Everyone knows that in today’s world and this ever shifting economy, we all need to be on the lookout for better opportunities. But most of the time, current employers don’t look kindly on the job hunt of their employees, if it’s out in the open. This is why you shouldn’t ever use the computers at your office for a job hunt while employed, since your boss will very likely catch on to your activities and think you’re about to go or completely dissatisfied with what you’re doing now. But how should one proceed, then? Well, we’ve put together this brief job interview tips precisely to help you juggle schedules and properly job hunt while employed. [Read more…]
Finding work once you fell on the wrong step of the law, even if it was only one time, can prove to be quite difficult. Though the prison system is meant to rehabilitate the people who carry out light sentences and make them better equipped for being good citizens once they are released from custody, finding a job is almost impossible for ex-felons, thus making their full rehabilitation very difficult. In a way, it’s understandable why the law cannot force all employers to create felony friendly jobs or accept ex-offenders in their ranks if they don’t trust this would be a good idea. But still, the situation has to be solved one way or another, which is why some jobs that hire felons can be found from time to time. Companies that hire felons are also encouraged to do so via a special system of tax benefits.
This is our list of ex offender employment suggestions, if you want to know what places that hire felons can currently be found in a job search. You should also be prepared to get in touch with a community that supports people with a criminal record in their efforts of finding a job, for discussing any issues and finding more tips on how to apply to jobs if you’re an ex-felon. One such dedicated community portal is felonyfriendly.org. For now, back to our list of potential jobs for convicted felons (updated August the 20th). [Read more…]
There are literally thousands of articles out there about how to find a job that you love doing, how to achieve a better work life balance and how to do what you do with more passion and enjoyment in order to reach higher levels of fulfillment and so on. How about the opposite: are you unhappy with job? Do you dread the day when ‘Should I quit my job if it makes me unhappy?’ will be the sole question popping up in your mind over and over again? Quitting job isn’t precisely something you’ll want to be doing in your mid-career only to start over again in a more suitable field. That’s why, in order to avoid this type of mid-career crisis, we’ve put together this post detailing the behaviors that will surely bring you to a point where you can’t stand your job anymore. This is what NOT to do when choosing a field of work. [Read more…]
We hear this phrase a lot these days: company culture (along with its variations corporate culture or organizational culture). But what precisely does the phrase mean, and, more importantly, is it nothing more than yet another business slang that could just as well not be used? Even if some of you roll your eyes whenever you hear the term, the term is actually well-placed whenever we’re talking about a larger company. Any company with over a few hundred employees will inevitably have a culture of its own, and successful companies take an active stance in building and influencing that culture from the top to the bottom. [Read more…]
As you’ve probably seen in our list of the higher paying jobs for 2015, the economy is finally starting to improve a bit. But, the search for work and ensuing competition is still pretty rough. Whenever job openings come up, hundreds of candidates jump them, eager to finish the race first. Beat them to it by being aware of new openings as soon as possible, and applying with no delay if you think one of them would suit your skills. To help you out, we’ve put together a list of top 10 companies which are hiring right now (post 22nd of July 2015). Check out these openings and waste no time if you see something you’d like. [Read more…]
We’ve all found ourselves in a situation where we’d like to get an occasional temporary job or two. There are a variety of situations for which we may find we need one. It’s either that we’re looking to make a little money on the side, or during the summer vacation for students and people still in school, or it’s a job we really need until we can find something more suitable. No matter the exact situation, there’s now a more centralized way to browse and find a temp job quickly using the help and resources of express employment professionals. Find out more about the Express Temp Agency below. [Read more…]
If you aren’t actively using LinkedIn, you should. Many reports and research point towards the growing trend of professional networking as of the keys to career success. By now, you may be accustomed to LinkedIn endorsement notifications absolutely stuffing your e-mail inbox to the breaking point. Just so we’re clear about this, the LinkedIn endorsement feature is very different from the LinkedIn recommendation feature. LinkedIn recommendations still encompasses that traditional seriousness of a written recommendation from somebody who can actually vouch for your work, your skills and your professionalism.
