5 ways you’re sabotaging your job search

Posted by Amanda Augustine

02:00 AM

If you’re not getting results, reevaluate your job-search strategy and make changes.

Skippy_Clock_TimeEvery February 2nd, the town of Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania celebrates the holiday with early-morning festivities to watch their beloved groundhog, Punxsutawney Phil, emerge from his burrow. Legend has it that if Phil sees his shadow, he has predicted six more weeks of winter. However, the phrase “Groundhog Day” has come to mean much more. For many, it’s a time of self-reflection.

For instance, take the movie Groundhog Day. Bill Murray plays an arrogant TV reporter who is forced to cover the annual Groundhog Day event in Punxsutawny, only to find himself trapped in a time loop, repeating the same day over and over again. It’s not until Murray’s character starts evaluating his life and reexamining his priorities that he can finally move forward to a new day.

How many of you have felt like Bill Murray’s character? You wake up, search for jobs and apply, reach out to recruiters and hear nothing. Then you wake up and do the same thing all over again with the same results. I hear this from job seekers all the time. “I’m doing everything I’m supposed to and getting nowhere – what should I do?” 

Below are five questions to ask yourself the next time your job search stalls.

Topics: Ask Amanda, Networking, Personal Branding, Job Application, Resume

Are your looks hurting or helping your job search?

Posted by Amanda Augustine

02:00 AM

Will my photo give me an advantage in the job search or hurt my chances of landing the right job?

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I admit, I don’t know much about beauty pageants. I’ve seen the movie Miss Congeniality and I’ve been forced to watch an episode of Here Comes Honey Boo Boo, but I don’t know if I’ve ever sat down and watched the Miss America competition in its entirety on television. However, I was pleased to hear that fellow New Yorker Mallory Hytes Hagan took the crown last Sunday.

As I watched the news coverage the next morning and saw the winner and runners up taking the stage, it got me thinking about beauty – or more specifically, one’s appearance – and how that plays a role in the job search and our careers.

While it’s not fair, experts agree that a person’s appearance can affect the outcome of one’s job search and potential for advancement in the workplace. Your personal grooming, professional wardrobe – even your haircut – play a role in your personal brand.

Topics: Ask Amanda, Personal Branding, Resume

Mobilize your professional resume

Posted by Amanda Augustine

02:00 AM

Invest in a professional resume that will make it past any gatekeeper and outsmart applicant tracking software. Week 2 of New Year, New You.

Resume Dude

Alright folks, one week down, four more to go till the end of the year! I hope you got a chance to take advantage of all those Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales to upgrade your look. This week I want you to focus on one of the core marketing materials you’ll use during the job search – your resume. 

When was the last time you printed out a job application and mailed it to an employer? While it’s not unheard of, it’s certainly not the norm these days. And chances are, you surf the web rather than open a newspaper when you want to find job listings. 

Since job boards emerged in the late 90s, the way we search for and apply to jobs has radically changed. With just a few key strokes you have access to thousands of job posts from all over the world. Unfortunately, this also means you’re competing within a much larger, less-qualified pool of candidates. Your resume needs to not only speak to the recruiter and hiring manager; it must first make it past an electronic gatekeeper known as an applicant tracking system (ATS).

Below are five tips to help you craft a professional resume that will make it through the gatekeepers – human and otherwise – and impress the hiring manager.

Topics: Ask Amanda, Personal Branding, Resume

Returning to work? How to handle the employment gap

Posted by Amanda Augustine

02:00 AM

Utilize your volunteer experience to boost your resume and expand your network during the job search.

Q: I haven't worked outside the home except to volunteer for many years and can't even get an interview.  I know I can do the job but how do you get that across?  – Doreen M.

A: It can be so frustrating when you know you have value to add to a company but can’t get your foot in the door. Your story is very common with full-time parents who left the corporate world to raise their families and now want (or need) to reenter the workforce, and with those who were laid off and were forced to take on a string of lower-paying jobs to pay the bills. In these situations, I recommend doing two things:

Topics: Ask Amanda, Networking, Resume

Getting Your Resume Into the Right Hands

Posted by TheLadders

04:35 PM

Combine new-age research with old-fashioned correspondence to increase your chances for success in the job search.

By Andrew Klappholz

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The job search is an ever-changing landscape that seems to get more crowded and more complex by the day.

It often seems that when you submit your resume online, it just goes into what experts call the “recruiting black hole” and is never heard from again.

That could be because it’s been relegated to the bottom of a resume pile that is over 1,000 pages deep. More likely, it’s some kind of a digital version of that, one where resumes that are customized to trick a computer are assigned a higher priority while your resume sinks to the bottom of the list.

