December 2009 Archives
This is a guest post by Karen McGee, Assistant Dean, Student Affairs/Acting Director, Career Development Center at the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University. Simply put, Karen is one of the most important mentors in my career and taught me EVERYTHING about networking. So soak this up.
The one thing job hunters must exude is confidence. The one thing a job search can drain is your confidence. Some tips on maintaining your self confidence during the job hunt:
1. Periodically review your resume and remind yourself of the good things you've done. Perhaps reword some things or change the emphasis in some descriptions. Tweaking a resume is a helpful exercise.
2. Connect with past co-workers and bosses with whom you have good relationships. People who 'knew you when' can help boost confidence, remind you of your strengths AND provide networking opportunities and additional contacts.
3. Make a focus list of your strengths, interests and skills. Not only will this remind you that you DO have things to offer but it'll give you something to talk about with contacts and employers.
4. Volunteer where someone/place needs your skills. If you are a graphic designer, offer to design a brochure for a local non-profit. If you're an organizer, volunteer at a charity fundraiser. You'll be using your skills, doing good AND meeting new people (contacts).
IMPORTANT NOTE: A dip in self confidence is NOT to be confused with "chronic negative attitude". You know the type -- the complainers, the 'it's someone/thing else's fault" or the 'no one's helping me' people. Periodic lapses in self confidence happen to all, but most people can pull themselves out of it for interviews, etc.
'Chronic negative attitude' is a pervasive condition that affects interviews, networking, presentation of self, job hunt approach, etc. Unfortunately, not much can be done for these folks because they rarely recognize it in themselves. So...if you are experiencing a lapse in self confidence (and who hasn't?) -- chin up! YOU have skills that others need. It's your job to find out who those people are, where they are and then let them know you exist and can help them.
What other suggestions or tips can you share that kept you going? Please comment below.
It's mid-December and I haven't started my Christmas shopping yet. I created my shopping list today and jotted down what I am going to get for each person. For most people, it was pretty easy because I really strive to listen to my friends and family when we spend time together. People are dropping hints all year round, we just need to be present in the moment and make a mental note.
So listening is the key to gift giving.
Listening is also the key to the job search. I always recommend informational interviews because you get a lot of information you won't find on a Web site, plus the hiring manager tells you want they want for Christmas... no, just kidding... but they WILL tell you what their ideal hire would be. And you need to do more than make a mental note. You need to take copious notes and ensure you have the requisite skills. Or go out and acquire them!
So stop applying to all of these job postings, hoping that your resume will be the gift the hiring manager is seeking. You're just guessing. Just sit down and ask them.
Speaking of Christmas, what books, gadgets, etc. are on your list this year? Please comment below. You might also want to check out this list from Tim Ferriss's blog.
During my day job as a recruiter I rely pretty heavily on LinkedIn to identify potential candidates. But I have also realized that not everyone is on LinkedIn (or optimizes their profiles so they can be easily found).
I have started relying more and more on Twitter to identify candidates. You can use the following tactics to identify contacts for networking purposes. Same method; just different goals.
1- Advanced Twitter Searches: Go to search.twitter.com. Click on the Advanced Search link. Type in your keywords (job, PR, marketing... whatever would be related to the field you are seeking). Fill in the distance range (such as 25 miles away from 20036) and hit search. When the results come up, go to the RSS feed in the top right hand corner (Feed for this query), right click, copy shortcut and add this feed to your Google or Blog Reader. Voila, you will get every tweet about Twinkies within a 25 mile radius of your desired location!
2- TweetDeck: Download TweetDeck and set a few search columns for keywords or companies (PR, Marketing, Social Media, Goldman Sachs, GE, Unilever). You can now monitor every tweet being sent with that keyword in real-time.
3- Tweepz: Tweepz is a cool site where you can search for language in someone's Twitter bio. This is a great way to find an "Accountant" in "Boston, MA" or any other combination of search terms.
4- Wefollow: Wefollow is a User-Powered Twitter Directory that categorizes Twitter users by interests and industry.
5- Listorious: Listorious is a great Web site that provides links to the best Twitter Lists. Someone has already gone through the trouble of finding the most influential people on Twitter in industry X. Don't re-create the wheel, check the lists out here.
As noted in my previous blog posts, networking is the best way to find a job. Uses these resources to find people. Read up about them. Follow them. Then reach out to them for an informational chat.
What other Twitter tips and tricks can you share? Please comment below!