Friday, August 24, 2007

You Don’t Have All Of The Qualifications Laid Out In The Ad – Should You Still Apply?

The answer is a resounding “YES”! So long as you have about 70 percent of the qualifications then you should apply. Some people are under the mistaken assumption that if they don’t have the university degree or the same number of years of experience or the software knowledge that is being asked for, then they shouldn’t even apply. You need to know that those ads are written with the employer’s “desired” qualifications and not their “required” qualifications in mind. The truth is that employers will quite often make their decisions based on a candidate’s soft skills more than anything else. That means that if an employer likes you and feels that you will fit in well with other people in the company, then you will get an offer. It doesn’t matter that you don’t have one or two of the qualifications listed in the ad.

So, it makes a lot of sense then to develop your ability to get along with people as and a positive attitude. People prefer to be around others who are positive, energetic and friendly as opposed to people who are negative and unfriendly. You can become more positive by deciding to be more positive. Think more positively and it will have a direct impact on your outward behavior. Hang around with positive, upbeat people and will begin to rub off on you.

Take more time for yourself to relax and do the things that you enjoy and it will positively affect your attitude and your interactions with other people. Many people spend their nights in front of the television and complain that they don’t have time for the things that they enjoy. If this is you, stop watching so much television and take time for yourself to do the things that you enjoy. Take up that old hobby again or re-read one of your favorite books. Join a social club related to your area of interest. You can find them quite easily by checking out websites such as Join a gym or get out and get walking. Exercise is a great way to boost your mood as well as your self esteem.

The worst that can happen if you apply to a job for which you don’t have all of the advertised qualifications is that you won’t get a call back. And, if the employer feels that they must hire a candidate with a university degree regardless of their other qualifications, they may find that you’re suitable for another position within the company.

Writing Effective Cover Letters

A cover letter serves to introduce you to your prospective employer and is a supporting document for your resume. It is your opportunity to sell yourself and your most valuable strengths and accomplishments. It should entice the reader to follow through and read your resume. A cover letter should also include a request for a meeting or interview.

Cover letters generally have a beginning, middle and an end. Your first paragraph should be your opening statement and reason for the letter. The reason may be in response to an employment advertisement or in anticipation of a future opening. The first paragraph should include your job or career objective in title form.

The middle of your letter should include your value proposition. Your value proposition is the reason or all of the reasons that you believe the employer should consider hiring you. You should briefly describe your strengths, your background and your accomplishments. This can be done in bullet form to add more impact.

The last paragraph of your cover letter should summarize your career aspirations, the value you can bring to the organization and request a follow up meeting. You may also want to state that you will be in contact with the employer yourself to arrange for a face to face discussion so that you’ll have more control over the process.

You need to make sure that all of your contact information is included in your cover letter including your name, address, phone number, email address and alternate contact numbers. While resumes are generally written in the third person, cover letters are written in the first person and are more personalized.

Your cover letter will be more effective if you can include something directly related to the employer’s business. So, for example, you can include in your letter that you have experience in their industry or an interest in their industry or you can reference their advertisements, reputation and any press releases you’ve seen regarding the company.

A cover letter is an important piece of the job search process and supports the resume in marketing your skills. Take the time to craft a cover letter which adequately conveys your interest in the company, your career objectives, related experience, education, your unique selling proposition and request for a meeting and it will help to increase the number of phone calls you receive from your efforts.

Working With An Employment Agency – What To Expect

There are many benefits to working with an employment agency. It is a good strategy for tapping into the hidden job market and because they are bound by confidentiality, you can register with them and be assured that information about your search for employment will not get back to your current employer. Also, if you are in a full-time job, you can leverage some of your job search time by using an agency. Further, there are many companies that rely solely on using employment agencies in their candidate searches and so if you register with a few of them, you will get access to some employers that you may not otherwise come across through other means of job searching. The agency can also negotiate your salary on your behalf which provides a big relief for many folks who are uneasy about salary negotiations. They can also provide you with some insight into what it’s like to work for that company which is information that you might not be able to garner from simply checking out their website.

