Category Archives: workplace

Job Search Tips in a Down Economy

It is a tough market out there. How will you stand out from the high numbers of job applicants? Find a way – differentiate. Here is what one smart fellow did to get attention.

Here are some job search and resume writing tips and statistics from the GADOL:

How people are finding their jobs:

Internet search – 3% jobs found here
Company web sites – 8% (and rising)
Newspapers – 5%
Staffing agencies, recruiters, libraries, churches, etc. – 15%
GDOL – 1%
Networking – 80% of jobs filled are NEVER advertised. (Wow.)

So where should you spend most of your time on a job search?

Resume Writing

Write for the HR Manager
– 9 out of 10 resumes don’t pass the first screener
– Put specific job at the top of the resume – customize each one
– Include keywords (industry, skills, qualifications, attitude)

Recommended books:

  1. 101 Best Resumes to Sell Yourself
  2. 2500 Keywords to Get you Hired
  3. e-Resumes – The Best Way to Work the Internet

Survey – HR Managers look for

  • Job skills – 15%
  • Teamwork – 20%
  • Attitude – 65%

Resume Tips

  • Don’t use improper email address for contact information (hotmama at hotmail.com)
  • Bold number and email address
  • Customize title of resume to job you are applying for at top center of page just under contact information
  • Just list jobs in the last 10-15 years unless it’s relevant to the job you apply for
  • Don’t put your year of graduation

Job search and other tips:

Indeed.com – aggregate job search engine (use different keywords for job titles)
11 Alive job search
Order 250 free business cards from VistaPrint and just pay shipping.
Network with everyone you are in contact with.
Write thank you cards – get a pack at the Dollar Store.
Get a memory stick and keep resume and work samples on it.

Other sites I have found while searching:

Jobfox.com – list resume free, show full profile, get text messages when company looks at your listing
Visualcv.com – list resume and portfolio, share through social media
Linkedin – online resume and networking site
Twitter search – search for jobs using keywords like “sales manager” on Twitter
Social mention – social media search engine – search sites for jobs and set up alerts

See my original job search post here – Laid off? Job looking shaky? Now what do you do? 5 Tips to Build Your Network Right Now.

Share

Remember to Say Thank You.

Always remember to say thank you. After Christmas, I had my daughter create a picture and I scanned it and made a thank you card with a picture of the girls as well as the crayon drawing. The family loved it and commented about it.

A few years ago I was working for an online ecommerce company and was struggling with getting some graphics created. A colleague stepped in to help me out and he created the graphic. I sent him a Hallmark ecard as a thank you. He later told me that no one had ever thanked him like that and he was so happy. I had thought about not sending one – thinking it might seem hokey to him, but after hearing that I was glad that I did.

In business, you can simply verbally thank an employee for a job well done, send an ecard to a vendor or partner or run a campaign and thank your customers. It is a simple thing that you can do for a cheap price and believe it or not, makes a world of difference!

Georgia Department of Labor Gets a Facelift

With Georgia’s unemployment rate currently at 10.7% and rising, the GA Department of Labor is a very busy office indeed.

I learned that they have rebranded the state unemployment offices and now call them Career Centers. (I also picked up a few interesting job search tips from employment seminars that they are hosting.)

In the past, state unemployment offices were usually run down buildings where people would go to collect unemployment in a negative atmosphere. Since 1998, State Labor Commissioner Michael Thurmond had a vision to change the perception of these centers and improve communication how the DOL can help the unemployed reenter the workforce.

Georgia’s centers have been revamped and rebranded as Career Centers. The buildings are bright new facilities with a computer lab, meeting rooms and many resources for job seekers and employers. There is a more positive atmosphere than in the past and the employees are helpful and positive. The DOL is offering job fairs and seminars in places like the Forsyth County library. As a result, Georgia has been ranked one of the top states for reentering its unemployed into the workforce.

The Georgia Department of Labor (GDOL) operates 53 electronically connected local Career Centers offering a wide range of services to both job seekers and employers. The Centers provide individuals seeking employment all the latest tools to find and keep that special job. Employers will find assistance in recruiting new employees including a national job listing network, applicant screening, and space in the centers to conduct testing and employment interviews.

In addition to offering tips, I have received a job search handbook that is very thorough and helpful called RePLACE Yourself. Here are the job search and resume writing tips from the GADOL Reemployment Seminars I have been attending:

How people are finding their jobs:

Internet search – 3% jobs found here
Company web sites – 8% (and rising)
Newspapers – 5%
Staffing agencies, recruiters, libraries, churches, etc. – 15%
GDOL – 1%
Networking – 80% of jobs filled are NEVER advertised. (Wow.)

So where should you spend most of your time on a job search?

