Celebrating the Season at Job.com

This week the Job.com team took some time away from the office to help out in the community as well as to celebrate the season with one another.  As second year volunteers for the Marine Toys For Tots Program, the team gathered at the Northern Virginia Toys for Tots Headquarters to sort toys, haul boxes and fill gift orders. Job.com is proud to work alongside the Marines and their close friends and family members in an effort to bring some joy to those less fortunate.  After a memorable day of giving the team circled back in their Fredericksburg, VA office for their annual luncheon. The event consisted of a gift exchange, a Mediterranean buffet, and ended with a 2014 Pop Culture Trivia contest.  There was plenty of food, fun and laughter at this joyous event.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Give Yourself the Gift of a New Job this Holiday Season

We can all afford a little extra cash during the holidays

We can all afford a little extra cash during the holidays

Now that the holiday season is in full swing, it may be tempting to put off your job search until the New Year. However both the job and labor markets are strengthening which give you two very good reasons for maintaining your motivation for finding a new job. If you find yourself coming up short on ideas on where to apply, look no further. We’ve compiled a list of the top industries hiring job seekers of all backgrounds from skilled workers to savvy business professionals.

1.  Retail – The number one industry hiring right now is retail. Stores small and large are always looking for a variety of new employees this time of year.

2.  Transportation – This industry is hot on hiring right now. Companies are gearing up for the hectic holiday travel and gift giving season.

3.  Automotive – With auto sales steadily rising there is no time like the present to search for jobs in this industry.

4.  Telecommunications – As both business and consumer technology continues to evolve, more and more jobs will become available in the Telecommunications and Wireless Industry.

5.  Insurance – With Obamacare entering its second year of open enrollment, insurance companies are staffing up to help guide consumers through the process.

Start searching jobs in these industries and more and find yourself a new job this holiday season!

 

It’s a Homemade Halloween at the Job

Although it’s difficult to break away from our desks and the work that surrounds us, research has proven that a little play in the office helps with employee productivity. Today the Job.com team celebrated that notion with a sweet and savory Halloween party.  The treats along with the costumes were mostly homemade which made this gathering a festive one.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The Art of the Job Search – Always Be Looking

You may have heard the phrase “Always Be Learning.” To be the best you can be, in your professional and personal life, this certainly holds true. We can and should always be learning. Learning doesn’t cease just because we receive a degree or reach a certain age. We can always learn more about our surroundings and others.

There is another phrase to follow in life – Always Be Looking. If the recession and economic uncertainty of past years taught us one thing, it could be that we never know the real security of our jobs and lifestyles. One day we can have it all, and the next day be forced to look for a new opportunity. While the shock of being laid off or having our companies close cannot be lessened through preparation, we should always be learning and looking. Looking for other opportunities in our field, or in other fields, and keeping our options open.

Know Where Your Industry is Going. Are the number of job opportunities growing in your field, or are positions like yours disappearing? By constantly looking for job opportunities, you can spot trends, gain the education you need, and be proactive in your career.

Give Yourself Goals. Research jobs you would want down the road. If you are in college or a training school, look for positions you would want to apply to after graduation. If you are in a field and want to move up (and who doesn’t), look at the descriptions and requirements of those jobs that would appeal to you in 1 year, 5 years, or more. Create a path to success by gaining the education and experience needed for those positions.

Create a Game Plan for a Worst-Case Scenario. If you lost your job next week, what would be your first steps? By regularly researching the types of jobs available in your field, and the companies where you would want to work, you would have knowledge of where to begin your next aggressive job search.

Job.com is a job board with a focus of putting America Back to Work. If you are ready to continue (or begin) your resolution to Always Be Looking, visit our site to conduct tailored job searches and research tools available to reach employers and recruiters across the nation. As always, the Job.com team wishes you success!

The Art of the Job Search – When to Disclose Information to a Potential Employer

Interview

 

It can be difficult to access when, in the course of the job application process, you should disclose specific information to a potential employer. Laws regarding disclosure of disability information, for example, can be strict for an employer. On the other hand, you may feel that it would be potentially harmful not to disclose information to the employer when they are considering you for a position.

The first thing to know is that you should not disclose information regarding disabilities during the application process. During the application and interview processes, an employer should not ask if you need special accommodations to perform the job, if you are taking any medications, or how long it will take for an injury to heal, for example. Only when you receive a conditional offer can these questions be asked.

