Land a New Job by Navigating through Social Media

Not sure how to use LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook to help you find a job?

Learning how to navigate through the maze of social media can help you land a job faster and easier in today’s tight job market.

Social media tools such as LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter are leading the way in this new era of internet job search.

  1. Power up on LinkedIn.

    LinkedIn is a free site where you can post your professional profile, build your personal brand, and connect with others.

    One key element in creating a LinkedIn profile that attracts hiring managers and recruiters is to use powerful key words to describe your strengths, talents and successes.  You can identify the “right” key words to use on your profile by referencing sites such as Monster.com for job openings similar to those you’re looking to land. You’ll want to use those same key words in your LinkedIn profile so that employers and recruiters searching LinkedIn to fill job openings can easily find you!

  2. Sign up on job boards.

    Another easy tip to help you land a new job is to create a profile on SimplyHired and Indeed using those same key words. I’ve had clients land jobs using both of those sites!  You can sign up to receive email alerts for new jobs, and then spend a few minutes each day reviewing the latest updates and applying for those jobs that interest you.

  3. Supersize your network.

    After you’ve built your profile on LinkedIn, you can supersize your network by joining as many groups as possible. The maximum allowed is 50 which allows you to connect with other professionals in those industries and job roles you want to transition into, as well as find out about hot job leads and openings!

    Once  you’re in a group, you can start building professional relationships by sending a personal note to anyone in that group, as well as participate in discussions.  By joining in discussions, you can share your knowledge and expertise, connect with others who share similar interests, and develop connections with others who could share job leads, referrals and recommendations.

The key to landing your next job quickly is to join and participate in as many social networks as possible.  The bigger your social network is, the the faster you’ll be able to connect with others who could help you get hired, or introduct you to others who could potentially hire you!

Finally, want one more “bonus” tip?

Check out student blogs  for more great tips on how to find jobs using social media and how to successfully boost your online professional profile.

Creating a Sizzling Cover Letter to Get Noticed

Not getting noticed?  Maybe it’s your cover letter…

 

 

 

 

 

It can be easy to forget the importance of a cover letter when you’re applying for jobs.  The resume is, of course, critically important in letting the potential employer know your job history, as well as education, training and special skills and any recognition you’ve gained throughout your career.

But without a top notch cover letter, how is your next boss going to know that you’re a great fit for the company? A cover letter accomplishes many things that a resume can’t. For example, let’s say you’re applying for a job in healthcare, or more specifically, radiography. You may not have relevant job experience in that particular field, but perhaps you’ve spent the last year taking radiography courses and are perfectly qualified for an entry level position. The cover letter is the perfect place where you can explain yourself and what transferable skills you’ve developed over the years that will help you in your new career.

 

To help you stand out in today’s tough job market, below are four (4) must-have tips to help you write a stellar cover letter:

  1. Punch your results and what you can do for them.

    Don’t waste the reader’s time talking about how bad you need a job. What you need to be doing is telling them why they should want you. What will you bring to the table that will benefit their company? The best way to do this is by highlighting achievements from past jobs or educational experiences. If you were responsible for a 30% sales increase in your last job or helped to rebrand a company’s marketing presence by partnering with a youth group, those are the kinds of facts to include in your cover letter.

  2. Be personable and likable.

Obviously, with the limited space of a cover letter you don’t have much room for fluff, but it’s important to add some personality. Not only will it endear you to the reader, it increases the chance that he/she will remember you. For example, if you’re from another country you could briefly describe your journey to America. Or, if you have a personal story of how the company to which you’re applying has affected your life in a positive way, you could mention this. Don’t be too cute though. When in doubt, err on the side of professionalism and don’t be too informal.

3.  Talk up your transferable skills.

A transferable skill is a skill you learn to complete one task but which can be used for many other tasks. For example, if you successfully managed people, projects or budgets in a previous position, you can transfer those skills to your next position.

Another example of a transferable skill is customer service. In a previous job you may have been excellent at managing internal stakeholders, vendors or or customers. This kind of experience will not only transfer to different industries and job roles, but will make you a valuable asset to any organization.

