Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Job Searching: 3 Keys to a Successful Job Search

#1 - BE PREPARED: Research the company ahead of time and don't wait for the last minute to cram a bunch of facts into your brain. Bring extra copies of printed resumes with you, regardless if you have already sent previous copies. Take time to rehearse your responses and remember to breathe. Usually the interviewers (more often the hiring managers) are just as nervous as you are.

#2 - BE PURPOSEFUL: Make a plan for your job search. Be methodical and practical about the companies you want to work for. Don't apply for a job that you are not qualified for or willing to accept if offered. You are wasting your time and the employer's time. Without fail, that stuff comes back to bite you.

#3 - BE PROFESSIONAL: Dress appropriately and watch the perfume/cologne. You don't want an interviewer explaining how they were overtaken by fumes when you walk in the door. Keep your answers relevant to the job and not what you did last weekend. Revisit all your social media sites to make sure the photos where you might be prominently displayed with an adult beverage are removed. Use handwritten thank you notes after each and every interview. Yeah, I know you are thinking, "really?" Really! It makes a huge difference in determining who really wants to be there versus who is there just to collect a check.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Job Searching: Does "Luck" Really Exist in a Job Search?

Luck, Smuck. OK - admittedly there is a certain bit of right place, right time mojo in landing your most coveted job. But more often than not, it is about understanding the hiring process and being the most prepared person in the room.

You have got to check yourself -
  • Make sure you have done your homework and read up on the company you are trying to work for.
  • Ensure you are properly dressed for the big interview and don't be wearing all that super trendy attire. You want to look the part; not the part that everyone is looking at.
  • Mark out your route to the interview just to make sure you aren't late and know exactly where to park. If you're late, you may be out of a job.
  • Be sure that the cell phone is locked off and stowed in its proper position. Actually, best left in the car.
  • Leave your friends and family at home. This is your opportunity to stand on your own - no one is going to hold your hand every day at work. You have to do this one by yourself.
  • Use a breath mint, not gum.
  • Get busy preparing your responses to the tough questions...
- Why do you want to work here?
- What did you like least about your last job and why?
- What are your strengths and weaknesses?
- Tell me about a time when you had difficulty working with your boss and why?

It's not so much luck that plays a piece of getting you employed, but there is something to be said for karma. What you put out into the universe you are certainly going to get that back. Think positive! Think persuasive! Think peace!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Job Searching: Should I take Any Job to Have a Job?

Work is work, right? Well, sort of.

Being employed to meet your financial obligations and provide for your family is so very different than having a career or a profession that you are passionate about and can't wait to wake up to do every day. So taking a job, to have a job can provide a means to an end, but may not provide you all that you are looking for in a career.

If you must work, a job that provides skills in training with a reasonable wage is the best case scenario. Continue to highlight your newly found job skills and expand on them to build a stronger resume and ultimately get a better job leading to hire wages. Sometimes taking a job that is just completely outside of your skill set provides you personal satisfaction and can be equally beneficial.

Volunteering, while unpaid, can strengthen your skills and help you build numerous networking relationships. Taking a job to learn a new trade, make business connections and increase your exposure or awareness to a particular industry are all great reasons to take a job.

The caution with taking any job, especially one where the money seems too good to be true - it probably is. Taking a job just for the money, comes at a cost; a cost that you may not immediately see. When considering a position be sure to evaluate responsibilities, areas of authority, working hours, location, benefits, drive time, the people you would be working with, etc.

The best advice is to take a job ONLY if you have to. Patience and perseverance will ensure that the right job will eventually come along.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Job Searching: Standing Out in a Job Search

Standing out in a job search can mean one of two things. You really nailed the first impression or you didn't and everyone else is talking about it. Standing out for the right reasons requires patience, perseverance and practice.

Patience: Take your time to dress the part, look for the right opportunity to speak and use silence to your advantage. When dressing the part, make sure you dress one level above the position you are seeking. Use your manners and be courteous when speaking to others - you never know who is standing next to you. I once stood right next to my interviewer in an elevator; turns out he was lost and I gave him directions to the job fair and ended up following him all the way to the table. Be sure to use silence to your advantage - don't interrupt and don't over speak. Silence demonstrates patience for the process.

Perseverance: Don't give up. Finding a job is work and it takes time to create and foster the right leads. When you feel yourself getting down about the process do a little volunteer work. Helping others will make your troubles seem less significant and again you never know who might be standing right next to you.

Practice: Repeatedly, over and over again and then a few more times ask yourself the most dreaded question in all of interviewing: So tell me a little bit about yourself. If you don't know the answer - you better make one up. A couple of things to remember:
1. Keep your answers professional and succinct. Tell the interviewer your name, 3 strengths and how they make you the right person for the job and let them know you want to work for such an amazing company.
2. Keep your response positive and upbeat and stay focused on your accomplishments.
3. Allow for the interviewer to process your response before jumping in and adding more qualifying statements.

Standing out in a job search (for the right reasons) is not difficult - being prepared, positive and professional will go a long way in getting you an interview.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Monthly Blog Schedule: December/ January

In our commitment to keep our blog interesting and a resource to you, we've decided to create monthly blog topics to help focus our energy.

The next few months are as follows:
December - Job Searching
January - Interviewing Basics

If you have any specific topics you'd like us to focus on, please comment or shoot us an email and let us know - laura@seekinghr.com

Check back soon for our next post: Standing Out in a Job Search

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Our Dearest Apologies!

OK - I know we have failed miserably in keeping this blog going. Over the past year, the team has tried and tried and tried and well - I'm not sure we all tried hard enough. In August 2010 we had set out to start writing just five to seven entries a month and well three months have gone by and now we have successfully managed to stockpile a few entries. We are committed to making this happen. I have a philosophy in growing the business and much of it has to do with accountability. Say what you intend to do and then write it down. I am now saying out loud, "I am committed to this blog" and I am writing down my commitment and sharing it with all those who care to keep me on track. I can't promise to write every day, but I will try to write at least several times a month. If you would like a rant on a specific topic, feel free to leave a comment.

By way of introductions, I'm Leanne King, Owner and President of SeeKing HR. I started the company four years ago and we have been steadily growing in our consulting services. Jennifer "Jenn" Swisher, Director of HR Services, joined the firm in April 2011 and she has nearly 15 years experience specializing in recruitment, selection, employee development and HR program management. Jenn's industry experience includes healthcare and manufacturing. Most recently, we added Crystal Krueger, HR Advisor, to the team. Crystal has about 8 years HR Generalist experience. She has a wealth of knowledge in staffing large scale construction projects. Crystal also brings medical billing and office management expertise to the firm. Laura LaChaussee, Marketing & Communications Manager, has been with the firm since 2009. Laura is highly experienced in corporate branding, proposal design and social media. Darla Zaiontz, Accountant, provides our administration and accounting support. She is a wizard in Excel.

We all work flexible schedules - so feel free to leave a reply anytime day or night..

I really hope that over the next several weeks and months we can all find our voice and a routine to post more timely entries. Your encouragement is welcome.

- Leanne King