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Archive for the ‘The targeted Job Search’ Category

How to Target Your Search to Land an Internship or Job

Wednesday, September 7th, 2011

Looking for an internship or job can be a difficult task. With all of the online tools available to you as a job seeker—job boards, niche industry websites, social media networks, online resume sites—where should you begin your search?

It can be overwhelming to start from scratch, but that’s where a target comes in handy. A target is defined as: “a person, object, or place selected as the aim of an attack.” While you’re obviously not attacking anyone in your job search, you should be aiming your job search efforts toward something specific during your job hunt. 

Here are a few ways to target your search:

Search for companies instead of jobs. Although it can be easy to fall into the trap of simply searching for any job in your field, you should instead focus on specific companies for which you’d like to work. You’ll be able to determine if their cultures and values meet your expectations at the beginning of the application process.

Follow your targeted companies on social media. Learn more about a potential employer by reading the organization’s blog, Twitter feed, Facebook page updates and other online (and offline) content. Look for key individuals who already work at the company with whom you can connect via social media channels. Leave thoughtful comments or ask great questions on their Web content to help current employees get to know you before you apply. Building these relationships first can help give you a great advantage when applying for an open job. 

Create a job search plan. How much time do you plan to spend each day on job searching? What about on social networks, creating a portfolio, or blogging? Decide how you’ll spend your hours in the day to land your job or internship. Consider each task and set the amount of time you’ll spend on it so your efforts are as focused as possible. It can be easy to get sucked into the “Internet black hole” when searching for job openings; having a plan minimizes these distractions. And don’t forget the value of offline job hunting—attend networking functions and career fairs, stop into offices and ask for information in person, and ask your friends and acquaintances to keep an ear out for you. Although a job search can easily be a full-time job, you also need to factor in time for your hobbies, exercising, or for any other activity you enjoy. 

Keep your network informed about your job search efforts and goals. Someone you already know may know someone at one of your dream companies. But you’ll never know until you interact with those people already in your network. Talk with these individuals about your search, update them on organizations for which you’ve applied, and make time for people in your network that you can help in some way. Networking is often the tactic that leads to a new job opportunity.

How else can job seekers target their job search to land a new job? Do you have a specific example of something you did that worked?

Three Secrets to Land Jobs of the Future

Thursday, August 4th, 2011

By Jim Kelly, founder of Real Leaders Lead, an executive coaching firm

“It’s not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent, but the one that is most adaptable to change.”

This quote, often attributed to Charles Darwin, is a good summary of the employment picture today.  Whether you are a recent high school graduate or a fifty-something veteran of several jobs, looking for a basic entry level job or seeking a highly skilled and technical position requiring years of school and training, the requirements of your position are going to change  while you hold that position. No matter who you are, you will very likely have to reinvent yourself several times over the course of your career.

There are three secrets that will enable you to make the changes necessary to maximize your career earning and your feeling of success in whatever jobs you will have.

First – be aware of changes happening in the job market today and where it is heading. You want to be able to fit your interests into jobs where the need is steady or growing.

There are several national trends that are shaping the future of how and where we look for jobs.

  • The aging of the population
  • Need for clean water outpacing the need for fuel (oil)
  • The growing awareness of the impact on the environment of everything we do
  • The obsession with saving time and doing things faster
  • The drive to reduce costs
  • The need to make things easier to use
  • The focus on improving safety and reliability

Other trends revolve around job location. Companies in less desirable locations are offering valuable perks to fill jobs that are in demand. The Wall Street Journal noted that Chesapeake Energy in Oklahoma City offers a child-care facility, fitness center and subsidized restaurants to draw employees from more chic cities.

The good news is that the skilled trades such as carpentry, plumbing, electrician, construction contractors and auto mechanics look good in terms of continued need. These areas provide exceptional opportunity for young people who are not enamored with traditional education.

As online retail sales and home grocery delivery continue to climb, UPS, FEDEX and the home delivery drivers will have to deliver more and more packages. That is good news for delivery drivers, who may not need extensive education as well as for pilots and airplane mechanics.

At the other end of the educational scale, as our country becomes more technical, it is estimated that 80% of emerging jobs will require STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) skills and knowledge. Whether in the healthcare, environmental, green technology, cybersecurity, or infrastructure industries, the high-demand jobs will require finding people who have these skills.

