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My name is Mark Anthony Dyson, and I am the Founder of The Voice of Job Seekers.

I am a
career consultant and career advice writer, podcast host, but importantly, a job seeker advocate.

Last year, I presented my free guide, “118 Job Search Tips for the Modern Job Seekers for
2018!” If you are on my mailing list, then you’ll get the link for this eGuide. Many of you who
are downloading this 2019 guide will go on the mailing list. If you don’t want to be on the list,
feel free to unsubscribe, keep and use the guide.

Let me share a little bit about myself:

I also present at colleges and other organizations, facilitated many workshops, and regularly
write and create useful job search content on this blog.

I love helping job seekers with the process of finding a career and solve their job search
dilemmas. This award-winning blog helps me reach you and your job search in ways I hope you
find refreshing and encouraging.

I write frequently about the current job search trends and provide advice for the job seekers all
over the world to see. Feel free to see my articles at my blog (link above), Recruiter.com and
PayScale!

Mission: I hack and reimagine the job search process. I love helping the unemployed,
underemployed, and underappreciated find jobs and notice you!

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The Voice of Job Seekers is about solutions from many angles, unravel employer mysteries,
and answer as many questions to help you. I help job seekers from all educational and cultural
backgrounds. Even if you are employed and looking to move on, you will find advice that will fit
your situation. I provide individual consultation, coaching, mentoring, and development to give
you the voice an employer is waiting to hear. I can customize an affordable package for you and
your job search and career management needs.

My background… I have been on both sides of the hiring spectrum as a job seeker and a hiring
manager in the call center and retail management world. The last seven years I have counseled,
coached, consulted, and mentored hundreds of job seekers with their job search. One of the
highlights of my career as a consultant was traveling and training job seekers at Army federal
bases on the east coast and Midwest of the United States.

I have helped hundreds of job seekers with their job search strategies with tools, resources,
and coaching. I achieved a B. A in Communications from the University of South Florida, and a
MAEd. specializing in Adult Education and Training from the University of Phoenix. It is a
perfect marriage of my experience as a Career Consultant, a job search strategist, and as an
educator.

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12 Potential Job Search Roadblocks (and How to Overcome
Them)
During a job search, you need to have focus. Become familiar with these potential roadblocks
and learn how to navigate them, and your job search will go more smoothly:

1. OBSESSING OVER CAREER CHOICES

Look for balance when navigating your career choices. Keep your eyes open throughout, rather
than obsessing over a single employer or opportunity.

Networking is the single most useful tool in a job seeker’s job search toolbox. Stay engaged in
your job search by being active in professional organizations, social networks such as Linkedin
and Facebook and add value by referring others.

2. PAYING ENOUGH ATTENTION TO PRIVACY SETTINGS

You’ll hear words such as transparency and vulnerability often without the context of privacy.
Although you should be careful about how much you’ll reveal about your personal life, you’ll
need to protect any personally identifiable information. Read these two articles
on JobHunt.org and The Washington Post to help you understand and take action.

3. TAKING CARE OF YOUR MENTAL HEALTH (IT’S NOT A FAD!)

NBA All-Star Kevin Love and all-time great tennis star Serena Williams are the latest athletes
who are outspoken about taking care of their mental health. Neglected mental health can
affect friends and family as much as drug and alcohol abuse. You are not obligated to make this
information public especially as employers are looking for ways to exclude candidates for any
reason. Even if you’re in a secure job, public acknowledgment of any negative perceived mental
health issues can pause a pursuit of your employment.

4. STANDING OUT FROM START TO HIRE

You’ll know you’re navigating your job search well when you remain engaged in the job search
even when you’re outperforming your peers.

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Sammy (name changed) is a full-tenured science professor at a community college, yet, he has
his science show on local cable, and does chemistry-related YouTube videos. His reason for
putting his knowledge out there is to keep interest in his work. Since making his branding a
priority, he continually entertains regularly from other colleges and conferences, although he
has achieved substantial job satisfaction.

5. USING REFERENCES THE RIGHT WAY

Some of your references may be irrelevant. If you haven’t worked with someone in more than
five years, then it’s unlikely they can speak to your strengths.

Technology has changed and your skills have improved since you worked with this person years
ago. Possibly, they can vouch for more of your attributes than hard skills. But then again, if it
was more than five or 10 years ago, it’s pouring old wine into new wineskins.

6. VOLUNTEERING IS GOOD FOR YOUR CAREER (UNLESS IT ISN’T)

Volunteering is good for your community and your spirit, but beware: if your cause is
perceived as political, it could hurt you in the job hunt. It’s your right as an American to donate
your time to causes you value, but be aware of the optics. Unless you’re pursuing a political
career, being involved with some volunteer work may be problematic for your career.

Otherwise, volunteering is a potent agent to gain experience and knowledge, especially if


you’re changing industries.

7. KEEPING YOUR PHYSICAL HEALTH PRIVATE

Once you make your physical health issues public, they are fair game for scrutiny by employers.
Don’t assume that you’ll be protected by the Americans With Disabilities Act. While it’s illegal
to discriminate against disabled workers, it’s not illegal to have health requirements to perform
the job. Some companies will go farther to accommodate candidates with disabilities, but many
employers are still wrestling with how to provide a friendly environment for them.

Discrimination starts as soon as a status update is published. Maybe as a candidate, you can use
it to weed out employers you don’t want to work for, but in a tight economy or recession, your
prospects are minimal and work against you.

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8. FINDING AN EMPLOYER WHO UNDERSTANDS GRIEF

A close friend of mine and mentee died last year of pancreatic cancer. I know it affected me
long after his death last August. While no one wants to dwell on the possibility of loss, it’s
worth considering whether a potential employer has a good track record of supporting workers
in these situations.

There are even a growing amount of employers who are allowing bereavement time and pay
for the death of an employee’s pet. You may consider looking for a company who has this
benefit available.

9. COPING WITH SUBSTANCE ABUSE

You don’t need to be as famous as Demi Lovato to suffer the career consequences of drug
problems. Drug abuse becomes a career obstacle once it’s reported and even rumored publicly.
Carlos had graduated with honors from a small town in the Midwest but had a drug incident in
his freshman year. In a small college town, any drug incident occurring around campus is
reported to the school and the media. The local paper includes a blurb about the student’s
arrest on or off-campus with drugs. Although it was six years ago, it still shows up in Google
search results for his name.

10. NEGOTIATING STRATEGICALLY AND DISCERNINGLY

I am afraid people press the snooze button when it comes to negotiating, often without
understanding why they do it. It’s not just the fear of the discussion, but the lack of
preparedness to talk business when it’s time.

It’s also important to understand that negotiation isn’t just for when you take a new job. You’ll
need it when you’re at a job and considering your next career move within the company.
Prepare, research and understand what’s important to you in seeking the best compensation
package.

11. FINDING BIAS-LESS COMPANIES

Many people are opting to work where diversity and inclusion are a reality and not just talk.
Melissa Dobbins is CEO of career.place, a company seeking to eliminate bias from the hiring
process. She says removing bias from the interview process is challenging because, “No one
wants to look in the mirror and think they are part of the problem.”

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A more diverse workplace doesn’t eliminate bias. Dobbins says, “Bias is the human shortcut.”
Researching personnel through LinkedIn and the company website should help someone
targeting a diverse company to see if there is diversity in leadership and to talk to employees
about their experiences.

12. CHANGING THE NARRATIVE AROUND TERMINATION

The new reality is that you work at a company until the job you’re hired for is done. That might
come sooner than you expected. This will happen a lot more in the future.

Termination isn’t a show-stopper for our careers anymore. There’s no reason to feel shame
after being terminated … or to delay getting back to work. Since tenures will be shorter in the
future, the recovery time to decompress from the shock will be shorter.

Most employers are looking past terminations — although they still reference check for
possible negative patterns and incidents — and will hire on the value the candidate
demonstrates. It’s time for you to change the narrative around the meaning of termination and
reposition it in other ways so you can move on.

All of us have and will navigate these scenarios but in different ways. Some will need to stop
what they’re doing, while others will push through the muck and mire. For sure, we don’t have
to struggle alone. We do need to be prepared and ready to reach for the resources we need to
shorten or remove potential obstacles for a fulfilling career.

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11 Characteristics of People Who Exude Professionalism

I noticed these 11 attributes from people who exude professionalism. Be sure these are a part
of your communication and overall presentation:

1. You are direct

Your voice in writing and presentation speaks much louder, and your actions yell as either a fan
at a sporting event or as an antagonist at a political rally. If people are guessing what you’re
asking or responding to, then the respect you expect will dissipate.

