Category Archives: JobSearchHelp

Job search and career search ideas

JST: Other Resources

Other Resources

The Job Search Tips on my blog are offered as a resource for Job Seekers. They are my writing, but rarely are they original ideas with me. There are many other great job search resources available, some free, some affordable, some, well, way beyond what I’d consider paying. Unfortunately, what you pay does not always represent what you get, so be very careful and choosy.

ReferenceLibraryI’m certainly biased, and my opinions don’t work for everybody. So, with that in mind, here are a few alternate resources and some commentary.

Career Focus Consultants. Especially if you’re in the Nashville area, this is one to check out. Rich Leipzig is one of the most personable Career and Job-search consultants anywhere. Through Career Focus, he offers one-on-one coaching, some classes, accountability, networking, and more. He has even extended his reach and now works with Lipscomb University on career coaching.

Career Handler. By far my favorite recommendation. If you are choosing exactly one source for information, this is the one I’d suggest, no reservation. There’s a very modest cost of about $25 for the workbook, and you get some other benefits included. Use this link to save a few dollars. If you are in the greater Atlanta area, also check out Perimeter Jobseekers, a small group format gathering for job-seekers, usually hosted by Eric Handler, the author of Career Handler. Career Handler is a concise, step-by-step, guide to a career search, with great how-to guides.

Crossroads Career Network. Crossroads has been the foundation for many churches and their job and career ministries. They provide resources, they create a network of organizations (churches) who have services, and they provide many of the materials for a modest fee, or free. Generally, you will connect with a church who uses the Crossroads materials, but there are some resources directly available from the Crossroads website. A caveat. Different churches use Crossroads materials different ways, some well, some not as well. If you have multiple Crossroads-connected churches in your area, it is worth your time to check out more than one.

C3G. C3G, or Christ Centered Career Groups, is the brainchild of Peter Bourke, who is also involved with Crossroads. C3G is much more focused on networking than on job search techniques, although through networking you may find many techniques. C3G originated at North Point Church near Atlanta. Others elsewhere have begun to use the concept. If you attend a meeting, be sure to go through the registration process which allows you to join the mailing list.

Joel’s List. Joel’s List isn’t really a job-search resource. This is an Atlanta and vicinity list of networking  opportunities. On the basic assumption that networking is a key to finding a job, and that it’s better to network with people who have jobs, Joel’s list gives you quite a few such opportunities. I wish I knew of similar lists for other cities.

Keith Warrick. Keith is a very active business person who just happens to occasionally teach on how to better use LinkedIn. I mention him here NOT to invite you to connect with him. Actually, I suggest you read his profile for instructions on inviting him. If you ever have an opportunity to be at one of his presentations, I highly suggest it!

Occupation Professor. Occupation Professor is one of the several business activities of Dan Whitenack, who is also the leader of the Cross Pointe Church Career Ministry (CPCCM) where I volunteer. Occupation Professor is focused on helping you find what career best suits you. If you are in a Career Search, it’s a great starting point. There is often useful Job Search advice as well.

Others: Jeff Haden who writes for LinkedIn, Inc, and others, often has great articles related to job searches. So does Seth Goden. And Stacy Zaper. And Liz Ryan. LinkedIn Pulse is a great resource. There are thousands of great resources. And thousands of not-so-great ones. See if my sampling above gives you a good start, then consider being very selective about adding others. Note: don’t be like me and get distracted reading “just one more” article. Set a time limit.

Last updated: 10/14/2014

You can find all my Job-Search related articles here. Please remember, a job search is normally an ordered set of steps. If you try to skip steps, it usually doesn’t work out well.

JST: Your Many Messages. Start Simply

In the course of a job search, you will have many messages to deliver. Cover letters. Resumes. Introduction emails. Voice mail messages. Thank you notes. The list is long. But your story needs to be consistent, and once you have a few paragraphs you like, you’ll find it easy to mix and match and re-use without having to keep developing something new.

NewspaperBreakingNewsA newspaper and TV anchor friend had a suggestion for any and all writing or story-telling:

Start with just two or three words.

If you can’t do that, you don’t know your story yet! In the news business, maybe that’s easy:

  • Man shot
  • Building opened
  • Car crashed
  • President elected

OK, can you use that same concept to describe your ideal position? Try for two words, fall back on three, or even four if you have to, but fight for just two!

