These job hunting tips from leading career experts and top executives at leading job sites will help you focus your job hunt, get to contacts at companies, learn how to effectively follow up, get a promotion to a new job, and utilize the top job search strategies that will ensure your job hunt succeeds.
The Best Job Hunting Tips
Ask After Lunch
When I was a kid, my father often told me that you should wait until right after lunch if you were interviewing for a job, asking someone for a favor or otherwise concerned about having someone's rapt attention. By contrast, he warned me, doing any of these things right before lunch was very bad strategy. Reason: when people are hungry, they are bound to be impatient and cranky; after they are fed, they are likely to be content and generous. Something to remember in marketing yourself.
Once again, it seems that my father indeed knew best. A recent academic study of petitions for parole indicates that, controlling for all other factors, the sooner after a meal that a case came up before the judges, the more likely the judges were to grant the petition. ("The science of justice: I think it's time we broke for lunch..." in The Economist, 4/16/2011; "Court rulings depend partly on when the judge last had a snack," was the accompanying blurb.)
Mark Kolakowski, About.com Guide to Financial Careers
Don't Believe You Cannot Negotiate Compensation
It is a mistake to believe that you cannot negotiate compensation when you receive a job offer, despite the overall weak job market. Organizations may decide not to fill a position because of the business climate, but once they decide to fill a position, they usually want the best candidate and are willing to pay them what they need to in order to get them to accept and feel good about the offer. That means once an organization decides that you are the person they want to hire, you are in a relatively strong position to negotiate compensation. Companies rarely include everything they have in their initial offer because they want to retain some flexibility to negotiate with the candidate. Offers almost never are withdrawn because you seek more as long as you ask in the right way (i.e. no ultimatums or threats.) Even if you are unemployed you can negotiate compensation if you know how. simply put, if you don't ask you are likely to be leaving money on the table,
Lee E. Miller, co-author of A Woman's Guide to Successful Negotiating
It is critical that job seekers maintain a proactive and positive approach to the job search process by establishing concrete goals and setting aside adequate time each week for searching and applying to jobs. Job searching can be an exhausting experience, even more so than a full-time job, and when responses from employers don't immediately come flooding in the natural tendency is to often become discouraged and slow down or even abort the job search process altogether.
Penny Loretto, Associate Director, Skidmore College and the About.com Guide to Internships.
One area that I believe to be deficient in many people's job searches is follow up. Most people just email the resume or submit the application in the hopes that someone will reply, but to be successful you must be proactive. There should be a least three attempts at following up including phone and email. It should be much more than just checking to see if the resume was received. The voice mail message could be an abbreviated elevator speech, and the follow up letter could summarize all of the ways in which they are qualified. Linked in can be a great tool for following up too. Every job sought requires research and it's own follow up strategy.
Todd Lempicke, President, Optimal Resume
Get Current Job Listings
If job seekers would use LINKUP.com as one of their top 3 places to search for a job, they would find those jobs that are only listed on company websites and that are currently open. So much of the jobseeker frustration comes from applying for jobs that no longer are open because most job boards have out of date postings in order to look "busy."
GL Hoffman, CEO, LINKUP.com and JobDig.com
The new currency in career success and job search is peer reviews. We have all become accustomed to using TripAdvisor or Yelp to select hotels and restaurants via the feedback of peers. When hiring, we'll do the same. Social media was designed to support collecting and displaying feedback. LinkedIn, BranchOut and Honestly.com allow you to display endorsements from members of your network. In the future, there will be no job postings. We will be 'found' through social networks and Google. So enhancing your profile with validation from those with whom you have worked is an essential step in the personal branding process - one that is critical to landing that ideal job.
William Arruda, known as the Personal Branding Guru, is the author of the bestselling book Career Distinction and the upcoming Book Ditch. Dare. Do! You can learn more about him at www.personalbranding.tv.
Give Seasonal Work a Try
For those with an adventurous spirit or simply wanting to take a different approach to their job hunt, we recommend giving seasonal work a try. One major perk of a seasonal job is to be able to fully commit and try out a new field, location, or job without the full-blown expectations of accepting a year-round job with similar scope. Anyone can do a job for three to six months and see if they like it. This type of work may also be a good fit for the recently laid off to fill in the gaps while looking for full time work. In our experience, seasonal jobs can play a major role in your work / career discovery process. Knowing that many are out of work and re-assessing their skill sets, this type of work might be just the ticket to send job seekers on a new and exciting path.
The Team at CoolWorks
Identify Companies That Are a Fit
Don't even think about starting a job search campaign without first identifying and researching companies that will be a mutual good fit, so that you can build your brand and all your career marketing communications around what will resonate with them. If you don't know who your target audience is and you try to cover too many bases, your resume and other career documents won't hit home with anyone.
Meg Guiseppi, C-level Executive Branding and Job Search Coach, and CEO of Executive Career Brand
Help Employers Find You
Companies spend a great deal of effort trying to find the right candidate, but in this economy it can be easy for job seekers to forget that there are in fact many employers looking for them. It’s key for job seekers to stay up to date on where employers go to find candidates and develop a presence there. Indeed Resume, an open resume search engine, is a great example of where companies will be searching for employees in 2012. Because Indeed Resume is open to all companies, your resume can be found by many more employers than would be possible with a traditional job board’s resume database. To protect your privacy, employers can’t see your personal contact information until you provide approval.