2. You remember names

Forgetting a name is an awful habit. If you met the person more than twice, this could change
the game for you in all of the wrong ways. Not to mention it says how much you care about the
individual. It is hard if you’re meeting many people when starting a new job.

But if you don’t have the job yet, you’re obstructing your efforts. I would highly recommend
Jerry Lucas, Dr. Memory series, notably the remembering names series. Don’t be fooled,
forgetting names is an employment stumbling block. Remember: Professionalism is the end
result. You will be remembered for not being interested if you forget names.

3. Temperance

As a job seeker, you are at the mercy of everyone and his godfather. Signs of impatience and
petulance could disqualify you – it’s your personal smoking gun. Even if your face scrunched as
it’s ready to be boxed is seen, it is a turn-off, and your non-verbal or verbal angst is considered
to be bratty or self-entitled. Take the edge off as much as you can. Ask coworkers or people you
know how do you come across in business situations.

4. Answer the phone with tact

We might be talking about phone etiquette here, but it is important to tactfully and respectfully
answer calls professionally. People are still surprised and enchanted when speaking to someone
who is trying to impress them (without regards to position). Even if the caller is agitated, our
voice, tone and wordings can diffuse the bomb before it blows, if we’re tactful and respectful.

5. Each person is important

Treating the secretary as if he or she is the CEO is a powerful tool. Don’t think it doesn’t impress
the people who interview you. If executed well, more opportunities will increase your
engagement with people and encourage a conversation rather than an interrogation.

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6. Timing is everything

What you say is important, but when you say it could be the difference between being a
professional or disrespectful. You learn when to talk about salary and perks because sooner
than later is not a good strategy. If something bothers you about a part of the hiring process, it
matters when and who you talk to. It is wise not to speak with anyone about it when you don’t
have all of the information.

7. Clarity in everything

You must clearly communicate in every phase with everyone involved in your hiring process
(essentially it’s everyone you meet). Typical communication mishaps are unfinished thoughts,
bad grammar, unclear speech or dialect, and many times lack eye contact. Professionalism is
also seeking clarity. Questions show enthusiasm and interest.

Some of it is culture related, but when you struggle with clarity you can always:

– Repeat what you said in a slightly different way


– Ask the person if what you said was clear (with a humble attitude)
– Provide a follow-up email to significant conversations

8. Punctual

Being late for meetings, events, and even phone calls can leave a bad taste in anyone’s mouth.
Coffee, lunch, scheduled phone calls and casual meet-ups count as much like job interviews
even if it is with a colleague. When you’re on time, excellence can be assumed or at minimum
care about the work at hand.

9. Allowing accountability

It’s more important to have self-accountability, but providing an option for people to follow-up
empowers them. The trick is for them to find it unnecessary because you want to show out.
Offering transparency creates trust and faith in your abilities, but it also shows you don’t mind
putting your reputation to your work.

10. You’re honest with your mistakes

No one expects you to confess your sins in a public way, but how you respond to others
mistakes says a lot about you. Empathy helps when others can feel through experience by
walking in their shoes. Mistakes are human, and handling gaffes with grace and tact seal your
authenticity and professionalism.

11. Your social updates are thoughtfully and carefully crafted

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If you have an acute sense of humor, it doesn’t mean you have to be serious. I think even
comedians who are known for their brash humor add context to their stories. Without context,
we’re all vulnerable to incessant criticism and misunderstanding. Therefore, your attempts to
connect with your network are futile without clarity and context.

Every interaction counts during your job search and as you advance in your career. Whether
people view you from far away, online, or shaking hands with you, no one should doubt your
professionalism. I just mention a few ways to be professional, but there are more. Mainly, you
want people to rave about you after you leave the room.

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8 Ways to Pursue a Professional Education Outside the
Classroom
PREPARE FOR THE FUTURE

Recent studies have predicted that traditional colleges and universities may
become irrelevant as they begin to each outdated ideas and fall behind due to constant
changes in technology.

Because of this – and for other reasons – professionals should consider alternatives to the
longstanding practice of enrolling in advanced-degree programs when looking to jumpstart
their career. Other educational opportunities exist, and they may well prove to be better and
more cost-effective launch pads for career advancement.

These opportunities include:

1. FIND A MENTOR

Undoubtedly, professionals who have already traveled your ideal career path are among the
best people to guide you along the same journey. Because of that, asking a veteran in the line
of work you want to pursue to become your mentor can pay off in dividends. Thanks to their
experience, mentors have learned to navigate bumps in the road that are not taught in school.
On top of that, they may become a champion for you professionally, even helping you find job
opportunities via their network. Alternatively, you could join a professional peer group, in
which participants offer suggestions to each other based on their cumulative experience.

2. APPRENTICESHIPS AND INTERNSHIPS

On-the-job training in the form or an apprenticeship or internship is an underrated and rarely


talked about professional educational opportunity. Frankly, both are legitimate methods for
getting a foot in the door of your dream career, and they can certainly lead to better-paying
opportunities. Recognizing this, last year, the master of the Apprentice, President Trump signed
off on an executive order to substantially increase the availability of apprenticeships. The real-
world experience can provide an education that’s hard to duplicate in a classroom setting.

3. LOOK TO THE NON-TRADITIONAL LEARNING PATHS FIRST

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Many frustrated professionals are rushing headlong to the traditional educational formats, not
understanding that while they may have once been attractive, their value has waned. What
these workers need to understand is that many educational opportunities are provided and
shared by individuals and not institutions; so, when experienced consultants and trainers offer
webinars and valuable training courses, sign up! You’ll likely learn some invaluable lessons or
skills, and – just like a classroom – you’ll be able to ask questions after the session. Skillshare,
Udemy and LinkedIn – among others – offer training that’s inexpensive and incredibly useful
and valuable for those managing their careers.

4. BLOGS, VIDEO, AUDIO

There are some subjects or areas of interests where anyone can make significant educational
advances by listening, reading or watching programs via online mediums. Podcasts have
become one of the most accessible and popular means of learning, There are countless free
podcast apps for your smartphone or computer, and the range of topics available is limitless.

5. BOOKS, EBOOKS, AUDIOBOOKS

Much like podcasts, there are almost countless ways to read and/or listen to books focused on
professional education these days. Even YouTube has audiobooks on professional education.
eBooks are usually inexpensive; many are sold on Amazon for 99 cents, if you catch them at the
right time. Google books is another option with myriad selections focused on business
education. (Trade secret: I don’t always finish books that are boring not useful to me. You
shouldn’t either.)

6. SLIDESHARE

SlideShare is another powerful learning tool, be they professionals, college students, or even
casual learners. Most people think of SlideShare as just a place to store PowerPoint
presentations, but it has become an extensive learning resource that allows users to download
educational slideshows. LinkedIn has owned SlideShare since purchasing the platform in 2012,
when they recognized its power as a learning tool for professionals, on all manner of topics. You
don’t have to go far to access SlideShare; it’s easy to access if you already have a LinkedIn
profile.

7. MOOCS (MASSIVE OPEN ONLINE COURSES)

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MOOCss are powerful learning tools produced and hosted by companies such as edX, Khan
Academy, Udemy, LinkedIn and Skillshare. They were initially designed to complement
traditional education, and for many they have become a significant source of information and
training when it comes to career development and advancement. All provide affordable courses
on any manner of subjects and easy access to the subject matter. It doesn’t hurt to sign up for
their newsletters for occasional discounted courses or free open enrollment offerings.
Remember that many online courses (MOOCs) offered by reputable colleges can be found
online at edX.

8. SOCIAL MEDIA GROUPS

More often than not, if you’re on Facebook or LinkedIn, your professional interest groups will
find you through targeted ads. Considering the platform, you may be less likely to find them
through search, but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t seek out professional education
groups and ask to join. Most people are invited to closed groups on Facebook because they
have engaged with like-minded connections who are already members. If you are not engaging,
you are losing out on key opportunities to learn. You don’t have to choose a focused direction.
Actively networking is a start in the right direction, particularly if you’re reaching out to inquire
about how others got into their field. Everyone starts somewhere, but more importantly, start
asking and engaging while you’re curious and hungry for change.

So before you back up and head off to earn a graduate degree, consider some the options
above. Not only can they help spur a career change or increase your chances for advancement,
they’ll do so while cutting down the time and money usually required for professional
education.

