How NOT to Get the Job

There’s a lot of job search advice out there. We’ve given plenty. But not all advice is good advice. Most of it comes from a good place. Anyone who is handing out advice is probably just like The Job Window, they want to help you find work. Sometimes that advice might be a little misguided.

We thought we’d put together a couple of key job search tips that you should avoid. Most of these tips sounds like a good idea, but taken in the wrong way, or taken too far, they’ll actually hurt your chances to get the job.

Take too much initiative

First on The Muse’s list of job search tips to avoid is “Take Initiative.” Taking initiative is great, to a point. Get those resumes out there, have cover letters ready to go. Try and find the name of the hiring manager so you can address your cover letter correctly. There comes a point when it can be too much. As The Muse points out, trying to schedule your own interview, or showing up unexpectedly will not help you get the job. 

Ignore the cover letter

There are still some people out there who think that no one reads a cover letter anymore, and that sending one in, especially when it’s not specifically asked for, is a waste of time. Now more than ever, having a well crafted cover letter is essential to each and every job application. A cover letter allows you to make a more personal introduction, and helps the hiring manager see how well you’d fit in.

Don’t bother with follow-up

Following up after you’ve applied for a position or after your interview is a key part of your job search. However knowing when, and how often to follow up is crucial. Depending on the job, a hiring manager might get hundreds of applications. If every single one of those applicants tried to follow up and contact the hiring manager they’d be pulling out their hair. That’s why most job postings say only those who are sought for an interview will be contacted. After an interview, if you don’t hear anything for more than a week, a polite email is a great way to keep in contact with your potential employer.

Most job search tips come from good intentions. We want you to show employers how awesome you are and help you get a job. Sometimes though, advice can be a little misleading and taken too far. Just remember to be respectful and not overly tenacious and you’ll be well on your way to landing a new gig!

Using Twitter for Your Job Search

If you’re on the job search, you’ve probably already tried the usual routes. You’ve checked the job boards online and looked through specific company websites. You have checked LinkedIn as well. You’ve talked with friends and family to see if they know of any openings where they work. One place you may not have looked in your job search is Twitter

An increasing number of people are finding jobs through Twitter

Twitter is quickly becoming an important resource for your job search. According to an annual survey done by Jobvite, “last year 26% of job seekers said they were using Twitter to find work. This year, the number jumped to 34%.” As more and more job seekers move their search to Twitter, more and more companies will be looking there for great employees. 

If you want to use Twitter to help in your job search, the first thing you should do is start following people and companies that work in the field you want to work. Find people who are tweeting out jobs in your field. Don’t be afraid to interact with companies and individuals and start conversations with them on Twitter about the things they’re tweeting.

One habit to avoid is following people just to tweet at them about wanting a job. You’ll find yourself tuned out very quickly. 

Stay mindful of your profile

Another important thing to be mindful of is what your Twitter profile and timeline look like. If you’re using Twitter for your job search, you don’t want past tweets to come back and bite you. Make sure what you’re tweeting, re-tweeting and sharing is interesting and professional. Even better, are you writing blog posts or attending seminars and conventions relevant to your field? Make sure you’re tweeting about those as well. 

You’ll also want to make use of hashtags. Hashtags make your tweets more searchable, and they’ll allow you to refine your own search. If you search #jobposting, #hiring, #jobs and the name of your city, you’ll find a whole host of opportunities. You can even narrow down these details by including your industry in your search. 

You can also get involved in specific “chats”. Search for #jobhuntchat, #careerchat and #hirefriday to see when these chats happen. They’re filled with helpful advice and offer a great opportunity to ask questions. Mashable has a whole host of hashtags you can use.

The Art of Tailoring Your Resume

The Art of Tailoring Your Resume

If you’re anything like I was when I first started my job search, you printed off a stack of resumes and merrily set to work, dropping them off at places you’d like to work until your supply was all gone. You made everything vague enough to make sense pretty much everywhere you applied, and figured that was good enough.

 

A vague resume will not get you a job

By now, you may or may not have figured out that it is indeed not enough. Your days of sending off bunches of generic resumes to whatever job postings you see online or in your neighborhood are over.

 

Tailor to fit

If you’re serious about getting a job – from McDonalds to lion taming to high end sales – it is your responsibility to tailor your resume for each place you apply instead of sending out a one-size-fits-all. Include work experience most relevant to each place uniquely, change your mission statement, write a cover letter explaining more deeply why you believe your presence would benefit them. Your potential employer goes through a lot of resumes – it’s kind of insulting if you were too lazy to make reading yours worth their time.

