6 crazy job search tactics

(CareerBuilder.com) — Taking a non-traditional approach to a job search can be a good thing.

Take the case of Alec Brownstein, an advertising professional who found himself looking for a new job last summer. Fed up with the traditional job search, he decided to try an unprecedented tactic.

Banking on the fact that “everyone Googles themselves,” he bought sponsored links attached to the names of top-advertising directors. So, when the directors Googled themselves, Brownstein’s ads would appear at the top of the results page.

The ads reportedly said “Hey, [creative director’s name]: Goooogling [sic] yourself is a lot of fun. Hiring me is fun, too” — and then provided a link to Bronstein’s website. A few months (and only $6) later, Brownstein was employed by top-advertising firm Young & Rubicam.

But, for every unconventional job search strategy that works, there is another that not only doesn’t lead to a job, but is just downright ridiculous. Below, job seekers and hiring managers tell us about the strangest job search tactics they’ve come across.

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1. “One of my clients received the following advice from a previous career coach: Never send a résumé when applying for a job, even when it is requested in the advertisement. Just send a pitch letter requesting a meeting with a company executive.”
— Lavie Margolin, job search advisor, Lion Cub Job Search

2. “I think this may be the craziest one I have ever heard. When I was looking for my first full time job, a friend’s then-girlfriend (now ex-wife) told me, quite seriously, that I could assure myself a job by participating in a magical ritual involving crystals and mystical incantations. I asked her if I needed to sacrifice a chicken as well and she was offended, explaining that it was not the correct type of ‘Magick’ [sic].”
— Eli Lehrer, national director, Center on Finance, Insurance and Real Estate, The Heartland Institute

3. “I think the worst advice I ever saw was in a LinkedIn group. Someone suggested that, in order to be able to get a chance to speak to someone at the recruiting company, you should [mail] a cover letter saying you have enclosed your CV — but don’t enclose the CV, and leave the envelope open so that it looks like it fell out in the post. The logic was that they’d then call you up to let you know, and you could have a dialogue. I personally would just think ‘That person can’t even seal an envelope, I wouldn’t want to recruit them.'”
— Antony, marketing manager

Tips 4 – 6

10 LinkedIn Tips For Job Seekers And Career Shifters

1. Stop focussing on the numbers

Networking is not a numbers game, but a relationships game.

It’s not about ‘how many’ LinkedIn connections you have. But instead, the quality of the relationships and the level of interaction you have with people in your LinkedIn network that counts.

Plus, of course, the size and relevance of the network that those people are in turn connected to. Which means that someone with 50 highly relevant contacts (who they interact with frequently), will often be much more successful whilst using LinkedIn than someone with 500+ connections to people they hardly know or ever interact with.

2. Remember the 5 second rule

When most people visit your LinkedIn profile for the first time, on average, they’ll scan it for 5 seconds before choosing to take a closer read or simply click away.

So your profile needs to be clear, succinct and unique so as to make the right impression and make visitors read the profile.

Take a quick glance at your own profile – do you pass the 5 second rule?

3. Be careful about the headline title

Your headline title on LinkedIn is one of the most important parts of your profile.

The headline title must convey 3 things:

– What you do

– What you want

– What you want to be known for

I appreciate that if you’re currently employed and passively looking for work, not all of these are possible.

But if you are not working then your headline title should make it clear that you’re in the market for new opportunities (“Financial Controller seeking fresh opportunities in XYZ”)

4. Avoid having a half empty LinkedIn profile

When people Google your name to “check you out” and come across a half completed LinkedIn profile – you’ve just missed a golden opportunity to give them a good first impression of you.

So regardless of whether you’re working, job searching or taking a career break – update that profile now!

5. Be different

“Passionate, innovative, hard working etc ….”

Many profiles start with this type of generic , cliché packed sentence without any kind of back up.

It sounds good at first – but when everyone is saying similar things, you’re unlikely to stand out.

So ask yourself: – What unique skills or experience do I have? What results do I have a track record of delivering? What is my value proposition? Who or what am I targeting right now?

Now incorporate some of your answers into your profile so as to make you a little different from the standard profiles which most people use.

Tips 6 -10 and Complete Article

6 Ways to Boost Your Job Search on LinkedIn

By Lindsay Olson Lindsay Olson – Thu Nov 18, 10:44 am ET

Networking and job hunting have come a long way in the last 20 years. New research tools and the immediacy of the Internet bring job seekers directly in contact with companies and employers, allowing us to build networks that our counterparts of the past would only envy.

