June 30, 2008

Landing a Promotion

As an internal candidate, or someone who already works for the company you are applying for the new position, getting promoted can be challenging. Companies know your work habits, can measure your performance, and have seen you on good days and bad. On the other hand, external candidates, or applicants that come from outside sources like job boards, recruiting agencies, or referrals do not have a history of work performance at your company and pose a higher risk for the employer. There's no magic bullet to getting a promotion. There are some things you can do to increase your chances.

  • Step up. Ask for more responsibility and additional projects. Show initiative to the management team that you are a team player who is ready, willing, able, and capable to get the job done.
  • Ask for the job. Let your management team know that your interested in opportunities for advancement. Get honest feedback from others and create an Individual Development Plan or IDP to map your plan for success.
  • Have a plan. If an opening arises, have your battle plan ready. Be creative and thorough to get the senior management's attention.
  • Be prepared. . . to be held to a higher standard. It's the truth and it happens. You have more to prove and often times additional responsibilities to do.
  • Attitude is everything! No matter what the outcome or the length of time you are in promotion limbo, remain positive and stay focused to your task at hand.
  • Communicate effectively. If you are the interim manager while interviewing for the position, be strategic in your communication. You must appear in control but you also walk a fine line. Send timely emails and other communication to those who need to be in the know. Don't be afraid to ask others for direction. They'll appreciate you for taking the time to get a clear understanding of the process, whatever it is.
  • Be patient. Hiring takes time. Don't expect a promotion overnight. Continue to stay positive and focus throughout the process. Even if your time isn't now, be prepared to learn from the experience and grow as an individual and a professional.

Your time will come. . .

June 25, 2008

Why Degrees Matter

Degrees have become the standard, an expectation for most companies. According to the US Census Bureau in 2006, 27.2% of US citizens had Bachelor's Degrees and10% had Advanced Degrees like Masters and Doctorates. For myself, the degree is about the 4-5 year commitment a person makes towards a degree. In most cases unless absolutely specialized, it's the journey that matters. Unfortunately, companies often overlook quality candidates who have 10 or 15 years of experience but no degree. How does one combat this?

  • Apply for positions that ask for a degree or will accept relevant work experience.

  • Network. Hiring Managers might overlook your lack of Bachelors based on a testimonial from a professional who is respected within the industry.

  • Certifications. These are normally not a replacement for a degree but often provide the Hiring Manager evidence of your expertise.

  • Show initiative. Start taking classes towards the completion of a Bachelors. List your expected graduation date on your resume or application. A little effort can go a long way.

June 16, 2008

Blogging as a Resume Alternative

The response from my recent post about blogging and how it can land you a job has created a great deal of excitement and conversation. A couple days ago I came across a great blog that includes testimonials from job seekers who have found a job as a result of blogging. It's called Blog for Jobs.

The site is great! Check is out a http://www.blogforjobs.com/.

A recent post is from Andrew. See an excerpt below:

A few weeks ago, I was reading Jeremiah Owyang’s blog and saw a post on people who were “on the move” in the social media industry. I thought, well what is wrong with a little bit of self-promotion? So I left a comment, which you are free to go check out for yourself, basically saying “Hey, I haven’t been on the move…but I would like to be!” And as a result of this, Lisa Young from Outrider reached out to me with some information about the company and the industry as a whole..then I spent a day and a half pouring through Google and every other internet tool I could think of to absorb as much information as I could about the company. Well over the past few weeks, about 97.4 emails, and dozens of hours spent researching different aspects of the company and industry I decided that I really wanted to come on board with the firm and so…here I go!

The stigma surrounding blogging is fast becoming no more. Blogging is now being seen as a career move and a development opportunity, a chance for you to become an expert in a field. Blogging is the perfect way for a candidate to give an employer a more detailed sales pitch -- to show the employer they can ‘talk the talk' (as opposed to just filingl a resume with buzzwords)." Many recruiters are considering the blog as a "resume alternative" similar to the video resume.

June 15, 2008

B4J's Tip of the Week

One of my biggest pet peeves as a recruiter is when I contact a candidate and they don't remember anything about the position or if they actually applied. When this happens, this tells me the candidate doesn't really care and they are not that interested in the position.

