Your 2020 Job Hunt Checklist and Professional Improvement
Your 2020 Job Hunt Checklist
Job hunting has changed dramatically in the past five years. Resumes have gone virtual. Networking happens on Facebook, and companies text job openings to prospective employees' cellphones.
If you're unemployed and looking, or working but want to know what else is out there, give yourself an edge by using the latest job-hunting strategies and tools. Here's a checklist of things to do before starting a job search in the New Year:
1. Revamp your Resume.
Research jobs that are in demand, then play up experience you have that dovetails with those trends. Use job-specific keywords to push your resume to the top of recruiters' search results. Stick to career highlights, but be prepared to provide details in an interview. It might not sound important, but pay attention to your resume's design. Don't cram in too much -- the easier your resume is on the eyes, the more likely a recruiter will read it. [Related: 12 Steps to a Smart Resume]
2. Join online networks, starting with LinkedIn.
Social networks are some of the first places recruiters go when they have jobs to fill, and if you're not there, they won't know about you. If you only have time or energy for one, start with LinkedIn. Fill in your entire profile, but avoid over-used business phrases such as the ones on this list of top 10 buzzwords that LinkedIn released this week. Add a recent photo. Ask previous employers or companies you've worked with as a contractor for recommendations. List programming or other work-related skills in your profile so your name pops up in when companies use the new LinkedIn Skills search tool to find potential employees.
3. Create a business card.
Besides your name, a card should include a professional-sounding email address and phone number. Change the outgoing voicemail message on your home phone to something appropriate for business, or list your cell number instead. If you have a website related to your profession, put the URL on your card; otherwise, include a link to your LinkedIn profile. When you're going to a job fair or interview, take more cards than you think you'll need so you don't run out -- or hand out virtual cards (see No. 7 below).
4. Find a job chat on Twitter.
Use these virtual conversations to find companies that are hiring or network with recruiters and fellow job seekers. Twitter chats happen in real time, with members using a hashtag associated with a particular discussion to ask a question and follow what others are saying. Job chats include #jobhuntchat (Mondays at 10 p.m. Eastern), #careerchat (Tuesdays at 1 p.m. Eastern) and #HireFriday or #HFChat (Fridays at noon Eastern).
5. Research companies before approaching them.
Job boards have made submitting a resume so easy, employers are inundated. If you're applying for jobs online, do your homework on a company first to make sure it's a good match. Then, include a cover letter that reflects your knowledge of the business and why you'd make a good addition to the team.
6. Find an in.
Even in the age of social networking, the old adage that it's who you know still holds true. Once you've identified a potential employer, review your contacts online and off for friends or acquaintances who work there or have in the past. Ask them for advice or an introduction. Join a LinkedIn Group for your industry or profession, and reach out to group members who might be able to introduce you to a hiring manager.
It starts by getting off the wall and standing tall on your feet.
The Only Difference Between Successful & Unsuccessful People
A simple definition of success that is truly ‘one size fits all’
I know one undeniable fact about you. I know a fact about you that you can’t dispute no matter how hard you try.
Regardless of who you are, what you look like, where you’re from, or what you do, I’m certain about one thing. It’s because of this reason that I’m able to make a clear cut definition of who’s successful and who isn’t.
So what am I talking about?
Ok, here’s the one thing I know about you without question.
No matter what, you will always be you.
Move to a new city? You’ll still be you. Get a new job? You’ll still be you. Find a new partner? Still you. Search for a magical life purpose (or don’t)? Still you.
Why does this matter?
The Simplest Way to Understand Success
“A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and gets to bed at night, and in between he does what he wants to do.” — Bob Dylan
You come equipped with certain tastes, talents, and predilections. Although you can increase your motivation and change your behaviors, you more or less have an innate level of natural ambition. You have a worldview and belief systems that shape the way you view the world.
Because of all the above, you have a definition of success that makes sense to you.
If you reach and exceed it, you’re successful.
If you don’t, you’re not.
But how do you know what you really want?
How do you know which dreams are really yours?
Is there a way to figure out whether or not your definition of success is accurate so that you can reach it and be happy?
Yes and no.
You’ll never know exactly, but you kinda know. You pretty much know. And here’s what’s most important, you know enough to know when you’re selling yourself short. I’d rather you overshoot, realize the success you achieved wasn’t quite what you’d thought it’d be, and scale back than to never get close to your true potential.
And the most important tell of all…
When you go about your day, are you doing things you want to do or not? Even if you don’t know exactly what your dream life might look like, avoiding things you hate or don’t want to do is a much better litmus test.