There are lots of benefits to working with employment agencies but you shouldn’t limit yourself to just this one strategy. Often jobseekers have the mistaken belief that all they need to do when looking for a job is register with a couple of agencies and then wait for the job offers to come in. In certain fields, this may be true but for the most part, registering with agencies is only part of an overall job search strategy. If you rely solely on this one strategy, you could be waiting a very long time before you get any phone calls. Most employment agencies make their money from their corporate clients. Often they will work with the company on a contingency basis and negotiate a certain percentage of the salary upfront as the agreed upon price for finding and placing a candidate with the employer. If they don’t find a candidate for them, then they don’t get paid. So, the employment agent is really working for the company rather than the candidate. If the agent does not have any current openings that you are qualified for, don’t expect them to go around hunting for the perfect job for you. Companies that work with agencies will usually only interview candidates that are a really close match to what they are looking for because of the fees associated with using an agency.

You should spend some time researching employment agencies before registering with them. Most of them specialize in placing certain types of candidates and so you will want to register with a few that can potentially be helpful to you. It won’t do you any good to register with an executive search firm if you are a nurse. You can do your research by checking out the various employment websites such as Monster or Careerbuilder where many agencies post their openings. There, you can see the types of jobs they fill as well as click on the link to their website to get a brief overview of their areas of expertise in the job placement market.

Every agency is different in that they employ different processes for screening applicants. Some will want you to come in for a face to face meeting and to complete some formalized testing and some will only want to interview you over the phone. Whatever the case, make sure that you treat it like any other interview. Although interviewing with an agency is often a more relaxed than interviewing with an employer, you should make sure that you are dressed appropriately and conduct yourself in a professional manner. If the agent is turned off, then even if you have the qualifications, they will be reluctant to send you to their client where the potential exists for damaging their relationship with that client.

Working with an agency is a component of a good overall job search strategy. When you know what to expect, you can be that much more effective in landing the job that you’re dreaming of. Do your research on the agencies in your town or city, pick a short list of 3 or 4 to register with and remember to treat your employment agent in a way you would any other prospective employer.

Three Uncomfortable Interview Questions And How To Answer Them

Interviews can be stressful part of the job search process. A way to alleviate some of that stress is to make sure that you are well prepared. Below are some common questions that people often feel tense about and sometimes need some coaching on how they might best answer them.

1) What are your strengths/weaknesses?
2) Why are you leaving your current position?
3) What are your salary expectations?

The first question above is a bit of a tricky one and the interviewer is looking for an answer that relates to your work habits. Identifying your strengths can be even more difficult than identifying your weaknesses because they are tasks that you perform with such ease that you don’t recognize them as strengths. You believe that everyone operates that way. To identify your strengths, think about what others have complimented you on and refer back to previous performance appraisals that you have received. As for weaknesses, most people are very good at beating themselves up and so can identify of plenty of weaknesses – think about your negative self-talk. The best advice that I’ve ever heard on answering the question about your weaknesses is to be honest about them but counter your statement of your weakness by turning it into a positive statement about you. For example you might say, “My weakness is that I can get distracted with ideas while I am busy working and so I have learned to keep a notepad nearby to jot down my ideas so that I can remain focused.” An answer like this one should work really well for someone in a creative field of work but hopefully this will give you some ideas on how you can prepare your own response.

The second question is meant to uncover whether or not you are a negative or difficult person to manage. If you are unhappy in your current role – resist the temptation to go on about your gripes regarding your current employer, your boss or your co-workers as this will only serve to give the interviewer the impression that you will be difficult to manage and/or bring the morale of the team down. You should answer that you are seeking a new challenge with a growing company that can benefit from your expertise. Elaborate on the challenge you are seeking as well as what you are bringing to the table in terms of your skills and experience. Formulate an answer that allows the interviewer to see a benefit in hiring you as opposed to an answer that could be taken as self-serving.

