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Job Search

Updated: 08/31/2016

There are times when starting a Job Search while employed is smart.  Starting a Job Search after a job loss is dismal, hours are long, more stress than anyone should endure and your boss is either an understanding tyrant or doesn't drive you to being all you can be or somewhere between.  For many, a Job Search is the outcome of bad management or mergers/acquisitions or transfer of work to foreign countries.

Because every few years the game plan must change to meet current practices of the employers, here are some "trueisms" that that have held reasonably firm over the years.

  • If I register on multiple job sites my odds of being found and hired rise.
     
    QUESTIONABLE: Being listed does not gain visibility especially with the cost to 
                              start a job board these days.  There is no indication that this is
                              providing any greater visibility than ads in newspapers, trade
                              journals or magazines.  You are most often just another person
                              hoping for visibility with thousands of others registering each and
                              every day.

                              Select a few good job boards and update your resume regularly
                              to stay at the top of the lists.  Consider including an industry
                              specific job board in your mix.  Explore LinkedIn due to the strong
                              networking potentials there and frequent jobs being posted for
                              free or through company paid postings.  If you are a professional
                              and you are not on LinkedIn and heavily involved, fix that now!

  • Most job openings are posted on-line or in local newspapers.

    NOT TRUE:         Many are "closed" or "hidden" allowing recruiters to search for the
                              candidates or get references without posting.  This is a quick way
                              to avoid the mass marketed junk responses the highly unqualified
                              respondents.  The "higher in the food chain" the position is, like
                              executives, these positions may go through Executive Search
                              Groups to avoid public visibility and question of what is going on
                              inside a company.

                              Network!  Get the straight story from those inside plus you can
                              make better and stronger connections internally.  Network with
                              those in your industry, those in jobs you are interested in.


  •  Changing jobs regularly is frowned upon by employers

     NOT TOTALLY: The policies of companies to quickly "dump" people at the first
                              sign of change creates the "job hoppers" and those people are
                              still scrutinized.  Companies are looking more towards offering
                              6 to 18 month contracts to avoid long term entanglements if the
                              economy or business changes or if they suddenly don't like the
                              worker.  If you want to advance your career, if you want a better
                              salary, job hopping becomes a legitimate path.

                              Avoid the shorter terms of 6 months or less and try to stay with 
                              the same or very simular type position for a year minimum.  Focus
                              you transferable skills versus duration at the positions held.

  •  Cover letters are a waste for everyone

     NOT AT ALL:      Your cover letter is your advertising and a key strategic part of
                               your search.  Here you walk about your uniqueness for the job
                               offered while the Resume covers your experience, skills and the
                               core competencies they are seeking/requiring.

                               As you customize each Resume, customize each Cover Letter.
                               IF the posting specifically says NO COVER LETTERS, obey,
                               otherwise promote yourself through your Cover Letter.

  •  My Resume and Cover Letter are insufficient to get an Interview

     NOT TRUE:         The tighter the job market the more you need to promote your
                               experience, skills, and core competencies.  This holds true for
                               specialty or niche markets as well.  Others are going full blast
                               to compete against you, therefore you must also compete.

                               Go proaactive on every hint of a position that is open and seek
                               an interview.  Your initiative speaks well to some managers who
                               may be willing to talk or discuss other openings in the company.

  •  Less Salary Means More Attractive Candidate

     NOT TRUE:         If you have and bring value, go for the appropriate salary as less
                               raises questions about you and your value.  Don't cheat yourself
                               out of the substantial amount of money you COULD HAVE MADE
                               by low-balling yourself.

                               Never start the salary conversation.  Everyone has a budget so
                               let them go first and negotiate on your strengths.  If you are
                               really that good, exceptions can be made or they can change the
                               job title to the next level up.
     
  •  Being Overqualified Gets You The Job

     NOT TRUE:         The most qualified does not always get the job.  There is a need
                               for a qualified and well balanced individuals in the soft skills
                               areas such as interviewing skills, confidence, qualifications, 
                               personality, persuasion, presenting, negotiating, etc.

                               Arrogance will get you a job you may not want and cost you the
                               ones you may have loved.  Always go to provide you are the best
                               OVERALL candidate for the position.  Some people just can't get
                               the soft skills down.
      
  •  Age discrimination is rampant starting at 40

     YES, IT IS TRUE   It was 50, now it's 40 despite the people are actually stronger
                                workers in many cases during their later years if their energy
                                and capabilities are strong.  Education, skills, and experience
                                still top uncontrollable attributes.  Your values will be of greater
                                worth to a new organization needing veterans to help mentor
                                the less experienced hands hired.

                                Being the team player is key, someone who will embrace change
                                and mentor others.  Age should be a non-issue if you show you
                                have these traits.


  •  Take the first offer you receive

      NOT ALWAYS:    If you are working towards you first job and lack a strong skill
                                set or experience, consider taking the first offer as it may be a
                                gift.  IF you are a seasoned professionals, refrain from taking an
                                offer that may be trying to save from overspending on another
                                applicant.

                                If you have the right stuff, you may find multiple offers possible
                                or within a close timeframe.  Consider also if this is your dream
                                job, the package and location are ideal, or it is something you
                                can build on as you move towards retirement.


  •  Resumes are one page only

     NOT ALWAYS:    This is a factor of your experience, job title and experience.
                               A new graduate from college most likely will be one page.  A
                               College Professor, Researcher, Medical Doctor, etc. will be many
                               pages and include books and papers written, events as an invited
                               speaker, patents, copyrights, industry and professional honors,
                               research engaged in, etc.  For most people going beyond three
                               pages should involve decades of professional work with honors
                               and recognitions.

                               The Resume focus on is education, experience and transferable
                               skills.  Education is both college and industry or product training
                               to stay up with trends and new technologies.  ALWAYS include
                               project experience and achievements showing how you made an
                               impact to the company:  grew revenues, increased margins, cut
                               cost, enhanced production or reduced manufacturing times,
                               positioned products in a better light.  Companies are money
                               driven, even non-profit ones.  If you help that focus, you're good!
     
  •  I just graduated from college with nothing to differentiate me from others

     NOT ALWAYS:   o  Were you on the Honor Roll or Dean's List?
                              o  Did you receive a Scholarship?
                              o  Did you win or place in competitive activities outside school?
                              o  Did you win or place in school sponsored competitions?
                              o  Did you receive other honors for class work?
                              o  Did you hold positions in college requiring advanced skills
                                  in the area of your studies
    ?
                              o  Did you represent your school at external activities?
                              o  Were you granted any advance course placement from testing?
                              o  Were you recognized by groups outside of school?
                              o  Were you covered by local news media for your activities?
                              o  Were you nominated by your school for special honors?
                              o  Did you assist graduate students with their Thesis or
                                  Dissertation
    (if so they MUST recognize you in that work)?
                              o  Were any papers you wrote published by the school?
                              o  Were you given a research grant by the school or industry?
                              o  Were you honored by a company or industry for your work?
                              o  Did you create a new device or approach which was noticed?
                              o  Did you file for any copyrights or patents on your work?
                              o  Do you hold any copyrights or patents for your work?
                              o  Were you hired to perform services that graduates would do?
                              o  Were you hired to offload professional university technical
                                  staff due to your advanced skill levels as an undergraduate?

                              o  Did you do any Summer Intern work in a professional area?
                              o  Something else you did that will get that WOW! response?     

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