If you don’t feel like you want to be doing what you’re doing, shouldn’t that be enough of a sign? Shouldn’t that be enough motivation?
That’s no easy answer either. You have obligations, real ones, and you don’t always have time and freedom to play this little success game. You have to live your real life. I get it.
This is why I always talk about carving little bits and time to work instead of overhauling your life. You can get where you want to go in little chunks. And the “point of arrival” is different depending on who you are.
For one person, opening up a bakery in their town fits the bill. For another, anything less than millions in the bank and an ostentatious lifestyle won’t suffice.
Some people genuinely do just want to live a simple life — have a decent job they don’t hate, have a family, and enjoy their time on the planet without getting all obsessed with this “success” nonsense.
But how many people genuinely feel this way?
How do you feel?
Out of the entire pool of people who say they just want a simple life, a fraction of them actually means it. Maybe they don’t want world domination, but they want something more. Something different.
Maybe you don’t want to become a master of the universe, but I’d bet you have some unrealized dreams you want to accomplish.
Is the Idea of Success Overblown?
“Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all.” — Helen Keller
I remember overhearing a conversation my, at the time, grandmother-in-law was having on the phone. She’s in her 80’s — enough time to have decided whether or not her own life was a success.
She said something along the lines of, “Oh, well, ya’ know, I guess I’d say I had a pretty good life. I got to spend time with the people I love […].” The tone of her voice struck me. You can almost hear the one in a phrase like “Oh, well, ya’ know,” can’t you?
Personally, I’ve never wanted to look back at my life and say, “Oh, well, ya’ know,” about anything. I want it to be more like “Holy crap I can’t believe I pulled this off.”
I want my life to be a grand adventure. And this could be my bias talking, but I’m pretty sure you do, too.
What’s the truth here, really? What’s the truth for you? Honestly, I’m curious. Sometimes I do think I’m wrong about all of this. That’s why I leave it up to you.
If you were being 1,000 percent honest with yourself, how much of your own “grand adventure” have you left on the table?
Do you personally need to have one?
Think about how you’ve spent the past year, the past decade, hell, maybe the past few decades. Do you have to use rationalizations to make yourself feel good about what happened? Are you content or are you lying to yourself?
Only you know the answer.
I understand that big dreams aren’t meant for everyone. I get that many self-improvement writers make too big a deal about living the perfect life, being rich, traveling the world, being perfectly optimized, having maximum work and play, etc.
Your life probably isn’t bad. Most people’s lives aren’t bad.
But as much as I try to bounce back and forth between accepting other people’s choices and wishing they pushed themselves to do more, I always come back to the same feeling.
I just don’t see how living a lukewarm life makes sense in the context of only having one life.
The SBA offers a variety of online courses to help you start and run your business.
8 Resume Do's and Don'ts
Resumes typically provide the first impression of your qualifications to a prospective employer. There are several guidelines to follow when writing your resume that will make it clear, organized and comprehensive.
In this article, we discuss what to do and what not to do on your resume to increase your chances of securing an interview.
Resume writing tips
Every resume should include your contact information, describe your professional experience, outline your education and highlight your skills. Here are some do’s and don’ts to consider when writing your resume:
1. Relevant experience
Do: List your specific experience, skills and accomplishments that are directly or closely related to the job you’re applying for. Include previous positions that had similar or related responsibilities or those that allowed you to practice relevant skills. If you took professional courses or earned any certifications, include those, as well as any transferable skills.
Don’t: Mention experiences not relevant to the position you are applying to. For example, you may have experience using certain scheduling software. Only list it on a resume for a position that also uses that same software. You can consider revising the experience to be more universal, such as “Experienced in multi-calendar management using scheduling software.”
Do: Include education relevant to the job. If the position is entry-level, use your associate’s degree or bachelor’s degree. For some entry-level positions, or if you have limited work experience, you can also include your high school diploma or GED. You can also consider listing any related classes you took, such as industry-specific courses like marketing or finance, general education courses like English and writing or technical courses in computer programming.
Don’t: Include your GPA. Some employers may request this information, but may just prefer to know your highest level of education is, what and where you studied and when you completed each level of education.
Read more: How to List Education on a Resume
3. Personal information
Do: Include personal information such as your name, phone number, email address, and for some positions, home address. Review the job listing to identify any additional personal information to include.
Don’t: Include information irrelevant to the job search or is not specifically requested by the employer. Some positions, typically in countries other than the U.S., may request a headshot. Family details, such as marital status and number of children are not often required, though an employer may request that information during the initial hiring process and onboarding.