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10 Tips To Show Tiny (But Not Trivial) Details Of Your Job
Search Matter
We waste time by doing a lot of little things wrong, or we take them for granted. You're trying
to convince an employer of your discipline and production. You're misplacing phone numbers,
forgetting names, and missing appointments. You are losing the job search game. People will
say,"... don't sweat the little stuff." But it's the little stuff obstructing the correct view of us that
is making us look clumsy and incompetent. That's why details matter.

1. People's names. How many of us are terrible with names but great with faces? Well, since we
can't follow up with faces, names are critical to document or remember. We have more than
just phone numbers to contact people, and there's always Google and social media to use. If
you're bad at remembering names and faces, look up Jerry Lucas on Amazon and his books on
memory. I remember many years ago how he recognized everyone in the audience on the
Johnny Carson show after meeting each person the first time. I read his book Lucas authored
with Harry Lorayne(the link goes to Google Books, The Memory Book) many years ago and still
use a couple of their principles in remembering phone numbers. It works, and I highly
recommend them.

2. Losing phone numbers. What's worse is when people lose their phones and use their
Facebook page to recoup misplaced phone numbers. If you don't use your Gmail contact list
regularly, you should. It's a free cloud service used by millions. But if you want to "level-up"
your contact game, use the app Evercontact to update contacts by contacting you via email. I'm
still playing with it, but so far I find it useful in detecting a connection who has updated his or
her information without notifying me.

3. You were supposed to call when? Yes, we forget, and scheduling is an issue, but when every
phone has a calendar there is no excuse. Many of us use Evernote but don't use the alarm
feature in the app. There are too many solutions tools to use already in your smartphone to
employ right now. But little things such as forgetting to call a certain or time could mean
everything to lose when you're trying to move forward.

4. How you treat everyone. Job seekers who are good networkers masterfully leverage
kindness, courteousness, and helpfulness. They understand people associate how they
remember you with how you made them feel the last time they met you. How can you expect
referrals if they don't feel you're genuine. People refer others they feel good about and who
treat them well.

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5. A smile or lack thereof. Employers want to see enthusiasm, and if you're so enthusiastic, how
is it supposed to be shown? It's not a signal you're desperate for the job, or you can't wait to
accept. It's part of putting forth your best effort, and you're excited to engage in the discussion.

6. Preparation. You want to treat this on the same level as an interview. Some will say that this
approach is over-the-top. It's necessary for the person referring you to demonstrate excitement
as much as you will.

7. The right phone numbers. I find it easier to use my phone as the hub of organization these
days. There are too many tools to ignore to keep you organized and on schedule. If you need
help with maintaining business card info, the one app you should have on your phone is ABBY
Business Card Reader. Although not perfect, it will read the information on the card and turn it
into a contact file on your phone. One thing critical to keep up with is following up with people
you meet, especially when there are many of them.

8. Not saying hello, good morning, and excuse me. More and more of us are taking for granted
the polite and cordial pleasantries that ignite familiarity and at times, meaningful relationships.
These are networking opportunities waiting to happen. They are also a catalyst for powerful
experiences to energize our efforts at the moment such as interviews, presentations, and even
casual conversations.

9. Hygiene. The hygiene debate has many twists and turns, even igniting a bias discussion. But
you have to bring your best when a job is on the line. It's not a lack of mouthwash or deodorant
issue. But if there is a consensus that an odor from you is offensive -- change your strategy.

10. Your phone has to be turned off at times. You want to be referred, liked, and hired. While
you are networking and interviewing, your phone is a non-factor in impressing anyone. Give
them 100% attention. There are many more to include on this list, and most of us had to learn
the hard way. Also, if you have been unemployed for a long time, you may not be aware of the
cultural differences of a team. That is why you shouldn't disengage if you're unemployed and if
possible accept contract or temp work. In the meantime, you'll need to dot your I's.

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14 Essential Components of the Modern Job Search

Here are 14 tools, traits, and skills that will help job seekers build and promote their brands —
and get the job as a result:

1. Your Purpose

What motivates you? What drives your passion for your work? Your reasons should be your
own — not those imparted to you by your mother or a well-meaning professor.
Stop letting clichés direct your career. Find your unique purpose, embrace it, and let it drive
you.

2. An Elevator Pitch

Many people cannot clearly articulate what it is they bring to a team or company. Just as big
brands are clear about the value they create for consumers, you must be clear about the value
you create for employers. Craft a brief elevator pitch that clearly outlines the value you create
for employers — and back it up with metrics that convince the skeptics.

3. Stories

Stories grab people’s attention, and when they are compelling enough, they can win you
support. In addition to a high-level elevator pitch, you should prepare a few stories of your
value-creation in action.

4. A Blog/Portfolio

Every job seeker should maintain a comprehensive portfolio of their work, whether it takes the
form of a blog or something else. This becomes a one-stop shop for people who want to learn
more about what you have to offer.

Maintaining a blog or other public site is also a great way to build an audience, establish
yourself as a thought leader in your field, and maybe even attract employers.

5. Business Cards

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At the minimum, an electronic business card is essential. Every gathering is a networking
opportunity with the potential to advance your career. No matter where you go, bring your
business cards and be prepared to hand them out.

6. A List of Target Companies

A list of target employers allows you to conduct your job search in a more precise and
purposeful manner. Plus, it allows you to focus your networking on contacts at the companies
you’d like to work for. Networking is more effective if you build and deepen those relationships
long before you need to cash in a referral favor.

It’s okay for your list of targets to change over time.

7. An Engaging LinkedIn Profile

By now, you know “all-star” status is your goal on LinkedIn. Stay active by commenting on,
liking, and sharing content. To stand out against other LinkedIn all-stars in your industry, utilize
your recommendations, publications, awards, and volunteer sections whenever possible.

8. Deep Network Relationships

These days, many people seem to value quantity over quality in their networks, but it is the
deep relationships that really lead to new career opportunities. People with whom you have
mutually beneficially, trust-based relationships will remember you when unposted jobs open
up.

9. Powerful References

You want network connections who can speak to your strengths in a compelling way. Stay in
touch with your references so that your connections are always warm. Keep them interested in
and excited about your career. Share updates so that they can accurately convey the essence of
your professional value when the time comes.

10. An Email Newsletter

I facilitate a monthly “Job Lab” in the Ashburn-Wrightwood community in Chicago. One of the
regular attendees keeps his connections apprised of his career happenings with an email

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newsletter. He shares details of his consulting gigs and his insights on relevant topics. This is a
powerful way to keep your connections in tune with your efforts.

11. Gratitude

Make sure thank-you notes are part of your strategy — not only for interviewers, but also for
references, network contacts, and even the friend who babysat your kids so you could attend a
networking event. A nice touch might be using something like the Starbucks app to send $5
digital gift cards right from your phone.

12. Persistence

For people to really get to know you as a professional, you’ll need to engage multiple times.
Keep at it — but don’t overwhelm your contacts.

You must be there for others, too! You will need to give more than you get, and that’s okay.

13. Resilience

You will hear a lot of “nos” and “maybes” throughout your career. Your ability to endure these
inevitable rejections will make all the difference.

14. Social Proof

Social proof is an essential part of your personal brand — but you need to make sure you’re
posting the receipts where employers can see them. Don’t be afraid to self-promote. That’s the
only way to get on people’s radars.

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Correct These 9 Social Media Disasters Right Now

Assuming you care about your personal branding efforts, you should know that everything you
do online is subject to scrutiny.

Today, recruiters look at every candidate’s social media presence when making decisions about
who should advance and who should not. In part, they’re looking to see how creative and
impressive candidates are on social media — but they’re also looking for bad behaviors that
disqualify job seekers from the running.

Take time now to see if any of the following major gaffes appear on your social profiles — and
correct any that you find:

1. Broken Links

I’ve connected with a lot of people on Twitter whose website links in their bios don’t work. Also
included in this category are links that have nothing to do with you and your professional work.
Check the links on your social profiles a few times a year to ensure you’re sending people
where you want them to go.

2. Using Trending Terms You Don’t Understand

Nothing like using slang when you haven’t an idea what it means. Throwing “shade” doesn’t
mean throwing a lamp, nor does “Black Lives Matter” mean all other lives don’t matter.

You might think this is trivial, but if your resume advertises anything close to “detail-oriented,”
then an employer will take exception to your misuse of language. And if an employer doesn’t
catch it, people in your network might. You would like their job referrals, wouldn’t you?

3. Liking and Sharing Outdated or Erroneous Information

You probably know the type: The person who doesn’t seem to think at all before sharing
content. You look much more credible to employers when your timeline only includes accurate,
interesting, and up-to-date content.

