Posts Tagged ‘Job Hunting’

Jump Start Your Job Search on Twitter

Monday, May 18th, 2009

There are now many great resources now to help job seekers better utilize Twitter in their job search.  I have put together a few of my old favorites and a couple of new ones to help job seekers either get started or take it to the next level. 

The first thing to do after you set up your twitter account is follow some people who regularly post job search advice and job openings on Twitter.  The list below was announced this week by Ryon Harms, The Social Executive, and is a “hand-picked collection of the 100 most influential personal branding gurus, power networkers, resume and interview experts, job boards and fellow executives on Twitter. If you’re seeking out resources to assist you with your job search or for career advice, Harms calls his list the “who’s who of career management.” 

Follow TheCareer100 on Twitter to get assorted posts from all of these resources.  I know or follow many on this list, Ryon did his homework.  For more info about the list check out @TheCareer100 Must-Follow Mavens on Twitter by Ryon Harms, and The Social Executive: @TheCareer100 must-follow mavens on Twitter by Stephanie Lloyd.

Next, go to the Advanced Twitter Search and type in the word jobs in the space next to "This hashtag".  Then type in your zip code next to "Near this place".  Companies and recruiters now regularly attach #jobs to their postings on Twitter to make this a convenient way for job seekers to search.

Hope this is helpful.  Feel free to contact me if you need assistance.  And please follow me on Twitter!  @Fishdogs

Some other good resources to get you going are:

Mashable HOW TO: Find a Job on Twitter

The Wise Job Search: Five Best Ways to Use Twitter for Your Job Search!

Fishdogs: Who Should I Follow on Twitter?

ComputerWorld: Twitter Bible: All You Need To Know About Twitter

The Career 100

Career Tips


Steve Case

Pete Cashmore

TheSocialExec Ryon Harms

ExecutiveMoms Marisa Thalberg


Jack Welch

GL Hoffman

ValueIntoWords JacPoindexter

Dawn Bugni

DebraWheatman Debra Wheatman

Simply Hired

askamanager Alison Green

Kristi Daeda



Careerbright Shweta @Careerbright


ResumeSecrets Resume Writer


Jeff Lipschultz

Ryon Harms

Guy Kawasaki

JobAngels Guardian Angel

Lindsay Olson

Susan P. Joyce

Ken Horst

Slip Squad, CEO

BillVick Bill Vick


Alison Doyle

lindseypollak Lindsey Pollak

Patsy Stewart

Sanjay Sathe

Job Search

indeed – jobs

workerswork jobs

Jacob Share

Tall_Geek Michael

Julie Greenberg


ATLRecruiter Stephanie A. Lloyd

Sheree Van Vreede

Martin Piraino

YourOnRamp Catherine Clifford

TwitJobSearch TwitJobSearch Engine


Mark Stelzner

Peter Clayton

Andrew Hudson

Rick Deare


Chris Havrilla

audreychernoff audrey chernoff

DMular Dawn Mular

Craig Fisher

Dave Carter

Soc Media Headhunter

CincyRecruiter Jennifer McClure


jobsearchnews JobSearchNews

Ashraf_Chaudhry Ashraf Chaudhry

Audrey Chernoff

Paul DeBettignies

chriswoodward Christina Woodward

harveyclay Harvey

Darryl Dioso

slv60 Brandy K



Barry_at_IMPACT Barry Deutsch

Keith McIlvaine

Karla Porter

DaveBenjamin David Benjamin

JobSearchAdvice JobSearchAdvice.Net

William Uranga

DavidGraziano David Graziano

alanweatherbee Alan Weatherbee

Jason Mapplebeck


headhunterbrian Brian Bruce


ResearchReggie Regina Farr

Andy Robinson

Charlie O’Donnell

Dan Schawbel

tferriss Tim Ferriss

Ben Yoskovitz

sherryfm Scheherazade F Mason

Ben Casnocha

ramit Ramit Sethi

jjbuss Jason Buss

Joel Cheesman

Keppie_Careers Miriam Salpeter


Andy Beal

Jason Alba

workforce101 Steve Urquhart

MonsterCareers Monster Careers

exectweets ExecTweets

manpower Manpower

Gayle Howard





Stay Upbeat During the Downbeat

Wednesday, March 25th, 2009

As we all know, behind every dark cloud is a silver lining, right?  When one door closes, another opens.  Things happen for a reason. Don’t you just love cliches?  I met author Jim Atkinson last night and he enlightened me when he said, “Cliches are true.”  And when it comes to job transitions and managing your career, I believe it best to heed Jim’s advice on cliches.