4. Job listings and qualification standards
Do: Apply to jobs you are fully or closely qualified for. You can seek positions that require additional training if you’re open to learning new skills. Consider using job descriptions like a checklist. Compare it to your qualifications and see how closely you match the job’s requirements.
Don’t: Apply for jobs you do not meet most of the requirements for. Some employers may train the right candidate and often mention that in their listing. When reviewing job listings, confirm you have the minimum level of education, training and skills listed.
Related: 6 Universal Rules for Resume Writing
Do: Use simple and direct statements with easy-to-understand terms when describing your experience and skills. You can try statements like, “Collaborated with a team of designers to create targeted advertisements” or “Lead a team of finance managers to educate clients on investment strategies.” Direct statements like these define what your role was in your past job.
Don’t: Use cliches or idioms, such as phrases like “team player,” “hard worker” or “detail-oriented” unless they are keywords from the job description. Consider also avoiding too much industry-specific language or jargon. Sometimes, the person reading your resume may be unfamiliar with certain terms if they work in human resources or are doing an initial read-through before passing candidates to the hiring manager.
Read more: Resume Power Words
6. Applicant tracking systems
Do: Optimize your resume’s content and structure to successfully pass through an applicant tracking system (ATS). Some companies receive large quantities of applications, so they use an ATS to filter out unqualified candidates. This system goes through each resume and looks for relevant phrases and keywords, often those used in the job description. Resumes are then automatically scored and the passing resumes are sent to the hiring manager to review.
When writing your resume, be sure to use similar phrases and keywords used in the job listing to ensure your qualifications properly reflect the expectations of the role you’re applying to. You can also use simple formatting and easy-to-read structure to ensure the ATS grades your resume on its content.
Don’t: Use a complicated template or neglect the keywords in the job description. Both steps are important in ensuring your resume has the highest chance of success.
Do: Write a concise resume that is one to two pages long. The most effective resumes are short and to the point. Hiring managers and recruiters may review hundreds of resumes for each open position, so a short resume ensures they can read it quickly.
Don’t: Go over two pages unless specified. Some positions or industries may require a longer, more in-depth resume, but most prefer one or two pages. You may have had dozens of previous jobs, but they might not all have applied to the job you are applying for.
Read more: Q&A: How Long Should a Resume Be?
Do: Review your resume before submitting. Proofread your resume and use a spell checker. Consider writing your resume and going back the next day to review it again. Also, ask a friend or colleague to read it and identify any areas for improvement.
Don’t: Rush to submit a resume that hasn’t been reviewed. Some ATSs look for grammatical and spelling errors, so be sure to complete this step to ensure the highest ATS grade.
Pay & Salary
31 Quotes to Motivate Your Job Search
For good or ill, your thoughts are powerful motivators. Thinking upbeat positive thoughts can have an inspiring effect on your job search. Likewise, a steady drumbeat of negativity can drag you down. As a job seeker, take matters into your own hands with quotes to motivate your search and keep you powering forward.
We’ve rounded up some of the best words of motivation and inspiration for your job search, from thought leaders like CEOs, artists, business pioneers, historical figures, athletes, writers, and military leaders.
Below, you’ll find 31 fantastic quotes—a month’s worth—that are pithy, funny, thoughtful, wry, and offer inspiration for your hunt for flexible work. Try a quote a day to keep your job search fired up and on track!