4. No Original Thoughts of Your Own

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God bless those of you who constantly share inspirational quotes, beautiful pictures, and
“Caturday” memes from others. The problem, however, is none of this content demonstrates
your value as a professional. People in your network want to know you and what you do — not
what you share.

5. Political, Religious, and Sexual Content

The safest possible course is just to avoid it all. Even your most positively intended posts can be
offensive to others who don’t share your values.

6. Poor Quality Photos

Most smartphone cameras these days can take quality pictures to post on social media. Low-
quality images make you look outdated, out of touch, and unaware of how new technology
works.

7. Clichés

Oh, you’re a proven leader with 20+ years of experience? How does that stand out from anyone
else? People should know your unique value by glancing at just the first 120 characters of your
bio.

8. Bad Grammar and Old Text Abbreviations

I recently saw someone post on a Facebook thread, “We R W U!” Meaning, “We are with you!”
Employers don’t look kindly on this. It makes you seem like a bad, sloppy communicator.

9. Bragging

Context is everything, but social media makes it very easy to take things out of context. It is
essential to promote yourself online, but you need to be careful not to come across as if you
are boastful. There are ways to promote yourself without annoying others. If you’re unsure, ask
trusted friends and colleagues for feedback on your messaging and adjust as needed.

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Remember, simply scrubbing your profile of gaffes is not enough. Presenting your best self-
online means showcasing the creative, value-driving side of yourself. That is what impresses
employers. Invest time and effort in making sure this is the aspect of you that shines most
brightly on social media — and avoid the reputation-marring mistakes outlined above.

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10 Steps to Create Demand for Your Work – for Your
Career’s Sake

Here are some steps to take in order to create – and sustain – demand for the value you
produce as a professional:

1. Stay Focused on the Value of Your Work

Most of us need to be reminded occasionally of what our work means and how it impacts
others. Find out how your work improves other people’s lives, and keep this in your sights at all
times.

2. Keep Proof of Your Best Work Close By

You will have to show others your best work – not to brag, but to illustrate your value. Share
proof of your best, most recent work on your social channels. Use the channels where your
work is mostly likely to reach its intended audience.

3. Know Who Appreciates Your Work and Why

You may have to do a little schmoozing in order to better understand whom your work reaches
and whom it serves, but that’s okay. Over-delivering is more than just an extra scoop of ice
cream – it’s a way to build intimate pathways between your work and the people it affects, not
to mention the additional brand loyalty it yields.

4. Reward Constructive Feedback

Constructive feedback can be tough to swallow, but it’s necessary. Most importantly, pay
attention to the source of the criticism. Can you accept constructive feedback from someone
who may not care about the outcome? If you can, and you can respond positively to that
feedback, you can stay ahead of your competition. Thank people for their critiques. Doing so
will build goodwill and show others you are serious about what you do.

5. Engage in Meaningful Conversations

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Good networking isn’t about getting things from people. Good networking is an exchange of
value. When you make connections, look for ways to build trust – not just for now, but for the
long term. Also give as much as you’re getting – if not more.

6. Anticipate Your Professional Peaks and


Valleys

All careers have periods of thriving and periods of decline. Layoffs and terminations happen
to even the best of us people. Stay connected to the meaning of your work. Respond quickly
and appropriately to both good and bad news.

7. Become Your Own Master Publicist

Your future employers and business partners want to know you. The more people rave about
you, the easier it is to build trust. When you have people bragging about the value you deliver,
new opportunities will come to you.

Why not lend your voice to a podcast, magazine, or television interview? Get your message out
there, and get other people spreading it for you.

8. Share Your Stories

Your message, voice, and delivery matter to the people in your network. People want to know
how you got to where you are. Part of why people invest emotionally or financially in anything
is because they understand the journey and want to be part of it. Get your message out there
through relevant, engaging stories. People will listen.

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9. Connect With Experts

Whom you meet matters. It is essential to forge relationships with hiring managers and
executives. They may not hire you, but they can certainly help you on your journey in some way
or another. Employers who offer insights into their hiring practices on LinkedIn and other
platforms are valuable. If you’re bold and tactical, you can engage them.

10. Give Without Expecting to Get

Word spreads when you give more than you take. People care more about your generosity than
your skills. If you prove you are personally driven to create value for others, people will be
impressed – and they’ll want you on their side.

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Forget A.I.: 8 Timeless Job Search Tactics You Can Use in
2018

Despite all the talk about how A.I. is taking over industries, pushing people out of jobs, and
reshaping the hiring process, I’m here to tell you that as long as “human” remains a central
element of “human resources,” you can rely on a few surefire job search tactics that reach
people.
Here are some timeless ways to find job search and career success in 2019:

1. A Well-Written Resume

Many career analysts and insiders claim the resume is dead, but you have permission to ignore
them at least for one more year. Many companies still use screening technologies that hinge on
parsing resumes, so a well-written, keyword-rich document is crucial to your career.

2. Consulting and Independent Contracting

You’ve heard the predictions that more and more people will become independent contractors
over the next few years. Why not get in on the trend now? Nothing will ever replace human-to-
human business activity, and this is one area where advances in technology are set to help
instead of hinder. Thanks to smartphones, you can be easily accessible to your clients and offer
the kind of on-demand services that so many organizations want now.

3. Flaunting Your Recommendations

LinkedIn recommendations are a powerful way to publicize your value to the world. Last year, I
heard the story of a virtual assistant who received high praise from a businesswoman on
LinkedIn. The post was viewed more than 10,000 times and generated hundreds of comments –
many from people hoping to hire the assistant.

4. Networking

Networking’s value can never be overstated. Everything is networking, and networking is


everything. Don’t forget to explore how to leverage your “weak ties” on social networks.

5. Staying in Touch With Your Field

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Staying current on the latest trends and involved in relevant conversations helps you to actively
promote your brand, your work, and your value. It will also keep you informed of what changes
might be on the horizon for your industry – which lets you get the jump on those changes and
position yourself for success.

6. Producing Content

Producing audio or visual content that presents your original thoughts to the world can be
nerve-racking, but it’s necessary. This content produces value for other people – including
people who may want to hire you based on how great your content is.

7. Volunteering

I call volunteering “the new work experience.” Not only does volunteering show employers
you’re proactive and passionate, but it also gives you a chance to sharpen your current skills
and develop new ones. Volunteer work with the right organization allows you to achieve your
goals, learning outcomes, and marketability.

8. Soft Skills and Personality

Hiring managers and other decision-makers want to envision themselves working with you. Set
yourself apart by using your soft skills and personality to show off how much you’ll thrive at
their company. Don’t limit your conversations to dry, technical matters. Exchange ideas, share
stories, laugh a little – start adding value before you’ve even got the job.–

A.I. is only in its early stages in recruiting and hiring. In the future, it may radically alter the
landscape, so pay attention to new developments as they come along.

But until A.I. really does take over recruiting and hiring, the tactics offered above will help you
achieve success – no robots required.

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8 Ways to Foster Effective Job Interview Conversations

You, as the candidate, can turn the interview into a conversation. But like anything else, it
requires preparation and strategy. The combination can invite a relaxed and balanced approach
to solutions and contributions to the employer’s challenges attractive enough to bring
conversation and intrigue from the employer using these suggestions:

1. Show you’ve done the research

If you don’t research the company you are prospectively seeking, you will never know what they
need. Talk to several employees (even a recent former employee is helpful) and polish your
message according to their needs at the time. Based on what you know, can you anticipate a
need? If so, you can speak to solutions your job competition couldn’t.

2. Give your hearers something to hold onto

What two or three problems do they repeat or what recurring problematic themes can you
solve? Find ways to bring them up throughout the conversation through stories and examples.
The CAR method (Challenge-Action-Results) helps you craft useful examples. Proper research
and storytelling that demonstrate experience and skill place them (employer, interviewer,
people you meet) on your career journey, and they likely will remember you.

3. Include resolution of business conflicts within your examples

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People grow aware of how you will treat them through your scenarios involving other people.
They’ll note how you made others feel and relate it to themselves. They’ll remember the tone
and the volume, and your eagerness to take responsibility for the problems you resolved.

4. Reflect and be sure you answered all questions completely

You are juggling your precise answers and the employer’s information, and it’s possible you have
unsatisfactorily answered a question(s). There is nothing wrong with stating you would like to go

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back and answer an earlier question. Confusion and ambiguity never work in your favor. Don’t
risk being misunderstood by the interviewer.

5. Follow up appropriately

Letters and notes as follow-up are great ways to follow up, but find out what kind of
communication is preferred. The question is not should you, but how and when is best. Establish
the expectations before leaving the meeting for clarity.