There are ways to even the odds in the digital job search by strategically using the right keywords and following a couple dozen other rules on how to send a resume by e-mail, but once you click “send” there’s got to be something you can do other than just pray that it gets to an actual human being.

Topics: Resume

In the job search & over 50: Part I of III

Posted by Amanda Augustine

12:36 AM

The first article in a three-part series on conducting a job search later in life. 

TheLadders_Combatting_Age_DiscriminationAs many of you mentioned in your comments on my previous article, not everyone who’s 50 years old or older has the luxury of an encore career.

Many job seekers need a full-time job with full-time pay, and are feeling the negative effects of a down economy. I’m not going to sugarcoat it – finding a job in general is more challenging than ever. Trying to find a new job later in life can be even more frustrating. Studies have shown that employees in their 50s or older are not only more likely to be laid off during hard economic times, but they’re also known to have longer periods of unemployment before they are able to re-enter the workforce. There are a number of factors at play here, including age discrimination.

It may not be fair, but it’s real — age discrimination is alive and well in today’s workplace. We could talk for hours how recruiters, hiring managers — society as a whole — should change their mind-set, but that isn’t going to help you land a job any faster. What we really need to discuss is what you can do to compete against other candidates — regardless of their age — in today’s job market.

Topics: Ask Amanda, Goal Setting, Resume, Age and Your Job Search

Truth, Lies and Resumes

Posted by Guest Contributor

12:36 PM

Companies are screening more closely than ever before. Getting caught in a lie could raise enough questions about your character to cost you the job.

By Andrew Klappholz

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When searching for a job, there are a lot of things that can go wrong. You can stutter during a cold call, get lost on the way to the interview or even forget the name of the hiring manager. These are all honest mistakes and likely can be overcome with hard work and perseverance. Lying, though, can be irredeemable.

“The worst thing you can do in an interview process is to lie,” said Lorne Epstein, author of You’re Hired. “All you have at work is trust, but once you lose it that way, it’s over.”

Scott Thompson, the former CEO of Yahoo, learned that lesson the hard way.

He resigned in 2012 when it was revealed that he forged an entry on his resume, claiming he had a computer science degree from Stonehill College when, in fact, that degree wasn’t even given out there until two years later. Thompson later said that his cancer diagnosis was part of his reason for leaving Yahoo, but the damage had already been done to his reputation and to the integrity of the company — not to mention all its shareholders.

Topics: Resume

Quit worrying about getting a job and start getting a job

Posted by TheLadders

10:28 AM

After 25 years with a major retailer, Tommy M. was ready for a change. He had been steadily promoted through application-development and project-management positions based on consistent success, but his resume had rarely been seen outside internal HR. He knew that resume – comprising 40+ bullets scattered across four pages – was not going to cut it, and he wasn’t confident that he had the knowledge to create a resume that could open doors on his own.

“You can’t use an in-house resume – it’s just not going to work,” he says. “And if you’re not familiar with what really works, you won’t find it on your own.”

Topics: Resume, Motivation and Inspiration

Your Resume Shouldn't Play Games

Posted by Guest Contributor

09:58 PM

Why unconventional resumes drive hiring managers and recruiters nuts.

By Lisa Vaas

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Steve Silberberg is into a lot of things: certified Wilderness First Responder; published in scientific journals; and, according to his database-driven, configurable, searchable online resume, maintains a collection of over 2,100 air sickness bags.

Everybody hates this resume. Only about five hiring managers over the years have refrained from requesting a standard Word resume, “even though I wrote an RTF generator that allows you to create one right from the site,” Silberberg said.

We talked to resume professionals about precisely what is so unacceptable about an unconventional resume such as Silberberg’s.

Topics: Resume

Smoothing Out a Bumpy Work History

Posted by Guest Contributor

02:24 PM

Ten jobs in 10 years might look like a job hopper or a committed consultant, depending on how you present your work history in a resume.

By Lisa Vaas

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It didn’t make sense.

Doneé had been searching for work in the digital media industry for nearly eight months by the time she hooked up with career coach Adriana Llames, author of "Career Sudoku: 9 Ways to Win the Job Search Game." Doneé had in-depth industry knowledge, plenty of contacts and is good at networking.

Then Llames saw her resume. Whoa.

Ten jobs in the past nine years? No wonder she wasn’t succeeding. Llames called a few executive recruiters in the digital media industry and asked if they knew, or had worked with, her client. They all said that they wouldn’t represent her because of what they called her “unstable work history.”

Topics: Resume