Saturday, February 4, 2012

This is a new effort that attempts to connect social networking, conventional job boards and the interview process all in one site. This is a development that I have been expecting to happen for a while now. There have been some efforts into building employment searches into social network platforms. There have also been efforts to build recruiter/candidate connections (LinkedIn in particular). appears to be the first one to completely combine all of it into one platform.
This is something that is rather exciting and I'm expecting more of the same. It really is coming to the job search that you won't have to leave home at all. You'll be able to search for jobs, apply, test and get interviewed all from the comfort of your home. Can you imagine how much time that will actually save you when you look for a job? I can see it taking off also because it so streamlines the process for companies. Another thing that will help it get started is that it is free for companies and for candidates. It may not be free later on but it is for now.

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Friday, February 3, 2012

Changes in the job search

There have been many changes in the job search the last few years. It's gotten much more mobile and web based and I expect that trend to continue. According to a study conducted 29% off all job seekers are using social network sites. Another 50% of job seekers are using mostly the traditional job boards like Monster and Careerbuilder. Because I knew so many people that were going to the traditional sites I decided to try something different. I went to Craigslist to search for jobs. This was successful, I found three of the last four jobs including I'm at now on Craigslist. There is also very nice mobile apps for Craigslist, I really like the one on my Blackberry.
Another newer search engine I found out about that I'll also be using a bit heavily is Twitjobsearch. That search engine scans through all of the Twitter postings to search for jobs. While it didn't seem like a lot of postings when I was testing it out they were postings not found elsewhere. This is important because the less the amount of competitors the better your chances. You have just decreased the amount of time you have to hunt for a job which is always a beautiful thing. It'll be that much sooner to find that next position, the sooner to that new paycheck.

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Thursday, February 2, 2012

Touch typing expertise

Over the last few years when I've had to hunt for a job there was one skill that was best to have. That skill was touch typing above all others that I offered. It made it easier to type up my resume, create cover letters and apply for jobs. Since I was applying for customer service jobs it was a powerful selling point. It's also one that doesn't require a certificate, you just have to prove it when asked to test. For some jobs I can tell they will test your skill also usually on a computer set up specifically for that.

Being of an older school I like using one of the old typing books from school set up next to the computer. Then I just open up a word processor and begin typing with my watch set up near the top of the keyboard. Those books are getting much harder to find these days though I'll admit. You could take any book, open it up next to the computer and pretty much do the same thing. Just make sure that your typing is timed, the idea is to improve and not make errors. Or least make less errors overall when typing and to increase speed.

There are also many online typing tutors that are available for you to try. They have timed exercises that are available at each of the sites. Used everyday your speed and accuracy will increase which will improve what you write. It doesn't matter what it is that you are writing at the moment. My recommendation is to take several days, about 15-25 minutes per day to set aside for typing practice. Don't spend any longer than that as it probably won't help much. Besides, it gets tiresome and you can get frustrated at the process.

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Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Job hunt clothing

As a rule you should look very professional and to impress. Probably the farthest I went was when I wore a three piece suit to a Kmart interview two years ago this month. My outfit and of course my answers impressed and I got the job. This wasn't for a management position either, it was for a job in stock and customer service. While not everyone has three piece suits in their closet they do need to dress for success. It greatly increases chances for getting the job the better dressed that you are.

Now, at the Kmart I worked at I never got very many hours. Quite often I had 16 hours per week during the time I was employed there. It was a great stepping stone to the job I'm working at now in commissioned retail. If I didn't have the job at Kmart at the time I'm not sure I would have gotten the job that I'm at. For the job I'm at I wore black slacks and a white button up shirt. I looked sharp at the interview, sounded good too as the manger and I clicked during the interview.

Notes to young job seekers. Wearing T-shirts and blue jeans to an interview will cost you. You need to look very professional during this time. If your slacks look really loose I wouldn't hire you, most managers think like I do. Loose slacks or pants show me that you don't care about yourself or about what I want you to do on the job. I highly recommend that women have at least one very conservative plain blouse. For men I recommend a very conservative shirt and a tie that matches. Preferably you need more than one as you don't know how many interviews you'll be called for. Slacks need to be straight legged for men, slacks on women can be somewhat looser though skirts are probably better. Whatever you choose to wear do your best to impress.

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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Hiring outlook

Recently, a couple of studies were conducted regarding unemployment and hiring. One quarter of all employers that were polled were planning to hire in the next couple of months. Even better, these positions that they are hiring for will be full time. This is the best news I've been able to find since 2007. While I am very happy to be able to write that there will still be a lot of candidates for any position. You will need to be on top of your game and be ready for everything that can come up.

Being the absolute best you can be when it comes to hunting for jobs will continue. I'm personally projecting full employment will probably occur late in 2015. Further I'm projecting that wages will finally begin catching up around 2020-2021. This mainly means that once you have a job you shouldn't expect raises for a while. Still, having a job is better than not having a job is something I truly believe and always will. Then again, in 20 years I'll almost be 70 and I'm sure that I won't feel the same way.

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Monday, January 30, 2012

Temporary jobs

There are many temporary jobs out there regardless of the economy. Many of them can look really good on a resume if it applies to a specific job. While there is of course the temp agency jobs that so many have worked at there are also others. I'll cover those in a little bit later on. On some of the temp agency positions I recommend putting the company you were assigned to as your employer. This is especially if the company is a highly recognizable name like one on my resume which is HP. In some of these cases I wouldn't even call attention to the fact you were under contract and I don't.

Now on to the other ones that I mentioned earlier. These might be beta testing software that a company might be using. I actually had Windows7 and Office 2007 beta testing on my resume as a job for a while. This of course applies to call centers and office jobs in general. It also applies to some technical jobs that are out there, it shows that you can learn new things. Of course, if the job I'm going for is as a brick layer I'm not sure I would even bring it up until after I'm hired. It's only if it applies that I bring it up to an employer. Also, since both of those are now regular everyday software so I don't mention them now. They don't look impressive now.

Other things that I actually did that I could have used as employment listings. One was assisting at a local non-profit in their employment office. At the time I didn't need it for a resume but it could have easily been an employment listing on one. This was even though assisting at the non-profit was unpaid and so was the beta testing. If you've been out of work a long time you have a hole to fill in your work history. Volunteer work can be made to look just any other job that you've worked at.

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Sunday, January 29, 2012

Eye of the beholder

It is important when you are talking to the interviewer to have eye contact. I'm not talking about giving them a stare down. My best technique was to use a look direct into their eyes every once in a while. This was especially when I was making an important point during an interview. I was attempting to use my body language as if it were a kind of exclamation mark at the appropriate places. Also eye contact shows that you are interested in what the interviewer is saying.

Learning to use eye contact appropriately is one of the acting skills that you need to learn. Effective use will decrease your job hunt considerably and start earning that paycheck sooner. People send involuntary signals constantly and never know it. Eye contact is one of those all important methods that signals and speaks volumes. At one time I was sending signals that I didn't want to send and I didn't want to send. Quite often I stared at the floor, never looking the interviewer in the eye. This was taken as a lack of interest and cost me the job every time.

You can control what signals your body is sending. I'm am proof of that very fact because of my success at gaining employment many times 2007-2010. Take a look at a professional poker player sometime. They control every movement during play, every movement that could "tell" an opponent what they are thinking. This gives them an advantage when their opponent sends "tells" and they don't. This same concept applies to interviews so send the signals you want them to read. They end up with the image you want them to see and a greater chance of getting the job.

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