The third question often strikes fear in many a job seeker because they are afraid that if they give an answer that is lower than what the employer is expecting to pay – they will be offered a lower salary than they might otherwise have been offered or, that if they give an answer that is too high – they may put themselves out of the running for the job. The best way to answer this question is to say that your primary interest is in finding a challenging position that meets your career goals, with the right company and then provide a salary range. If you are unsure of what the range could be for the type of role you are interviewing for, then check out the salary survey results on monster before you go to the interview.

Preparing answers for these three questions will help you to do well and calm your nerves for your next employment interview. With answers to these three questions under your belt, you can relax and focus more of your attention on evaluating whether or not the position is a good fit for you.

Tips For A Successful Telephone Interview

Telephone interviews are often conducted by companies as a first step to the hiring process. They are frequently conducted by someone in Human Resources and typically follow a standard interview format. They are meant to weed out the undesirable candidates so that the hiring manager has only a short list of pre-qualified candidates to interview. For these reasons, it is important to make sure that you are well prepared for the telephone interview.

Start by researching as much information as you can about the company and the position. Pull up the company’s website and read everything you can about the company’s history, the industry, their products, the company Directors and any articles that may be posted there. Perform a Google search on the company name and/or the Directors and you might find some additional information.

Prepare yourself for any possible interview questions that might come up including questions about your successes in your last job, your employment history, your reason for wanting to leave your current employer and salary expectations. You should also prepare yourself with some questions to ask the interviewer. This will give the impression that you are interested in the job as well as help you to evaluate whether or not you want to take things to the next step. Also, don’t ask what the job pays unless the interviewer brings it up first. If the interviewer tells you specifically what the job pays, then you can then ask for further clarification on whether there are bonuses or a car allowance for example.

Although you do not need to worry about your attire when conducting a telephone interview, it is a good idea to dress as if you are going to a face to face interview – not because the interviewer can see you but because you will respond more professionally and be more tuned in to the process.

Make sure that before the interview, you have a quiet place to take the phone call. Put your dog outside or in another room and have someone in the household take him or her for a walk. Send young kids over to the neighbors and make sure that the television and radio are turned off. Don’t chew gum or smoke while you are on the phone – the person on the other end of the phone can hear you. This may seem obvious but some people forget to get rid of their gum before interviews so it’s worth mentioning. Drink some water before the interview so that your mouth isn’t dry. It also serves to keep you more alert during the interview. If you have call waiting on your phone, don’t answer any incoming calls while you are on the phone with the interviewer.

Be conscious of how you sound on the phone while you are talking. The pitch of your voice can elevate when you are nervous so you’ll need to take a few deep breaths to relax. It helps to stand up during interviews because it keeps you from constricting your breathing and it also increases the energy and enthusiasm in your voice.

If you are nervous, spend some time before the interview just getting quiet and consciously slowing your breathing down. When you’re prepared, you feel much more confident and in control so make sure that you give yourself enough time to mentally prepare for your appointment.

Progressive Relaxation Technique

Learning to manage your stress levels is one of the smartest things you can do to guard against illness and loss of job productivity. An effective way of managing stress is to practice a progressive relaxation technique that is derived from traditional meditation practices.

It involves consciously relaxing your muscles from you feet and all the way up to your head. To start, find a quiet and comfortable place to sit or lie down. Don’t choose to do this while lying in your bed as you may fall asleep during the process. However, if you suffer from insomnia, this may be a technique for you to try. Take a few deep breaths while focusing on expanding your lungs and allowing your abdomen to rise and fall. Beginning at your feet, tense all of the muscles in your feet and toes as much as you can for 15 to 20 seconds and then let them relax completely for another 5 or 10 seconds. Next, tense up the muscles in your calves for 15 or 20 seconds and allow them to relax. From there, move on to your thighs, buttocks, abdomen, arms, shoulders, neck and face. Focus on your breathing again and notice how much more relaxed you feel.