Here are 31 quotes to motivate your job search:
1. “If you fell down yesterday, stand up today.” —H.G. Wells
2. “You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it.” —Maya Angelou
3. “I am convinced that most people can achieve their dreams and beyond if they have the determination to keep trying.” —Howard Schultz
4. “Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.” —Thomas Edison
5. “Courage doesn’t always roar, sometimes it’s the quiet voice at the end of the day whispering ‘I will try again tomorrow.'” —Mary Anne Radmacher
6. “Every strike brings me closer to the next home run.” —Babe Ruth
7. “A bend in the road is not the end of the road…unless you fail to make the turn.” —Helen Keller
8. “Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition, they somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.” —Steve Jobs
9. “It always seems impossible until it’s done.” —Nelson Mandela
10. “It is never too late to be what you might have been.” —George Eliot
11. “Promise me you’ll always remember: You’re braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.” —A.A. Milne (from Winnie the Pooh)
12. “Fail often so you can succeed sooner.” —Tom Kelley
13. “Accept the challenges so that you can feel the exhilaration of victory.” —George S. Patton
14. “It isn’t the mountains ahead to climb that wear you out; it’s the pebble in your shoe.” —Muhammad Ali
15. “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: It is the courage to continue that counts.” —Winston Churchill
16. “Hope begins in the dark, the stubborn hope that if you just show up and try to do the right thing, the dawn will come. You wait and watch and work: you don’t give up.” —Anne Lamott
17. “Do something for somebody every day for which you do not get paid.” —Albert Schweitzer
18. “The way I see it, if you want the rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain.” —Dolly Parton
19. “Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.” —Arthur Ashe
20. “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade wind in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” —Mark Twain
21. “Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck.” —Dalai Lama
22. “Even if you’re on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there.” —Will Rogers
23. “It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop.” —Confucius
24. “When things go wrong, don’t go with them.” —Elvis Presley
25. “When you get into a tight place, and everything goes against you till it seems as if you couldn’t hold on a minute longer, never give up then, for that’s just the place and time that the tide’ll turn.” —Harriet Beecher Stowe
26. “A large oak tree is just a little nut that refused to give up.” —David McGee
27. “You miss 100 percent of the shots you don’t take.” —Wayne Gretzky
28. “If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door.” —Milton Berle
29. “I will not let anyone scare me out of my full potential.” —Nicki Minaj
30. “When you come to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on.” —Franklin D. Roosevelt
31. “Remember that guy that gave up? Neither does anyone else.” —Unknown
How to Find a Job in a Bad Economy
It’s no secret that America is suffering from a difficult economy in which millions of people are either unemployed or underemployed, meaning they are overqualified for the job they have and not meeting their earning potential.
If you are one of these people and looking for a new or better job, you are most likely searching for jobs online, either on company websites, job boards, or website job finder services. One job finder service said that 57.2 million people look for jobs online on a regular basis.
If you are one of them, you can increase your odds of being hired by following a few guidelines.
Quality Over Quantity...........read more....
6 Tips for Writing a Professional Bio
Wondering how to write a bio? Our bio templates make it easy to write a professional bio in the right style and format. Get a fill-in-the-blank bio template specifically written for your type of job.
Here are our top six tips for writing your bio.
1. Keep it short
I’ve heard a short bio referred to by a variety of terms: biography, about me, work bio, personal profile, business bio, life story, bio resume and my autobiography, to name just a few. While there’s no right or wrong term, it may help you to remember the difference between bio and biography.
Bio = short. Biography = long.
Don’t write a biography when a bio will suffice. Normally it's best to limit your bio to three or four sentences. If it's too long people won't read it. When writing a
personal profile or "about me" for your website, you can make it a little longer if you wish.
2. Briefly highlight your main achievements
The purpose of writing a bio is to demonstrate your professional credibility. Unlike a resume (which should include your complete career history), a work bio only needs to cover the "high points" of your career. Here's another way to think about it: your professional bio is a little advertisement for you or your business. Wouldn’t you agree that the best advertisements are memorable because they highlight key features with very few words?
3. Let your personality show
Since your professional bio is an advertisement for you, make it reflect the real you. If you're a down-to-earth person, use unpretentious language. If you have a particular passion, let the reader know. If you love to joke around, include some humor when you write a work bio (but be careful, humor can be tricky). Should you include personal information such as hobbies, family status and pets? This is optional. Some people say that personal information is not relevant in a work bio because it has nothing to do with the job. That may be true, but I find that most readers like getting a sense of who you are outside of your professional role.
4. Tailor your bio to the reader
Wondering how to write a bio that gets you a certain result, such as a scholarship, appointment, business deal or job? Write a bio about you but for the reader. Ideally, your professional bio will address these four reader questions:
1) who you are...
2) your expertise and how it addresses...
3) their problem or goal, and how they can...
4) contact you
5. Make it easy to read
When you write a bio, break the information into short paragraphs (no more than three sentences in each paragraph). Studies show that when people are faced with a large block of text (especially on a computer screen), they just skim over it quickly. By making your paragraphs nice and short, you'll increase the likelihood that people will actually read your bio.
6. Write a bio in third person
What this means is to write a bio as though someone else is talking about you. Instead of writing "I am" and "I graduated", you write "Jane Smith is" and "She graduated". Use your full name (first and last) the first time. After that, it's up to you whether to refer to yourself by your full name, just your first name, or just your last name.
Is writing a short bio starting to sound confusing? If so, refer to our many bio templates for guidance. Our writing services are specifically directed at how to write a bio in the correct style and format.
7. Go mobile.
Smartphones have become job hunters' go-to virtual assistants. Use your phone to scan mobile versions of popular job boards or get automated text messages when new jobs open up at companies you want to work for. Download job-hunting apps, including Bump, which lets you exchange business cards or contact information by "bumping" phones together, Job Interview Prep flash cards to quiz yourself on possible interview questions, and Google Maps Mobile to avoid traffic jams that could make you late for an interview.