4. Let your future employer know where you’re coming from and where you’re headed.

Briefly include biographical information in your cover letter. This is usually for the purpose of clarifying why your past makes you a perfect fit for the new job. You can also explain why there are any gaps in your employment history. For example, if you didn’t work from 2006 to 2007 because you were taking time off for a research project, you should explain that in the cover letter. It’s also helpful to include why you’re passionate about the new company, as well as the position.

It takes some extra effort to create a cover letter that sizzles and grabs the attendtion of a hiring manager – but a great cover letter can help you stand out from your competition.  And in today’s tough job market, that’s exactly what you need!

————————————————————————————————-

Written as a Guest Post by Samantha Peters, who is an avid blogger that frequently writes about career and job search related topics from San Diego, California.  Follow Samantha on Twitter at twitter.com/#!/Sam_Peters1001

 

Which Season is Your Career In…?

I recently had a client, David, who after 15+ years of employment, advancement and promotions with the same company, found his career at a standstill.  His manager encouraged him to stay put because opportunities may be on the horizon, but with downsizing and layoffs happening across other departments David saw a bleak future ahead of him and decided to take control of his career and look for a new job.

Like many people in David’s situation, career changes can be difficult to face.   But career changes are a part of life.  And the quicker you can recognize change and make adjustments in your career, the easier and more successful your career will be.

Just like the weather, careers have seasons.  The springtime is like starting out in a new job.  Everything is fresh, new, and exciting.  The summer is when you hit your stride, you’re confident, making significant contributions, and your job is actually FUN!

During the fall, you’re a seasoned veteran in your comfort zone and an expert in your role.  Strangely, this is also the time when many professionals and executives begin thinking about a career change.  Some become antsy for a new challenge or a bigger step up the corporate ladder to change into a deeper, more meaningful career.

David was in the winter season of his career.  This is the final phase of your job when you realize that change is inevitable, and that you must move on. 

Whether you find yourself being pushed out of the nest due to corporate mergers or downsizing, or you’ve made the decision for change on your own, the quicker you recognize and respond to change, the quicker you can take control and get your career on the RIGHT track.

Most professionals change careers 4-7 times during their lifetime.  For David, it was his 3rd,  and I’m happy to say that he navigated through the storm beautifully.  We created a step-by-step career transition plan and within just a few weeks he was considering job offers from two different companies.

 

If your career is in a fall or winter season, then here is your assignment…

Start exploring all of the opportunities around you. If you’re currently employed, then consider taking on new projects or joining teams that excite you or at minimum, help strengthen a skill and boost your resume. 

Also, beef up your professional network by attending industry conferences, training seminars, and business networking events to talk to other professionals and discover new career opportunities. Learn about the skills and qualifications required to move into those new jobs.

If you’re feeling ‘stuck’ and not sure where you want to go or how to get there, invest in a few personal career coaching sessions with a qualified career coach.   

The point is to take control of your career.  Identify which season you’re in and if it’s time for a change – then get on with it.  Do the work necessary to get through the storm and you’ll find that your career (and your life) welcome a fresh new start.

————————————————————————————-

Need a few gift ideas this holiday season?  Here are a few gifts to help someone on your list jump start their new career –

  • The”Six Week, Six Step Career Change Program” – includes the “Career Change Boot Camp” 2-CD program, the e-book “Interviewing Smart – Insider Secrets to Getting the Job“, professional, customizable and proven resume templates, and “The Salary Compensation Guide” to help you negotiate the best deal for you!
  • The “Career Change Boot Camp Program” –   a complete do-it-yourself self study program that includes step-by-step strategies, tools and resources to help you change careers quickly and easily.  Includes 2 CD’s, eWorkbook and transcripts so you can get started immediately!
  • Sherri’s new book, “THE BOUNCE BACK – personal stories of bouncing back higher and faster after a layoff, re-org or career setback.”  Available in hardcover and Kindle formats on AMAZON and Barnes & Noble.  
  • Book, “CAREER SMART – 5 Steps to a Powerful Personal Brand” – on AMAZON’s TOP 10 LIST for personal branding books!  Available in hardcover, Kindle and audio on AMAZON and Barnes & Noble.  