The whole process should only take about 5 to 10 minutes but will allow you to carry on with your workday in a more relaxed manner or this technique can be used to help you settle down at the end of your day. The physical act of tensing your muscles and releasing them again not only helps you to relax your body but also you mind and thoughts. So, next time you are feeling stressed, give it a try.

Three Things Your Resume Needs To Get Noticed

When looking for a new job – most people know that the first step is to create a resume. Your resume should detail your employment history, your education and experience at the very least. But, there are some other elements to consider so that your resume will get noticed from among the hundreds or even thousands of others. Unfortunately, many people make the mistake of creating a resume that reads like a job description. If this sounds like your resume, here are some other elements to consider.

Your resume should include the following:
1) Profile Section
2) Keywords Section
3) List of Achievements

The profile section is your Unique Selling Proposition or Value Proposition Statement and answers the question, "why should we hire you?". It is a good way to open your resume and entice the reader to continue. It is a summary of who you are, your skills and your expertise. Your profile section should be as focused as possible. Too often people create a profile that is generic because they don’t want to limit themselves in their job search. They argue that they want the prospective employer to consider them for any or all available positions. Unfortunately this approach is doomed to fail because if you don’t know what it is that you want, then the hiring manager won’t either, regardless of the available openings. This approach will not only limit your job search, it will also limit your chances of landing any interviews. If this is you, then by all means, create more than one resume with each one focused on a different position. To create your unique selling proposition, start by jotting down all of the reasons you think someone should hire you and keep it focused on a specific area of expertise. Then, jot down your years of experience, credentials, education, skills and abilities along with any other career achievements. You should then summarize all of this information into four or five sentences.
The next thing to consider is a keyword section. Keywords are important because nowadays, most companies require you to complete an on-line resume submission form on their website or if you send them your resume by email or snail mail, they will scan it into a database. The company recruiter or human resources professional will then perform a search of their database to pull up all qualified applicants so that they can begin scheduling interview. If your resume does not contain the keywords that they’ve used in their search of the database, your resume will not come up. You should include a list of at least six keywords in bullet point form. To come up with appropriate keywords, review some job postings from the newspaper and the internet. You should also include your software knowledge in your keywords section, particularly if you are in an Information Technology career. Examples of keywords or phrases include; Cold Calling & Prospecting, Contract Negotiations, Staffing & Supervision.
Your list of achievements will generally follow the two aforementioned sections. Your achievements help the hiring manager to paint a picture in his or her mind as to what type of benefit they might realize from hiring you. Your achievements should communicate some benefit to the employer such as saving money, making money or saving time. These are benefits that all companies want. You should try and use numbers or percentages in formulating your accomplishment statements. Start by describing the situation or problem then, describe the steps you took to resolve the problem and finally the result you achieved (hopefully it improved production, saved you employer money or increased revenue somehow).
Including these three elements in your resume will give you an edge over your competition. Never underestimate the power of the resume, it is the first step in landing that new job.

Five Ways To Manage Stress

Stress is the number one cause of illness and disease in our world today. We live harried lives and seldom take time for ourselves to relax and rejuvenate ourselves. Below are five ways to slow down and reduce your stress levels so that you have more energy for all of your other daily commitments such as work and family.

1) Learn to meditate
2) Take up Yoga or Tai Chi
3) Go for a walk
4) Learn & practice Energy Healing techniques
5) Keep a Journal

Meditation has long been touted as a stress reliever and can help you to be more effective in your daily activities. With practice, meditation can help to think more clearly and have better focus and concentration. You don’t have to sit cross legged and chant mantras either although it may help to quiet the internal mind chatter by giving your brain something to focus on. You can quiet your mind just as easily by paying close attention to your breathing. To start a meditation practice, commit to spending just 10 minutes per day. Sit in a comfortable chair in a quiet room and close your eyes. Allow your breath to slow down and your lungs and abdomen to expand fully. If any thoughts enter your mind, simply observe them and then let them go. You can also listen to a relaxation CD, one that has the sounds of ocean waves crashing against the shore or birds chirping and a babbling brook in the background. Your practice can be either in the morning or in the evening. The morning is often a better choice for people because then you can start your day on the “right foot” and have that calm carry you through the rest of your day.