Endorsements, on the other hand, can be given and received with a simple push of a button. What’s more, they may not always reflect your true competencies. People may not endorse you for what they believe you’re truly good at. How many times did you receive an endorsement from someone on LinkedIn you have never even spoken to or worked with? Much like the Facebook like feature, many people spend their time exchanging endorsements with one another.
I want to be perfectly clear with you. What I’ve listed above is a gross misuse of LinkedIn’s wonderful and effective features. These misuses are just a few reasons why specialists recommend we use LinkedIn Endorsement feature wisely. Furthermore, they recommend that we don’t place all of our bets on our endorsements when looking for a job or prospecting the waters of a new industry to work in.
When LinkedIn first implemented the Endorsement button, it received unanimous appreciation. Tony Deblauwe, senior HR manager/business partner at Citrix, said
Having a range of people in your network specify certain skills that they feel you do best provides an interesting data point for recruiters looking at your profile,
while Larry Stybel, president and CEO of Stybel Peabody Lincolnshire (a company that deals with career management and leadership development), admitted
I have a search for a VP and I see two potential candidates rated highly in a skill. But one candidate is rated highly by someone I respect. I will contact that individual for a detailed reference without the candidate’s knowledge. In other words, this may be a tool that can reduce risk to ‘buyers.’
Well, that’s fine and dandy. However, the endorsement feature has since been misused by the many members of the LinkedIn community. One may question whether the Endorsement feature works at all given the current climate at LinkedIn. For starters, the biggest danger in using the feature is that it can be easily turned into a commodity of sorts as we noted before (ie: you endorse someone with a bogus endorsement. In turn, he endorses you with a bogus endorsement). Here are a few basic pointers on how to use the LinkedIn endorsement feature wisely. In doing so, hopefully we can use the feature for good (as opposed to serving our self interests) and change the climate of LinkedIn for the better:
– use the Endorsement button to truly vouch for a person’s proven skills and competencies
– endorse only those you have actually worked with (professionals who have been using the set of skills in more than one occasion and in a prolonged period of time). For instance, a LinkedIn member with a Facebook profile doesn’t qualify as having social media marketing skills just based on those merits alone.
– don’t be tricked into trading an endorsement in exchange for your own endorsement. These endorsements may look good on paper. In a real life job application situation, you may miss out on a career opportunity if the hiring manager checks up on your true skills and finds out that you’re not qualified in an area your endorsements say you are. Honesty is the best policy.
– endorse people you have worked with for skills and abilities they might not be aware about they have (or may not advertise themselves as having). These skills and abilities may include talents they have proven in their work but which still need confirmation/validation. This part can be a bit tricky as it seems to contradict the point above. However, the difference here is that the member in question truly has a powerful skill that can be tested and quantified. A “fake” skill, no matter how much endorsement the skill receives, will always fail any competence test.
But we like to receive endorsement notifications in our e-mail, don’t we? We like the volunteer vouching some people offer us. No matter how good our ego feels about these “recommendations,” don’t pat your own back for how a great professional you are unless you receive legitimate endorsements from people you trust, have worked with and are also trusted by men like Larry Stybel. If your high school sweetheart endorses you for a skill you have and the member is just another anonymous LinkedIn user (as opposed to a influential member of a certain industry), that endorsement is just as shallow as a member of liking his or her own status. It may pushes the status up a millimeter in the News Feed. But, the push will never be enough to make the status go viral. This stuff is common sense guys. Let’s get on LinkedIn and use it the way it was intended! If you have any other professional social media grievances or would like to share your experiences with the misuse of LinkedIn endorsements, please continue this conversation on our Facebook page. While you’re there, don’t forget to like us!
Recent articles and comments coming from Human Resources based journals and blogs, with LinkedIn leading the trend, emphasize the importance of being ‘career adaptable.’ Being career adaptable means being flexible and open-minded when it comes to future-proofing one’s career. Many studies show people who are available to move from one country to another, people willing to move from one industry to another, or people willing to take extra classes to develop new skills are the ones with the most successful careers. Moreover, studies show these people are the happiest. We will look at three ways for you to become more career adaptable. Moving abroad is not an easy feat. It require that you make a lot of personal choices. Therefore, I won’t go so far as to tell you to embark on the first plane available and leave everything behind. Such a choice requires rational and mature decision making. If someone leaves in such a manner, he or she should only leave after thorough consideration. Instead, let’s see what we can do to future-proof our career locally.