Another growing area is international relations where global skills, such as expertise in other languages and/or cultures, diverse experience (large and small companies, US and non-US companies, clinical and corporate, etc.) are necessary for success.

Secondbe aware of the skills companies are looking for but having a hard time finding in enough candidates. As an example, IBM is funding an entire high school in New York City to ensure their students have three skills that are lacking in the typical high school graduate: writing, problem solving and working collaboratively. (Wall Street Journal)

There are also some personal characteristics that make a candidate more attractive than their competitors in job interviews:

  • A relentless dedication and strong work ethic,
  • A sense of urgency to get the job done well and quickly,
  • An opportunity/solution orientation as opposed to a problem/roadblock focus
  • And the ability to function well and be adaptable in a collaborative, team approach to completing projects.

Thirdknow what you are interested in. What kinds of activities do you enjoy doing? Learn to connect those interests with industries and jobs. This is where LearningExpress’s Job and Career Accelerator is a valuable tool to identify job attributes you will really like.

5 Ways for Recent College Graduates to Find Available Jobs

Thursday, May 5th, 2011

Graduation has come and gone, and another batch of college students now find themselves in the “real world” of job searching. It can be scary, confusing and downright frustrating—especially because many of today’s colleges and universities don’t properly prepare students for their entry-level job search.

You might have a good idea of what you want in your ideal job—but where do you find it? Below are several ways I’d suggest getting started in your job search:

Participate in professional and job seeking communities. Communities are a valuable form of support and advice during a job search. The other participants can also be a great addition to your network. These groups of people exist both online and offline – think social media groups and chats, professional associations, and support groups – and can be a great source of inspiration and information in a job search. Being active and engaging in these groups can make you more visible to those who can help in your job search and allow you to give back with advice of your own.

Follow companies of interest on social media sites. Social media has changed the way organizations hire and source potential candidates, making it easier than ever for a job seeker to connect directly to the company they’d like to work for. Following their official Twitter account, Facebook page or blog feed can help ensure that you’ll be the first to know about potential openings and helps you learn more about the company at hand.

Volunteer or intern at a prospective employer. Although internships are often unpaid, it’s a valuable look inside of a company you desire to work for. During an internship or volunteer position, you’ll get to know employees at the organization all while gaining skills and experience in your field. It’s a great way to prove yourself as a professional and gain an “in” at the company. In fact, many employers look to their intern pool or employee referral list when looking to hire for entry-level positions.

Check major job boards, company career sites and Craigslist. While job listings shouldn’t be the only job search tactic you have in your arsenal, they’re certainly a valuable way to gauge who’s hiring and where. Job and Career Accelerator can help you find up-to-date job listings in hundreds of fields.

Just make sure you don’t spend all your time combing through job listings that might not even land an interview—you should also be networking, preparing your job search documents and polishing your online presence.

Reach out to your personal and professional network. Networking is often the best tactic to finding your next job. Whether it’s because you know someone at a company you’ve applied at and they put in a good word for you, or because a friend refers you to an unadvertised job opening they heard about, don’t forget to network early and often. Hopefully you’ve built a strong network before leaving school (always network before you need something!). Continue meeting new people and reaching out to others you’d like to build a professional relationship with. Remember, networking is a two-way street—you must provide value to your connections, too. Believe me, you have valuable advice and insight to share. Don’t be shy!

How to Use Social Networks to Find Job Opportunities

Monday, March 28th, 2011

Using social networks for your job search can expand your network and introduce you to new people, but you can also leverage those networks to find job announcements and find places to upload your resume.

Did you know LinkedIn has a job board? Follow the “Jobs” tab on LinkedIn.com’s top toolbar. It will bring you to positions suggested by LinkedIn based on your profile. The best part is that the site shows who posted the position (and links to that person’s profile), and displays people in your network who are connected to the organization of interest. Be sure to fill out your profile completely and take advantage of LinkedIn’s capabilities.

Many agree that job seekers should focus on using Twitter to expand their networks and meet new people. In addition, there are a variety of services that stream job opportunities and have tools to help connect job seekers with new opportunities. Here are just a few of these services:

@jobshouts / jobshouts.com
A free resource for job seekers, this service tweets jobs from their Twitter account. As Alison Doyle of About.com explains, “…Jobs can be found either by following JobShouts on Twitter, or by searching “jobs” or keywords found in posted job titles. Each job creator is carefully screened by a jobshouts.com team member. Jobshouts provides quality jobs in a variety of verticals to a targeted group of twitter followers and professionals.”