Yoga and Tai Chi have become very popular exercise choices in the last several years for a reason. Both are excellent ways to connect with your inner calm. You may find that at the beginning you have a hard time enjoying a Yoga or Tai Chi class especially if you’re used to strenuous exercise such as running or aerobics classes. With continued practice though, you will learn to slow down your busy mind and just be in the moment. It is better to join a Yoga Centre or Martial Arts Centre to learn these practices but you can supplement your class time with a home practice by purchasing a Yoga or Tai Chi DVD routine.

Walking is also another great way to relieve stress. The only investment you have is for a good pair of walking shoes. If you live in a cold climate, many communities have indoor walking tracks where you can get your exercise indoors. A 10 or 20 minute walk per day can go a long way to helping you relieve stress. You can even break up your walking time into a few 10 minute sessions throughout the day. Studies have shown that three 10 minute walking sessions a day is just as beneficial as one 30 minute session.

Learning about and how to use energy healing techniques will give you a lifelong stress management tool that you can use whenever you need to. The one I like best is known as EFT or Emotional Freedom Techniques. EFT was developed by Gary Craig and is a form of psychological acupressure where you tap on various points on your face and body while repeating an affirmation. It seems a bit odd to new comers but I promise you, it works and is worth spending the time on learning about. You can find out more by visiting Gary Craig’s website at or if you would like to work with a practitioner, visit

Lastly, journaling is a great way to relieve stress. It helps to calm a busy mind and allows you to get your thoughts down on paper. If something is bothering you, start by writing about your feelings and you’ll find that after a certain amount of time, perhaps 20 minutes or so, that the issue isn’t bothering you as much. You might also come up with some different insights from journaling. One type of journal that might help to get you started is a gratitude journal. Simply write five or ten things a day in your journal that you are thankful for and pretty soon you will find that your outlook has changed. It only takes about 5 or 10 minutes per day to keep a gratitude journal and it has a profound affect on your overall feeling of well-being.

Overall, these stress management techniques are about taking time out for your self. Stress can build up over time and cause some serious health problems. If you take time out for yourself everyday however, you can keep your stress levels under control and develop a profound sense of well-being.

Tapping In To The Hidden Job Market

There is an old saying that goes, “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know”. So, how do you tap into the hidden job market if the people you know aren’t able to help you connect with a job in the career of your choice? Well, they probably know someone that does. Have you heard of the six degrees of separation? The six degrees of separation is a theory that you are only six people away from knowing everyone on the planet. In fact a trivia game was created a few years ago called, “The Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon” based on this concept. It tried to prove that Kevin Bacon is separated by only three degrees from every actor in Hollywood. The point is that if you don’t already know someone that works for an employer that you are interested in, you can get to know them and below are some ways to do that.

1) Send letters requesting an informational interview.
2) Attend every social gathering you can.
3) Attend networking functions or chamber of commerce events.

One way that you can get to know people in the industry that you are interested in is by compiling a list of the companies and their addresses and phone numbers in that industry from research on the internet or chamber or commerce websites. Next, you’ll want to call each of those companies and ask for the hiring manager’s name for the department that you are interested in. Send each person a letter outlining your background, experience, career objectives and request a brief meeting so that you may explore career opportunities within the industry. Include in your letter that you will follow up in one week’s time by phone. If your letter is politely asking for help, most people are pretty obliging. Don’t get discouraged if you get turned down by anyone, just keep going and you are bound to meet a few nice people along the way.