In most cases, in the long run, we benefit from job transitions.  We upgrade our value, increase our breadth of experience, and learn more about the world and ourselves.  The key is to manage the transition and not let the transition manage you.  Looking for a job is not foreign to most people.  Often, it’s just a matter of reminding ourselves of best techniques or learning new ones.  Like riding a bicycle, you never completely forget how, but you can be wobbly at

Riding a bicycle is actually a good analogy for this topic.  I have been asked several times to teach friends’ kids how to ride without training wheels (I guess I’ve become a local expert).  During these sessions with kids, I have discovered there are many commonalities to job searches and career transitions. 

  • You need to keep your balance  — keep going forward!
  • You need to keep your eyes looking forward — look at the road ahead, not the ground.
  • Don’t be afraid — if you fall, you’ll only get a little scrape, nothing life shattering.
  • Once you gain momentum, don’t let up — if it feels right, it is right — pursue the opportunity with fervor.
  • When you learn to go, you still need to learn how to stop — don’t get too cocky, there is always more to learn.
  • Another key skill for both scenarios is changing direction — be sure to steer around obstacles, not into them.  The landscape changes fast.
  • Most of all, in both cases, you need to have confidence in yourself.  You need to believe the cliches, and yes, the glass is half full.

OK, you’re motivated and ready to hit it in stride.  Now what?  Read all the blogs you can find on new and old techniques for managing your career.  Once the advice starts to sound redundant, you’ve probably become an expert.

Additional information:

For IT folks who are unsure how to navigate their career through a slow economy, here are some good insights offered by Computerworld.

How to stay up in a down economy

Laid off or overworked, IT pros still need to mind their emotional health. Here are six ways to keep your outlook bright in dark times.

By Julia King

March 17, 2009 (Computerworld) It doesn’t take a $250 visit to a psychotherapist to confirm what you feel in your gut each morning when you wake up — it’s depressing out there. Market volatility, economic instability, pink slips and the ongoing threat of yet another round of IT layoffs — no wonder you feel like diving back under the covers.

If you’ve been let go, you might worry that you’ll never work again. If you’ve escaped a layoff, “it’s very discouraging when you see colleagues leave because these people were your friends,” says Beverly Lieberman, an IT recruiter and career coach and president of Halbrecht Lieberman Associates Inc.

Employees may feel trapped in a company where “they’re sort of grateful to be still working, but they’re insecure” because virtually no employer is making any guarantees about IT or any other kind of job.

“Everybody is saying you can write off 2009 because there are no indicators it will get any better,” Lieberman sums up. “We’re praying for 2010.”

But that doesn’t mean you have to spend the rest of the year as an emotional cellar dweller. It’s not easy, but it is possible for tech pros to nurture themselves and even bolster their professional credentials during these tough times, whether you’re laid off and looking, or left behind and overworked.

So how exactly do you go about staying up in a down economy? Computerworld gathered tips from a quartet of IT career experts, including Lieberman; Boston-area career coach and author Naomi Karten; IT career expert, author and Computerworld columnist Paul Glen; and Nagesh Belludi, a professional software engineer and program manager at a large multinational company who also regularly counsels IT professionals. Their advice is to do the following:

Return to your roots

Remember why you first got into information technology? Bring back some of that enthusiasm — and maybe even master a new skill — by doing something you’d never be assigned to do on the job, just for the sheer technological challenge of it.

Write a new program, fix one that’s been broken and bugging you for ages, or master a whole new programming language. Or use your tech skills to connect with the world: Build a Web site, create and post an original video on YouTube, or start a blog to share your IT views or showcase your skills. Heck, learn the functions — all of them — of your smartphone.

Get the most from social networking

Building and maintaining a network is important even in good times, but being connected with friends and colleagues can be especially valuable now. So take full advantage of social networking opportunities via Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and other online communities.