1. Being Career Adaptable: Know What You Want, What You Can Offer and What You Are Capable Of
Assuming that you already have a set of skills and competencies, take a step back and assess all of your skills. Essentially, I want you to run these skills through an audit process. Are your skills compatible with the requests of the marketplace? Are your skills transferable to other industries or lines of work? Do your skills suit your needs and your career vision. Or are you just stuck in one place and afraid to leave your field of work? Will your skills take you further, and where will they take you?
2. Become Career Adaptable by Investing in Hot Skills That Are Trending
According to the 17th Annual Global CEO Survey from January 2014 quoted by LinkedIn researchers, 63% of CEOs say availability of skills is their primary concern. This means that you should take a look at the skills, competencies and areas that are being looked for in our present times. Presently, the market places a greater emphasis on social media marketing, mobile development, and cloud/distributed computing. Are you willing to learn new skills and enter a whole new different territory? Are you interested in these fields, and do you feel that they will help you thrive in your career? If the answer is yes, specialists advise you take a chance and develop your skills in order to become career adaptable. Doing so will help you meet the challenging requirements of the present marketplace.
3. Get Connected, Stay Connected to be Career Adaptable
In this post, we talked about social media recruitment and networking. Social media recruitment growing popularity shouldn’t surprise you: 90% of employers use social recruitment tools like LinkedIn to find talent. It goes without saying that regularly updating your professional social network profile is the first step when seeking employment. Such attention to detail allows you to build healthy connections, strong relationships and get reliable backup for potential advancements in your career. Looking for a new job, learning about new opportunities, getting to know influential people in the industries you are interested in are just a few perks associated with professional social media and serious networking. Such networks allow you to stay updated to the newest industry trends. How else can you find out what companies are looking for and how big managers define talent and employee engagement?
Becoming career adaptable is not easy. Nobody sets out to be unsuccessful and do a lousy job. Most people already believe they are doing alright. As the statistics show, the problem of career adaptability extends further into the matter supporting the idea of mobility, transcontinental job seeking and even aiming for leaving to less developed countries. Taking advantage of such opportunities is a wise thing to do. If you want to thrive locally in your career, you must invest in on-going learning, test new waters and keep close, key people for your future development.
We all know or at least suspect that busy recruitment officers don’t really have the time or the patience to actually read through the ton of resumes which they receive. Often times, a first glace is all that helps them decide between giving the CV a second look or tossing it out to the larger pile that will eventually hit the bin. If you’re currently looking for a new job or just want to keep your resume in tip-top shape, here are a few deal-breaking CV mistakes which you need to avoid.
1. A Boring Start
If you’re not able to catch the recruiter’s eye in about 10 seconds, according to Lou Adler, it may be too late. So keep this sort-of 10 second rule in mind when designing your CV in the first place, or maybe ask a friend to read it with a 10 second deadline. Then ask him or her: what were the most important highlights of your CV that they were able to note within this 10 second interval? If the traits they report are not the most important ones you wanted to tell a potential recruiter about, then rewrite your resume accordingly. Also, note that the beginning of the document is often the most neglected part when writing it, but it could make the difference between the selected pile and the larger pile. Don’t drag too much, get straight to the point, and do it preferably in a manner that catches the eye: one which is at the same time innovative, bold, smart, but not too over the edge or unprofessional.
2. Not Enough Information
Every statement in your CV should be backed up with facts about the place where you held a certain position, the details of that job, your main accomplishments, evidence expressed in facts and figures, detailed educational history and so on. Even more important for the overall feel and general credibility of the document, you should include contact persons for each job or position you include in your work history, to show you have nothing to hide and that there are people who can vouch for your eligibility. If the managers are truly interested, they’ll run a background check on you anyway, but if you make their work easier by providing all the data it’s even better. Plus: this little trick allows you to choose which of the people in your former office the recruiter speaks with; perhaps some were more impressed with you than others.