Resume Writing

Write for the HR Manager
– 9 out of 10 resumes don’t pass the first screener
– Put specific job at the top of the resume – customize each one
– Include keywords (industry, skills, qualifications, attitude)

Recommended books:

  1. 101 Best Resumes to Sell Yourself
  2. 2500 Keywords to Get you Hired
  3. e-Resumes – The Best Way to Work the Internet

Survey – HR Managers look for

  • Job skills – 15%
  • Teamwork – 20%
  • Attitude – 65%

Resume Tips

  • Don’t use improper email address for contact information (hotmama at hotmail.com)
  • Bold number and email address
  • Customize title of resume to job you are applying for at top center of page just under contact information
  • Just list jobs in the last 10-15 years unless it’s relevant to the job you apply for
  • Don’t put your year of graduation

Job search and other tips:

Indeed.com – aggregate job search engine (use different keywords for job titles)
11 Alive job search
Order 250 free business cards from VistaPrint and just pay shipping.
Network with everyone you are in contact with.
Write thank you cards – get a pack at the Dollar Store.
Get a memory stick and keep resume and work samples on it.

Other sites I have found while searching:

Jobfox.com – list resume free, show full profile, get text messages when company looks at your listing
Visualcv.com – list resume and portfolio, share through social media
Linkedin
Twitter search
See my original job search post here – Laid off? Job looking shaky? Now what do you do? 5 Tips to Build Your Network Right Now.

Laid off? Job looking shaky? Now what do you do? 5 Tips to Build Your Network Right Now.

If you are reading this, then I am very sorry for what you are going through. Allow yourself time to mourn being laid off and feeling bad. It is part of the process. Just know that it will get better.

I have been laid off twice in my thirtysomething life. It sucks, and no matter what anyone says, you take it personally. Here are some things that will help you build your network if you are laid off or think you might lose your job in the near future. (Everyone should already be building their network a little bit each day, even if you don’t need one right now.)

1) Create accounts (if you do not already have them) on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter. Post your profile and mention in your status that you are on the job hunt and for what particular job/industry you are in. Your network is anyone and everyone that you know and making these connections can be valuable in many ways. Search for friends and previous coworkers on LinkedIn & FB, join relevant industry groups, ask and answer questions and get references on LinkedIn, follow industry leaders and people in your profession on Twitter and join in on the conversation.

2) List your resume on job boards – Monster, Careerbuilder, JobFox.com, Craigslist, etc.. Don’t just list what tasks you did at previous jobs. Think benefits. What skills can you offer an employer? Think if you were hiring someone, what qualities, experience and strengths would you look for? What do you want in your next job? Is it a good time to make a switch to another career or do you want to stay in the same role? Do some soul searching and talk to friends for advice.

3) Search indeed.com for jobs on multiple web sites. Create email alerts with it and other job search sites. Create Twitter and Google keyword alerts. Search blogs on Technorati about jobs in your industry.

4) Create a blog. Identify and follow/read the leaders in your industry. Read the local newspaper. Start reading and learning all that you can about your industry and write in your blog about it. Share your thoughts and expertise. Link to your profiles on Twitter/Facebook/Linkedin/JobFox listings. Read other blogs and comment on them and link back to your blog. WordPress offers free blogs.

5) Face time. Utilize the resources at the unemployment office, local churches and if your former employer offers job assistance/outreach. Go to local networking meetings and talk to people. Don’t just rely on the computer and internet. You need face to face time as well. Ask around for a local recruiter in your industry and make a connection. Check the newspaper for local networking meetings, find tweetups and check meetup.com for local groups of interest. Get a personalized business card at MOO to hand out while networking.

There are so many things you can do. Remember, most jobs are found through networking. Get connected and get going! Today is the first day of the rest of your life.

Technorati Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Employers who don’t tell the whole truth when interviewing

After a few weeks of meetings and interviews, my sister was wooed away from her current job back to her older company. She is now discovering that topics they discussed in the interview were not covered as honestly as they should have. Now that she is there and seeing just what a mess the company is, especially after a merger, what can she do? What are her rights? I am curious to know how often this occurs in the US and why companies can get away with lies and half-truths in interviews.

This has also happened repeatedly at my office. People are told one thing, and they arrive and discover that in fact that was not true.

There oughta be a law.

Why saying "Thank you" is more than just good manners

Why saying “Thank you” is more than just good manners

A 10-year study of 200,000 managers and employees suggests that praising people for a job well done may lead to bigger profits, says Fortune’s Anne Fisher.

By Anne Fisher, Fortune senior writer
April 12 2007: 6:46 AM EDT

NEW YORK (Fortune) — Dear Annie: I changed jobs last year, going from a small company (where I had worked since the start-up phase, over a decade ago) to an organization about 10 times bigger. I’ve made the adjustment pretty well, except for one thing. My old employer was very gung-ho about recognizing people for their achievements. If someone met a tough deadline or went above and beyond for a client, that person got a public pat on the back and maybe even a “prize” like a free dinner for two at a nice local restaurant.

