The Savvy Networker Eight Little-Known Tricks for the Job Hunt

You’re up to date on the latest job-search ideas, right? You’re responding to posted job ads. You’re crafting smart and incisive cover letters to accompany your resume on its travels. You’re networking like crazy. What else can you do?

You may be leaving a few essential job-search stones unturned. Here are eight less-well-known ways to get the word out and jump on job-search opportunities:

Add a signature line to your outgoing e-mail messages. This reminds your friends and contacts that you’re on a job search. Much as they love you, it’s easy for our friends to forget our day-to-day priorities, including a job search that feels like a life-or-death proposition to you. Add a signature line to your e-mail messages that reminds your friends what you’re after.

Include your LinkedIn profile URL in that signature. You can customize your LinkedIn profile’s URL (as soon as you set up a free LinkedIn profile) to something that sounds logical, like www.linkedin.com/in/yourname. Add this to the signature line I recommended a moment ago. Might as well make it easy for people to check out your credentials.

Use Twitter to keep your fans in the loop. A daily (or even more frequent) “tweet” from you keeps your cronies and well-wishers abreast of your latest job-search happenings. If you tweet to say “Got an interview at Apple tomorrow morning,” then your friends with friends at Apple can jump into the scene and help you out with a side-door connection or referral.

Make your Facebook page work for you — not against you. Smart job-seekers fill their Facebook pages with useful and relevant information about what they’ve accomplished and where their strengths lie. Using Facebook effectively in a job search requires more than just taking down the party-animal photos. Prospective employers are bound to see your online persona, so you may as well make it one that moves the ball forward for you.

Add a quote to your resume. Got a favorite quote (in writing) from a boss who praised your work? Add it to your resume in place of the tedious “References available on request.” Everyone knows your references are available. Tell us (in twenty words or fewer) what one of those people actually said about you — the more specific the kudos, the better.

Get a Moo card. Job-search business cards are great tools, because they’re easy to pass to a conversational partner at a networking event (no one wants to take your resume in a setting like that). Moo mini-cards are cooler than regular business cards, because they’re small and attention-grabbing. If your field is creative, techie, or you just want to stand out a little, order your mini-Moo cards online at www.moo.com.

Put a voice on your job-search profile. Too shy to appear on camera? Add an audio file to your LinkedIn, Facebook or other social-networking profile to help job-search targets and influencers get a feel for who you are and how you think. Buy a headset for a few bucks and download Audacity for free to make high-quality audio files. You can even send your podcasts to iTunes and build a following.

Rewrite your resume so it sounds human. As a career expert, the biggest job-search stumbling block I see is a boilerplate-laden resume that sounds like every other resume I see. Yank the boilerplate out of your resume and give it a human voice, replacing “results-oriented professional” with “I’m happiest solving thorny technical problems that slow down product development” or whatever (human) statement describes you.

A job search doesn’t leave room for error these days. Details can make all the difference — better put every tool to work for you now and put your job search behind you sooner.

Liz Ryan is a 25-year HR veteran, former Fortune 500 VP and an internationally recognized expert on careers and the new millennium workplace. Contact Liz at asklizryan.com or join the Ask Liz Ryan online community at www.asklizryan/group.

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/g/a/2009/02/22/JOBSryan.DTL


Darn Good Reasons Why You Should Or Should Not Hire

Well, if you live in Michigan, or anywhere else in our country, let’s face it. The economy stinks. People are getting laid off and companies are closing down or outsourcing to other countries practically on a daily basis. So, what good would hiring a professional resume service do for you? EVERYTHING.

It’s understandable to be cautious about hiring a resume writer, especially online where you can’t visually shake a hand or see an office full of certificates, awards, books, or anything else that might prove credibility. Here are a few reasons you SHOULD hire a professional resume writer:

1- PROFESSIONALISM – A professional resume writer knows what he/she is doing. I’ve had clients tell me over and over that having it professionally written got them the job. They had sent in the old one previously and at my urging, resent the new one and got the job!