A network of contacts can yield advance notice of a company that’s hiring — or laying people off. More broadly, social networking can help you read the tea leaves about the health of various vertical markets (for example, if several of your contacts recently found work in health care or switched out of manufacturing).

Finally, simple human interaction can be uplifting, even if it is electronic. Reconnecting with high school friends, college buddies and old co-workers won’t necessarily help your career directly, but it can do wonders for your outlook by reminding you who you were before you felt like you were nothing but a job or a job search.

Get out into the real world

If you live near a university, check out its technology-transfer center. These are official, university-supported incubators for technology research and start-up tech companies.

Personnel in technology-transfer centers excel at helping people sell the business benefits of technology — a skill that IT professionals could often use help with as well.

“People in IT do not know how to sell themselves. When you look at programmers’ résumés and how they interview, they talk about their skills in terms of C++ and other technical languages,” says Belludi.

“They don’t explain that a project they worked on saved their company hundreds of thousands of dollars or what the business benefits of a project were.”

Beyond that, if you’re thinking at all about striking out on your own or getting work from a small business, local entrepreneur clubs and small-business associations are also good bets. The beauty of smaller, local clubs and associations is the opportunity they offer for face-to-face contact.

Improve your soft skills

Working on your communication, negotiation, relationship-building and presentation talents — the so-called soft skills — can maintain your sense of self-worth now and help you nail a promotion or land a new job further in the future.

Courses are widely available at low cost at local adult education centers and, in some areas, through your local library. Practice the skills you learn as well. Write reviews for — reviews of IT-specific books or any other book or product that excites you. Think of your reviews as an opportunity to practice your writing plus get a little visibility in the process.

Or go a step further and submit a written proposal to speak at a professional association meeting, advises Karten.

These groups are always seeking speakers, and they can benefit from your wisdom and lessons learned.

Being on their agenda creates professional connections that can prove useful, and it also adds a credential to your résumé.

Get smart

Keep sharp mentally and position yourself for the economic upturn by pursuing technical certifications and learning new technical and business skills now. If you’ve been thinking about a bachelor’s or master’s degree, for example, now is the time to enroll. If you’re a manager and want to make it to CIO, enroll in an MBA program. If you have your sights set on being a chief technology officer, go after a master’s degree in computer science.

Another, more affordable, option is to attend webinars hosted by vendors, consultancies and research firms on a weekly basis, often at no charge. Doing so can help you feel less isolated and more in touch with the world outside your office. Webinars can help you stay abreast of the latest tech trends, and they’re an excellent option for the overworked IT pros whose company budgets no longer allow for formal training.

Don’t take it personally

This downturn is affecting companies in every sector and employees of every rank.

As companies cut costs, they’re forced to either overwork or lay off experienced, highly-qualified IT professionals who have done nothing but superb work.

For people still on the job who find themselves constantly worrying about when and where the axe will next fall, Paul Glen has this advice: “Worry about things that are in your control only. Don’t watch too much CNN. It just introduces hysteria. Look around your business to understand the real risks.”

If you’ve been laid off, remember, it’s not you; it’s the economy.

“Being laid off is never considered a negative when managers interview these days,” says Belludi.

“So IT folks should be candid about the fact that they were laid off,” he says. “We ask [candidates] what lessons they’ve learned and what take-aways they have from the problems they’ve experienced while being laid off.”

Your Job Interview IQ

Tuesday, March 17th, 2009

I read an interesting article today written by C.J. Liu of where he asks us to determine our Job Interview IQ.  He asks some pertinent True/False questions about interviewing and provides good insights with the answers.  I’ve added some of my own at the bottom of this post that I’ve discussed with candidates over the years.  Feel free to use the comment option on this post to add one of your own.

What’s Your Job Interview IQ?

by C.J. Liu,

After networking, sending resumes, and waiting patiently by the phone, all your hard work has paid off with an invitation to interview. But, how do you prepare? What do you wear? And, how should you explain any layoffs or gaps in your resume?

Below is a quick quiz to test your interview savvy. Read through the following true-or-false statements to assess your Interview IQ.

