Archive for May, 2008

Smooth Sailing for Your Job Hunt: Heat Up Your Interview Skills

Sailing on the Sun

Photo by Auer1816

Seeking smooth sailing for your interviews?

Logically, once you have a hot resume and network for success, it’s key to focus on interviewing skills to win the job. A summary for those hoping to heat up their job search for the summer season:

Prepare for your interview. Decide how to connect your skills to the employer’s needs.

Avoid typical interviewing blunders and turn your interviewer into a fan!

Know how to answer the most important underlying interview questions.

Have structured replies to behavioral interview questions.

Don’t forget to follow up your interviews with a timely thank you note.

Know what to wear. Know what NOT to wear

Don’t miss interview red flags. Don’t get involved in a bad situation if you can help it!

Keppie Careers will conduct mock interviews and help you prepare to blow your interviewer away with clear, concise and correct answers to important interview questions! www.keppiecareers.com

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Heat Up Your Job Hunt With Hot Resume Tips

Photo by Lallyna

Keep the sun rising on
your job hunt with a hot
resume!

A job search can be so overwhelming…A resume may represent a huge obstacle if you have been thinking of looking for a better job or making a career change. How can you put something together that will give you the best chance of landing the position that you seek?

Obviously, the easiest plan is to hire Keppie Careers to handle your resume! You won’t believe the peace of mind that can come from having a trained professional write your resume. Here is a summary of things to think regarding your resume if you are getting started on a summer job hunt:

A resume is a marketing document, not a laundry list of “stuff” you have done.

The point of a resume is to demonstrate your value to the employer. You must connect your value to their needs.

Be sure that your resume represents your career stage. For example, if this is not your first job out of school, you may want to consider moving your “education” section from the top of your document.

Remember, although no one resume style or type is right for every job seeker, there are some do’s and don’ts for resume writing!

A resume should include skills and accomplishments, including soft skills. It is okay to brag a little in a resume Just be sure that you support anything in your resume. Employers frown on the “perfectionists” with strong “attention to detail” who have typos or grammatical errors in their job search documents!

Save time, money and sanity! Hire us to write a top-notch resume that will get you noticed for all the right reasons! www.keppiecareers.com.

Heating Up Your Network for Job Seeking Success

endless summer

Photo by Rougerouge

How about heating up your network on the beach? Maybe your surfing buddies (or suntanning crew) can connect you to your next best career move. Networking and personal referrals will help you win jobs. You don’t have a crew? Here’s where to unearth your network…

Your network is everyone you know (and everyone they know). Make a list. Include friends, relatives, neighbors, acquaintances and current and past business associates. Start inviting people to join you for coffee. Ask them to tell you about themselves and their jobs. At every meeting, ask for a suggestion of someone else to meet. Do not limit yourself to people who think will help you. Have an open mind and meet with those you DO NOT think will help!

Create a profile on linkedin.com. Use the free tools offered to find people you know and ask to link with them. Tell everyone you know about linkedin and ask them to sign up. To really expand your network, connect with a LION (Linkedin Open Networker.) Use linkedin to help you identify people to contact for informational meetings.

Research organizations in your area that may have opportunities for you. Seek informational meetings with people in those organizations. NOT HR people – those who actually do the type of work you would like to do.

Remember that networking is about building relationships. Consider what YOU can do for others. How can you help them? If you take a sincere interest in giving rather than taking, your network will grow organically.

Keppie Careers will teach you how to network. We’ll also write your resume, teach you interviewing and other job seeking skills and assist you every step of the way! www.keppiecareers.com.

Heat Up Your Job Search: At a Crossroads? 10 Tips to Get Your Job Hunt on the Right Track


Photo by Alan by the Sea Used by permission.

To really start off this week’s “Heat Up Your Job Search” series, an overview of job hunting techniques to get you in the swim of things! Stay tuned this week for more specific compilations on networking, resume writing and interviewing!

  1. Talk to people you do NOT think can help you. Just because someone isn’t in your field doesn’t mean they don’t have useful information for you. (Or you for them.) Our lives intersect in so many points. Think of someone you consider least likely to be able to share good information with you for your search. Meet for coffee. You may be surprised!
  2. Network generously. Think how you can help others instead of what they may offer you.
  3. Optimize your online presence, but don’t waste time zapping a lot of resumes to ads on large job boards. The possibilities to connect are endless: Blogs, networking sites such as linkedin.com, large and small social networks provide opportunities to “meet” professionals from every industry.
  4. Evaluate your resume. Is it top notch? If not, consider hiring Keppie Careers to rewrite it for you! A professionally written resume will shorten your search and may qualify you for a higher-paying position.
  5. Customize your resume for EVERY job. It is worth your time. If you want to get your foot in the door, your resume must clearly outline how your skills and accomplishments solve a problem for the employer. It is your job to offer clear reasons to interview you.
  6. Evaluate your interviewing skills. Are you selling yourself? Your resume got you in the door; the interview is your chance to show the employer that you really have what it takes to join their team.
  7. Vet your references. They have the potential to seal the deal for you. Do you know what they might say?
  8. Appearance matters. Cut your hair. Shine your shoes. Invest in a nice suit.
  9. Don’t let your job hunt consume you. Frequent exercise, support or networking groups and chocolate can be good stress relievers! Don’t spend every minute on your job hunt. You still need to have a life! Plus, you never know – it could be someone you meet on a trip to the grocery store or a seatmate on an airplane while on vacation who winds up linking you to your next job!
  10. Consider hiring a career coach. Would you set your own broken bone? Wire your own home for electricity? Do you cut your own hair? Most would say “no.” The same standard should apply when job seeking. If you aren’t an expert on the job hunt, getting some advice will help you advance your search. It may also save you time, money and sanity in the long run!