6. Hear what they say, and what they won’t say

Interviews are draining. You want to state your potential contributions while attempting to
understand expectations. Your work isn’t done when the conversation is over. Reflect on what
wasn’t said (i.e., Why did the interviewer ask how many hours do I work a week at my current
job?) and what was said. Depending on where you are in the process, you will need to follow up
at the next interview or follow up with a call or email.

7. Use your excitement to drive the energy to synergy

A good interview is a good date. The excitement of one person infuses the energy of the other
person. If you’re not the one generating the enthusiasm, why would the other person continue?
The interest you bring is just as significant as your skills. Candidates do not impress employers
with talent alone.

8. Let your personality come through

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Your uniqueness offers value in profound ways. One of the unwritten tests of an interview is
your primary response to stress (you know interviews are stressful, right?). If your personality
shines during a panel or one-on-one interview, it’s likely to leave a positive impression. Although
showing your character doesn’t mean a stand-up comedy routine, a little self-deprecating humor
can help your likability factor.

A consultant mindset establishes an invaluable relationship with employers, but it comes


through the business conversation. You won’t foster a business conversation if you don’t have
clarity of your vision of a position delivering what employers want. Confusion can muddy the
compensation discussion and create more of a wall than a bridge. Decision makers base their
decision on skills and abilities and will hire the candidate who resonates with them the most.

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5 Tips on Interview Prep from a World-Class Career Coach
When it comes to landing a job, interview prep is just as important as your resume. Hiring
managers interview hundreds of candidates throughout their careers; they can spot your lack of
preparation from a mile away.
Thea Kelley is an experienced career coach and the author of Get That Job! The Quick and
Complete Guide to a Winning Interview. Recently, she was kind enough to speak with me and
offer her advice on interview prep:

1. Be Real

Many job candidates prepare for interviews as if they’re bracing for the impact of a car crash
instead of getting ready for a conversation. Hiring managers can sense how guarded you are
when you walk into the room, and it doesn’t make you look good.

Kelley says it’s important the interviewer “feels like they’re connecting with [you] as a human
being.” In addition to letting your guard down, avoid talking as if you’re some kind of job-
seeking machine.

“Phrases such as ‘I possess the ability’ – who talks like that?” Kelley ponders.

2. Keep Your Language Simple

It’s okay to use a little industry jargon to demonstrate your knowledge, but don’t deliver
memorized soliloquies or use large words that are unnatural to you. If you can answer a
question using smaller, simpler, more direct language, do so.

I like using a recorder with coaching clients so they can hear their tone, vocabulary, and
grammar and take corrective action if necessary. Every aspect of your delivery will face scrutiny
in an interview, so pay attention to it all when practicing.

3. Display Your Emotional Intelligence

“Emotions can be beneficial for job interviews,” Kelley says.

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Telling stories rather than dryly answering questions allows you to showcase your passion,
enthusiasm, and even a little appropriate humor. This makes it easier for the interviewer to
envision sitting next to you for eight hours a day.

4. Relax

Kelley points out world-class athletes who earn millions of dollars take the time to learn
relaxation techniques. You, too, can benefit from practicing relaxation techniques before an
interview. Kelley suggests using visualization to “imagine yourself in an interview and being
authentic.”

5. Be Memorable; Tell Vivid Stories

Stories connect candidates to interviewers in ways that data can’t. They foster relationships
and conversation, rather than inquisition. Storytelling is also a valuable way to work your own
questions for the interviewer into the conversation.

Kelley says a list of attributes is not enough to demonstrate your fit or expertise. You must be
able to show how your experience is relevant. Offering the interviewer vivid and specific
examples makes your qualifications real and convincing.

Don’t just interview to pass a test. Interview to make it real, capture the interviewer’s
imagination, and connect with them.

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7 Ways to WOW Employers With Your Online Presence in 2018

How to impress employers is the question to answer today, but the answer is the same as
yesterday’s: Find their need, then be the one to meet the need . If you do, then you have a right
to have a mutual excitement about whom you partner.

Part of the challenge is that most job seekers are still co-dependent on job boards, bracing
themselves for interrogation during the interview process, and hoping to get picked. What’s
unfortunate is waiting to be chosen, often by the company, as if it were the NFL draft. Many will
even go with the company that’s the wrong fit for them.

Instead of being the shepherd of their career, they settle for being the hired hand. They do
enough to say they did something. It’s an intrinsic battle we have at least once during our
careers. I have done it when I needed the check. It’s not the worst decision ever, but
unfortunately, for some, it’s the only way to navigate career moves.

Yes, you can have a say in where you work. It’s a relationship. You choose each other. You still
need to impress employers, however. And you can WOW them before your first interview. You’ll
need to keep in mind there are no quick fixes or immediate results here. Build an online
presence over time, and you have built a powerful referral engine directly and indirectly. Here
are a few suggests on how to do that:

1. WOW employers by weathering the storms

Resilience is a powerful attribute to show. If you’re telling your story online, part of it must
explain how you navigate challenges and overcome fears. Show how you create workarounds
without complaining about obstacles. You can also show how you weather online criticism and
how you create solutions to silence the noise. It’s tough to do, but it’s doable.

2. WOW employers with your diverse network

Showing you can work with different types of thinking and people from various backgrounds
demonstrates communication skills. You will also notice your networking opportunities will open
global possibilities. Engaging conversations with the diversity of thought also helps you hone
your craft. What you say is not nearly as important as how you say it. It is creating an engaging
learning environment for your network and readers of your website.

3. WOW employers with a consultant mindset

Good personal trainers assess your physical movement before prescribing exercises. They will
not offer training to weaken a weak body part even if the exercise strengthens the muscle. The

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trainer may defer to your doctor for further tests or a physical therapist who knows how to
rehabilitate the weak muscle. In the same way, the consultant mindset tests to see where the
source of the problem is. If there are several things, you may need an additional consultant.

4. WOW employers with your agility

Depending on your industry, kicking and screaming when there is new technology to learn is not
a good thing. Companies are spending millions to make work life and profit easier, faster, and
better. You must demonstrate enthusiasm and the ability to toggle between various forms of
technology. You add value if you can show others how to make the transition too.

5. WOW employers with a bold delivery of solutions

Don’t ever underestimate the power of audio and video. When using these mediums as
storytelling tools, you can ensure ways to be memorable. Creating or being a guest on a podcast,
radio, video, or television show changes how you are remembered and valued.

6. WOW employers with your use of video

Video can help you reach employers in many ways, and you can optimize its use on Facebook
(Facebook Live) and Instagram (Instagram Stories). Recruiters and employers actively use both,
and there is a growing use of Instagram by showing their culture and employees as brand
ambassadors. In addition to using YouTube, Zoom, a video software for video conferences and
online meetings, can be a tool to create value for an audience of industry peers and colleagues.
All of this can transfer to interviewing for jobs with companies that use it in the first part of their
interview process.

7. WOW employers by extending your resume to the web

Your resume needs more than accomplishments and results to stand out in a very competitive
job market. Blogs, vlogs, and podcasts are slowly growing as a way for job seekers to
demonstrate expertise. A recent article on JobMob.co.il shows 17 examples of people who
found creative and bold ideas to present their credentials to target employers. When it didn’t
work for the original target employer, it helped her stand out to other companies like the
intended employer.

It takes time at the beginning of your job search to find out what employers want. Since so many
job candidates don’t have anything online employers want to see, for you, it’s where you want
to lead them. Business cards, word-of-mouth, and maybe a QR code on your phone are great
ways to have people you network with or potential referrers find you easily. Even LinkedIn has a
new feature, providing a QR code, and those who scan it will go to the user’s profile. So many
people do not put the consistency and the thought to build an impressive online presence
either.

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Consider this advice an opportunity to make it easy and insightful for employers to find you, and
at times, discover you before you know they are looking.

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14 Powerful Networking Tools and Strategies to Adopt
Now

The way networking operates is similar to the way a little yeast works through a batch of
dough: Both require time, a little massaging, and consistency. Given that, in certain
circumstances, 85 percent of all jobs are filled through networking, it behooves every
professional to learn how to network.

The successful networker understands that it’s about giving more than taking for the long term.
Successful networking takes time to “work through the batch.”

Here are some ways to become a successful networker and fully tap into your network:

Tools:

1. Business Cards

I know most people will have real business cards, but if all else fails, a digital business card can
be as useful as a physical one. It’s a good idea to include links on your business card to your
LinkedIn profile and other professional websites. There are apps available to help you create
cards, but it can be as simple as using a stock image (considering copyright laws, of course!) and
including your contact info.