Sherri Thomas is a Career Strategist, international speaker and best-selling author of The Bounce Back and Career Smart – 5 Steps to a Powerful Personal Brand. “ Get more tips and strategies on how you can bounce back from a layoff, re-org, bad manager or other career threatening setback in Sherri’s new book, “The Bounce Back” now available on AMAZON and BARNES & NOBLE. You can download three FREE chapters of THE BOUNCE BACK at http://www.MyBounceBack.com

Step Up to Advance Your Career

Want to move up the corporate ladder?  If yes, then you’ll need to step up.  

Moving up the chain of command within your current company is one of the hardest things to do.  The reason is because senior managers already see you in your current role, performing your day-to-day responsibilities.  They do not physically “see” you in that higher level role, successfully managing those higher-level, higher risk programs and departments.  And no, it’s not a given that if you’re successful in your current position that you’ll be successful at a higher level position.

So how do you prove that you can do the job before you get the job?    

  1. First, you’ll need to role model those skills required in that advanced position.
    Talk to other department and senior managers to find out what kinds of skills, training and qualifications are needed for the advanced position.  For example, if you want to move from Account Manager to Sr. Account Manager, then you may find out the position requires someone with a proven track record in managing client expectations and leading teams.  Or, if you want to transition from a Sales Manager to the VP of Sales & Marketing, the company may need a strategic thinker who can generate revenue and influence senior management. If you feel that you have the right skills and qualifications to be successful in the new role, then take an assessment of your current projects and teams that you’re leading.  Are they allowing you to gain credibility with senior managers?  Are they allowing you to get the “big results” that you need to get noticed?

    If not, then you’ll need to step up and volunteer for projects that do.  Usually, these are projects that generate revenue, streamline costs, or give the company a competitive edge in the market.  Be proactive and go after those projects that are valued by company leaders where you can flex your muscles, showcase your strengths, and demonstrate that you’re the right person for the job. 
     

  2. Next, you’ll need to increase your visibility and credibility with Sr. Leaders. 
    You want to be seen by those managers, or career influencers who could praise your work to other senior managers, promote you, or influence others to promote you. Send a crystal clear message that you have the right skills and experience for that higher level position.  Seek out opportunities to promote your project teams, key successes, and the benefits that your projects are bringing to the company in your status updates, project reports, and presentations to staff and senior managers.  Also, increase your visibility by writing an article for the company newsletter, hosting a webinar, speaking at an internal conference or forum, or hosting a workshop.  

My client Kevin stepped up and volunteered for a highly valued and highly visible project, and two weeks later the project leader transferred to a different project.  Kevin stepped up again to take on the role of project leader which gave him tremendous opportunities for increased exposure and communication to senior leaders. 

One month later, Kevin stepped up again to support two additional high profile projects.  Not only did he receive a promotion, but he is also feeling more satisfied, more energized, and more respected in his career than ever before. 

I’ve personally stepped up in my own career several times with remarkable success.  Once, when the department I was working in shut down the marketing line of service along with two projects I was leading, my manager asked me if I wanted to lead a high profile technical project.  At the time, I didn’t have any experience in technical leadership.  I remember being terrified, but I knew the reward could be huge.  So I stepped up and within one year I received a promotion as well as a 22-percent increase in salary.

Successful professionals are always seeking out opportunities to step up and take on higher-level responsibilities that are valued by company leaders. Yes, there is risk involved, but if you don’t step up and prove yourself, then ten years from now you’re likely to be in the same job role with the same responsibilities and the same salary that you have today.  Of course, there’s nothing wrong with that if this is where you want to be.  But, if you want more responsibility, more leadership opportunities and a beefier paycheck – you’ll need to take the first step.

Taking More Control Over Your Career

It’s easy to think sometimes that successful professionals are lucky.  But the fact is they encounter as many obstacles and roadblocks as anyone else. 

So how do they keep ahead of the pack and constantly get pay raises, promotions, and the best opportunities?  Because they are what I call “career smart“. They make choices, decisions, and take risks every day with the purpose of advancing their career.