3. Too Much Information
Too little information can give off the impression that you lack seriousness, but still, there’s no need to write sagas in your resume. Abstain from giving irrelevant information, don’t ramble and try to highlight only the most important facts about your educational and work history. Moreover, if you have held a position which isn’t relevant to the job you’re currently applying for, it was temporary or seasonal etcetera, perhaps it’s best to leave it out completely to avoid overcrowding the document. If you know you have a problem with keeping things short, revise your resume multiple times and cut out the redundant part in order to polish it into the best shape. Also, the whole thing must not exceed 2 pages. No exceptions.
4. Being too vague
A lack of focus in your resume might be one of the worst CV mistakes you could make. Writing things like “I desire a challenging position that allows personal growth” and other such clichés not only takes up space without adding any real information or value, but might actually bore the recruiter so much as to make him or her stop reading. If there’s one thing most of the resumes that get tossed out contain, that must be something about having “communication skills”, being “a good team player”, and so on. Don’t go there if you want to get called back.
If you’re applying online – as most applications tend to be done these days – make sure you respect the email etiquette of your professional environment. If you had a tip from someone you know, make sure to mention who inside the company recommended that position to you; it might help. Keep focused, avoid these CV mistakes which often amount to being instant deal-breakers and apply to as many jobs as possible. Good luck!
It’s not big news that in today’s economic climate, finding a job is pretty hard, let alone one that you actually like or one that is consistent with your carrier plan. This is the reason many people will advise you to take it easy with your ambitions and just be happy that you have a job, even it’s not really an ideal one. The same kind of conventional wisdom will then go on to tell you that no one can land their dream job from the first try (or first few tries), that being constantly not content with your current job is perhaps being a little too idealistic and basically that you should stop being picky and just settle. At least until something better comes along. While all this may very well be true and constitutes very sane advice, the problem is that something better doesn’t just “come along”; it needs to be brought upon oneself.
As you can see, there’s a problem here. On one hand, all the people who are gently nudging you towards settling for your current job have a point: being too picky or idealistic doesn’t make you more likely to find something better suited to your skills. On the other hand, neither does investing all your energy into a job which you really feel that it isn’t worth it. How do you find a reasonable balance between the two approaches?
Keeping Your Options Open Does Not Make You Idealistic
Unfortunately, in our currently troubled job market, any kind of advice against settling is perceived as somehow disturbing or as dangerously encouraging people to be foolish and idealistic. Even Steve Jobs was accused of it because of one speech in which he simply made a case for finding what you love. No one is saying you should quit your current job if you don’t have a back-up plan and simply go search for something you would like better. Also, no one is telling you to avoid settling for a job just because, or that you should only accept high-end or wonderfully paid ones.
Instead, what you can do in order to avoid settling for a job you’re not quite happy about is making sure your options remain open, and that your current arrangement isn’t a major drawback in the eventual finding of a more suitable position. Keeping your options open means, first of all, always being on the lookout for something closer to what you want, and second of all not cutting all your ties to the opportunity pool that you plan to swim towards to. That means that if, for example, you have a degree in law and you currently work as a cashier (yes, we’re going with a really bad scenario here), don’t just look for jobs in that field, but keep in touch with your former colleagues, do some pro bono work, keep your law skills sharp, accept the occasional gig even if it’s not an actual job etcetera. This way, if something more permanent comes up, you’re more likely to be among the first to know and to also have the experience to claim it, even if your main job has been cashiering all this time. To be able to pull this off, make sure that your current job isn’t making you plate too full for anything else. A complete monopoly over your time and energy should be your only deal-breaker for now.
Avoid Settling For a Job That Isn’t Right with Clear(er) Goals
In order to achieve this balance we spoke of, between maintaining a job even if it isn’t what you want and keeping your options open, it’s important to have clear goals. Even if you don’t have any kind of a job at the moment, think about what you want and prioritize the factors that are most important to you. Always keep some room for future growth: for example, scoring a job that makes use of your higher education skills, and that makes it more likely to find something better in the future simply because of your experience with it, should be more important than scoring a job that pays better, but that doesn’t use the skills you trained for in college. If you’re clear and honest with yourself about what you want, it will be easier to avoid settling for a job just because you have it and more likely to make better things come your way.