Here's my recommendation to keep this from happening:

  1. Apply only for positions you are qualified for or serious about. Seriously, it's a waste of time for you and me.
  2. Keep a tickler file of the positions and date you applied for them. When I was in the hunt, I set up a small file. I printed off the job description off the internet or kept the newspaper with a big circle of the position I applied for. Place the date in which you applied in the right corner of the paper and include any notes.
  3. Keep a log. Keep track of which person you spoke to and about what position. The job seeker appears much more put together and credible when they mention to the hiring manager that Susie, the recruiter and I briefly discussed the position. Nothing drives me crazier when the candidate calls me by the wrong name. At least once a week I am called Jennifer. My name is Jessica. The log will eliminate this problem.

When doing these things, you are more prepared, sure of yourself, and able to wow the hiring manager or recruiter.

June 12, 2008

Using LinkedIn to Your Advantage

I am a huge proponent of LinkedIn and all its glory! This site is a great way for recruiters to connect with other opening networkers, contacts, and candidates that are not otherwise posting their resumes on major job boards like Monster and CareerBuilder for all to see.

So, why not take the approach of a recruiter. . . with a twist. Seek out recruiters and other hiring managers using LinkedIn just like the professional recruiters do to help you land your next job.

But how you ask?

  1. Join LinkedIn for FREE! (Yup, free!!) And while you're at it, add me to your network. The point of LinkedIn is to add networking contacts to your list. You can do this by doing a keyword or name search or even downloading your email list to LinkedIn. LinkedIn will send a request to your network using their email. Once you have added contacts to your list, you are able to view your contacts contacts and can reach out to those 2nd, 3rd, and 4th degree connections through your 1st level connections.
  2. Take advantage of LinkedIn's Tutorial. LinkedIn has a fantabulous tutorial that will guide you through the entire process. Overall, it's very user friendly.
  3. Build your Network!! Once you've built your network, connect away! You can either continue to do this for free working within your own network or by purchasing a monthly membership. They have several different options. I have the Business Premium membership that allows me 15 Inmails a month where I am able to contact someone on the site directly that is not in my network.
  4. Become a Open Networker! Join the group open networkers as well as the Ning
    Social Network Site at http://www.opennetworkers.info/. There are many other sites to join to expand your network! An open networker is someone who will not turn down a LinkedIn invite even if it's someone with whom they have no relationship with. This allows you to build your network very quickly and with a great about of diversity.
  5. Seek out contacts to help you in your quest. To contact someone directly or adding them to your network, I recommend sending a short email outlining your experience and interest in finding a job in whatever your field of choice is and how they might be able to help. Be sure to include your contact information including cell phone number and email. Chances are they might forward your information directly to someone within their network!

I won't guarantee success but recruiters are a very connected bunch that are always looking for their next opportunity to build a relationship. Don't expect assistance without offering something in return like prospect names or other information.

Happy Networking!


Another Shout Out for B4J

Another website is promoting my site & post promoting it as one of the posts of the week. See below:

From Jessica Miller-Merrell at Blogging for Jobs: How Blogging Can Land You a Job
“As the hunt for talented professionals gets more challenging, recruiters and creative head hunters are turning to blogs and blog comments to connect with passive candidates. Do a Google search on the internet for “Jobs and Blogs” and you’ll find testimonial after testimonial from job seekers who have landed jobs or been contacted by recruiters from a blog or blog comment post.”

Wally’s Comment: Jessica is a recruiter. Her blog has lots of good advice about landing the job you want, including this piece on using blogs to find it and increase your own visibility.
Thanks to everyone for your support. To learn more about Wally's blog, click on the link below.

Dems to try again to extend unemployment benefits

For those of you currently on unemployment or just want to be in the know, check out the link below to view the AP news release. The Democrats are introducing their unemployment bill again this morning. Basically, it would extend unemployment by an additional 13 weeks.

The White House has threatened to veto the Democratic bill and said President Bush more likely would support extending benefits in states that have high unemployment rates.


June 10, 2008

Posts This Week

Hey all!

If you've noticed I've made a large amount of posts this week--you're absolutely right! I've been on a short vacation and was able to devote a large amount of time to my blog over the weekend and this week.

Thanks for your support and enjoy your summer.

Happy Hunting!


June 9, 2008

How Blogging Can Land You a Job

As the hunt for talented professionals gets more challenging, recruiters and creative head hunters are turning to blogs and blog comments to connect with passive candidates. Do a google search on the internet for "Jobs and Blogs" and you'll find testimonial after testimonial from job seekers who have landed jobs or been contacted by recruiters from a blog or blog comment post.

