Archive for the 'Job Seeking in Recession' Category

Keppie Careers Invited to Participate in Job Action Day

I’m happy to announce that Quintessential Careers’ Founder and Publisher, Randall S. Hansen, invited me to participate in Job Action Day 2008, which is set for Monday,  November 3rd. I am thrilled to be included in this initiative to help “job-seekers and workers to confront the current economic crisis head-on and take action steps to improve their careers.” (Read the full press release HERE.)

It’s wonderful to be in such terrific company as an invited Job Action Day blogger. Other participants listed on the press release include:

Alexandra Levit: Alexandra Levit’s Water Cooler Wisdom
Barbara Safani: CareerSolvers
Career Manangement Alliance Blog
Curt Rosengren: The M.A.P. Maker [Meaning Abundance & Passion]
Diane Danielson: THE WOMEN’SDISH with Diane & Friends
Lindsey Pollak: Lindsey Pollak Blog – Career Advice & Commentary
Louise Fletcher: blueskyresumesblog
Maggie Mistal: what if…
Steven Rothberg: CollegeRecruiter.com Blog
Wendy Terwelp: Rock Your Career
Willy Franzen: One Day, One Job

I hope you’ll support Job Action Dayby reading and commenting on the blogs from these terrific career professionals! Be sure to come right back to this blog on Monday to read my contribution!

Could you use some free career advice?  Subscribe for free up-to-date tips to help with your job hunt! Click here to subscribe to receive future blogs sent directly to you via email! Prefer to subscribe in a reader? Click here for a link to receive Keppie Careers’ feed sent to the reader of your choice.

Need help to jump start your search? We can help you with a successful job hunt. Need a great resume? Career search advice? Mock interview? Visit Keppie Careers online for information about our services: www.keppiecareers.com.

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Suddenly Unemployed: What Steps to Take Now

It is a sad state of affairs when previously top-rated and well-respected firms go belly up and leave a slew of dedicated, talented, but unemployed workers in their wake.

I worked on Wall Street and survived one lay-off before deciding to change industries. My department and ultimately the firm was subsequently swallowed up, so I feel particularly empathetic. Many who believed that a Wall Street job was their golden ticket must now take a deep breath and figure out plan B.

In light of today’s situation, and in particular for Lehman and Merrill employees (and AIG…), here are some action steps to consider:

Pause, but don’t stop.

If you don’t have a great network and job search materials at-the-ready, facing an unexpected job loss can be very overwhelming. Take a moment to take stock, but don’t take a month. Consider potential next steps. Assess your skills and figure out what you offer that is unique and special. In an environment where many people are looking for opportunities at once, you need to be able to identify what sets you apart.

In a post for the Wall Street Journal, “Dealing with a Job Search When You Least Expect It”: Toddi Gutner notes: “Despite the need to mobilize a quick job search, ‘you don’t want to send out a bunch of things into the marketplace without any thought behind it,’ says Mr. [Doug] Matthews [CEO of Right Management Consultants]. Take some time to create a thoughtful and measured approach to your job hunt. Be specific about the position you want and target the companies where you want to work.” (Hat tip: Lindsey Pollak)

Clean up your digital footprint.

Especially if you’ve been thrown into a job search unexpectedly – IMMEDIATELY clean up your social networking profiles so that they are professional and wouldn’t cause any potential employer to think twice about hiring you. (Including your photos – make sure you are dressed like you are ready for work in your highlighted pictures.) Set a Google alert so you know when your name comes up online. With 1 in 5 employers researching candidates online, an un-professional comment or picture may be the difference between getting the job and being the #2 choice.

Network smart.

You already know. Network, network, network. But, do you know how? If you’re not familiar with social networks (linkedin, Facebook, Twitter, blogging, etc.), now is the time to get familiar!

When you are planning your networking, focus on information gathering and sharing. Don’t ask for informational meetings to discuss your need for a job. If that person doesn’t have a job to offer, he or she will probably not want to meet with you and will suggest you contact HR.

The key with your networking is to expand your group of “loose contacts” – people who don’t know you well, but are willing to do what they can to help you achieve your goal. If you can present yourself as talented and skilled and make a personal connection, you will get much further with your job hunt.

Job hunt full time, but don’t be a workaholic.