LinkedIn continues to be the most direct and powerful online tool, one that’s certainly worth the energy if you’re job hunting. But be sure you don’t make one of the most common LinkedIn mistakes: being passive about your search. Setting up a profile and adding connections is a good start–but it’s just the beginning. To get the most benefit from LinkedIn, you have to become a proactive user, reaching out to others, participating in the community, and continuously working to build your network.

Here are six proactive ways to boost your job search on LinkedIn:

1. Complete your profile–and then some. Add more than just your company and title. Think of LinkedIn as a resume with a personality. Use the summary section not only to show who you are as a professional, but as a person. Play around with the applications to present your work and interests in interesting ways.

Keep in mind as you work on your profile that other LinkedIn users, including hiring managers, recruiters and your fellow job seekers, use keywords to find people with certain skills and interests. What words might a recruiter use to find people with your talent or skill set? Be sure to incorporate those keywords into your profile.

2. Add as many connections as possible. When you add connections, your network grows exponentially, thanks to one of LinkedIn’s best features, the third-degree connections. These include not only who you know, but who your connections know. This makes each connection you add even more valuable. In addition to having more helpful contacts for your job search, being connected with more people helps you appear as a third-degree connection for other LinkedIn users.

If you’re just getting started, re-connect with old colleagues, friends, and family members. Connect with people in your e-mail address book, and then branch out from there. Once you’ve added your closest connections, think about how you can reach out even more. When you meet new people at in-person networking events or through work, make a note to connect with them on LinkedIn. Building your network takes time and consistent effort.

3. Personalize your invitations. LinkedIn offers a standard greeting when you look to make a new connection, but it’s much more effective to send a personal message. Remind the person where you’ve met and why you would like to connect.

Tips 4 – 6 & Original Article

Twitter Personal Branding Checklist

by Pete Kistler

You have a Twitter profile that strengthens your personal brand. And your bio and background image exude your core values and align with your career goals. You’re growing your Twitter network – but how do you turn followers into evangelists for your personal brand?

One of the documents we pass around the office is our Twitter Engagement Checklist. It’s a set of actions that ensures our management team and interns are effectively engaging with relevant people on Twitter, growing their personal networks and building brand awareness. You may benefit from the streamlined process we’ve come to rely on. I’d like to share it with you.

Why a checklist?

Twitter is a global networking party, and you should approach it like one – with a goal and a strategy. Your overarching strategy should be to give before you even think about receiving. People are not interested in what you ate for lunch. They are interested in tweets that yield a positive impact on their day. Here’s how we do it at @brandyourself.

Twice a day…

Tweet a blog post relevant to your field. Our followers want to know about the latest trends, controversies and ideas in our space. We keep them in the loop so they know what’s going on. If you aren’t following blogs in your field, find them by searching for industry keywords on top tier blog directories like Technorati and Alltop. Tweet posts that catch your eye to establish yourself as a source of knowledge for your followers.

Once a day…

Tweet a news article about your field. We do a Google News and New York Times search for keywords in our industry. Scan headlines of online industry publications and tweet out news relevant to your followers to become a trusted source of news and updates.

Tweet a tip based on your experience in your field. We tweet personal branding, online reputation management, career development and job search tips based on real experiences we’ve had hiring, finding jobs and building our own brands. What can you tweet about based on personal experience? For example, if you’re in graphic design, tweet a daily Photoshop tip. You’ll soon build your credibility in your field.

Tweet an inspirational quote. We love bite-sized sayings that impact how we think about life and work. Head over to a directory of quotes like BrainyQuote and tweet a quote that might resonate with your followers to become a source of happiness.

Tweet something personal. We try to keep things as human (read: non-spammy) as possible. Tweet stuff related to your life: let people know that you’re planning on going to a big concert next week. Since strictly following a checklist may decrease your tweeting creativity (I recommend a mix of checklist plus your own strategy), I require a certain number of “personal” tweets from my team. Do this on a regular basis to connect on a deeper level with your followers.

Answer a question related to your field. Use Twitter search or a Twitter management app like TweetDeckor Hootsuite to search for people asking questions about your area of expertise. Type a keyword followed by a question mark to filter results, such as “graphic design?” or “civil engineer?” Answers questions and lead people back to your blog (you have one, right?) if your posts have more detailed answers. This is a great way to attract more followers, and establish yourself as an authority in your line of work.