Make sure whomever you hire is CERTIFIED. If you are unsure whether or not your writer is certified, go to parw.com and type in their name. If they are certified, it will come up as such. A certified writer has gone through extensive training and was tested on it, ensuring their work meets the standards of the Professional Association of Resume Writers and Career Coaches. If you are going to spend the money, you want the best.

2- BRANDING/PR – A professional resume writer acts as your personal cheerleader, your brander, your public relations firm. You want someone who knows how to present your qualifications in your best light. They will gather the relevant information (career goals, experience, training, etc.) to create a professional image for you. Something you will be proud to hand out to a hiring manager.

3-GHOSTWRITERS- A professional resume writer knows how to craft content that gets people interested. They create a resume that sounds and feels like YOU. A professional resume writer constantly updates their skills and abilities by keeping up with the latest in career news, and attending webinars, teleseminars and conferences.

4- FORMAT – How bored are you when you see a resume that is bullet after bullet of a position description? Would you call that person back? Neither will the hiring person. Professional resume writers are TRAINED in creating unique documents with appealing fonts, borders and styling that is all YOU.

5- RESOURCE CENTER – Your professional resume writer is a career one-stop-shop! Chances are they have a wide range of resources to offer during your job search. Many are also Certified Career Coaches and remain well informed of career events and other services helpful to their clients. Many times employers will contact resume writers for suitable candidates.

Reasons NOT TO HIRE a professional resume writer:

1- They offer you a resume package for $19.95. Most likely this company is a printing or secretarial service that will rewrite everything you gave them, or dump your info into a pre-written template.

2- They tell you they are certified, but you check on the PARW site and they are not. WRONG. Turn around and go back. They are misrepresenting the truth and God knows what they will do with your money.

3- They offer a 30-day guarantee if you don’t get an interview. I know this is a touchy one, because many of my colleagues do it, but here is my beef with that: with each client, I put my heart and soul into the resume. I am already writing a resume that I think will knock the socks off any reader. So how can I possibly offer a rewrite on that? I already wrote a killer resume and I stand behind it. I would rather sit down with the client and go over what they have been doing for job search because I guarantee that is where the problems lie.

So, to sum it up, it’s important to find a solid and reputable resume service. Check for memberships to professional career organizations with writers that are certified.

A professionally written resume is a good investment and is worth it’s weight in gold, not to mention it will get you noticed immediately.

Erin Kennedy is a Certified Professional & Executive Resume Writer & Career Consultant, and President of Professional Resume Services. She is a Nationally Published Writer & Contributor in 8 best selling career books. Erin has achieved the prestigious T.O.R.I. (Toast of the Resume Industry) Award nomination in 2007 and 2008.

To get more career-related information and resume writing tips, visit Professional Resume Services at http://www.proreswriters.com or check out her blog at: proreswriters.blogspot.

Creative. Powerful. Proven.

Erin is a member of: Professional Association of Resume Writers (PARW), Career Directors International (CDI), Association of Online Resume and Career Professionals (AORCP), Career Professionals Group, and Women for Hire. Want to know more about Erin Kennedy, CPRW? Read her LinkedIn profile at: http://www.linkedin.com/in/erinkennedycprw

Original Article – http://www.employmentdigest.net/2009/02/darn-good-reasons-why-you-should-or-should-not-hire-a-professional-resume-service/

How to Get Your Resume Noticed

Tory Johnson Women for Hire photoTory Johnson of Women for Hire is one of the country’s foremost career experts. She recently wrote an article for Yahoo! in which she listed 12 great ways to get your resume noticed by prospective employers:

  1. Find job postings on job boards such as CollegeRecruiter.com and corporate employment web sites and print out the postings of interest to you.
  2. Highlight the keywords and industry language used to describe the requirements and responsibilities.
  3. Compare those words and phrases to the language that appears in your current resume.
  4. Add the most relevant keywords to your resume. Remember that applicant tracking systems — the software employers use to house and search for resumes which have been submitted to them — will search for keyword matches so the more matches, the more likely a recruiter will actually look at your resume.
  5. Once your resume reflects a strong match, submit it online.
  6. If the system requests a cover letter, write a short one that expresses why you’re a strong match and why you’d like to join the organization. Make sure it is customized to the organization and the opportunity to which you’re applying.
  7. Never submit a generic, one-size-fits-all resume or cover letter.
  8. Find an internal referral to make a personal introduction using sites such as LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter. Note that when you apply to jobs on CollegeRecruiter.com we automatically show you the people that you may know within the organization through our partnership with LinkedIn. Also get active in industry associations to establish those connections and re-connect with your friends from school and people you know through your family and “regular” friends.
  9. Follow-up with a call or email to the recruiter responsible for filling the position. Make sure they received your resume but, more importantly, give them your pre-rehearsed 30 second elevator pitch.
  10. Get your resume into the hands of a decisionmaker. If you don’t know who that is, find out by calling the company and asking the operator to put you through. If that doesn’t work, do a Web search on the term “recruiter” or “HR director” along with the name of your employer of choice. The results may reveal the name you’re trying to find. LinkedIn is another resource to find the correct name.
  11. Stay top of mind. Every recruiter is different so be prepared to work with each differently.
  12. If the employer doesn’t tell you when to follow-up then ask, “what’s the best way to keep in touch?”

5 Tips To Protect Your Online Reputation

Post by Kim Komando with USA Today’s CyberSpeak:

As millions seek new jobs to replace positions lost in the recession, keep in mind that the Internet gives employers unprecedented access to information about you.

Employers aren’t content with facts gleaned from public records. They’re also using the Internet to assess your character. That means they’re searching your name on Google.

They’re visiting social-networking sites and reading blog posts. Unflattering comments and photos can put you out of the running for a job. So, you will want to clean up your online reputation before job hunting. For direct links to the sites mentioned, go to www.komando.com/news.

Search for yourself

Your first step is to assess your online reputation. Start by doing a Google search of your name and its variations.

Do other searches that include your profession, previous employers and locations. You may be surprised what turns up.

You should also search networking sites. Pipl, Wink and PeekYou will allow you to search multiple sites quickly.

You will want to make two lists from your searches. On one list, place links to sites with unflattering information. On the other list, place links to flattering information.

Remove the negative

Maybe you posted some of the unflattering images or comments. In that case, remove them immediately. Err on the side of caution and remove anything that is potentially offensive.

Next, contact the owners of sites that cast you in a negative light. Send a polite e-mail message requesting that negative information be removed.

State your case clearly. If a post is erroneous, provide proof of its inaccuracy. It doesn’t hurt to mention that you’re job searching.

Things are more complicated with unflattering photos and truthful information. You will need to appeal to the writer’s sense of decency. Keep your requests pleasant and polite, and you may be successful.

Promote the positive

Some sites will honor your requests. Other sites may not. So, you may need to mitigate negative posts with positive ones.

I recommend that you start a blog highlighting your professional skills. Write posts on your field to show off your professional knowledge. List your full name at the bottom of your posts. Include links to the positive comments you found. And be sure to list your accomplishments in your bio.

These postings should push the negative postings from Google’s top search results. You can also use your blog to speak indirectly to potential employers.

For example, say you share a name with a porn star. You don’t want potential employers to confuse the two of you. So, create a post listing people who share your name. It’s a good way to eliminate confusion.

Don’t forget networking sites

Networking sites like Facebook and MySpace are the biggest threat to your job search. Clean up any networking profiles you have.

If you don’t have networking profiles, create them. Then link to them on your blog. Employers will be able to find your profiles easily. Make sure these profiles are squeaky clean.

Why create the profiles? They can eliminate confusion. An employer won’t confuse you with that other Mary Johnson with a raunchy profile.

Create a profile on LinkedIn. Use it to showcase your professional accomplishments. You can also network with others who can help with your job search.

Professionals can help

Companies like ReputationDefender and Reputation Hawk specialize in improving online reputations. These services can be costly. In some cases, you’ll pay thousands of dollars. Others charge $30 or so for each post they remove.

These services are handy if you have money but no time. You can do most of this yourself, though.

Cleaning up your reputation can take months. So, start now – whether you’re job hunting or not.

USAToday

Tim Esse