2. Handbills

Try creating a one-page document to hand out at networking events. This “handbill” should
quickly summarize your contact info, skills, and experience. To quote Jessica Dillard, the
founder of Dillard & Associates: “It doesn’t replace the resume, but in particular environments
[it can] go before it.”

3. Thank-You Notes

Consider sending notes after informational meetings, networking events, and even LinkedIn
recommendations or referrals. Sometimes, an email is enough; other times, a handwritten note
will stand out more.

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4. Skype

It’s easier to stay in touch with your network through Skype – and usually less expensive, too!
It’s accessible on all electronic devices, and you can use it for calls, texts, and creating a contact
database.

5. A Planner of Some Kind

I prefer to keep my scheduling tools accessible from all of my devices. If you don’t, there are
planners to help you keep track of your schedule. You should take your networking
appointments as seriously as you would a job interview.

6. Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, etc.

Your favorite social media platforms will be whichever ones produce the most relationships for
you. Figure out which social networks will expand your connections and lead to the most
meaningful discussions for your career. Then, focus on these sites.

Tactics:

1. Informational Interviews / Business Conversations

It’s good to have conversations about possible career developments without anyone feeling
obligated. The intelligence you collect in these conversations will be applicable to your career
path and yield actionable steps – maybe not right away, but down the line. Think of this as a
long-term move, and be prepared to give back to those with whom you chat.

2. Give Without Expecting a Return (Most of the Time)

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Networking is about what you offer others. If you are giving your best, an equal return may be
unachievable, but rest assured: When the time comes, the value will be received.

3. Quality, Not Quantity

Many LinkedIn users have thousands of contacts they have never even Googled. These
connections are just numbers, marketing opportunities to be wasted. You won’t benefit from
the quality of your connections until you take the conversation outside of LinkedIn.

4. Expand Personal Brand Awareness

Do you want to increase your exposure and get others excited to connect with you? Your social
profiles need to be attractive, but the other part of the equation is being social. Talking with the
right people can yield relevant intel for your resume, interview, or partnership.

5. Remember: ‘To Teach Is to Learn Twice’

Share what you’ve learned with individuals and small groups. As you start dialogues, your
thought leadership potential grows. The more established you are in your field, the more
opportunities you’ll have to meet new people and show off your core competencies.

6. Center Your Personality and Character

Employers hire likable people. Show likability, and you will increase your memorability. Relax.
Be yourself.

7. Volunteer

Not only can volunteering help you hone your skills, fill your resume gaps, and give back to your
community, but it is also a great way to meet new people. Considering getting in touch with the
boards of directors at philanthropic organizations. The people on these boards are often
connected to corporations and hiring authorities.

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8. Attend Industry Events

The best part of attending any conference is the networking you can do before, during, and
after. If you want to maximize your possibilities, lead a breakout group, pre-conference session,
or even a class or event.

Networking can happen anywhere and everywhere. Whether you’re walking the dog or waiting
in line, you may be a conversation away from your next gig.

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Follow these other tips to learn how to find your new job faster. Remember, you only need
one company to hire you. These tips were in last year’s guide and still relevant. Instead of
focusing your efforts on making dozens or hundreds of contacts with prospective
employers, be selective!

✓ What do you want to do? Where you want to do it? Those are the two fundamental
questions to consider. Without focus you will bury yourself too deep. Start listing
your ideal companies you dream of or would love to work at even if you feel you
don’t have the skills or qualifications. Then list the skills you currently have and
ones you would like to have.

✓ Strategy is critical. You need a documented plan. The best place to start is with your
network: friends, family, second- and third-tier connections (also known as weak
connections), use LinkedIn to search people with similar titles or who have the same
job as you do, business journals, and public databases (some libraries still have
them)

✓ To-do lists are a must! Job seekers should prioritize and schedule each day with job-
search activities as well as life’s needs. If you’re working, schedule in the specific
job- search actions. If it’s not scheduled, it won’t get done.

✓ Designate a workplace or a distraction-free zone. Most people keep their partners,


spouses, or children away from here.

✓ Look for time to meet more people, so you can increase your connections. Fun times
build emotional connections, and in the future, they could be a lifeline for your job
search.

✓ Are you a recent college graduate (Grad or undergrad)? Your college’s alumni
services are useful to connect you with other alumni. Community colleges and high
schools will also have alumni services to use.

✓ Career services at your college are full of resources. They can help you with your
résumé, cover letters, and other tools to help your job search. They can also connect
you to engaged alumni who can help you navigate the transition from college to
professional life.

✓ The beginning of your job search is the time to start thinking about your
compensation package. Here are some links for you to use as resources:
o Payscale Salary Negotiation Guide 2017
o Glassdoor Salary Guide
o Salary.com

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✓ Expand your considerations to remote work. Flexjobs.com lists vetted remote jobs
(for an annual $49.99 fee for unlimited access). Each company has been screened for
its legitimacy, so you won’t have to worry about scams.

Research Your Ideal Job/Know What You Want

✓ Since clarity is critical in finding your next opportunity, a useful exercise for this is
to write your ideal job description. Describe the job title, type of company, location,
responsibilities, compensation/benefits, etc.

✓ Identify which skills, training/education, and experience you wish to emphasize on


your résumé. Start building success stories around them. It’s important to think of
yourself as a marketer of yourself. As best as you can, find out the employer’s need
and build a narrative around it. Follow the advice found in this article.

✓ Is it a challenge to find your strengths or where you bring value? Ask five former
coworkers and five family members. Document their responses to help yourself. You
can also check your LinkedIn recommendations for insights into what people say
about how you help them.

✓ Companies hire job candidates when they will solve a problem. Have you identified
problems you solve for companies? How is it unique? Why is it unique?

✓ Can you quantify how you have solved problems for your current or last
company? Employers find measures more descriptive and clearer than adjectives
like “dynamic,” “great,” or “good.”

✓ Small startups and federal-sector jobs are rarely considered when people job-hunt.
Because startups usually have small staffs, it is likely easier to reach the hiring
person. Federal jobs have a slower hiring process but not as much competition.
Associations are also a less competitive job market to navigate to find
opportunities.

✓ Companies often have an 800 number for their customer service or membership
department. One of the ways you can research companies is by finding out who is in
charge of specific areas—possibly leading to the name of the hiring manager. He or
she is likely interviewing or hiring. Try it if you need to send a a cover letter or
some other correspondence to a particular person.

Find Companies That Are Hiring

✓ Your network and getting referrals are your best shot at employment with a
company you like. See every social setting as a possible way of finding new
leads. Look for ways to helpful, more than what you’ll receive. Don’t be the “askhole”
everyone avoids.

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✓ Local business journals can be a great way to find less-well-known companies that
are growing (and, therefore, hiring). Search “local business journal” or “(City)
business journal” on Google, or check out The Business Journal’s listing
o at http://businessdirectory.bizjournals.com/

✓ The Yellow Pages (or online industry directories) can be a good source of potential
employers. What’s even better are industry events where you are a participant. It’s
an opportunity to be a resource and a leader to be recognized as the person to
know.

✓ Find companies that actively promote volunteerism, that sponsor charity events,
and find a way to the participate. You’ll find people who are more inviting when it’s
not about you, or them, but who you are serving. The common bond provides an
opportunity for conversation and connection. Remember, it’s NOT about you.

✓ Find out where the recruiters, hiring managers, and executives (of small startups)
are on social media and follow them or “Like” their pages. Also, follow the company
pages, as they may use social media to announce hiring before it shows on their
website.

✓ Google Alerts is also a way to find hiring companies. You may need to set up several
search inquiries, because each company may have a different name for the one
position you are targeting. Try using quotes around the term, e.g., “Transition
Specialist,” and “Training Specialist.”

✓ Consider using Talkwalker.com to compare to Google Alerts. It is possible one


may yield better results than the other. You might decide to use both.

✓ LinkedIn connections always announce job openings. The recruiters on LinkedIn are
likely to announce them more than anyone. Remember that recruiters are likely
working for their client, which is the hiring company. Keep recruiter interactions
professional instead of casual if you decide to approach them.

Résumés and Cover Letters

✓ Keep your résumé updated. You never know when you might need it.

✓ Make sure your career communication documents are 100% error-


free. Examine everything from correct grammar to spelling. Have a professional
writer (preferably an editor, English major, or Journalist) proofread your career
documents.

✓ If you don’t know or trust anyone who can proofread, then hire someone reputable.
Consider using Grammarly for proofreading. Don’t rely on Word to do it for you.