Once a week…

Read the rest of the Brand-Yourself Article

Tips for getting – and keeping – a holiday job

by Ylan Q. Mui
Washington Post Staff Writer

With 15 million Americans looking for a job, standing out from the crowd can be a challenge. We talked to some hiring experts to get some last-minute tips for getting – and keeping – a job this holiday season.

Get social: The days of walking into a store and filling out an application are virtually over. Many companies require jobseekers to fill out those forms online. UPS workforce planning manager Matt Lavery said 95 percent of the company’s ads for its 50,000 job openings this holiday season will appear on the Internet. UPS is on all of the major jobs sites, but it also has begun getting the word out through social media networks such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

Know the company’s value and messages: Once you get an interview, K.C. Blonski, a director at workforce consulting firm AchieveGlobal, says showing you researched the company’s background and history can help you stand out. Even though you might not know how things work on the inside, understanding corporate philosophy can help you decide whether the job is a good fit.

Ask questions: The work doesn’t end once you’ve landed a job. Experts said the best employees don’t just do what they’re told. They want to understand why and look for ways to improve on processes and add value. That extra step makes them more valuable to employees and more likely to stay on after the holiday rush is over.

Tell them what you want: Lisa Bordinat, senior vice president at consulting firm Aon Hewitt, said you shouldn’t be shy about letting your bosses know you want to be considered for permanent work. Ask them what skills you’ll need to keep the job and how you can develop them.

Be patient: Don’t despair if your temporary position doesn’t become permanent. Lavery of UPS said often the problem is simply that there are no open positions, not that the employee didn’t do a good job. As slots become available, Lavery said managers will often turn to stellar holiday workers first. And don’t forget: There’s always next holiday season.

Original Washington Post Article

Top 10 Career Moves Even The Happily Employed Should Make

Posted by Caroline Ceniza-Levine

People who seek out career advice are probably dissatisfied with some area of their current job. But even if you’re content with your job, not interested in a promotion, totally satisfied with your pay and 100% secure nothing will change, here are 10 career moves you should make anyway to maintain your blissful situation:

Set aside your lunch hours. Take your 2011 calendar and block out one lunch hour per week. At the very least, you build in a reserve of time for emergencies. Ideally, you use these to catch up with people you normally don’t – think old friends, former colleagues, people outside your immediate department.

Return recruiter phone calls. You’re not looking for a job so these calls don’t seem important. It’s always good to hear what’s on the market – you confirm your value, and you may be able to help a friend who is looking. Recruiters love candidates who aren’t looking but return calls anyway.

Find a mentee. You must be doing the right things to be in your situation. Sharing what you know is a great way to reinforce all these good habits.

Find a mentor. There is always more to learn. While you may not feel the urgency for a formal class, you can learn on your next break. Seek out people you admire (not just for professional reasons, but maybe it’s the colleague with an amazing sense of humor). Hang out with them even occasionally. You take on the habits of people around you, so surround yourself with successful people.

Review your company perks. I worked at a company that was part of a program to get free or dramatically reduced admission to almost all of the museums and cultural venues in the area. A separate program gave over 50% off movie tickets and free popcorn. These benefits may not be life-changing, but they certainly are quality-of-life changing, and they might mean dollars saved.

Review your org chart. If your company has an internal phone directory, how many people do you know? If you work for a very large company, it might be a small fraction but you should at least know people in the departments that impact your job. Roles turn over frequently, and if you don’t pay attention there could be more and more people you should know but don’t. Get to know your coworkers. At the very least, you may find new lunch partners.

Review your resume. No, you don’t need to send your resume anywhere – you’re not looking for a job. But your resume is a great audit tool for your career. Do you have anything to add from the last six months? If not, this could be a sign of stagnation. At the very least, you’d rather update your resume every few months when you’re relaxed and happy, rather than have to cram several years of job memories when the need to job search is urgent.

Review your online brand. Same reasons as above, except that your online profile is separate from your resume. Your online profile is even more important for the content employee than for the active jobseeker because it is your gateway to passive opportunities.

Get some exercise. Career bliss doesn’t last forever. There will be crunch times ahead – it doesn’t have to be a major restructuring but it could be a project with a tight deadline or a difficult client. Being fit gives you the energy to power through these difficult times. While you’re in a stable career phase, build in good exercise and self-care habits now.

Go public. Get quoted in the press about your expertise. Contribute to your local newspaper or your industry trade journal. Speak at a conference or even your alma mater. Media mentions and public speaking are helpful with any career. While you’re feeling good and confident about your career, step out and get noticed.

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