Saturday, February 25, 2012

Skills lists

One thing helped me a lot when I began deciding on a career was making a two column list. I will also admit it helped when writing my resume and basic cover letter. Also, it helped me to prepare for the interviews that I knew would be coming. Simply glean through a number of openings in your chosen target employment field. Make a column of the particular skills that you find listed. Next make a column list of what you have to offer to an employer. Where the two sets of entries matches is where you focus your future efforts.
With this list laying beside an interview question book was very helpful. I was able to build answers for the questions that probably would be asked during an interview. It removed a lot of stress from the process by going through the list and the preparation. Also, it increased the amount of calls for interviews since I was able to better prepare submittals. There is also the fact that by focusing my search better I had a greater tendency of not applying to some jobs. Later on I didn't need to carry the written list any longer as I had memorized it. Hopefully, you'll have the same happen also. Even better, I hope you won't need the list for very long.

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Friday, February 24, 2012

Never stop learning

"Everything flows, nothing stands still."
Heraclitus, quoted by Plato in Cratylus

Something I learned several years ago that has served me very well. Never stop learning, you never know when you'll use what you've learned. Now, I'll admit that I took that to an extreme in 1991 with learning all I did then. Touch typing, improved vocabulary and syntax have all proved useful to me. These days, because of writing like I do I study english which pays now and will pay later also. I also study interviewing techniques and many other things that applies to a job search. So that I can write effectively I never stop learning and neither should you.
Hopefully you'll find a job that you'll work at the rest of your life. Still, change even in a permanent position will come. There will be new things that you need to learn to keep up to date. This will make it easier to keep a job that you have for a longer time. By keeping the job longer it makes your entire life more stable and steady. Those that were the worst that were hurt in the downturn we're pulling out of now were those whose skills had stagnated. Those who improved their skillset have been able to find jobs and keep them longer. So, never stop learning. It's the best and greatest asset that you can and will assure you the most success.

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Thursday, February 23, 2012

Portable computers

Most smart phones these days are like having a pocket sized desktop computer. I'm writing this article in fact with a Blackberry Curve. Love the thing a lot in fact, pretty much do everything on it. I can even apply to many jobs wherever I am at which is exceedingly useful. It means that I'm connected wherever I am which also means I can be reached wherever I am. If I wanted to it means I can eliminate home service (which I have) and a home internet connection (I have wireless broadband). With eliminating wired connections we've reduced our costs of living which is important when job hunting.
Now, I will note that throughput on our internet connections is somewhat slower than what we used to have. That's okay though in my opinion, I can still keep track of the finances easier. Also searching for jobs becomes more mobile as does applying for those jobs. Smart phone plans have gotten cheaper more recently and you can do more than you used to be able to do on the phones. For the best value you need a monthly service plan of some sort. At the present I am using Cricket but most providers have similar prepaid service.

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Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Jobs outlook 2012

Recently, the President announced that there would be 2 million hired this year. While it is better than this last year it's not as many as needs to be hired. This means there will continue to be a lot of competition for any open position. It will continue to be a tight job market for the foreseeable future also. Don't let it dishearten you, take control of the situation. Be a better candidate than any other that's applying for a given position. Make sure you have your total package ready and looking it's best. If you've been reading this blog for a while you know of my concept called the total package. Everything you offer is part of the total package and includes resumes, cover letters and what you wear.

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Tuesday, February 21, 2012

"Tell me about yourself"

Usually you would summarize what you are bringing to the new employer. This could be particular skills, it could include the length of time at your previous employers. Anything you select needs to be memorable and true. I've been able to select something that is unusual. I now live in an empty nest, not kids at home any longer. What I'm telling them with this one is that there are no scheduling restraints. With the present job market that's important. They want to know if you can work when they need you to work so this is a powerful selling point. You also eliminate a few questions from being asked later as you already answered it. If you are an older job seeker make sure you note the empty nest that you are now living in. It will help every time for the selection of who gets hired.

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Monday, February 20, 2012

Mock interviews

One of my best techniques was to interview myself in front of a mirror. I would make sure that I was paying attention to the way I moved and sat. This really helped big time when I was getting myself ready for interviews I knew would come. I didn't just do that though, I also conducted a few mock interviews. What was most helpful was the critiques that would come, man they were useful. Probably the main issue was finding someone who had time for conducting mock interviews with me. So, I would end up in front of the mirror again interviewing myself.
At your unemployment office occasionally you can have mock interviews conducted. Another place is at a business school, some of the students will mock interview to get the practice or so I've heard. Twice, I even had a minister from a church give me a mock interview. His I'll say was the least helpful and we don't have a business school where I live. The most helpful for me was the unemployment office. Just be aware that the individuals there have a limited amount of time to work with you. They will probably only have enough time for two to three questions. Nonetheless, mock interviews can help a bit when you can conduct them.

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Sunday, February 19, 2012

Work at home jobs

We've all seen these types of positions advertised many places. You may even walk down the street and see work at home flyers attached to light poles. I've been desperate enough a couple times to check them out. I actually called for the information so I could find out a little bit more. They wanted an amount of cash to get started. This didn't seem quite right to me so I didn't pursue it further. Now this isn't to say that all of these type positions are scams many of them are so watch yourself. They prey quite often on people that feel they have no other choice as I did those days.

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