Being career smart is NOT about accepting whatever job is handed to you, but instead it’s about finding opportunities inside that job, or elsewhere, that allow you to create a career that inspires you. 

Below are three strategies to help you be career smart and achieve a career that fills you with purpose, meaning, and passion!  

 

1.  Get into a career where you can thrive (not just survive!)

It’s impossible to thrive in a career if you’re just going through the motions at work.  If you’re walking around dull and listless (like the Clairol Herbal Essence girl before she shampoos her hair), then others are sure to see you that way.  You need to be in a career that challenges you, flexes your professional muscles, and excites you!
 
Think about what kind of work you WANT to be doing.  Identify three key ingredients you need in your career to be happy and fulfilled such as leading teams, working on creative projects, developing new technologies, etc.  Once you’ve defined the three key ingredients, then do whatever it takes to drive your career towards that vision. 
 

2.  Send the “right” messages.

Everything you do and say sends messages to your senior managers, clients, networking contacts and potential employers. Your words, actions, presentations, status reports, resume, and interview responses all shape the perceptions others have about you.

Send a crystal clear message that focuses on the value that you consistently deliver to a company or client. Your “value” is a unique blend of your strengths, professional accomplishments, and personal characteristics such as being a good leader, risk taker, problem solver, strategic thinker, etc.  All of these things combined make up your “value package” which makes you truly unique from a crowd of colleagues, business associates, and even job applicants.

The key is to role model the “value” that you provide by consistently demonstrating it, living it and breathing it.
 

3.  Be open to possibilities.

I love the funny saying, “If you want to make God laugh – tell him your plans.”  🙂 

One of the biggest mistakes I ALMOST made was declining the privilege of serving on the American Marketing Association’s National Council.  I naively was only looking at it as another volunteer opportunity that cut into my professional and personal life.  Fortunately, a mentor helped me see the bigger picture which was a tremendous gift that could strengthen my leadership skills, deepen my marketing expertise, broaden my professional network, and advance my career ten fold.  (After accepting the position and serving just one year, I was named President of the AMA’s National Council which advanced my career up to a completely new level.)

Be assertive, and aggressively seek out new career opportunities.  Give serious consideration to each and every possibility that comes your way. Never decline an opportunity without getting a fresh perspective from people in your circle whom you respect.  Whether you’re considering a new job, or a new assignment in your current organization, answer the questions, “What could be the best possible benefit?”  “Could this help me learn a new skill or strengthen a current skill?”  “Could this be a stepping stone to help me achieve my ultimate career goal?” 

Successful professionals aren’t lucky.  They are career smart.  They make choices, decisions, and take risks every day with the purpose of advancing their career.  So step up, branch out, and start being receptive to new possibilities.  There are always opportunities around you.  You just have to go after them! 

Your Assignment…

Become career smart!

Determine what kind of career you WANT.  Identify three key ingredients you need in your career to be happy and fulfilled such as leading teams, working on creative projects, developing new technologies, etc.

Then, start talking to managers, mentors, clients, and potential employers about the kind of responsibilities that you want.  By talking about the career you want, you’ll be much more likely to achieve it!

Finally, be receptive to new opportunities.  Whether it’s an opportunity for a new job, a new assignment, or even a volunteer position, ask yourself, “What could be the best possible benefit?”  “Could this help me learn a new skill or strengthen a current skill?”  “Could this be a stepping stone to help me achieve my ultimate career goal?”  When you start taking on new opportunities you’ll be one step closer to achieving a career where you can thrive – and not just survive!

How are you going to become career smart?  Share your ideas with me so I can see them and support you!! 🙂

 

4 Ways to Make Yourself Marketable

Do you ever wonder how some people manage their career in a way that seems – effortless?   A constant stream of plum projects, job opportunities, and even promotions seem to come easy and drop in their lap.

So how exactly do they do it, and more importantly, how can you do it?

The answer is “stickiness.”

In advertising, sticky products, companies, or brands keep people coming back for more.  The stickier the product, the more likely it will fly off the shelf and be in high demand.

In the business world, sticky employees stay employed longer, bounce back from setbacks quicker, and discover hidden job opportunities that non-sticky people never even know about.