Once you get to the meeting with the company you’ve contacted, it’s important to keep things focused on your aspirations in that career field and to get ideas for how you might find employment in that industry. If you can come away with some company names and contacts, you’ve done a great job. Ask the person you’ve met with if you can use their name in contacting those other companies. Do not turn the meeting into an interview unless the person you are meeting begins conducting an interview style meeting. Make sure that you keep the meeting to the timeframe that you’ve discussed or requested in your initial introductory letter. Within a few days of your meeting, send a thank you note and follow up periodically with that individual with a short note to keep in touch and remind them of who you are.

Another place where you might uncover opportunities is at social gatherings. If you are invited to a friend’s house for a get together, you should make a point of going – you never know who you might run in to. Assuming that you’ve already divulged your career aspirations to your friends, you will want to speak to the people you don’t know at social gatherings. Let people know what you are looking for in a career but start off by breaking the ice with questions about them first. It might also be a good idea to print up some business cards with your career objective, a short list of your skills, telephone number and address on them. You can hand these out to the people you meet at these gatherings.

You should also attend you local Chamber of Commerce events whenever possible. Most of them will have at least one free monthly social gathering that is open to all local businesses. It may be a bit uncomfortable if you don’t know anyone there but if you make it a goal to talk to at least one person at the event then it will be a success. Again, start by asking them about themselves and their business and ask for their business card. Then, they will most likely ask you what you do.

A far greater number of jobs are filled by applicants that knew someone than by newspaper and internet job postings. Have you ever applied for a job that you saw a posting for only to find out that it was already filled by the time you sent you resume in? When you apply for a job through an advertised posting, you are potentially competing with hundreds of other applicants but when you know someone, you usually know about the job opening before it ever gets posted.

5 Steps To Switching Careers

If you are thinking about switching careers and are not sure how to go about it, here are some suggestions on making the transition.

1) Research Your Career Interests
2) Complete a Career Assessment
3) Determine Your Transferable Skills
4) Upgrade Your Training and Education
5) Craft a New Resume

You will want to evaluate the career that you are interested in by doing some research. See what you can find out on the internet regarding qualifications, salary expectations, training and job satisfaction. Talk to others in your target career to gain additional insight. You will probably be able to find a forum somewhere on the internet devoted to your field of interest where you can post your questions and find out if it is a good fit for you.

Complete a career assessment to ensure that your personality traits and work behaviors are a match otherwise, you may find out after the fact that you’re unhappy in your new career. You can find many career assessments on the internet that are either free or for a small charge of $20 or $30.

Take stock of your current strengths, qualifications and experience and determine which of your skills are transferable to your new career aspirations. Think about both the technical skills and soft skills that you’ve developed in your current career. Consider any company sponsored training that you’ve undertaken as well as the duties that you perform on a daily basis.

Next, find out what kind of training or education you’ll need to fill in any gaps between your current career and the one that you want to transition to. You will need to evaluate whether the time and expense of the training makes sense for you. Research all available training options. You may be able to train for your new career from the comfort of your home. There are many online courses available for various careers.

Lastly, you will want to craft a new resume so that you can successfully transition to your new career. Consider your transferable skills from earlier and incorporate them into your new resume. A professional resume writer can help you do this if you feel that it is too daunting a task. A cover letter explaining to prospective employers your reason for the switch, the steps that you’ve taken to transition to this new career, the research you’ve done on the company or industry and the additional training that you’ve undertaken will help to sell you.

Studies show that people will change careers several times over the course of their lifetime. If you are feeling unmotivated with your current line of work or have discovered another profession that interests you, you owe it to yourself to do some research to figure out if it will be the right fit for you.

Returning to Work After a Long Absence

If you’ve been off work for a long while to raise a family or for some other reason, you may be feeling a bit of trepidation about your future career prospects. It’s true that you may find yourself having to take a few steps back temporarily in order to get back to where you were in your career when you left the work force in the first place. The reason for this is that your skills may be out of date, depending on how long you have been out of the “game”.