 

So just put in the effort – apply in a more quality way to less places, and we can pretty much guarantee you’ll get a lot more callbacks & interviews.

 

How Long Should You Stay at Your Job?

How Long Should You Stay at Your Job

How Long Should You Stay at Your Job?

You’re not going to have this job forever.

 

You’ll get promoted, or you’ll find your fit at a different company. Sometimes you might get let go and have to go on the job hunt. According to About:Careers, the average person will have about 11 job changes over the course of their careers. Changing jobs is as much about professional growth as it is about how much money you make.

 

Making the choice to change your job, whether out of necessity or desire, is always a stressful and important one. The question that most people ask themselves is, how long should I stay at my job? While the answer is rarely concrete, there are a couple of things to look at when you’re considering a change.

Always be Learning

If you feel that your current position isn’t offering you anything new, it might be time to change things up. Before you start asking for a promotion or looking for work elsewhere, make sure you’ve done all you can to grow your current role. You don’t want to ask for a promotion and have your supervisor tell you they don’t feel you’ve mastered your role.

Hard Numbers

If you’ve gotten as far as you think you can in your current position it’s probably time to move on. How long before you make the move without looking like a job jumper? All situations are different, and so it’s hard to give a set number. Over at Monster, they’ve suggested that the maximum length of time you should stay in one position is four years

 

Fortune suggests that there are four time limits to keep in mind. Anything less than 8 months is too short. A year and a half is a good minimum length. Fours years they say, is a good sweet spot. Finally, six years is the maximum time you should stay in one position. 

Personal and Profession Growth

In the end, how long you stay in your position has everything to do with you. Do you feel challenged, are you still learning, and are you being paid what you feel you are worth? If you feel you have more to offer, let people know and if you current employer can’t give you a promotion or raise, then maybe it’s time to move on. There is no right or wrong answer to this question.

 

 

A Few Pointers To Make The Job Search A Little Less Stressful

A Few Pointers To Make The Job Search A Little Less Stressful

Job searching can be stressful. Sometimes, week after week of a fruitless search things can start to feel totally hopeless. Before you fall too far down into the dumps we’ve got a few tips that should help make your search a little easier.

 

80/20 Rule

When you’re first starting out on your job search, you may not yet have a lot of concrete experience to offer potential employers. Looking through the job requirements it might seems like you aren’t qualified to apply to anything!

 

It’s totally normal for people new to the job market to have less experiences and qualifications than listed on job postings. You can still apply to some of those jobs. The question is, which ones? That’s where the 80/20 rule comes in. Do you have at least 80% of the required skills and experiences? Do you think the remaining 20% are things you can learn on the go? If you can back that up in an interview then you can go ahead and apply.

 

Tailor your Resume

If your resume is continually getting zero response, it could be because you are sending out the same resume for every job. Before sending out a resume make sure you tailor what you say to the specific job. Highlight qualifications and experiences particular to what they’re looking for. Add relevant keywords. You aren’t just trying to attract the attention of the recruiter, there’s also the possibility your resume will pass through a computer programmed to to pick out those keywords.

 

Make Your Cover Letter Engaging

Cover letters can be tough to write. But if you compose one that’s engaging and reads like a story with a beginning, middle and end, there’s a good chance you can hook the recruiter. Once you’re called in for the interview do it all over again in person!

Time To Turn That Internship Into a Job

Time To Turn That Internship Into a Job

You’ve been doing an internship at a place you love. These past few months have been amazing. You admire the people you got to work with, you’ve learned a ton and you’re proud of everything you’ve accomplished.

 

You would like nothing more than to keep on working here, but end date for the internship is fast approaching. How do you transition from intern to employee? There are a few things you can do to increase your chances.

 

Be Proactive

The first step to impressing the people at your internship is to be proactive. Some people are always busy, but the level of business for most  waxes and wanes over days or weeks. When you find yourself with less to do, don’t just sit around scrolling on your phone or gossiping with the office gossip, figure out a way to make yourself useful.

 

Pitch in when you see a need, without being asked. If someone does need help be the first to offer. Contribute in any way you can. Make it impossible for the decision makers not to notice what a positive influence you are on the office environment!