With many positions, a potential employee is given a conditional offer, meaning you must first pass a drug test or job performance test before a formal offer can be presented. This is the time to provide information about accommodations you may need to perform the job. Once you receive the offer, you should disclose information about your disability, your pregnancy, or any other conditions that may affect job performance.

Once you have disclosed the information to the employer, they must prove an undue hardship as a reason for not hiring you. An undue hardship can be defined as a special circumstance or expense that makes you exempt from the position. If you require very expensive equipment to perform a job, for instance, the employer must demonstrate how the cost of the equipment is not financially feasible for the company.

Providing information to an employer is an important step to take before beginning a new position. However, wait until you have the job offer before disclosing the information. As with any new job, make sure your offer is confirmed before giving notice at your current job.

You can learn more about your rights as an employee at ADA.gov (Americans with Disabilities Act), and the U.S. Department of Labor website.

The Art of the Job Search – The Job Application Process

ImageAs you maneuver your way through your job hunt, you will potentially complete several job applications. You may be filling out applications online, so they may be pre-screened by an employer. Any tests you complete at the employer’s office could also be considered part of your application process. Even if you provide a resume and cover letter, many employers require a separate application in their hiring process. Here are some ways to breeze through a job application, while providing specific information for the employer.

Make your application match your resume. Be sure any education or work history appear as they do on your resume, with consistent dates, job titles, and more. Any discrepancies could be a red flag for the employer.

Practice filling out an application. Sample applications appear everywhere online. Practice completing different types of applications, and bring them along when you fill out your potential employer’s application for reference.

When applying in-person, without an appointment, take the application home. You can take your time completing it, making sure it’s thorough, error-free and easy to read. Whenever applying in person, however, be ready for an on-the-spot interview! You are showing the employer your ambitiousness for the position, and they may want to speak right away.

When applying online, as more and more employers require, follow instructions exactly and review each section before hitting “Submit.” If possible, save a copy of the application or the resulting email confirmation. This will help you keep track of the digital applications you have submitted for follow up.

Be ready to take a test as part of the application. Screening applicants may be come in the form of typing, general math or other assessments. Sometimes, an employer will require a drug test before proceeding to the interview phase. The timely and thorough completion of these assessments may be what sets you apart from your competition.

 

 

The Art of the Job Search – Letters of Recommendation and References

ImageYour main marketing pieces during your job search, including your resume, cover letter and maybe even a portfolio or website, are pieces you produce. You have control over the information presented. So what do you do when an employer asks for letters of recommendation or a reference list to contact? How do you manage your LinkedIn Recommendations to reflect what you want potential employers to see? You may not write the recommendations, but you do have a level of control of the information presented, based on who you ask for a recommendation and how you ask.

Who You Ask

Check over your list of professional contacts and determine which would present the most relevant and influential information in their letter, based on the position to which you are applying. If you have a former colleague or manager who can vouch for your knowledge in a particular industry or type of job, be sure to ask if they would be willing to provide a reference.

How You Ask

Through your research as a job seeker interested in a particular job or company, you are the expert in what the potential employer is looking for in their candidates. When approaching your contacts about writing a letter of recommendation or acting as a reference, you can provide them with some coaching through that knowledge. This will make each reference call or letter more relevant and impressive to your potential employer.

If the potential employer wants letters of recommendation, you can ask each contact to base their letters on one of your core strengths. For instance, one letter could focus on your ability to multitask, one on your ability to manage deadlines, and one on your leadership abilities. Have each letter demonstrate how your skills would be a benefit to the potential employer. 

Your Social Media Recommendations

Social media is now a huge factor in most recruiting processes. Through social media sites such as LinkedIn, potential employers can see a limitless number of recommendations from colleagues, clients, and others who appreciate the work you’ve done in past positions. You can manage who posts a recommendation for you by asking them directly. LinkedIn also requires that you approve any recommendations before they display on your page, providing further control of your digital image.

Photo credit: degreesoftransition.com

The Art of the Cover Letter – Standing Out from the Crowd

Image

Graduation season is upon us, and millions of high school and college graduates will soon join the job search and, ultimately, the U.S. workforce. Here are some tips for writing a compelling cover letter to help you stand out from the expanding crowd of job hunters.

1. Always include a cover letter along with your resume. Your cover letter serves as your introduction and provides you with the opportunity to express your enthusiasm toward applying your skills with the company where you are applying.

2. Research the business as much as possible before writing your cover letter. The more you know about a company or organization, the more your enthusiasm for joining their team will come through.