  • Develop [mobile] software
  • Hire people
  • Enhance user-experience
  • Make life easier
  • Save money
  • Make music
  • Tell stories

Your turn. Now, make sure any message you tell clearly refers back to your two or three words. If you can do this, your story will be so much easier!

Or is this just the KISS principle?

Compare to: 5 Tips for Explaining Your Job Description to Your In-laws

Another thought on shorter messages, Ditch the Elevator Pitch. Expecting that many will disagree here. Give it some thought.

Last updated: 10/14/2014

You can find all my Job-Search related articles here. Please remember, a job search is normally an ordered set of steps. If you try to skip steps, it usually doesn’t work out well.

JST: Ten-Ten-Ten

Ten-Ten-Ten

10Consider this a light hearted overview of the job-search process. Don’t take it too seriously, but don’t ignore it either. Special note: working on your resume is NOT in the top 10!
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The first ten things to do when looking for a job.
  1. Get extremely specific about what you are looking for. There is no demand for generalists. You can only be hired when you meet a known need
  2. Know how to introduce yourself in a few seconds
  3. Build target company list. What kind of company: size, location, product/service. Why?
  4. Build contact list
  5. Network with employed people
  6. Learn how to ask questions. Be helpful to others
  7. Marketing plan. Stories, messages, key points. Short and simple
  8. Business cards, networking document. How do you want to be remembered?
  9. Be reachable AND “findable.” Email, phone, mailing address. Be professional in all
  10. Message Templates
The ten things you must do before those first ten
  1. Get some accountability
  2. Drop any hint of pride. Be willing to ask for help. Be coachable
  3. Only employed people can offer you a job. Plan to be where employed people are
  4. Get ready to work hard. Devote a minimum of 40 hours to the task. 60+ is more reasonable. Make sure you have a place to work
  5. Take care of family situations that will impact your search. Yes, that’s hard. Your spouse, or family, can be your greatest asset (your secret weapon). Or your saboteur. If your home life is “crazy,” it will destroy your search
  6. Systems: Contact Management. Filing. Follow-ups. Create organization, use it, no exceptions!
  7. Input. Be a reader (or audio program listener). Focus on attitude and Motivation. (QBQ! or Flipping the Switch, or How to Win Friends… are great starting places)
  8. Deal with finances, etc. Assume the worst — cut the costs
  9. Be sure you know who you are — assessments. Ask friends for your blind spots
  10. Close skills gaps
The ten things to be sure you do NOT do before the first ten
  1. Do NOT start with your resume
  2. Don’t start by begging everyone you know for a job
  3. Don’t badmouth your previous company, or manager, or anything else about your previous situation. No negatives!
  4. Don’t listen to the negative news
  5. Don’t hang around with family and friends who are generally negative. (Find people who think you are wonderful)
  6. Don’t mass market yourself before you have a clear plan
  7. Don’t dwell on the past. Be future focused. What can you do now, and in the future
  8. Don’t try our 1970 (or 80, or 90) job search approach. The world has changed. Get with it
  9. Don’t ignore any social media presence you may have. What you’d said will be uncovered. Make sure it’s all good stuff
  10. Don’t burn time. Don’t allow yourself to become comfortable being unemployed

Special thanks to Art Jones who named this the 9:40 document: 10, before 10, before 10:00.

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Last updated: 9/30/2014

You can find all my Job-Search related articles here. Please remember, a job search is normally an ordered set of steps. If you try to skip steps, it usually doesn’t work out well.

JST: Finding and Validating Email Addresses

Finding and Validating Email Addresses

EmailIconHere are two tools for finding and validating email addresses. (There are certainly many others.)

  1. If you know the name of a person, and the domain for their email, use this site to learn the most common style for email addresses at that company. May not be perfect, but it’s a great start:
    http://email-format.com

  2. Now, having come up with that good guess, here’s a way to go a bit further in validating before actually trying to send an email. There are a lot of reasons why this may not work, but there’s no risk in giving it a try:
    http://www.MailTester.com/

These won’t help you every time, but there’s very little downside to trying.

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Last updated: 10/2/2014

You can find all my Job-Search related articles here. Please remember, a job search is normally an ordered set of steps. If you try to skip steps, it usually doesn’t work out well.