 

Don’t act entitled

No matter how exceptional a job you did through your internship it is no guarantee of a position at the end of it. Acting like you are entitled to a job based on your contributions is not going to win you any brownie points. At the end of your time with the organization let them know how thrilled you are/were at the opportunity.

 

Thank You Notes

On your last day of your internship, be sure to make positive lasting impression. You may not be offered the job immediately. However, if you make a graceful exit and follow through with a thoughtful thank you note highlighting how much you learned and how grateful you were for the opportunity they will likely call you before anyone else when something opens up.

Prepare Your References At The Beginning of Your Job Search

Prepare Your References At The Beginning of Your Job Search

You are on a job search. You will most likely eventually be asked for references. The time to prepare for that is now, before your interviews start. Not in a knee jerk response for a request.

 

The basics

At minimum a potential employer will want to confirm you had the job you say you had. They’ll ask about your dates of employment and title. They might also ask what you were like as an employee. Were you punctual? Did you take initiative? What was your attitude like?

 

If you provide a reference that will only give the basics, then don’t expect any fireworks on the part of your prospective employer. You want your references to be able to speak highly and positively about skills and experiences, but you also want them to hold credibility. The singing praises of your cubical mate aren’t going to get you far. The same words from a supervisor are good. If your previous boss is willing to vouch for you that’s even better. If you are a recent grad a professor can attest to your abilities and drive. In general, you want to have two or three professional references you can count on as references.

 

Credibility factor

When thinking about people we could call on as references, it’s important to consider how much weight their words will carry. If your reference is an expert in something related to what you are applying for that’s amazing. Someone who has seen you do (and excel at) a variety of different things will be able to speak confidently about your abilities.

 

Prepare them well in advance

The time to let someone know you are including them as a reference is early on in your job search. Give them time to think about you and what you can bring to the table. When you know they might be called on, give them a call. Let them know the kind of job you are applying for and the sorts of things you would like them to focus on. Confirm when it would be convenient for someone to contact them so they have time to give the reference their full attention.

 

Now that you’ve prepared your references, go out and get yourself in a position to need them!

Maintaining Motivation During A Long Job Search

Maintaining Motivation During A Long Job Searchacebook

Some people luck out on their job search and land something in their field early on. For others the search can feel unending. When you’re met with difficulties and disappointments on a consistent basis it’s hard to stay motivated. But take heart, all job searches eventually come to an end. In the time between this time and that, here are a few tips to help keep your spirits up.

 

Get re-inspired

When our road is long sometimes we lose sight of why we set foot on it in the first place. A great way to get back in step with yourself is by talking with someone who has already accomplished the goal you’re after. Ask them if you can take them out for coffee. Pick their brain. Listen to their stories. Ask their advice.  Or if there’s no one you can talk with personally find a book about someone who has traversed a similar path and read about their journey.

 

Hearing someone else talk about how they accomplished their goals makes the whole prospect feel tangible. Remind yourself if they did it, you can too.

 

Accomplish other goals

Even if you haven’t been able to accomplish the get-a-job goal there are still plenty of other goals you CAN accomplish. Get to it. Make a list of things you want to get done and go about accomplishing them one by one. Accomplishment makes you feel good about yourself. Give yourself lots of reasons to feel good about yourself!

 

Give yourself a break

An unaccomplished goal staring you in the face every day it feels like a starving monster demanding all your attention. You can feed it all day long, but it will never get its fill. That’s why, no matter how much it roars, sometimes you just have walk away. Take breaks. Go for a coffee. Go for a walk. See your friends. Cook yourself a meal. Take time each day to do things you like. It may feel like you’re wasting time, but in realty you’re taking care of yourself mentally and physically. The monster will be waiting for you when you get back. When you’re in a better place you’ll be more inclined to feed it better, more nutritious food – which will ultimately get it out of your life sooner!

 

Create a routine

Following a routine every day helps to free up brain space for things you actually want to be thinking about. Put the things you do every day on autopilot and tackle the things that require full brain power with a full brain.

How Counseling Can Help Young Graduate Job Seekers

How Counseling Can Help Young Graduate Job Seekers

Guest post from Bethany Seton

At a certain point in our education, we all find ourselves at a crossroads when we’re expected to make life-changing decisions related to our future careers.  Many young people have only a very vague idea of what awaits them in the real world of business. Learning about what a job involves theoretically is different from the complex network of skills needed to become successful. Seekers need to know how to search for work. How to present themselves in the best light. Deal with people and stressful situations. Handle pressure and take initiative, to name a few. This is when the help of a counselor can be important. Proper guidance makes the transition into adulthood a lot easier.