1. If I prepare too much for an interview I will seem desperate. (True/False?)

False. There is nothing worse than an unprepared interviewee. Make sure you have done your homework about the organization and the job skills required before the interview. This will help when you’re asked, "Why do you want to work here?" Plus, you can ask knowledgeable questions when your turn comes around.

2. Before the interview, put yourself in the interviewer’s shoes to see things from their perspective.

True. Typically, interviewers are busy and easily distracted. Remember that you may be one of 10 people that they have talked to in the last five hours. Don’t make them struggle to get answers out of you or make sense of your rambling replies.

3. Role-playing to prepare for typical interview questions is really important.

True. Practicing your responses to typical interview questions is paramount. Role-play with a friend and get feedback on how you come across. For example, if you say that you are really excited about the job but sound hesitant, you will not seem credible.

4. If you have reservations about your abilities or skills for the position you should tell the whole truth.

True/False. You should not tell a lie and say you have five years of experience when you really have two. Nor should you fully disclose your inadequacies. If you left your last job because you were fired, there’s no need to bring that up. When the employer asks you about your biggest mistake, pick a less emotionally charged experience and emphasize what you learned from it.

5. A job interview is a one-direction conversation, like on a talk show.

False. Having a one-sided interview can be exhausting for both parties. Make sure to prepare at least 10 engaging and relevant questions to ask. Even better, have some questions about their favorite subject – themselves. An example is, "Tell me about your job and what you love about it?"

6. Interviewers are like dogs; they can smell my fear.

True. Interviewing is the quintessential example of dogs sniffing each other out. Like a dog, the interviewer will be trying to determine your overall confidence. Your body language indicates your level of self-esteem. Remember, a shaking leg or deer-in-headlights expression can matter more than how well you answer the questions.

7. The "real me" will shine through whether I’m dressed in pajamas or a suit.

False. Whether we like it or not, what we wear helps form a first impression. Before the interview, see if you can get some insider information on the dress code and whether it is more casual or formal. If you don’t know, opt for formal. For women, remember it’s about getting a job, not a date. Stay away from low cut or short anything.

8. Sending a thank you note is an important way of standing out.

True. Thank you notes are not only about good etiquette but self-marketing, too. How can a simple card help you seal the deal? Start by mentioning something you learned about your interviewer. You could say, "I really enjoyed our conversation about your first years at Boeing." Then, write a quick summary of the conversation and why you are perfect for the job.

9. Making demands for your ideal salary and vacation in the initial interview is a risky proposition.

True. While you are aching to know the starting salary and benefits right off the bat, it’s a bit risky to ask these types of questions initially. Reserve negotiations on these matters until you have a job offer.

10. It doesn’t matter if I’m five minutes late. Everyone runs late to interviews.

False. It’s OK for your interviewer to be late, but the interviewee needs to be on time or 5-10 minutes early. Even if you have a good reason for being late, the interviewer will make assumptions about your level of organization and how you treat others. Plus, getting there early gives you time to compose yourself and shake off your coffee jitters.

My additions:

11.  When asked the age-old question of where I see myself in five years, I should say, "in your position."

False.  It is good to show ambition in your interview and that you seek growth in your career.  However, unless you have really good information on the career path on this job, you’re guessing as to what the plans for this job are.  It is best to stay generic.  Let them know that you would expect in the next five years, you would have grown your skill set, learned their industry well enough to teach others, have enhanced your abilities in working with all types of people (vendors, clients, colleagues, management), and would be positioned well for any new opportunities the company has planned for you.

12.  When asked what is your pet peeve, you tell them you can’t stand people who eat their lunch at their desk and talk endlessly on the phone to their aunt in Tallahassee.

False.  Although this may be true, there is no need to share this pet peeve of yours.  The reality is, this is a trap question. There really is no good "real" answer.  So instead, use humor or a light-hearted comment that has little relevance.  Example: "I hate when I get my coat caught in the car door on the way to work and everyone is pointing at my car on the way in."  When pressed for more peeves, you can say you’re not the type to get "peeved."

13.  You’ll sound too desperate if you tell them you really want the job.

True/False.  You’ll sound too desperate if you say it in a begging tone or down on your knees.  But, I always advocate sounding very interested in the job.  During the interview, consider it your best option for a job (you can evaluate this assumption later).  Thinking this way will naturally guide your comments to lean toward enthusiasm, true interest, and excitement about the prospect of working there.  Interviewers gage this and want to hire candidates who really do want to work there, not just be employed.