@TweetMyJOBS / tweetmyjobs.com
This service created close to 10,000 location and job-type specific Job Channels for job seekers to follow. After job seekers register, the founder explained, “Jobs that match the profile are tweeted directly to the job seeker via their preferred communication channel, and can even show up as text messages on their mobile phone the instant that the job gets posted.”

@tweetajob / tweetajob.com
Job seekers specify a location and career interest and receive targeted tweets. Jobseekers may choose to receive job postings via Twitter feed, through the Tweetajob search engine or via mobile devices.

Some applications that take advantage of Facebook’s social graph are beginning to take a professional focus. Two to watch:

  • Branchout. This app offers jobseekers many options. You may search for open jobs by company name, position, or skill and filter those jobs by location. For example, you could search for IBM, V.P. of Sales, or sales, and sort your results by city. The most powerful feature on BranchOut is the ability to identify friends and friends-of-friends at the companies where you want to work. Just type in the name of a company, see your 1st and 2nd degree connections at that company, and request an introduction – if necessary – in just one click.
  • Jibe. This application only posts jobs directly from Fortune 1000, name-brand, and up-and-coming companies. They note, “You won’t find any spam, multi-level marketing, or commission-only jobs on JIBE… You never have to leave JIBE to apply for a job, and you never have to fill out the same profile information more than once.”

A new service, now in open beta, StartWire lets you sign in via LinkedIn or Facebook and will sort through 7,000 + job boards, employers, and search firms to identify the ones that are actively searching for people like you. StartWire may help accelerate your job search through social collaboration with a trusted network of friends, colleagues, and experts. It allows you to download your resume, create updates on where you’ve applied, the status of your applications, and the companies and jobs you like. You may share your updates with your selected network and get advice, targeted jobs, and networking recommendations from StartWire experts for free.

Consider incorporating some of these social networking tools into your job search plans to enhance the power of the social web.

The Great Keyword Search: Finding the Right Terms to Write Great Resumes

Wednesday, February 2nd, 2011

By Louise Kursmark, MRW

 One of the greatest frustrations for jobseekers is their resume disappearing into the “black hole” of online job search. Of course, many factors contribute to this phenomenon, but one thing is certain: Without the right keywords, a resume – no matter how well written – will never be found through resume-scanning software and applicant-tracking systems. The challenge for the resume writer is to incorporate all of the right words into the resume to boost the chance of rising to the top of a large pool of candidates.

 So how does a jobseeker know what the keywords are? Where does he or she find them? Here are five great resources.

 1.   Job Postings. Before a jobseeker can begin writing a resume, he or she should review a handful of “ideal jobs” and highlight all the appropriate keywords. These will help establish a good baseline goal for essential terms to include in the resume. Be sure to insert soft skills (teamwork, communication, problem-solving, and so on) as well as specific knowledge and experience, technology expertise, educational credentials and certifications, and other hard skills. Job & Career Accelerator, where they can search through 5 million up-to-date job listings from all major online job boards and even local websites, is the perfect place for this step.

 2.   O*Net—the U.S. Department of Labor’s comprehensive career site. Jobseekers can browse specific occupations and occupational groups to find terminology related to the experience they are featuring in a resume. Steer your jobseeker to Job & Career Accelerator‘s Occupation Matcher, which presents the  O*Net information in an easy to read format that suggests career paths based upon a jobseeker’s Occupation Matcher Interest Inventory. Have them spend some time searching through employment trends, such as “Green Occupations,” to become familiar with up-and-coming career fields and terms.

 3.   Professional Associations. Instruct jobseekers to take a few moments to explore the sites of relevant professional associations. These offer a treasure-trove of keywords! For example, the site for the Institute for Supply Management, a professional association for supply chain professionals, includes an extensive listing of professional meetings and conferences. When you look at the meeting agendas, you’ll find relevant terms such as “value-focused supply,” “global procurement,” “sourcing complex spend categories,” and many more.