8. Start a blog.
Create a blog on some aspect of the field you work in to show a potential employer you're up to speed on industry trends and comfortable using newer technologies. Keeping a blog also can be helpful when making a midlife transition, as career changers in an annual blogging challenge that I host have discovered. You can easily set up a free, professional-looking blog through websites such as WordPress, Blogger and Tumblr.
9. Consider nonprofits.
Forty-two percent of 3,000 nonprofits surveyed by Idealist.org earlier this year expected to hire more staff in 2011. Midlife professionals can apply what they learned in their first careers to encore jobs at nonprofits, according to careers experts. Here are 10 Top Sites for Nonprofit Jobs.
10. Track job-hunting expenses.
The IRS makes it challenging for job hunters to write off expenses, but it pays to try, so you can keep money in your pocket and out of Uncle Sam's. You're eligible if you're looking for a job in your current industry, file the longer 1040 form, use Schedule A to itemize deductions and have job-hunting and other miscellaneous expenses on Schedule A that amount to more than 2 percent of your adjusted gross income. You can't write off buying a new suit for an interview, but you can deduct for mileage if you drive there.
Peter W. Murphy
Peter Murphy is a peak performance expert and the author of several very well received books on personal development. This blog is his online home for articles about communicating with confidence and letting your true personality shine.
His popular online training course is available at: http://www.howtotalkwithconfidence.com
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Anxiety, Depression and the Job Search
Don't let the "dog days of summer" fool you… HR folks, hiring managers, and recruiters are trying to hire professionals like you to fill their open positions. Make the most of your competition taking it easy!
Job seekers navigating unemployment and an extended job search can find themselves in a bit of a Catch-22. Worn down by frustration and stress, many find themselves spiraling into depression, which will ultimately manifest itself in job-search performance — sleepless nights, lack of motivation, diminished interview skills and a bad attitude — and can make it even hard to gain employment. Staying mentally healthy on the job search is vital if you are to operate at your peak.
Based on the advice of psychologists and mental health experts, the stories below identify precisely what layoff survivors are likely to experience and solutions to combat the stress and anxiety that can lead to depression.
Read these four stories to help you stay healthy during your job search:
In small doses, anxiety is necessary fuel to drive achievement. But in a prolonged job search, the effects of stress can work against you. Here are some practical insights to gain control of your body’s fight-or-flight mechanisms.
For seasoned professionals, the loss of a job can shake their sense of self. Here are some psychological insights for keeping things in perspective.
Being let go from a job is difficult under any circumstances, but in today's economy, it can be even more stressful. Mental-health experts and people who have been through the job hunt themselves offer the following advice for maintaining your emotional and physical health during what can be a prolonged job search.
The loss of a job hits both your pocketbook and your very identity. Negative feelings are only natural, but look out for these red flags indicating that outside support should be sought.
How to find a job, including where to find job listings, networking, using a headhunter, and more advice on where and how to find a job.
What can you do when you have to find a job fast? It's not easy, but there are steps you can take to expedite your job search. Spending some time to get your job search in order, keeping it organized, focused, and on the fast track will help you find a job faster than if you don't have a plan in place.
Online job search resources, including job search sites, job search engines, networking sites, resume posting, and ways to make sure you are using all the online job search resources available.
Job listings, job banks, job sites, employment opportunities listed by location and career field, and other resources to help find a job.
Want to find a job, but don't know where to start? Confused? Overwhelmed? Too much information? Here are some tips on how to get going.
Use a job search engine to search all the top job sites, company sites, and online newspapers. There are a variety of job search engine sites that will search all the job sites to capture new job postings.
Help Wanted Ads
Are you using the help wanted classified ads when you look for jobs? If not, you should be. Local and regional employers don't always post on the major jobs sites like Monster. Instead, they will advertise in their local newsletter to avoid being overwhelmed with applicants and, in many cases, because they are not interested in paying relocation costs.
Search online job banks by by keyword, location, career field includes job search engines where you can search many databases in one step.
Jobs by Career Field
A comprehensive list of job listings sorted by career field including arts, communications, business, education, not-for-profit, legal, science and technology and more.
Staying or home or relocating? Here's jobs where you want to be.
Live and virtual Career Fairs.
Networking can sound intimidating and a little bit scary, but, it doesn't have to be and it really does work.
Using Headhunters, Search Firms and Employment
Who's who in the world of employment recruiting, when to use a headhunter, and how to select a recruiter who will work effectively for you.
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- Indeed UK - Indeed.com Job Search Engine