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✓ Never use your current employer’s contact information on your résumé —
especially not your work email address! (And speaking of email addresses, make
sure that the one you use is professional — not thebigshow1971@gmail.com.)

✓ Be sure to include all of your contact information so prospective employers can get
in touch with you quickly. Include your full name, one phone number (home or cell),
and email address. No longer include your home address.

✓ Review your résumé and cover letter to ensure it targets the job you want. Don’t try
to use a “generic” résumé — and don’t send a résumé that is geared towards one
type of job to apply to a completely different kind of job. (If you are pursuing sales
jobs and logistics jobs, make sure you have a sales-targeted résumé and a logistics-
targeted résumé!)

✓ Adapt the résumé and cover letter to each position you’re pursuing. Choose quality
over quantity. It’s better to send five targeted résumés than to apply to 100 jobs
with an untargeted résumé.

✓ Make sure you understand what the employer is looking for in a candidate for the
position before you submit your résumé and cover letter. Do your documents
highlight the specific skills and experience the employer is seeking?

✓ Review your résumé and make sure you are highlighting your most
substantial accomplishments, results, and impact. As much as possible use $ and %.
Measurements say so much more than listing responsibilities.

✓ Remember a cover letter. (A “cover letter” doesn’t always mean a letter — it can also
be an introductory email.) A cover letter introduces you when you can’t introduce
yourself personally. A personalized letter/email is necessary any time you will not
be handing your résumé to the hiring manager directly.

✓ Keep your cover letter to less than a page. It helps to use bullet points (3 bullets at
most) to highlight accomplishments or career highlights.

✓ Honesty is vital! Never, never, never, never lie on your résumé.

✓ Objective statements are obsolete. Instead, use the summary as a contribution


statement with the headline of the job you are targeting. e.g., ewhere you would put
“Objective” or “Professional Summary” put “Environmental Engineer.”

✓ In most cases, unless the job description emphasizes education as a requirement,


put it at the bottom of your résumé.

Applying Online

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✓ Make sure your résumé is compliant with applicant-tracking systems, as many large
employers use these to screen job applicants. In addition to making sure your
formatting is ATS (Applicant Tracking System) compliant, ensure you have the
appropriate keywords in your résumé to match the position you’re seeking.

✓ More than 70% of résumés are unseen by a human, so make sure it can be read by
one. Jobscan.co is a resource for you to see how well your résumé would do on the
ATS. Their software will provide a score and allow you several tries until its 80%
compliant. They do have a premium account to purchase for unlimited access.

✓ This will sound funny but do not rely on applying online. Get a referral. Not only will
your information reach the right person, but studies show retention is higher when
an employee is referred than hired through a job board.

✓ Any time you find a position online that interests you, see if you can find the contact
information for the hiring manager and follow up with a résumé and cover letter via
snail mail.

✓ Don’t fret if you don’t match a position 100%. Apply online, then find someone in
the company to refer you. It’s likely they are compensated for referrals. Assure them
of the value you offer to help them feel good about referring you.

✓ USAJobs.gov is the best place to apply for government jobs. Here are other places
to apply for federal jobs. Be prepared to supply an exhaustive job history. Pay
attention to character limits per job and allow up to nine months (sometimes for
processing). Patience is the name of the game.

Networking 
✓ More than half of all jobs are found through networking, although most job seekers
spend too much time on ineffective job search strategies, like applying for jobs
online.  

✓ Consider using a handbill for networking events. It’s a one-page marketing


document highlighting your best skills and attributes. It’s a powerful way to stand
out at job fairs and networking events. Find out more about  how you can use it
effectively.  

✓ The people you know can be the best way for you to find your next job. Make a list of
all of your contacts: past employers, vendors, customers, colleagues, competitors,
bankers, friends, relatives, parents of children’s friends, club members, cousins,
neighbors, etc. 

✓ Business cards are for serious job seekers. In 2018, it’s essential to have a business
card to hand out (not generously) to contacts. At minimum, consider using

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electronic business cards on your mobile phone. One of the best apps to use is Inigo
Cards. You can read more about it here.  

✓ Networking is mutually beneficial for all involved. Plan to give much more than
receiving. If you’re the person looking for a new job, isn’t it worth it? This podcast
explains the proper networking etiquette in less than 20 minutes.  

✓ Research and attend networking events hosted by your professional organization,


Chamber of Commerce, tips groups, etc. 

✓ Every social network is a job search networking opportunity. Your approach to


leverage it requires your ability to listen and offer value. NEVER appear desperate
or be inconsiderate. NEVER.  

✓ Contact your alumni groups. Your college or university should have an alumni
association (often with an online directory of members) that can be useful. Research
contacts in your field, even if they didn’t graduate in the same year as you. Your
common alma mater can be enough to connect you! 

✓ Get involved in your professional association. Join a committee. The membership


committee offers a natural connection to connecting with members. The programs
committee recruits influential members to speak. Or join the finance committee
(that helps line up sponsors — i.e., influential employers in the industry). 

✓ Pay to attend conventions or events in your industry. It’s worth investing in


yourself (even paying a non-member rate to attend association events). You’ll get
exposure to people in your target industry who may be in a position to hire you or
recommend you to someone who can hire you. 
✓ So, you can’t attend the industry event. Can you borrow someone’s notes, or pay for
the audio/video recording? At least get coffee with someone who attended and
doesn’t mind sharing his or her notes.  

✓ Consider sending a letter to members of your professional association. Your


colleagues can be a tremendous asset in helping you find unadvertised
opportunities. Write a letter asking for their help. 

✓ The job search method in 2018 is to stay connected, engaged, and involved. To
disengage from your career trajectory for more than a few months puts your job
search efforts (when you need it) a year or more behind. Social networks make it
possible to stay engaged throughout your career.   

✓ Volunteering is the new experience when you lack it and a useful networking


strategy.  Nonprofit organizations love free help, and most don’t mind you honing a
newly learned skill. If you’re unemployed, you can list your volunteer position as a
job.  

Social Media/Social Networking 

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✓ Social media has become a vital component in the job search. More than 70% of
employers are checking social profiles for culture and fit, activity, and social proof.
Employers note when potential job candidates are showing interest and activity in
the industry, e.g., sharing industry related news, praise from clients or coworkers,
whitepapers or articles written by the users, and interaction with thought leaders. 

✓ Defensive Googling is a must whether you are active on social media or not. Listen to
this show to understand why it’s critical esp. if you are active on social media.  

✓ Make yourself easy to find — and follow — on social media. Use your name,
whenever possible, on your social media profiles (unless you have a common name
— then include your middle name or some other distinguishing characteristic). Use
the same (professional) photo on all your public social media accounts (e.g., Twitter,
LinkedIn, Facebook). 

✓ Make sure your LinkedIn profile is complete and up to date before you start
searching. Create an attention-getting headline, write a compelling Summary,
populate your profile with all your relevant Education and Experience, and be sure
you have a professional photo! 

✓ One of the best ways to get noticed on LinkedIn is to be active in groups related to
your job and/or industry. Participate in discussions. Ask questions. Offer relevant
resources. And grow your LinkedIn connections by sending requests to connect to
fellow group members. 

✓ If you are conducting a confidential job search, make sure you do not publicly state
your interests in other positions through your updates, especially on LinkedIn.
Instead, read here how you can still conduct a stealth job search
on LinkedIn without your employer’s knowledge.  

✓ Use your social media connections to research prospective employers. If you find
out about a job opportunity, see who you know who works for the company — or
ask your network for contacts within your target company. Social media makes it
much easier to find the name of the hiring manager for the position you’re seeking.
Twitter and LinkedIn are great ways to connect with someone who works at your
target employer.  

✓ If you’re strategic by connecting with others on LinkedIn, you can get referred
instead of applying to job boards where 100s per position are applying.  

✓ Social media is one of the best places to research companies in real-time. Some


companies announce employment opportunities on their social media accounts. If
you have been interacting with the company’s Facebook page or Twitter feed, your
relationship with the account could help you stand out.  

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✓ Social media updates are searchable via Google. Anything you post is findable if it
has been shared on other social media or embedded on a blog.  

✓ Your social media account likely has a URL associated with it under your name.
Positive impression: An employer finds your timeline activity reflecting an interest
in the industry. Negative reaction: An employer is seeing your timeline activity
irrelevant to their industry. Employers often use it to exclude potential job
candidates before calling them.   

Working with Recruiters 

✓ Like you would with employers, reach out to your network to see if people liked the
recruiters they engaged. Look for the recruiter who best fits your goals. 

✓ The recruiter will interview you, and you should have questions ready to ask them.
If you don’t, it's likely they will have a negative impression of you.  