Keppie Careers will write your resume and help you every step of the way! www.keppiecareers.com.

Sun’s Up on Your Job Search – Summer Job Hunting

Sun's up
Photo by Andedam

Since this is a holiday week and represents the start of the summer season, I thought it would make sense to take the opportunity to post some compilations of tips to help you heat up your job search!

If you’ve been putting off really launching your job hunt until “the summer,” the time is now!

Don’t wait around for the new year to get your job search in gear. This week’s blogs will include tips for general job searching, networking, resume writing and interviewing.

Stay tuned!

Keppie Careers will help you with every aspect of your job search. Need a great resume? A hot cover letter? Interview tips? Keppie Careers is here to encourage, enlighten and empower YOU! www.keppiecareers.com.

Elevator Pitch – Micro Tips

I’ve written before about the elevator pitch – your value proposition or a personal infomercial. This pitch is a brief introduction to you with a focus on what you have to offer your target audience. I’ve offered tips about writing a succinct pitch that is useful and to the point.

Recently, I presented on this topic to a group of women considering making changes in their lives and careers. In my presentation, I suggested an elevator pitch of 35 words or less.

Today, I noticed that Netshare Inc’s blog focuses on the “micro pitch,” which is an “escalator” pitch that is complete in 140 characters, the number allowed on Twitter. The key is to “get to the point.”

Since not everyone will need to condense a pitch to 20 words or less, I’m suggesting thinking of the answer to the question, “What do you do?” in 35 words or less.

Answer these questions in your pitch:

  • What do you do? What do you offer? What makes you special and unique? (Relative to the person you’re meeting.)
  • What is your goal/objective? What do you WANT to do?
  • What impact do you have? What results do you create?
  • How do you create positive results?

Use this template. Note that the information doesn’t need to be in this exact order (see sample):

I work with (target audience) to (situation/solve what problem_). This is how (results/impact).

Here’s a sample pitch for Keppie Careers:
I encourage, enlighten and empower job seekers for success by writing top-notch resumes and providing a toolbox of practical tips and advice to help them overcome obstacles and approach job searches with clarity and confidence. (35 words)

Do you think you can narrow down your value and explain it in 35 words or less? I’d love to know your pitch. Add yours to the comments for the chance to win a 30-minute free career coaching session with me!

Keppie Careers will help with every stage of your job hunt: www.keppiecareers.com.

It’s Never Too Late to Network for Success

Photo by dsevilla

Recently, Brazen Careerist blogger Monica O’Brian posted a blog titled, “Need a Job? Forget About Building a Network Now.” I am a big proponent of networking all of the time and agree that it takes consistent effort to nurture and grow a strong network of people who will support your career and job searches. I also believe that ANY time is a good time to network; it’s never too late. Monica’s post made me think that many job seekers may believe that it is too late to network if they are thrust into a job search. I would like to offer a different opinion:

It is never too late to network successfully.

Monica notes that “Building a network is a lot like planning your retirement; it takes a lot of little inputs over a long period of time.” Yes, ideally retirement planning should start from day one of your working life. The compounding nature of investing money over decades will (hopefully) lead to a nice nest egg when it is time to stop working. However, if you haven’t started saving money in your 40s or 50s, does it mean that you shouldn’t bother to start? Of course not. Any money that you save will help you in the long run. Similarly, even if you are networking at the 11th hour, any one contact you meet is better than having none.

Let’s face it, you could make one connection that leads you directly to information or the job of your dreams. It does not necessarily take a slew of meetings, coffees and large networking events to find that one person. Any networking is better than no networking at all, so don’t be discouraged. Look ahead and move forward with a positive attitude and a plan.

Many people assume that only strong connections are likely to lead to a job. Monica suggests that job seekers should rely on friends who know them well to connect them to appropriate opportunities. In fact, research demonstrates that “weak ties” are always more important than strong ties for job searching. This comes from Malcolm Gladwell’s book, The Tipping Point. He says,

“Your friends, after all, occupy the same world that you do. They might work with you, or live near you, and go to the same churches, schools or parties. How much, then, would they know that you wouldn’t know? Your acquaintances, on the other hand, by definition occupy a very different world than you. They are much more likely to know something that you don’t” (p.54).

In order to network beyond your immediate circle of friends, you will need to make an effort to extend yourself. Use linkedin or other appropriate social networking sites and attend meetings or programs where you are likely to encounter people in your field who could offer information and resources that you need.

If you sit around and bemoan the fact that you don’t have a network, you are only wasting more time! If you plan to drive you own career bus, get behind the wheel and start networking. It’s never too late to start a good thing!

Keppie Careers will help you network for success. Need a great resume? Linkedin profile? www.keppiecareers.com.


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