You should consider updating your skills at a local community college. Drop in at the local college to pick up a course calendar and speak to an advisor. You may want to take some computer software courses or for that matter, take the opportunity to train for a whole new career. There is also the option of distance learning or online training through college sponsored webinars and teleconferences. These training programs offer students the convenience of learning at home and saving on the expense of traveling. This is especially handy if you live in a rural area and have to travel a long ways to the closest college.

It may take a little bit of time to get back into the flow of working full-time again after a long break so you may want to consider part-time work to start. Take some time to write down what you hope to achieve in returning to the work force and to review your finances so that you can determine your earnings requirements. You may have to take into consideration the added expense of childcare if you’ve been a stay at home mom. Much of your research can be done on the internet. You can pull up salary surveys to determine what you can expect from the job market in your community at the present time. A good salary survey for all types of careers and levels of experience can be found on

Register with a couple of employment agencies as well. You can talk to an employment agent about your situation and find out more about different career options or current trends in the workforce. Many employment agencies specialize in particular career fields so make sure that you research them first to make sure that they have clients in the market area that you’re interested in.

In all, returning to work after a long break can be daunting but with some research and planning, you can successfully re-enter the workforce again. Take some time to determine your goals and develop an action plan that will get you there.

How To Bounce Back From Disappointment

“We regret to inform you that we have offered the job to someone else.” It’s disappointing to hear but if you get down about it too much and aren’t able to bounce back again, it will have an affect on your job search effectiveness. Getting rejected is all part of the job search process.

It is okay to grieve the loss of an opportunity but only for a short while. If you allow yourself to dwell on it for too long – you will have less energy and enthusiasm for putting in the necessary activity required to land your next job. The way to overcome your loss is to get back into action. Always ensure that your “funnel” is full. By that I mean that even while you may be getting to the second and third interview stages with one or more companies, you should still be sending out some resumes so that if those opportunities fall through, you will likely have another opportunity brewing within a short time. When you have a full “funnel”, you usually don’t get too discouraged from missing out on one or two opportunities here and there because you know that you’ve got a lot of other “irons in the fire”.

It’s important that you make your job search targeted but that doesn’t mean limited. The more resumes that you put out there, the more phone calls that you get, the more interviews you do, the more likely you are to get job offers. It’s the law of large numbers! If you’ve got a number of potential opportunities on the go, you won’t be deterred when you do get rejected.

Also, don’t think that a “no” is permanent. It may just mean “no for now”. Call the employer again in 3 to 6 months to see if things have changed or if their business has increased enough to allow for another job opportunity. Many employers nowadays have “job alerts” on the careers section of their website. You can submit a resume and select a job category or title and provide your email address so that an automatically generated email is sent to you as soon as another posting appears on the website.

Make sure that you take some breaks for yourself during your search as well. If you’re already working full-time, conducting a job search can really add to your stress levels. An effective job search can be a full time job in itself. Set activity goals for yourself each day or each week and after each goal has been met (which might be sending out 5 resumes), you should reward yourself for your efforts. For you, the reward might be going for a walk or seeing a movie or buying a chocolate bar. Whatever it is, rewarding yourself will help to keep you going and keep you from getting down about perceived setbacks.

Keep your self-talk positive. Make sure that you keep your thoughts on what you want, rather than what you don’t want. As long as you expect to land the job of your dreams, you will keep going with an attitude that something better is just around the corner.

If you think about it, feeling bad about your situation will not help you in your job hunt and may be detrimental. Keep your attitude positive and carry on with your search activity. Your activities should be consistent and you should set goals for yourself each day or each week so that you stay on track. Treat yourself after each goal is accomplished and don’t be too hard on yourself. A positive attitude will keep you going.

How To Attract Your Dream Job

You’ve probably seen the Secret movie by now or at the very least you have heard about it. In short, the Secret movie is about the Law of Attraction and you can use this law to draw your perfect job into your life.