For more insights on all these questions along with interviewing preparation, etiquette, and strategy for answering interviewing questions, feel free to download my eBook available for free on the A-List Solutions web site.

The Art of the Thank You Note

Monday, March 9th, 2009

thank you I often get asked by candidates if the "Thank You Note" to interviewers is still practical in our hi-tech world.  The answer is:  Of course it is.  Whether emailed or hand-written, a thank you note sends the message that you’re interested in the opportunity (more so now than before the interview) and you greatly appreciate them spending time with you.  After all, the process is time consuming for both sides–their time is valuable and they shared some of it with you.

Certainly consider the hand-written version if you think snail mail will get it there fast enough relative to their decision-making timeline.  The hand-written thank you note has a personal touch over the email, but the sentiments should be the same in either version.  When it comes to the actual content and approach, a recent article in U.S. News & World Report written by Liz Wolgemuth has some good tips to leverage.

5 Ways to Screw Up After the Interview

Make a blunder in your job interview follow-up, and you may not get the job.

By Liz Wolgemuth

Posted March 5, 2009

If a company really wants you on the payroll, a manager will probably make you an offer. You might forget a seemingly crucial element the morning of your job interview—deodorant, for example—but if they really want you and your knack for, say, recruiting the best talent or finding major energy cost savings, they’ll likely overlook it.

Trouble is, most candidates don’t have that luxury. When you walk into an interview, there’s a good chance this hiring manager doesn’t know if you’re the right person for the job yet, and when you walk out of that interview, he or she may still be unsure. That means, your follow-up communication can make a difference.

Here are five ways you could blow the post-interview period, and some advice on how to get your follow-up right:

You don’t send a thank-you note: You have no doubt heard this advice before, but lots of people still don’t do it. If you think you’ve got the job, you might think a thank-you note is unnecessary or even obsequious. If you’re sure you bombed your interview, then you may think any follow-up effort is a waste of your time—or just another opportunity to mess up. That’s not the case. "The biggest mistake is not following up," says Adrian Klaphaak, a career and life coach in San Francisco’s Bay area.

An E-mail is better than nothing, but a handwritten note can set you apart from other candidates. Use a simple, relatively formal style of card. (Cards with closeups of flowers or cute animals are for friends.)  "Handwritten letters are powerful because no one sends them anymore," says Erik Folgate, a blogger at Brazen Careerist. Folgate recently blogged that in his own job search, hiring managers have responded favorably when he’s followed up.

Your thank-you note is too long: What’s one thing that will make for a bad thank-you note? "Lack of brevity," says human resources executive Kris Dunn, who also blogs at The HR Capitalist. This is not intended to be an epic work. As Dunn puts it: "You’re in and you’re out and then you’re done with it." A rambling note wastes the hiring manager’s time, and it can suggest that you lack the confidence of conciseness.

Your thank-you note is too general: Specificity is as important as brevity, Dunn says. Your notes shouldn’t read as though they could be reproduced for every interview. "I want at least one thing in the thank-you note that connects the interviewer with something we talked about in the interview and shows they were paying attention," Dunn says.

You try to apologize for an interview mistake: If you think you answered a question poorly in an interview, go back to the issue before the interview is over. You might say: "You know, I quickly want to go back to something I said earlier in response to your question about X. I’d like to clarify my answer." Don’t wait until the interview is over and use your thank-you note to redress the mistake, Dunn says. You run a real risk of turning the note into a lengthy and meandering foray into something the interviewer may never have noticed or has already forgotten.

You harass the manager: It’s frustrating and worrisome to be looking for work in a market with millions of competitors and a scarcity of openings. Hiring freezes and shifting corporate strategies can make human resources departments change their hiring plans in no time. You might have a great interview and then hear nothing back. You will not, however, improve your case by bombarding the hiring manager with telephone calls and voicemail messages (or hangups), E-mails, Facebook messages, faxes, Twitters, and other multitudinous possible methods of communication. Klaphaak recommends patience after sending a thank you: "remember that an employer who wants to hire you will almost always contact you."