Below are four ways to make yourself sticky…

1. Get excited about your career!
Sticky people enjoy their job and enjoy sharing information to help project teams and companies advance.  Having a great attitude, a sense of humor and a results-oriented, competitive spirit makes others want to be around you.

One more thing.  Confidence is a must.  Arrogance is a showstopper.
2. Become a jack-of-all-trades within an organization.
One way to be sticky is to become knowledgeable in several key areas so that you can float seamlessly between projects, teams, or even companies. This is an excellent strategy during turbulent times as companies are cutting staffs and shutting down lines of services.

Letting organizations know that you’re nimble, have two or three key skillsets, and add value in a variety of ways gives you a leading edge against other professionals they may be considering promoting, or hiring.

Another key ingredient for being sticky is having a professional network that’s deep and wide so that if you can’t answer a question or solve a problem, you know where to go to get the answer or support you need.
3. Carve out a niche for yourself.
Conversely to being a jack-of-all-trades is being an expert or the “go to” person in a specialized area.  Learn everything you can through training, reading books, and mentors and then apply it to your teams and projects.

Become “the source” for information and sharing your knowledge freely with others will help make you sticky and indispensable to an organization.

 

4. Be a resource to others.
People are the jet fuel behind your career.  They can promote you, hire you, or introduce you to others who could potentially hire you.  So whether you’re employed or not, having a powerful professional network is critical to your career.

The key is becoming a resource for others.  Send out quick e-mails with links to books, white papers, press releases, news articles, or websites that you think may interest those in your network.  Volunteer to introduce your connections to others who may help them solve a problem, offer advice, or potentially advance that person’s career.

One of the key benefits of being a key resource to others, is the more likely you are to get career support when you need it such as a personal recommendation or a new job lead!

 Your Assignment…

Make yourself sticky!

Identify three (3) people in your professional network who you could help RIGHT NOW by either giving them a piece of information, sharing some advice, or introducing them to someone else that you know.

By taking the time and initiative to help out others in your network, you’ll be creating a network who wants to help you advance your career.

The point is to take control of your career.  Making yourself sticky means that companies and others in your professional network look to you as a valuable resource.  So step up and get sticky!  You’ll find that you’re able to stay employed longer, bounce back from setbacks quicker, and managing the ups and downs of your career will seem – effortless!  Ahhhhhhh

How are you going to make yourself more marketable?  🙂

TV Interview – Career Tips for Keeping Your Job!

Yesterday, I was interviewed by NBC-TV Phoenix to share a few of my tips on how to be resilient in the workplace…

What do you think? Share you comments or thoughts… 🙂

Giving Youreself Time for Rejuvenating, Replinishing and Dreaming…

Ahhhhhhhhhhh, I just returned home after renting an ocean-view condo in Long Beach for one month.

One full month of playing at the beach, building sandcastles, staring out at the ocean and daydreaming, digging my toes into wet sand and then watching it all wash away.

When I’m at home, I spend my days helping clients transition into their dream career and in my “free” time I share my tips in TV and radio interviews, speaking at conferences across the country and writing for my blog and newsletter!  

So the only time I have to think about my own career is when I go on vacation. 

It’s important to carve out time in our busy calendars to rejuvenate our spirit and daydream about possibilities.  (In fact, this is one of the key assignments I give to my clients which is why I believe they have such a high success rate!)

My dream is to be able to take off one month during the summer, AND the entire month of December off (I looooove the Christmas holidays ;))    That would mean working 10 months of the year, and taking 2 months off.  I’m not there yet, but with each year, I get closer to making it a reality. 

So tell me, What is your career dream…?  🙂

Reinventing Your Career – Smart strategies to change job roles, industries or professional goals…

Feeling stuck in your career?  Thinking about changing your job but not sure how to go about it?   

As a leading career coach, the #1 biggest question I get asked is, “How can I reinvent my career without decreasing my salary?”

A client of mine, Matt, just reinvented his career from being a manager in the TV industry to becoming a manager in high tech, and he even received a 15-percent pay increase.  So how did he do it?