 4.   Company Websites. Particularly for jobseekers pursuing specific companies, a quick visit to company websites will pay off. Critical keywords will be found in the job descriptions, of course, but don’t stop there. Read the company’s mission statement and its values. Examine the career site to see what image it’s trying to portray with potential employees. What are the character traits, skills, and knowledge that the company seems to value? These terms should be incorporated into the resume to strike a responsive chord.

 5.   Industry- or profession-specific publications. Trade journals, industry blogs, business newspapers, and similar resources provide a rich source of keywords while keeping you up to date on important news and trends. Here’s a quick example: A recent post on the “Lean Blog,” dedicated to Lean Manufacturing practices in the healthcare industry, addressed technology trends such as bedside video cameras and other automation in hospitals, pharmacies, and labs. Great information for the right resume!

 After a jobseeker has assembled a rich array of keywords, they should work them as frequently and as naturally as possible into all sections of the resume. Of course, a jobseeker doesn’t want to misrepresent anything, so instruct them be careful to use only the terms that actually reflect knowledge and experience – and not those that they “wish” they could include!

 Finally, be aware that keywords are not static. There is no single set of terms that an employer will use when looking for an accountant, for example. The keywords will change to reflect the position, the company, the industry, and evolving trends. The resume must be a living document that changes to best fit the opportunity, the industry, and the evolving employment picture.


Resume and careers expert Louise Kursmark is the author of Best Resumes for College Students and New Grads and 20 additional books on resumes, cover letters, and other career topics. The first person worldwide to earn the prestigious Master Resume Writer credential, she is also Director of the Resume Writing Academy, the first comprehensive training organization for resume professionals, and the innovative Career Thought Leaders Conference to be held March 14–16 in Baltimore.

Five Essential Online Social Networking Tips: How to Use LinkedIn to Your Advantage

Monday, January 10th, 2011

By Miriam Salpeter

LinkedIn is more than a place to publish and store your resume online. It is a network that offers an opportunity to connect with thousands (even millions) of people who provide the potential for job leads and hiring opportunities.

For those who view LinkedIn as a “set it and forget it” network, it is time to revisit a site that is constantly updating and reinventing itself, and providing new tools for job seekers. Here are five of LinkedIn’s best features that jobseekers may be overlooking:

1. Jacqui Barrett-Poindexter of Career Trend collected several ideas to help use LinkedIn well, including advice from Hannah Morgan, career consultant and strategist at Career Sherpa, to “selectively join and participate in LinkedIn groups where you can give and receive value.” It is easy to join groups on LinkedIn. Just click on “groups” in the top navigation bar. LinkedIn even suggests “groups you may like” and provides a searchable directory. There are bound to be multiple potential groups to join, but it is a good idea to be selective. Encourage jobseekers to review groups and assess:

  • How many members belong?
  • How active the group is. How many posts and news items are listed? Do people seem actively engaged?
  • Is the group carefully monitored? While a group that requires permission to join may seem like an unwelcome barrier, it is a sign that someone cares a lot about the group, and is willing to invest time in making sure it is useful and its membership is monitored.

Have job seekers choose several groups to join that seem to promise ongoing interaction, and then participate actively. Review contributions, make comments, add news and discussion items, and answer questions. Doing so helps raise a job seeker’s profile in a community of his or her peers, and may make it more likely to learn about useful job leads.

2. Did you know that you can follow companies on LinkedIn? Have job seekers navigate to the “More” tab on LinkedIn’s toolbar and select companies from the dropdown. This feature makes it easy to learn when people either join or leave an organization. Following a company also allows a job seeker to review activity from the organization’s employees. A user may be able to learn when and where a company’s employees are speaking at events, what conferences they attend, and what books they read (depending on how many share and update this information on their profiles).

3. LinkedIn recently introduced several new sections as part of their profiles. A user may now include the following information in its own section, which helps make it easier for people to find and search. Be sure to have job seekers add these sections to their profiles if they are relevant:

  • Certifications
  • Languages
  • Patents
  • Publications
  • Skills

4. Job seekers should use all of their LinkedIn real estate to their advantage. By only including basic information or a few sentences in the summary and specialties sections, prime real estate is wasted.  It is important to include details that will make it easier for people to find the job seeker. I strongly suggest completing a profile with in-depth information that anyone who might want to hire a job seeker will find useful.