Make a plan. Get up, get dressed, make appointments, keep a to-do list. Have goals for your job hunt as you do for your work life. I don’t have to tell you that this is a stressful time, but don’t feel the need to be job hunting 100% of your day. Take time to enjoy yourself and seek supportive groups to help you get through this tough time. Take time to vent and to be angry, but try to achieve a positive outlook, as that will help you in the long run.

Consider the cost benefits of seeking career advice.

The fact is, most people don’t have a very good resume and have no idea how to search for a job in today’s economy. In a competitive environment, your job seeking materials (this includes your linkedin profile and web 2.0 presence) will be even more important. Money may be tight, but hiring a coach and/or a resume writer might be just the boost you need to propel your search. Anita Bruzzese, career advice columnist and author suggests,

“If you don’t think you can afford a career coach, consider giving up some of the extras in your life (a gym membership, eating out, cable television, etc.) which can can help you pay for a coach.”

Consider the cost of unemployment and the fact that you are much more likely to land a job in a timely way if you have a great resume, understand how to market yourself and are well prepared to interview and negotiate.

The list of things to do when suddenly facing a job hunt is very long…Those who make a plan and  methodically move toward their goals are most likely to achieve them.

Some links that might be useful:

If you want to receive free up-to-date tips to help with your job hunt, Click here to subscribe to receive future blogs sent directly to you via email! Prefer to subscribe in a reader? Click here for a link to receive Keppie Careers’ feed sent to the reader of your choice.

We can help you with a successful job hunt. Need a great resume? Career search advice? Visit Keppie Careers online for information about our services: www.keppiecareers.com.

Should You Hire Someone to Write Your Resume?

Have you looked at your resume lately? Really looked at it with a critical eye? Does it highlight your skills and accomplishments? Or, is it a laundry list of “stuff” you’ve done? Are you sure that it demonstrates all that you have to offer a potential employer?

Sure, you’ve shown it to your friends, maybe even a colleague or two. They think it looks fine, even great! When is the last time they studied the art of resume writing? Do they realize that, in some cases, human eyes will not even see your resume until after it is screened by a computer? Did they explain that you’ll be lucky to get a 10-second glance for your resume on a first go-around?

The fact is, most people are not resume writing experts. While everyone has an opinion, we all know how useful an uninformed opinion can be.

Have you been sending your resume out but not getting any response? Blaming it on the economy or your experience level? Those factors certainly have a role, but it is more than likely that a professionally written resume would yield better results. Do you really want to face the job market with documents that are not optimized?

Many job seekers don’t stop to consider how much money a less-than-optimal resume costs them. Consider, if you are unemployed, how much money do you lose for every day that you are out of work? If your resume isn’t top-notch, you may not appear qualified for the salary that you seek or deserve. A professionally written resume will help shorten your job search and may qualify you for a higher salary. Your return on investment in yourself may pay off substantially!

Does everyone need to hire someone to write their resume? No, I don’t think so. If you are a great writer and have kept up with resume trends, understand how to focus the reader on the key points and can objectively assess your document to ensure that you aren’t letting misplaced modesty prevent you from incorporating your very best accomplishments, you might be a great candidate for writing your own resume.

On the other hand, who has the energy or the inclination to keep up with “resume-ology?” I do! Helping people successfully navigate their job hunt is my passion. I keep up with the market, learn about new technology and approaches and stay plugged in because you don’t have the time, expertise or desire to do it.

Do you want to achieve your career goals and save money? Your career is one of your most crucial financial investments. Whether you are actively engaged in a search, underemployed or unhappily employed, it makes sense to hire an ally for your job hunt. An ally tells it like it is and helps you get where you need to be. Are you committed to discovering what you have to offer an employer? If you are motivated to make a change, Keppie Careers is here for you!

For more resume advice from my blog, click here.

If you’d like a free assessment of your resume, feel free to email it to results@keppiecareers.com.

If you want to receive free up-to-date tips to help with your job hunt, Click here to subscribe to receive future blogs sent directly to you!

Visit Keppie Careers online for free advice and information about our services: www.keppiecareers.com.

photo by mailophobia

Lost At Sea? Career Search Strategies and Tips for Today’s Job Market

Can you believe it is already August? Before you know it, you’ll blink and it’ll be Labor Day, and the summer will really be over.

Unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be a lot of good news in the employment sector. Rough waters continue to prevail, and many may be feeling lost at sea in a turbulent economy. Careerbuilder.com summarized the latest data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which released its monthly summary of job data for July 2008:

  • Unemployment rose from 5.5% in June to 5.7% in July.
  • There were 51,000 fewer jobs in July. Total job loss for 2008 so far is 463,000. That is an average of 66,000 jobs lost per month.
  • The most notable losses were in construction, manufacturing and employment services. The drop for employment services indicates far fewer companies are using temporary help.
  • The report also mentioned that teenagers and young adults who usually take on part-time jobs during the summer have had challenges in finding a job this year.

What does all of this mean to you?

It depends. If you work in one of the harder-hit sectors, it could very well mean that your job is in jeopardy, and you need to start thinking about what you will do if you are out of work.

I’ve written a lot about job seeking in a recession. Some links that might be useful:

You are still feeling lost in a tailspin of negative jobs data? You can’t focus on what to do next? Here is some advice from my friend and colleague, Walter Akana, Certified Personal Branding Strategist at Threshold Consulting:

Stop everything! Evaluate where you have been, what you most want to do and think about where you can do it. Walter suggests answering the following questions from the book Zen and the Art of Making a Living:

  • What work best reflects who I am?
  • Whom do I want to serve/work with?
  • What will I most enjoy doing?
  • To what will I be willing to devote myself?

To help evaluate alternatives and focus, Walter recommends creating a personal career alternatives matrix. List your ideal job criteria, interests and capabilities in the first column, and then three or four alternatives in successive columns. This exercise is designed to help you focus on getting on a track that suits you, which might be a very different track from the one you’ve been on most recently!

Take the plunge and look for a job! Still need a great resume? Some help to write the perfect cover letter? I’m here to help! Write to me.

If you want to receive free up-to-date tips to help with your job hunt, Click here to subscribe to receive future blogs sent directly to you!

Photo by Irish Sheep

Another Reason Not to Spend A Lot of Time on Job Boards

Have you been spending a lot of your job search time online, looking for job postings and applying for opportunities listed on large job boards? Do you ever believe that your application is going straight into a black hole?

I discourage my clients from spending very much time replying to online job boards. Some recruiters post jobs they may not be filling immediately (or ever), and applications actually may be going into resume limbo.

While there are people who land jobs from sending an online resume, the majority of successful job seekers find opportunities via networking.

Another important point to remember: Organizations like to hire people who AREN’T looking for a job! How ironic is that? Passive job seekers are desirable for the same reason that some people like to date a partner who is “hard to get.” Obviously, posting on a job board isn’t a great way to attract passive job hunters! I’ve written about how linkedin is filling this need for a passive job seeker database for many employers. Some expect it to replace big job boards such as “Monster.”

Yesterday, I read compelling information from Alison Doyle, who just celebrated 10 years of writing the Job Search blog for about.com. Alison reported that job posting online is declining. She points out that the Conference Board notes that is is the fourth consecutive month of year-over-year decline.

Alison says:

Monster’s job postings were down 18% in April and 21% in May. Overall, The Conference Board reported that online job postings dropped 13% in May.

Some of it is, of course, due to the difficult economy and less hiring in a soft job market.

That’s only part of what’s happening. There is also a trend towards actively recruiting candidates on professional networking sites like LinkedIn. Which is why it’s important to make sure employers can find you when you’re job searching.

(Regular readers know that I love to link to other experts who agree with my advice!)

Keep this in mind the next time you sit down to apply for 100 jobs online – employers are shifting their focus, and so should you! This is yet another reason to enhance your linkedin profile. You don’t want a typo or sub-par linkedin description to discourage potential employers from contacting you. Keywords are just as important to your linkedin summary as in your resume! Keppie Careers is happy to help enhance your profile for success….Just email your inquiry to: results@keppiecareers.com.

In a rapidly changing job seeking environment, it is hard to keep up with the latest trends to conduct a well-designed job hunt. Who has time? We do! Keppie Careers will write your resume and navigate you through the difficult waters that a job search may present. Contact us: results@keppiecareers.com.

photo by: jurvetson

Why Hire a Career Coach?

As college graduation season wraps up soon, it seemed like as good a time as any to remind everyone why hiring a career coach can be the difference between getting the job and NOT even getting an interview. ..

Would you pull your own tooth? Wire your own home for electricity? Do you cut your own hair? Most would say “no.” If it is important (involving our health, safety or appearance), we hire an expert.

