Climbing the leadership ranks and ready for your next role? The first step towards making it happen is to develop your messaging. When asked, are you able to clearly articulate how you help organizations succeed? Most people can’t. But you do need to have a concise introduction ready because you never know when an opportunity may present itself.
It all starts with your personal brand. Many people come to me confused about personal or professional branding. Simply put, it’s your reputation and what you’re known for — or would like to be known for. It’s also called your unique selling proposition (USP) or unique value proposition (UVP). It’s the value you offer an organization and how you stand out from your peers.
How would you describe what you bring to the table that other people don’t? Have you developed specific expertise or specialized in a certain area? Do you have a unique background or perspective that differentiates you from your competitors? Your personal brand is the foundation for how you’ll market yourself to potential employers. It’s your superpower. Continue reading
According to a recent article in The Wall Street Journal, nearly 80% of open jobs are never advertised. So why do so many jobseekers spend countless hours in front of their computer scouring job boards? Because they are using job search techniques that served them well in the past. Nevertheless, those techniques are not working very well. Today’s job search is a different animal. To find a job today — you must adapt your job search techniques to today’s competitive job market. Job search best practices suggest that you should spend 80% of your time actively looking for work through networking and only 20% of your time passively searching online.
Here are a couple of tips to accelerate your job search and improve your results. Continue reading
The most common frustrations I hear from jobseekers are related to applying for jobs online. The application process itself is time-consuming, can be confusing and most of the time you don’t hear back after you’ve submitted your application materials. First of all, if you have applied to hundreds of jobs – STOP! Either you are applying for the wrong type of jobs or your resume is not selling you as well as it could. It might not even be making it through the Applicant Tracking Systems. Read on to see how you can turn things around.
Why Is My Online Job Search Failing?
Here’s the problem with applying to jobs online: your application is only one of hundreds, if not thousands, submitted for each opening. With employers’ increased reliance on Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) to screen for the most qualified candidates, your application may not even be reviewed by a person if it does not include the right keywords or proper formatting. For more information about getting through these online filters, see my previous blog “Are Applicant Tracking Systems Rigged Against Jobseekers?”.
Making it through the ATS is step #1. Continue reading
I speak with job seekers every day who are frustrated and overwhelmed by today’s job search. I’ll share with you the strategy I have used successfully with hundreds of my clients who are now working at jobs they love.
While it is true that the job market has never been more competitive, when you break it down there are really only 2 steps to landing a great new job.
You need to:
- Get in front of your target audience
- Make yourself memorable
A networking strategy that combines face-to-face and online networking has been key to landing a job in recent years and is even more effective today. An increasing number of employers are abandoning the big paid-to-post job boards because they do not want to sort through the flood of resumes from hundreds, if not thousands, of anxious jobseekers, many of whom are not qualified.
So, if you don’t search online for job postings, what do you do? It’s easy: you create your own job opportunities by building a list of target companies and impressing the decision makers. It is not as difficult as it sounds. I can teach you how. Continue reading
Welcome to Part 2 of my summer 2015 blog series on what it takes to conduct a successful job search in today’s competitive job market. In my last post, I shared tips on writing a strong resume. Today’s segment: the importance of using social media in your job search.
Your online activity can either help or hurt your job search. It is not simply a matter of using social media; you have to use it the right way to find a job and impress employers. Employers use social media in their recruitment process two ways: Continue reading
Networking is a skill we all need to master. Whether you are employed and looking to advance your career or trying to get back into the workforce, networking is key to career success. A strategy combining face-to-face and online networking has been cited as the most effective way to find a new job. In this competitive job market, you need to differentiate yourself from your competition to be noticed by hiring managers.
Networking can also help you navigate the “hidden” job market. Many companies are not advertising their open positions externally because they do not want to be flooded with thousands of resumes. Instead, they post the jobs internally and ask for employee referrals, or they conduct their own search for candidates on LinkedIn.
The goal of networking is to build relationships and gain exposure. To set yourself up to succeed, go into the event with the intention of getting to know a few interesting people. If your goal is to come out with a definite job lead, you may come on too strong, and will probably be disappointed with the results.