5. Remember, recruiters and employers will only find a job seeker if they use keywords in their profile. Craig Fisher, a former recruiter and current Vice President of Business Development at People Report explains, “As a job seeker, you need keywords in your Linkedin profile that will be specific to your niche, in order to help separate yours from the hundreds of less targeted profiles….Having these listed multiple times in your profile will help it come up at the top of the search results.”

Following these suggestions will help ensure that a job seeker is using LinkedIn’s tools to his or her best advantage!  It will also help to insure that one’s main areas of interests and skills are appropriately matched with the correct job leads and contacts, and ultimately the best job.

Six Steps to Unofficial Career Advisor Status!

Thursday, January 6th, 2011

By Jim Kelly

There is a big difference between working with a job hunter and advising a person who wants to find a suitable career path. This article details six principal steps that will help any professional, whether in a college or library setting, who is placed in the situation of being a career advisor.

Step #1–Identify the person’s intention before you offer any help.

Your first task is to find out what type of assistance the person wants.

If someone is looking for a job, it’s easy to find postings for whatever kind of work he or she has done before.

Helping someone find career direction is more complicated—and much more rewarding! When your patron says something like, “I’m looking for a job but I have no idea what I want to do,” that is when the fun starts! Much like doing Internet research, you can discover which questions will lead you and your patron to the right information.

Step #2–Form a partnership.

Helping a person determine the right career path takes time. Expect it to take a few hours, over a period of several weeks.

Let the person know you can help—if he or she is willing to do some work—which includes thinking about a few key questions.

Step #3—Ask questions. Don’t give answers.

Encourage the person to really think about the following questions: “What do you like to do?” “Imagine yourself in a wonderful job. What would you be doing?”

Step #4—There are no right answers to these questions.

Knowing that there’s no right answer takes some of the pressure off of you and your patron, allowing you to relax and be helpful.

Whatever direction the person eventually chooses, it is up to him or her to make that choice work. Your goal is to make sure the person looks deeply enough inward to find suitable answers.

At some level, everybody has something they would really like to do. Your job is to help them discover it.

Step #5—Point them toward the Occupation Matcher assessment in Job and Career Accelerator.

It would not be unusual to find people who have no idea what they would like to do. This is the perfect time to have them take an online assessment.

Answering a bunch of targeted questions about what you like and dislike can really provide helpful information. It’s not how they answer any one question that matters; it’s the pattern formed by all of their answers that is key. Encourage your patrons to take the assessment, to learn the kinds of things they are likely to enjoy.

Step #6–Why enjoyment matters.

Most research over the last 30 years shows that people perform better and keep jobs longer when they are doing something they are engaged in and like doing.


Whether your patron has done some soul-searching or used the Occupation Matcher, encourage her/him to take the steps necessary to make their career goals a reality. Also, congratulate yourself on learning to wear yet another hat in your library or college, as a functioning career advisor!

Recommended reading to help with issues in this economic time, check out the following:

What Color Is Your Parachute, 2011 edition. Chapters 1 & 2, but especially pages 5 – 12 and “Story #3” on page 27.

Attend the upcoming webinar presented by Jim Kelly


Hiring Outlook Improves for Class of 2011

Wednesday, December 8th, 2010

As a current college student or recent grad, it’s hard to ignore the constant drumbeat of negativity on the employment market coming from the media. To read the news, you would think that the only way students are going to be able to find a job is to pack up and move to China. Fortunately, a recent survey by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) has some good news to offer about the state of the job market.

Although this statistic doesn’t quite indicate that we’re entering an employment boom, it does suggest that the job market is in healthier shape than it has been for the past few years. A similar NACE survey from 2009 projected that hiring of recent grads would drop by 21.6%.

Despite the good news, the job market is still competitive, especially for entry-level positions. As NACE spokesperson Andrea Koncz told the US News and World Report, companies “do have jobs available” . . . they just don’t have money for recruiting. Translation: College grads are going to have to go to the employer, because the employers aren’t coming to them.

To find these jobs, encourage jobseekers to take the time to do a little research. Suggest that they use the Job & Career Accelerator’s “Find Jobs & More” feature, make a list of companies they’d like to work for and visit the company websites directly—many companies will list positions on their own websites that aren’t posted anywhere else on the web. Once a job seeker has applied for a job, have them check out these do’s and don’ts for following through. Of course, regardless of where the job search takes a new grad, it never hurts to mention on a resume that her or she speaks fluent Mandarin.