Paul Forster, CEO and Co-Founder, Indeed.com
Know What You Seek
Create a list of the kinds of employers and opportunities that would be a great match for your skills and interests. Have specific companies and job titles in mind, when possible. If you know the type of place where you’d like to work, but don’t yet know the names of any specific companies, use the list you’ve drafted to begin finding them and ask others if they know of an employer that fits such a description. When your contacts have a clear picture of the jobs and companies you seek, they’re more likely to recognize and share appropriate opportunities with you. It’s up to you to paint this picture for them.
Shahrzad Arasteh, holistic career counselor and trainer, Career Consulting Services, www.careerconsultmd.com.
Know What You're the Best At
This is advice I give to people of all ages and stages: "Know what you're the best at. Know where you will shine brightly." Become crystal clear on your three or four best traits, talents and skills. Document and acknowledge how you excel and what you've accomplished with them. Make these talents the North Star of your job search, and allow them to guide your answers in interviews and your path to a new position.
Vickie Elmer, freelance careers / workplace writer for the Washington Post Capital Business, Fortune magazine and others, and at WorkingKind.com
Networking is the Key to Success
The key to a successful job search is networking. With more than half of all hiring done through referrals, it's critical for job seekers to leverage their professional and social networks to get an inside track on a job. Take advantage of social sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter to connect with industry leaders and recruiters, and to show off your unique skills and experience. These online tools are great resources for connecting with hiring decision-makers, or those who can put you in touch with them. On SimplyHired.com, users who log in to Facebook or LinkedIn can discover jobs based on their friends' companies, interests, current or previous work titles and location--making it easier than ever for job seekers to personalize their job search experience and network with friends and colleagues.
Gautam Godhwani, co-founder and chief executive officer, SimplyHired.com.
Share and Share Alike
Yes, you earned the right to be paid for your expertise, but freely sharing your knowledge and experience with others via networking groups will benefit you as much as it does those who ask for help. Networking is a two-way street, and giving is as important as receiving and can lead to new opportunities via new, extremely appreciative contacts.
Margaret Riley Dikel, author, RileyGuide.com
Why Did You Fail to Make the Sale?
Many over 50 candidates who interview for jobs for which they believe they are uniquely qualified fail to get a call back. The accusation of agism leaps to mind. Yet, the employer saw your resume and already knew your approximate age and chose to interview you. There was something in your background that caused them to believe you were the right person for the job and they wanted to learn more. If you failed to make the sale, look to your interview for the reasons. Did you talk outcomes? Was your appearance age appropriate? How was your energy level? Did you 'explain' or relate your experience? Employers look to your stories to tell them if your recent accomplishments compared to their needs. Solution? Examine the job description and for every line item, write down a relevant example with an outcome. That puts you ahead of the competition and in line for a call back.
Rita Ashley, Career Coach, www.jobsearch4execs.com
Relocate For a New Job
People hate it when I say it, but unless you are a superstar, in this economy you are almost wasting your time. If you have to or want to do this, two tactics:
- Get an address or borrow a friend's for snail mail in the target city. A resume and letter are contact points, not declarations of residency. BUT, you need to be ready and prepared to interview and move at your own expense.
- In your letters, pick a week in the future and let companies know "I will be in your city on these dates and am looking to relocate there." Then, depending on the responses, you can decide if you make the trip - because if no one says 'Yes', then no one cares you'd be coming anyways.
Research the Company
Before an interview, research the company online using all means available. Spend at least two hours preparing for a job interview by reading about the company online. Comb through the corporate web site (particularly the "about us" section) and search for articles in Google news to learn more about what's going on in the workplace. If you know the names of the people you are about to meet with, look at anything they've written professionally or any public information on their social networking profiles. You need to be prepared to tell your potential employer why you're excited to work specifically for the company and for her. Bonus: if you can connect with a former employee of the company on LinkedIn and ask them questions, that can also help you prepare.
Avram Piltch, Online Editorial Director at LAPTOP Magazine
Stalk the Company (Almost)
The behaviour we're seeing emerge is that before a opening gets posted to a job board the hiring manager will try and see if they have any friends or colleagues who might be interested. We see that whether it's a status update on LinkedIn or Twitter or Facebook, or a blog post, or even an industry event, hiring managers will try these free and trusted sources first. Before spending money on posting a job or time sifting through hundreds of resumes, these social networking (online and offline) approaches to recruitment are starting represent more than half of all placements. We build tools that help job seekers listen in on these conversations but it's still important for them to get to events, follow these individuals on Twitter, connect with them on LinkedIn and to really and truly almost "stalk" the companies they'd like to work for. Read their blogs, press releases, tweets, Facebook pages, LinkedIn updates, because in today's market, jobs are being filled before the general public even knows there are openings.
William Fischer, co-founder of TwitJobSearch.com