Reinventing your career means repackaging your skills, qualifications and successes so that you can transition into a new job role, company or industry.  It takes a strong vision, a solid plan, and someone who can coach you through your transition, but yes, it is possible!  Below are four steps to help you jump start your career and transition into a new career more quickly, easily and maybe even with a higher salary!

  1.  What are your transferable skills? 
    These are skills that transition from industry to industry, or from job role to job role.  Examples include: managing projects, teams, clients or budgets, as well as negotiating contracts, or proposing and implementing ideas that generate money, save money, or help the company be more competitive.  

    Other transferable skills include personal characteristics such as demonstrating leadership or risk taking, training or mentoring team members, being goal driven, results oriented, a problem solver, or having the ability to influence senior managers.  These are great skills to have, and they transfer from industry to industry.  All kinds of industries and companies value employees with these types of skills and characteristics.
     

  2. Match your transferable skills to job roles.   
    Read job descriptions posted on CareerJournal.com, CareerBuilder.com and Monster.com, as well as the classified ads in industry magazines, business publications, and company websites.  If you want to work for a specific company then check out their website’s on-line job postings.  Learn the skills and qualifications required for various job roles.

    Match your transferable skills to those jobs you want to go after.  If there’s a gap between the required skills and the skills that you currently have, then look for ways to gain that experience such as taking on an extended assignment in your current job, or if you’re in between jobs then try freelancing, consulting, or volunteering.  

    Also, attend industry conferences, trade shows, business networking events and association meetings. Talk to people who work in the industry to learn about their career path, key skills, and advice on how to break into the business.
     

  3. Blow up your resume. 
    The first thing I always did before I transitioned into a new career was blow up my resume.  Trying to piece together a resume that highlighted the skills I used to get my last job with the skills I need to land my next job is like trying to weld together Lexus parts on a BMW.  It doesn’t work.  You need a brand new resume

    Showcase only those jobs, responsibilities and successes that relate to the job you want.  The hiring manager doesn’t care about every job you’ve ever had.  They just want to know, Can you do their job?   You may also want to get a professional resume critique to help you customize your resume and identify your transferable skills.
     

  4.  Attitude is the key ingredient! 
    I’ve found that getting a new job really boils down to two things: confidence and passion.  I’ve never walked into an interview having met all of the job requirements.  In fact, for the television interview, I lacked the two biggest requirements which were a minimum of two years experience in television, and a reel to show my TV work. 

    To compensate, I focused on my transferable skills which were being highly creative and a solid copywriter.  That got my foot in the door for the interview.  But to get the job and beat out the other 4 job candidates, I was passionate about the company and the job!  I also told the hiring manager that I absolutely knew that I could do the job!

  

And finally…

There’s a kind of quiet confidence that we all have down deep inside.  A confidence that comes from knowing what we’re capable of doing.  When you transition into a new job role or a new company, you need to show the hiring manager that you have confidence in yourself and know that you’ll be successful in the job.  When it comes to reinventing your career, it’s not just your talent but your attitude that counts! 

 —————————————————————————————————–

Sherri Thomas is President of Career Coaching 360, an international speaker, and author of “Career Smart – 5 Steps to a Powerful Personal Brand” – on AMAZON’s TOP 10 LIST for personal branding books!  Career Coaching 360 (www.CareerCoaching360.com) provides career planning, management coaching, and leadership development support to help professionals change careers quickly and easily.  To learn how you can reinvent your career quickly and easily, visit Career Coaching 360’s website for resume help, interviewing support, and personal career coaching packages.

Salary Strategies and Boosting your Income

Economist salaries by educational attainment.

Image via Wikipedia

If you’re like me, you’re naturally curious about how your salary compares with other peers and colleagues, and even more importantly, how you can increase your salary in your coporate job. 

One of my favorite websites is www.GlassDoor.com which allows you to see salaries by job title, companies, and region.  You must first enter your own job role and salary, but the site allows you to do this anonymously.

My good friend Laura Browne offers “3 Tips for Getting a Raise in 2011” including how to build a business case and partnering with your manager.

And finally, if you’re looking for a new career you may want to read Monster.com’s article “Red Hot Jobs Right Now” to get a peek at the hottest jobs and the average salary for each.

Enhanced by Zemanta