To get in on the action, create your own blog using sites like blogspot. Pick a topic that is relevant to your job search and be professional. There are blogs devotedto information and tidbits on how to create and manage a successful blog. Do your research and pick a topic that will generate interest from the blog community or blogosphere. Blog frequently and you're on your way! While I can't provide any testimonials myself to landing a job or receiving an offer as a result of this blog, there are many others who can. If you are one of these lucky individuals, I'd love to connect with you!!

Blog comments are another way to generate interest in recruiters and other hiring managers while you are in the job search. To leave a blog comment for a post, click on the comment link below the blog. Leave an insightful yet professional comment regarding the blog post and include your email or other contact information so that recruiters or the blog author are able to contact you. With blog comments, the recruiter who contacts you is often not the author of the blog where you posted your comment but someone who visits the blog frequently. It might be a needle in a haystack, but hey 30 seconds of your time might be well worth the small amount of effort.

Happy Blogging!


Business Card Etiquette

Which fork to use is hard enough to remember. Click below for an interesting youtube video on Business Card Etiquette.

7 Top Reasons Why People Leave Their Jobs

HR consultant Right Management asked 1,308 people why they left their jobs in the last year. Here’s how they answered (numbers add up to more than 100% because some people said they left for more than one reason):

  • Downsizing or restructuring (54%);
  • Sought new challenges or opportunities (30%);
  • Ineffective leadership (25%);
  • Poor relationship with manager (22%);
  • To improve work/life balance (21%);
  • Contributions to the company were not valued (21%);
  • Better compensation and benefits (18%).

So what's this mean to you? The job seeker is not alone. Many of us have challenges in our jobs and even had our positions eliminated or our priorities shift because of families. Do your research and know the facts to give you a leg up in the job search!



B4J Listed as One of Hottest Industry Related Blogs

Exciting News!

Bloggingforjobs has been listed as one of the hottest industry related blogs! Check it out and thanks for your support!!! Click on the link below and check out other cutting edge blogs.


June 1, 2008

Top Tips to Get the Job

Here are top tips to help you get the job. These are the most common barriers I run across from a hiring manager's perspective that keep a candidate from landing the job. I can't guarantee results but often times a nip and tuck here and there will do the trick.

  1. Know the job. Know the requirements, company culture, basic company and industry information. Part of selling yourself it knowing what you are up against and being confident and knowledgeable is half the battle.
  2. Dress appropriately for the interview. Come dressed to impressed. Wrinkled pants and a stained shirt are not the way to land your dream job. Ask a receptionist what the dress code is and do one better.
  3. Communicate effectively. Regardless of the position you are applying for, your communication skills are key--communication via email, your resume, by phone, and in the interview. Be prepared with examples of your skills, projects, and qualifications. Use the STAR method. (See previous post)
  4. Use your resources. Leverage those within your networking circle to help give you the edge above your competition. Call on professional friends and others to make a quick call or email to provide a personal testimonial about why you're the right candidate for the job.
  5. Play the game. As a candidate you walk a fine line between desirable and desperate. Don't overdo it and appear desperate to try to land the job even if you really are. Give the hiring manager some distance. Don't return calls immediately but within an appropriate period of time normally within 4 hours. I don't normally recommend scheduling an interview within the same day for the same reason. The job search is a business negotiation. Most smart business people don't walk onto the car lot and buy the car the same day. Use your poker face.

Interview Types--Part III

Part three of the Interview Type series includes information on an often forgotten interview-the telephone interview. Candidates either do very well during a phone interview when they build a personal connection with the recruiter or they fall flat on their face. Often times this occurs when the candidate doesn't take either of the interview described below seriously.

Telephone Interview

  • Many organizations will conduct interviews by telephone to narrow a field of candidates. I use phone interviews to prescreen all my candidates.
  • Telephone interviews may also be used as a preliminary interview for candidates who live far away from the job site.
  • It is important to treat this interview as you would a face-to-face connection. Arrange for a quiet space and time to schedule the conversation. Clear a work surface to minimize distractions.
  • Focus on the conversation. Listen to the questions carefully before you answer. Since your voice is key, convey energy with inflection in your voice.
  • Have a copy of your resume nearby as a reference.
  • Avoid using a phone with call waiting. You do not want to be interrupted during an interview.

Group Interview

  • A group interview is usually designed to uncover the leadership potential of prospective managers and employees who will be dealing with customers.
  • The front-runner candidates are gathered together in an informal, discussion type interview. A subject is introduced and the interviewer will start off the discussion.
  • The goal of the group interview is to see how you interact with others and how you use your knowledge and reasoning to influence others.
  • I have used a group interview in a retail setting. A portion of the interview including a sales pitch to promote the retail store's credit card.