JST: Networking 101

Networking doesn’t have to be hard. Trust me for a moment. I’m an introvert. I am NOT people oriented. Yet I connect with people all the time, intentionally, for a variety of purposes. Most people are a whole lot more friendly and helpful than you might expect. (even me!) For those rare times where you run into somebody who’s not helpful, or not friendly, OK, move on, pick someone else. Don’t dwell on what doesn’t work, move on to what does.

café-coffee-cup-2709-829x550One of the keys of networking is affinity. If you have affinity with someone who you’ve never met, well, you have an automatic hint of connection. For instance, common interest (common groups on LinkedIn) or common connections. Same schools. Same geography. Even same industry can be a step in the right direction.

Now here’s my statement that I want you to test me on. “You have affinity with everyone you want to connect with.” You may have to search for it, but I bet you have it. Just like “six degrees of separation,” you are a lot more connected than you might first think.

Now, when you get ready to connect, take full advantage of that affinity.

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Last updated: 9/29/2014

You can find all my Job-Search related articles here. Please remember, a job search is normally an ordered set of steps. If you try to skip steps, it usually doesn’t work out well. 

JST: Connect First, Apply Second

BrooklynBridgeConnectWe’ve all heard, and mostly believe, that networking is the key to a job search. Despite this, so often I see people do something that on reflection is so backwards. They apply for a job and then look for connections within the company. Far too often I see emails along the lines of “I’ve just applied at XYZ company, ‘who knows somebody who works there?'”

Please don’t do that! Turn it around. Make connections first. Learn about the company, the culture, the job. Then apply, assuming you’re the right fit.

“But wait,” you may say, “the posting is up now, I know there will be hundreds/thousands of applicants, I need to be in the first group.” Really? Is being first more important than having connection? If you take that approach, let me know how it works out for you. Besides, networking into a company doesn’t have to be hard or time consuming. It’s actually fairly easy to do that networking if you have a plan, and it can happen quickly!

Networking in a hurry. Guess I’ll have to address that soon.

Related:
5 Things Jobseekers NEED to Know About LinkedIn

Last updated: 10/20/2014

You can find all my Job-Search related articles here. Please remember, a job search is normally an ordered set of steps. If you try to skip steps, it usually doesn’t work out well.

Sharepoint Developer, Contract Project

An Atlanta area Christian School is looking for a SharePoint developer who has built workflows in SharePoint 2013. Short term contract project. You do NOT have to be located in Atlanta, this project can be done remotely with phone/email interaction.

Know anybody? I’ll be glad to make the introduction.

SharePoint2013logo

 

Career and Job-search Tips

SearchingFor several years I’ve dabbled in helping others with job searches. I am NOT an expert. Just an observer of things that work, and especially of things that don’t! It’s finally time to start building a reference guide.

Disclaimer. I’ve received input from many sources. Career Direct. Crossroads. Career Handler. Career Focus. Peter Bourke and C3G. Mark Warren. John Kalusa. Probably others. I know some of these have influenced my thoughts and I want to give credit where credit is due. I have no intent of plagiarizing, yet there is probably nothing that’s an original thought with me.

My motivation comes from having visited quite a few “Career ministries.” Very mixed opinions — there are some great ones and some, well, not so much. Some great encourager ministries. Some great prayer ministries. Both of those are good, but please don’t confuse prayer and encouragement with being a career or job search ministry! A good Job Search ministry helps people get jobs and that should be the key measurement!

If you are one of the people who has the skills, or connections, or is in a specialty industry where you are confident you can walk right out and get a satisfying job within a few days, then you don’t need to read any further. Go right ahead and enjoy your situation!

Most of us, especially those of us ‘well over 29,’ are going to need to invest more effort. Finding a job can quickly become a full time job, and it tends to have a lot of overtime. There are specific steps, some with many sub-steps. Trying to skip steps, or attempting shortcuts, or going out of order, will be counter-productive. The fastest way to a new job? One step at a time, in order. Also, don’t go it alone!

So, with that little bit of background, I’ll jump in! If you’re in a job search I pray you will find useful ideas here.

Last updated: 9/28/2014

You can find all my Job-Search related articles here.