Here are a few tips to make your networking efforts more productive: Continue reading
Research by the University of Toronto, McGill University and the University of Chicago indicates that applicants who had been out of work for 8 months had 45% fewer callbacks from employers. A study from MIT found that someone unemployed for 1 month would typically win 1 interview for every 10 job applications, while someone out of work for 7 months has to send 35 resumes to get just 1 interview. Not only is this wrong – it can be very demoralizing for those who have been in an extended job search. Continue reading
If you are in the process of searching for your next job, keep your momentum going during the holidays. A few advantages of a holiday-season job search?
– More access to hiring managers – As many gatekeepers are on vacation, your odds of reaching the decision makers increase. Many executives actually answer their own phones when their assistants are out of the office. Continue reading
Summer may be coming to an end, but that doesn’t mean your job search has to fizzle out too. Give your job search the boost it needs by investing your time in professional development to keep you ahead of your competition.
The secret to success is to never stop learning. Sharpen your current skills and learn new ones that can be transferred from one type of career to another. Mastering a variety of new skills makes you more marketable to employers. It shows that you are capable of evolving in a competitive working environment. Employers look for candidates with drive and passion. Are you able to show that you are an active contributor and strive to be a top performer?
Here are 3 professional development tips to boost your employability and impress a potential employer. Continue reading
The most effective job search strategy combines online and face-to-face networking. Networking is about meeting others, not selling yourself. You want to build relationships with people who can provide information and open doors that will lead to more conversations. This task may seem daunting to an introvert. Here are a few tactics you can implement to give your job search the boost it needs.
1. Prepare a short Compelling Conversation Opener (COO) using this simple formula:
- Who you are
- What you do
- Who you help
- How you do it
My example: “As a resume writer and career coach, I help jobseekers find jobs that are emotionally and financially rewarding. I guide them through the job search process to make it less overwhelming and more successful.”
Practice your COO until it flows naturally. Then develop a few follow up points for when you are asked for more information. Continue reading
Jobseekers should consider every interaction a potential networking opportunity — because you never know who may have, or know of, the perfect job for you. Are you able to articulate the unique value you offer an employer, at a moment’s notice? Most people aren’t. With a little planning and practice, you can always be ready to sell yourself effectively to advance your career.
You should have different versions of your introduction. What you say to someone at a networking event should probably be different from what you say to a neighbor when out walking or a chance encounter at the grocery store. Each starts with a Compelling Conversation Opener — a brief statement that piques the interest of the listen and prompts them to ask for more information.
Rather than a description of what you have done in the past, your introduction should be a forward facing statement of the value you offer an employer. One of the most effective opening lines includes why you love to do what you do. Then, explain what you do, who you help, and how you do it. Do not start off with “Well, I used to…”. Your likability factor is as important as your skill set. People enjoy being around happy people. Smile, and keep it upbeat and positive. Let them know that you are good at what you do, and you enjoy it. Searching for a job is difficult and it can be very hard to stay positive. But, the effort is worth it. Your positive energy will pay off.
Trish Thomas founded The Resume Resource in 2009 to help people develop the tools, strategies and confidence to build satisfying careers. As a Career Coach and Resume Writer, she helps her clients articulate their unique value to stand out from the competition, and guides them through the job search process to make it less overwhelming and more successful. www.the-resume-resource.com
Personally, I am not a fan of the term “elevator pitch”. I prefer “compelling conversation opener” CCO). If your introduction is succinct and intriguing, it will compel your listener to ask for more information. Rather than a description of what you have done in the past, it should be a forward facing statement of the value you offer an employer.
The formula for an effective CCO:
What you do
Who you help
How you do it
You know you have a great CCO when the listener immediately asks, “Really, how do you do that?” Make sure you have powerful follow up statements that tell them how you deliver on your promise.
My personal example: “I guide jobseekers through the job search process to make it less overwhelming and more productive.”
When asked how I do that I continue with “I take the time to get to know my clients and their individual career goals, so that I can market their skillset effectively. I then collaborate with them to design a professional resume, cover letter and LinkedIn profile that attract the attention of recruiters and hiring managers. To improve their job search results I also offer job search strategies and interview preparation so they ace the job interview.”
Spend a few minutes to develop a strong introduction that compels people to want to learn more about you. Then, confidently display your personal brand and the value you offer an employer.
Trish Thomas founded The Resume Resource in 2009 to help people develop the tools, strategies and confidence to build satisfying careers. As a Career Coach and Resume Writer, she helps her clients articulate their unique value to stand out from the competition, and guides them through the job search process to make it less overwhelming and more successful. Contact us to see how we can help you build a more rewarding career. www.the-resume-resource.com