To get started, make a list on paper of all the things you don’t want in a job or don’t like in your current job. Then, take each one of those items on your list and ask yourself what you would like instead. So, one of your list items might be that you don’t want to work with a bunch of negative, backstabbing co-workers. Write that you want to work with a team of positive upbeat people that are supportive of each other and fun to be around. Do this for each of your “don’t want” statements and pretty soon, you will notice your energy level increasing and your mood shifting to one that is much more positive and joyful. Spend as much time as you can on this step and get as detailed as possible. Include all of the qualities that you want from how close you would like your job to be from your home to the type of work you want to be doing to the sort of boss you want to work for and how much money you want to make.

Next, try and get a picture of your dream job in your mind and imagine all the good feelings surrounding the scene. Repeat this visualization as often as possible and try and engage all of your senses. The more of your senses that you use in your visualization along with positive feelings, the more likely your visualization will manifest. It is also recommended that you put yourself in the scene of your visualization rather that looking at the scene as though it is on a movie screen. You need to be an active participant in your visualization.

If any doubts or negative feelings arise, just change your focus again by asking, “so what do I want?” and go back to your written list of “wants” if you need to. The more time you spend focusing on what you want and visualizing it with feeling, the faster it will come to you. You may even find that things start to change at your current place of work. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you should abandon your job search but you may want re-evaluate your current job situation again to see if perhaps your dream job is right under your nose.

Your next step is to take inspired action. So, if you get a feeling that you should connect with an old friend that you haven’t spoken to in a while – follow that instinct. You never know where a phone call might lead. You might decide one day to take a different route to work and pass a company that you weren’t aware of and find out that they have an opening there. The point is to be open to the possibilities of where this dream job might come from while still keeping up with your traditional job search methods.

Relax about the process and trust that everything will work out in due time. Your manifestation will be delayed if you keep wondering where it is so trust that it is on its way and enjoy your visualizations in the meantime. Many people have successfully used the law of attraction for finding their ideal career and you can too.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Resume Formats

There are essentially 3 different resume formats: the chronological resume, the functional resume and the combination resume. Each has its advantages and disadvantages which this article will explain.

Chronological Resume
The chronological resume is the format that is most common and the one that people are most familiar with. In the chronological format, each of your jobs and corresponding descriptions of responsibilities are listed in chronological order starting with the most recent job. Dates of each job are included on the resume and it usually includes a career objective section, skills & attributes section or profile section and an education section.

Functional Resume
The functional resume format is not as common and most often recommended for people who have gaps in the work history or for those who have been out of the workforce for a while. What is most prominent about this resume format is the candidate’s skills, attributes and accomplishments. A career objective should also be included as well as any educational qualifications. The actual jobs however, do not include the dates. The career history section will typically be limited to a list of company names, location of each company and job titles. One advantage to using this format is that it usually shortens the length of a resume. If you’ve got a 25 year job history and several jobs where you’ve performed a lot of the same duties, you can imagine how lengthy (not to mention repetitive) your resume might get. The functional resume format is an effective way to reduce the number of pages that an employer will have to read and will make your application more impactful. Recruiters will spend between 10 and 30 seconds reviewing a resume and their primary goal is to whittle down the piles of resumes that they receive each day to a manageable stack of “keepers.” So, you do not want to have your resume stretch beyond two or three pages. The disadvantage to this resume format is that recruiters don’t like it. They get suspicious about your job history if no dates are included and may toss it in the garbage if it raises too many questions. Although, at one time I used a functional resume because in my chronological resume I had gaps in my work history that I suspected were keeping the phone from ringing with interview requests. I changed the format from chronological to functional and the phone started to ring! So, for the best of both worlds, you might want to try the combination resume if you’ve got gaps in your work history or have been out of the workforce for a while.

Combination Resume
The combination resume as its name implies, combines the best of both the chronological resume and the functional resume. A functional resume format is followed but the job dates are included. The employer is primarily interested in knowing what value you can bring to the company so that if your first page (or the first 2/3rds) of your resume can effectively show what value you bring to the company, then any gaps may be overlooked in favour of bringing you in for an interview.

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Friday, July 28, 2006

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