Remember, in an economy where there are many applying to each available position, you need to differentiate yourself as much as possible.

Bottom line:  Send a well-written note to your interviewers to put yet another attribute about you on their list:  you are a thoughtful and gracious candidate!

5 Things to do when you’re unemployed. Hint: It’s not job hunting.

Monday, March 9th, 2009
Penelope Trunk Keynote PRSA 2008 Detroit

Penelope Trunk  recently wrote a great article with some take-action suggestions for anyone who is laid off or otherwise out of work.  She suggests spending time creating projects for yourself that will lead to increased productivity and networking.  This is very good advice that anyone can use to get moving in the right direction while on the job hunt.

5 Things to do when you’re unemployed. Hint: It’s not job hunting. | By Penelope Trunk

Let’s say you get fired, or laid off, or you quit because after two weeks you know you’re at the worst company on the planet. In all of those cases, you will face the interview question: What happened at your last job?

Here’s the answer you should always give: “I left to do x.” And you fill in for x.

Which brings me to what you should be really focusing on when you are unemployed: Learning and growing. Because this is what you are going to talk about in job interviews.

Most people require about six months to get another job. This is a big chunk of time that you can piss away sending resumes to Monster and wondering why no one responds. But you cannot job hunt for eight hours a day. Really. You’ll go nuts. (Wait. Here’s a time-saving job hunt tip from my mom.)

So spend the time creating projects for yourself and executing on them. This is good for you mentally – because you are doing something meaningful with your time and that will keep your spirits up.

But this is also good for you in your job hunt. Because when you talk about why you left the last company, you spin it in a positive light by talking about how you are excited about doing what you are doing. Your interview should include you telling a good story about focused personal growth, and no one will get stuck on why you left your last job. Here are five ways to set that story up:

1. Create a job for yourself. These projects can be wide ranging, but they have to show that you are driven, ambitious and focused. During one stint of unemployment, I worked for free for my boyfriend’s company for a couple of hours a day. That way I didn’t actually have a gap in my resume; a resume doesn’t show part-time or full-time and it doesn’t show pay or no pay. So volunteering at my boyfriend’s company for a couple of hours a day ended up looking like a full-time job on my resume.

2. Focus on ambition and execution and not so much on work per se. Another time I got laid off I spent my days learning to swing dance. I took one or two lessons a day and practiced at night, and after my six months of job hunting, I was good enough to teach dancing just off Broadway. I didn’t put that on my resume, but when people asked me why I left my job, I told them about how I gave myself time to fulfill lofty goals as a swing dancer.

3. Start a blog about the industry you want to go into. Blogging is a great way to keep up in your industry, network without looking desperate, and leverage the fact that you have more time on your hands that people who have jobs. Everyone who is unemployed should be blogging as a way to get their next job. Put your ideas out into the world and connect with people that way. This is why you want to be hired, right? For your ideas. So show them. The reason that people who blog have great careers is that bloggers are always thinking about issues in their industry. Show that side of yourself to people. Blogging takes a lot of time, sure. But you have a lot of time. So use it. Here’s my guide for how to start a blog.

4. Start a company. Do you have a company idea? Try it now. During unemployment. There’s nothing stopping you. You have time, and you can try ideas to see which one sticks. Also, whether or not your company does well, you’ll be able to talk about it in an interview as a huge learning moment that will deflect from any problems at your last job. The company that never got out of your parent’s basement can sit on your resume as professionally as a stint in the Fortune 500. It’s all about how you write the bullet points: talk about accomplishments and learning.

5. Practice talking about yourself with everyone. High performers practice for interviews. So now you know what you’re aiming for, but you need to talk about it with everyone – parties, at the gym, on the phone with friends. When they ask how you’re doing, talk about what you’re doing like you are in the job interview. And the good news is that the better you get at talking like that, the more you will actually believe your story, the story that being unemployed is lucky because you have learning opportunities.

What’s important to remember here is that no one can tell you what experience you can gain and what you can’t. You don’t need a job in order to learn cool stuff and be on cool projects. You control what you do with your time and you can make it useful. Talk about that. There is no reason to talk about why the last job didn’t work when you can talk about the great things that leaving opened up to you.

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