 

Value of counseling sessions

If you’re not sure how to proceed with your career a guidance counselor is the right person to see. A confident approach to a future career means becoming aware of our strengths and weaknesses, aspirations and career goals. A good counselor will establish a valuable rapport which will enable them to better understand the student’s personality. People who specialize in working with the youth know how to listen and understand problems. How to build trust, and most importantly, assess future career goals.

Where is that ideal job?

Your first job is very rarely the dream job you were hoping for, but the point is to get as close to your ideal position as soon as possible. In order to do this, understanding the job market is essential. The counselor should closely follow the market and all the issues facing it in order to help you make the right decision. Downsizing, global competition, automation are all factors affecting job opportunities. There’s not much point in preparing for a career which is currently in decline. The modern employment environment dictates its own rules. Applicants need to be well skilled in the use of contemporary technology. They need to be open to diversity and aware of the importance of always being up to date in what’s relevant.

Once you decide on a career direction, it’s time to look for employment. Research recruitment agencies for junior jobs, or any organizations interested in hiring entry level candidates locally.

 

Application and job interview

Another thing you should pay close attention to is presentation. The first impression comes with your resume. It needs to be up to code. Don’t let the fact that you have no job experience put you off. A youth counselor can help you go through your CV to highlight your skills and qualifications, achievements and aspirations.

It is important you go through the dos and don’ts of presenting yourself in the best light during your interview. At your counseling sessions, you will be able to simulate a job interview.

You will learn the importance of body language, tone, overall conduct and how to deal with unexpected questions.

 

How to deal with stressful work situations

A career counselor cannot prepare you for every single stressful situation at work, but they can teach you how to develop healthy responses. How to establish boundaries, recharge and relax, be assertive and find support.

Graduation is a major accomplishment, but not everyone is prepared to take on the unfamiliar world of employment or deal with all the challenges the job market has to offer. Guidance can help ease you into corporate waters. If you’re honest in your sessions, if you accept your weaknesses and improve, celebrate your strengths and are eager and ready to learn – success will never be far away.

When It’s Time To Stop The Job Search

When It's Time To Stop The Job Search

When a job search goes on for too long it’s easy to get discouraged and stressed out. One of the most important things you can do during this time is to stop hunting.

 

We’re not actually saying to stop altogether. Rather spend some dedicated time every day doing things that have absolutely nothing to do with your job search. A full mental and physical break from it.

 

Mentally elsewhere

One of the best places to go when you want to get mentally elsewhere is – nowhere. Ten or fifteen minutes of meditation a day will do wonders to recharge your energy and motivation. Among other things, Research shows that meditation may reduce cortisol (the stress hormone) levels, reduce anxiety, increase attention span, and enhance self-awareness.

 

A lot of benefits to be gained through doing essentially nothing! If doing nothing all on  your own isn’t exactly in your wheelhouse there are all kinds of amazing apps available to help guide you through the mental recharge like Calm and Headspace.

 

Give yourself reasons to be happy

Being out of work is not likely adding anything to the happiness factor in your life. It’s okay to feel down about your employment situation, but you need to ensure frustration and unhappiness aren’t the only emotions of your days. That’s why you need to carve out happy times every day. That might mean going for a walk outside past some beautiful tress or plants. Or reading a book by your favorite author. Maybe baking cookies is your thing.

 

You can’t just expect to bump into a happy time, you need to actually make space for it every day. Make a list of things that bring you joy and choose to do at least one a day. When you are engaged in that happy activity, be there fully. Don’t think about your job hunt at all. Enjoy the smell of cookies wafting through your home.

 

Remember the positives

Facts: You don’t have a job and you are having trouble finding one. When there’s a negative situation in our lives it’s easy to latch onto that and dwell. If you let it, your negative mood will overshadow the positives in your life That’s why it’s so important to remember the positives every day. What do you have? Do you have a loving partner? Your health? Did a neighbor shovel your drive after the last snowstorm? Choose a time every day to write down three things you are grateful for. Look at your list, breathe into it and fully embrace it. There are things to be thankful for every single day. Acknowledge them.

 

Your job search will eventually end whether you have a negative mindset during the process or a positive one. You get to choose.