✓ Consider using free and paid online directories to find recruiters. Directories
like RileyGuide.com are free while RecruiterRedbook.com costs. Others
are SelectRecruiters.com and CareerJournal.com. 

✓ Carefully screen recruiters using all social networks as a tool to vet. LinkedIn is a
great place to start, although many use the profile just as a “presence.” Consider
looking where they are active from Facebook to Instagram.  

✓ Some recruiters give sound job search advice and are resources for job seekers. To
take your research further, see if they have a blog or have been quoted in the press.  

✓ Remember that recruiters don’t work for you — they work for their paying
clients, the employers that hire them to fill a position. Therefore, don’t expect
recruiters to respond when you contact them unless you meet a current or future
job opening requirements. 

✓ Check with your industry association or organization for recommendations.  

✓ Plan to be proactive and follow up with your recruiter. They have many clients--be
the one to initiate the follow-up call, text, or email.  

Dress for Success 

✓ Make sure your clothes fit and that they are clean and pressed (ironed). Ill-fitting
and/or wrinkled clothes make a poor first impression. 

✓ Here are some resources for you: 


✓ The Signature Look for Your Career Brand with Aaja Corinne 
✓ Fall Fashion Advice 

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✓ Pay attention to your hands. Make sure that your fingernails are clean and neatly
trimmed. 

✓ Shoes should be clean and polished and should match your outfit. 

✓ Men: Wear a white or pastel shirt, dark pants, and dark or contrasting tie (don’t get
too creative!). 

✓ Women: Go light on the makeup. Don’t overdo your jewelry. Less is more. 

Interview Preparation 

✓ Practice answering and asking questions before the interview. There are many
resources if you need help thinking of questions. No matter what, focus your
question toward the employer’s specific issues you need to know. General questions
will only give you broad and bland answers.   

✓ Think of your interview approach as a consultant. You are interested in the big
picture, solving difficult problems, and apply technology to your problem-solving
strategies.   

✓ Preparation cannot be stressed enough. especially since it’s been a year that you
interviewed with other companies.   

✓ To compete for jobs in 2018, you have to show you cared enough about working for
the company that you have researched them. Use news releases and blogs; call
their #800 to see how they service clients/members/associates’ see if you can talk
to employees (use your network).
o   
✓ More often a company asks potential candidates for a phone interview and to
complete an assessment before the first person-to-person meeting. The phone
interview could be a Skype or a video interview. Be ready for either by dressing
appropriately for any communication.   

✓ Panel interviews are more common than ever for an interview. Always ask who will
be interviewing you.  

✓ Follow-up after the interview sets you apart from other candidates. After meeting,
find out if calling after a week or two is acceptable. Then promptly call the company
back if they haven’t contacted you.   

✓ A thank-you note is also a way to stand out from other job candidates. An email is
fine in most cases, but most people do not send a letter. To stand out, send the email
and send the note.   

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✓ Employers won’t see you fit for a job without seeing your personality. Make
the interview a conversation, be relaxed, and remember you want to be sure they
are the right fit for you.  

Salary Negotiation

✓ Salary is essential, but you need to consider the complete compensation package to
determine the appropriate strategy. You can also get a head start on negotiating
with a new employer by upping your salary now before you head to the job
market. “The ceiling is the new floor!”   

✓ Massachusetts, Oregon, New York City, and Delaware have banned the salary history
inquiries. If you live in one these places, beware there may be other ways an
employer may try to get that information from you.  

✓ Ask. Bring facts and persuade.   

✓ Never include salary information on your résumé.   

✓ Practice negotiation talks with a knowledgeable friend, career coach, or consultant,


or someone in career services. Learn to be candid and tactful in your approach.  

✓ Research is essential. At the top of the list are necessary resources for compensation
research. Also, consider JobMob as a valuable resource for finding international jobs
compensation packages.   

✓ No part of salary negotiation is comfortable. You may be tempted to get it out the
way by discussing it first. The best approach is to defer (if you can) until the final
interview process stages.   

✓ Look for negotiation opportunities where the chances of success are minimal.
Sometimes it works, and it’s a win-win when you don’t expect to succeed. It’s the
process of getting used to “no.”  

✓ Confidence comes from the application of your strengths. Strategize and execute a
serious dialogue promoting your value. Proving your value will go a long way.  

✓ Establish a mutual value exchange. Otherwise, be viewed as a threat.  

References 

✓ Always assume you’ll need to supply an employer several references. It is best to


have up to seven references ready to be given for a reference check. Many
companies are scrutinizing closer for their next employee.   

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✓ Don’t wait until you are getting called for interviews before you start assembling
your reference list. It can take time to track down and reach references, so start
contacting your prospective references right away.  

✓ Always ask for permission to list someone as a reference. The best people who agree
to be a reference for you are as enthusiastic about you as you are about getting the
job.  

✓ Know what your references will say to vouch for you (mainly your strengths).   

✓ Send a letter or email to your reference, thanking them for agreeing to serve as a
reference, and provide a current copy of your résumé. Keep them apprised of your
activity and when someone may call conducting a background check.   

✓ Prepare a written list of references to give to prospective employers (or to email to


them). It should match the format, font style, and font size of your résumé.  

✓ You can make it easy for the employer checking backgrounds by providing a PDF file
of your LinkedIn profile. If you have a personal blog where you regularly
contributed articles, you can make it into a PDF file.  

✓ Your references should be ready to be called before you give the employer the list.   

✓ If you are asked to sign a release form for references, read it carefully. The release
form may allow the company to conduct a background check (to see if you have any
criminal or civil legal issues).   

✓ LinkedIn recommendations are a great place for your references to document their


enthusiasm and appreciation of your work. It leaves a powerful impression on your
readers.  

Seek Feedback 

✓ Feedback can serve the same function in the job search, exposing you to choices you
didn’t even know you had. But you have to ask for it. No one who is knowledgeable
will randomly offer it to you. 

✓ Feedback provides that mirror, forcing us to consider all the possibilities. You must
allow yourself to be honest and see flaws as opportunities and not liabilities. 

✓ Feedback breeds significant partnerships that may lead to jobs down the road.
Someone who gives constructive and detailed feedback cares about your progress.
Reach back to them and share how you’re doing and where you are still falling
short. 

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✓ Get help from career coaches and consultants. The competition for jobs is too fierce
and unpredictable. Advice from blogs, videos, and podcasts by career professionals
can give you a power advantage.  

✓ Feedback can accelerate job search results. Someone’s mistakes can be


leveraged into time-saving strategies.  

Assessments 

✓ Be prepared to complete an online assessment before talking to anyone from the


hiring company.  Assessment can be accessed by a mobile phone. You may have to
ask. The benefit is you can do them anywhere at any time as long as you are
compliant with their deadlines or time allotments.   

✓ Assessments can be behavioral, or skill-based. Use the appropriate technology for


the required assessment. If you need a Windows 10 OS (operating system), then
don’t use Windows 7.  

Seeking Diversity and Inclusion workplaces 

✓ Research is essential to really find out if the employer in an active diversity and
inclusion workplace. Check the press to see the diverse voices in different articles,
announcements, or the face(s) of change within the company. A good example of a
company practicing diversity is bold and outspoken rhetoric forcing positive
conversation and acting as an agent for change. Read this letter from the CEO
of Marriot to the POTUS.

✓ Their website is likely the best place to see board members. If the board members
are not diverse, it’s likely they are not promoting within for diversity. But you can
always check their management teams and see if diversity reflections in
their leadership. You make the final decision if you can visualize your face in the
organization. 

✓ Through LinkedIn, you can talk with employees of your target company to get first-
hand accounts of how diverse the company claims to be and is.  

✓ Volunteer where the company does charity work to network, and see if the company
promotes diversity within the community. 

✓ Target companies listed on ideal workplaces. Use this list as the start of your
research and continue to examine diversity practices for yourself.  

Finding companies supporting flexible work and parental leave 

✓ Few states are mandated with parental leave laws. Under the Family Medical Leave
Act, only 60% of Americans are covered. New York, California, and Rhode Island

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have parental leave laws. Check your state laws for related parental leave laws. As
part of your target company research, check into the company’s policies.  

✓ Check the tax laws and whether your payroll would pay into a parental leave plan. If
you work in Rhode Island, yet live in Massachusetts, you may qualify for parental
leave benefits if money is taken from your payroll.  

✓ Many companies see paid parental leave as a way to attract good employees, while
other companies don’t look at employees in the same way. Don’t assume a company
with a policy in place will apply to every employee. Discern how it will apply to
you! 

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