 2012

Social media and the job hunt

The last few years job hunting has been moving more and more to social media sites. This is a trend I foresee will become an even bigger one in the future. There are a couple of pages on Facebook and LinkedIn that list jobs and allow you to make connections. This is nice to be able to keep up with your regular life and to job search at the same site. What has surprised me a bit is to begin seeing some postings that are only done on Twitter. I would primarily recommend twitjobsearch for this right now. In another year or so there will be more coming since there's beginning to be enough openings posted.

Social media is a part of our lives whether we like it or not. Some of the companies that I've worked were a little afraid of what might be posted about them. Since they can't control what that might be maybe they shouldn't have bothered with it. Some of your best chances in finding employment will be through social networking. There is no doubt about that and it shows that you have skills they are looking for.

It is great making a connection on one of the social networking sites. There still will be a need for making person to person connections. You know automatically if you are meeting someone that you like someone or not. Interviewers are no different in this, within seconds they will have made a decision or not. If they like what they see when they first meet you will usually lean their decision one way. Still, that's besides the point. Social networking is here to stay and it's going to be a large part of the job market.

Think about it, would you rather pay a newspaper to post your listing or would you rather have it free? Companies look at it the same exact way, it lowers their costs of doing business. Because of that it will become a larger part of the job market. Also because social networking is moving more and more to mobile devices is another. You can pull up the listings and apply just about anywhere. Right now if I needed to I could submit my resume and cover letter from my phone.

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Sunday, January 22, 2012

Getting there

I am definitely going to take a course on time management... just as soon as I can work it into my schedule.
Louis E. Boone

It's extremely important to get to an interview appointment on time. If you don't show up to the interview on time it shows a disregard for the interviewers schedule. It also shows a lack of time management which a major negative. The interviewer will think that if hired you won't be showing up on time for the job. I'll admit there were a few times I did show up a few minutes late and it cost me the job. Of course, they didn't realize that I was on bicycle at the time but that didn't matter. Second chances were not given as a rule.

There are some very simple ways to take care of this issue and increase your chances of success. One that I use is Google maps to map out the trip to the interview. While it has a very good time estimate make sure you allow extra time to allow for traffic. For bicycles I recommend doubling the time, for auto I recommend adding one quarter to one half. For example, if it says it takes 20 minutes and you're driving a car then add 5 to 10 minutes at a minimum. I'll also recommend adding another 5 to 10 minutes before that to give you enough time to check in.

Proper time management will greatly increase your chances of success. I would say in the range of a 90-95% success for getting the job. If you do show up late how you handle it can make all the difference. You need a provable, believable excuse. While they won't ask usually for you to prove it you still need to be able to. However, I really hope you don't need it as the chances of a replacement interview are rather slim. Most interviewers are rather swamped these days with so many interviews they are giving. Also there aren't as many positions open as there used to be.

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