The same principle should apply when job seeking. Your career is one of your most crucial financial investments. Whether you are actively engaged in a search, underemployed or unhappily employed, it makes sense to consult an expert as you embark on your search for a new job.

Most people don’t welcome the idea of a job hunt. It is hard work and may seem scary. Wouldn’t it be nice to have an experienced ally who will help you every step of the way? Keppie Careers’ mission is to encourage, enlighten and empower job seekers and provide a toolbox of practical tips and support. When we work together, you will overcome obstacles keeping you from making positive changes in your life. We offer confidence, clarity and job search know-how!

Career coaches add value on a number of fronts. Keppie Careers can help you with any of the following:

Goals assessment. Are you at a transitional point in your career? You aren’t sure what your next step should be? Keppie Careers can help you identify what you want next and get you on the right path to achieving your goals.

Critique and rewrite your resume and letters. Do you really want to face the job market with documents that are not optimized? Often, job seekers don’t view their resumes objectively. Misplaced modesty prevents them from incorporating their very best accomplishments. Ignorance of the resume’s purpose (it’s a sales document, not a laundry list of things you did) precludes them from producing a top-notch result.

Many job seekers don’t stop to consider how much money a less-than-optimal resume costs them. Consider, if you are unemployed, how much money you lose for every day that you are out of work? If your resume isn’t top-notch, you may not appear qualified for the salary that you seek or deserve. A professionally written resume will help shorten your job search and may qualify you for a higher salary. Your return on investment in yourself may pay off substantially!

Learn how to sell yourself. You must identify and be able to effectively describe your skills and accomplishments. Keppie Careers not only writes your resume, but helps you recognize your marketable skills. Once you know what you have to offer, your ability to sell yourself via networking and in interviews increases exponentially!

General job search skills. Do you know how to look for a job? How savvy is your networking plan? Do you know where hiring managers are sourcing candidates? Do you know how to avoid common pitfalls? Keppie Careers does!

Interview preparation. Tell us about yourself? What’s your weakness? What do you have to offer? Why should we hire you? Do you know the answers to these and other important interview questions? More importantly, do you know how to structure and deliver your answers to ensure optimal results? If not, you may be wasting your time. We all know that “time is money.”

Negotiating. Entering an interview or negotiation unprepared will cost you. Keppie Careers can help you prepare so you don’t lose money.

Career market knowledge. We spend our time keeping up with the market. We learn about new technology and approaches and stay plugged in because you don’t have the time, expertise or desire to do it. Helping people along their career path is our passion.

Do you want to achieve your career goals and save money? Hire an ally for your job hunt. An ally tells it like it is and helps you get where you need to be. Are you committed to discovering what you have to offer an employer? If you are motivated to make a change, Keppie Careers is here for you!

Visit us online for free advice and information about our services:
www.keppiecareers.com. Have questions? Email us at: results@keppiecareers.com.

Silver Lining to Recession for Workers?



Photo by Where are the Joneses

Do you see a proverbial “glass half full”

in this recession?

I’m on a listserve run by Peter Shankman called Help A Reporter Out (HARO). The purpose of the list is to connect experts and regular people with reporters and authors who have specific inquiries for projects such as books, newspapers, magazines, blogs and all types of media outlets. It’s free to join. The emails you’ll receive come with a dose of humor from Peter and some insight into what you might be hearing and reading about in the future. (Reporters, writers, experts and regular people can join by following this link.)

Today’s morning post (there are 3 a day) had an interesting inquiry. A freelance writer is doing a story with the theme, “Upside of the Recession.” (Listserv rules prohibit me from re-posting her contact info, but I don’t think Peter will mind that his list inspired my blog today!)

I’ve posted quite a bit about how to recession proof your job, job searching in a recession and tips for when job hunting prospects look bleak. With job seekers worried about their employment prospects, people losing their positions due to downsizing and prices for everything important going up, up and up…

Is there a silver lining to the recession
from the worker’s perspective?

At least one person I know thinks so. Nolan Feintuch, a real estate professional in Atlanta, believes that the housing market slow-down offers a “great opportunity for realtors to grow their businesses.” He notes:

Many agents are leaving the business and those who are serious are having to get back to basic sales skills to build their client base. It is common for agents to boost their careers during down markets.

Do you see any silver lining? Let me know in the comments section…

Keppie Careers with help you put your best foot forward for your job search. Need a great resume? Don’t know how to start your search? www.keppiecareers.com


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