My new company is completely different. No one ever says “thanks” for anything or shows any appreciation for extra effort, and as a result people don’t do anything more than the minimum required to get the job (sort of) done. I think this hurts the business, but I can’t convince my boss. Any thoughts? – Trying to Help

Dear Trying: I’d be willing to bet we’ve all worked in organizations like yours, at one time or another. Many years ago, Fortune had a top editor who made a point of never praising anyone for anything. Asked why not, he replied, “People who are good know they’re good. They don’t need to hear it.” Well, if any proof is needed that that approach to managing people is wrongheaded, here’s where to find it: “The Carrot Principle” (Free Press, $21.00), a fascinating book by Adrian Gostick and Chester Elton, both consultants at Salt Lake City-based consulting firm O.C. Tanner (www.octanner.com).

The book’s subtitle says a mouthful – “How the Best Managers Use Recognition to Engage Their People, Retain Talent, and Accelerate Performance” – but the basic idea is simple: People will work harder and more enthusiastically for an appreciative boss, and companies that praise topnotch performance are more profitable than those that don’t. In a study of 200,000 managers and employees over a 10-year period, Gostick and Elton found that, in companies where few people agreed with the statement “My organization recognizes excellence”, annual return on equity averaged a paltry 2.4 percent. By contrast, companies with a culture that emphasized thanking people for excellent performance racked up returns more than three times as high, at an average of 8.7 percent. (For the complete study, go to www.carrots.com, under Research.)

Of course, anybody who has taken Statistics 101 will tell you that correlation doesn’t always imply causation, and companies that praise their workers are probably doing lots of other things right, too. Even so, at a time when employers are competing fiercely for top talent, the authors note that 79 percent of employees in a recent poll who had quit their jobs cited lack of appreciation as the main reason. It seems saying “thank you” is even more important in retaining people than paying them more money – and a pat on the back is free.

How can you persuade your boss to start recognizing his team’s achievements? Adrian Gostick says that about one-third of managers in the Fortune 100 companies he works with are, like my old editor, dead set against the idea of praising people. “They don’t believe in it. They’re always the ones sitting in the back of the room at our seminars with their arms folded, and that negativity often spreads to others,” he says. “To overcome their resistance, we start by asking why they don’t want to. Often they say they don’t have time. But another big reason is, lots of managers want to be seen as ‘tough’, and recognizing people looks ‘soft’ to them. Another obstacle is that they just don’t know how.”

That doesn’t mean your boss can’t change. Gostick says that, in a former career as vice president of a bank, “I had to be told to recognize people. My employees urged me to do it.” He adds, “We’ve found that, if you encourage a reluctant boss to start with just a few small things, he or she is often pleasantly surprised by the response and will want to do more.”
“The Carrot Principle” is full of creative ideas for thanking employees, and you might take a look at those, and pass a few suggestions along to your boss. But some of them – like buying lunch for all employees who have to work on a Saturday and inviting their families to join them; or springing for an extra plane ticket so a spouse can accompany an employee on a business trip – may be too much for the budget. No problem.

Says co-author Chester Elton, “You don’t need to spend a lot of money to make an employee feel valued. We find that a handwritten thank-you note, which costs next to nothing and takes just a couple of minutes, is something people really love to get. It’s far more effective than an e-mail, especially if it’s timely and specific. It should say, not just ‘Way to go!’, but ‘You did a terrific job on that XYZ project’. We’ve seen people who are so pleased to get these that they keep them for years.”

But let’s say you show your boss the bottom-line results of Gostick and Elton’s research and make a few gentle suggestions for how to start recognizing people, and he doesn’t budge. You know the grassroots-political maxim, “Be the change you’d like to see in the world”? If you were to make a habit of thanking colleagues and praising the people around you for a job well done – beginning with (why not?) your boss – who knows? You just might start something big.
http://money.cnn.com/2007/04/11/news/economy/annie_praise.fortune/index.htm?section=magazines_fortune

Technorati Tags: , , , , , ,

‘The Office’ As a Training Tool

I started watching “The Office” a few months ago on maternity leave. Previously, it was too painful to watch as it reminded me of bad managers and unhealthy workplaces that I have experienced as a worker bee. Now I have been able to get past the pain and laugh. And laugh and laugh.

Here are some interesting insights into “The Office” and how it pertains to real life management and training in the workplace. Worker bees unite! Managers, please read!

NPR Business
‘The Office’ as Management Training Tool
Morning Edition, October 25, 2006 · The dysfunctional workplace portrayed in the TV show The Office rings true to many viewers. It also provides a roadmap of how not to manage a workplace.
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=6380073

Must See TV: Lessons from NBC’s “The Office”
December 01, 2006
What can “The Office” teach you about managing a sales force? Plenty.
By Rebecca Aronauer
http://www.salesandmarketing.com/msg/content_display/publications/e3i778b0e5af917c8c649a51ebf1bd4fe4b?imw=Y

Technorati Tags: , , , , , ,