3. Customize each letter for each position. While you can reuse some basic information (skills that transfer across various positions), the message of your cover letter should be targeted to each specific employer.

4. Find out the name of the person who will read your letter. Be more person by not addressing your letter “To Whom It May Concern,” or “Dear Hiring Manager.”

5. Focus on how hiring you will benefit the company throughout your cover letter to the end. This goes hand in hand with research, demonstrating how you can help them reach the goals or missions of the business. Distinguish yourself from the crowd by highlighting your skills and experiences that other applicants may not possess.

6. Keep your cover letter to one page, and your paragraphs short. Your letter will be easy to read and to the point. Please also be sure to proofread, as nothing will turn a potential employer off more than a cover letter full of typos.

7.  Anytime you apply online, make your cover letter text the body of your email and your resume the attachment. When sending your cover letter in this format, you can leave out your address, the company address, and the date.  When sending your cover letter in an email, you just need a professional greeting and salutation

The Art of the Resume – How to Promote Your Resume

ImageAs a job seeker in today’s highly competitive market, any resource that allows you to broadcast your brand and your marketing pieces, such as your resume, can give you the edge. Posting your resume on job boards such as Job.com is an excellent first step in making your resume available to employers and recruiters in the “hidden job market” – those not currently advertising their open positions.

Another great step if you are serious about finding a position is using a resume distribution service. These services send your resume directly to their lists of employers in your industry or geographic location. All you need to do is provide a resume and the optional cover letter that serve as your introduction to employers. Your resume can be seen by employers who may be hiring now, or in the near future, with little or no research required from you.

Job.com’s Resume Distribution service is one of many tools available to any registered job seeker who has posted a resume. For a small fee, your resume can be sent to a segment of our extensive list of recruiters, depending on your location and desired industry. You will immediately be provided the number of recruiters who will receive your emails in the very first step. There are also a number of additional options in the check out process, including ordering a firm list to see exactly who will receive your resume.

If you are ready to broadcast your resume to the recruiters in your field, check out the Resume Distribution Service today!

The Art of the Resume – What to Include (and What to Leave Out)

ImageToday’s resume must meet the qualifications of, at minimum, two different audiences. The goal is to get the resume into the hands of a hiring manager or recruiter – someone who must be interested in the content of your resume to consider you for their position. Before the resume ever makes it into that person’s hands, however, it is becoming more and more likely that it must first pass through an Applicant Tracking System (ATS). This software is being used by many employers to filter through resumes and pass along only the most relevant to the hiring manager. How do you make sure your resume passes both tests? These checklists are good places to start.

What To Include:

  • Proper formatting - Include defined sections (such as “Education”) and bullet point lists so your resume is easy to read.
  • Correct spelling and grammar - Constantly proofread your resume after every edit, and get a fresh set of eyes to look over your resume as well to catch anything you might miss.
  • Uniform font type and size - The entire resume should be the same font, and headings or section titles should stand out in larger text than the bullet point lists. Your contact information should be the largest, easiest text to find.
  • Keywords - Pass the ATS test with keywords that match the description for the job to which you are applying. Include the industry-specific keywords you know the employer will be looking for from their ideal candidate. For instance, an HVAC professional might include their NATE or RSES certifications.
  • Contact information - Include your most recent phone number(s), a professional sounding email address, and your physical address. If you have a digital media page that showcases your qualifications or professional accomplishments, such as a LinkedIn page or website, include the link.
  • Professional Pitch - Where everyone used to include an objective in their resume, you can provide a quick pitch to “wow” potential employers to read your entire resume.
  • Education and Work Experience - Include the relevant training, certifications or degrees, and the relevant work experience you received that can be applied to the position. Your experience can be listed as a series of accomplishments, rather than just your job responsibilities in each position. For instance, an office manager may have “developed a digital filing system” for their office, as opposed to listing that they “moved all physical records to a digital format.”

What to Leave Off:

  • Third-Party Voice or Unnecessarily Big Words - Your resume should read in the same conversational and approachable tone you would use in an interview.
  • Polarizing Interests or Hobbies - Remember the person reading your resume may not share your enthusiasm or viewpoints on certain topics. If it doesn’t pertain to the job for which you are applying, don’t include it on your resume.
  • Irrelevant Experience - Only include the education or experience that can be used to the benefit of your potential employer in your bullet point lists.
  • Contact Information from Your Current Employer - Never include your work email or phone number as the means to reach you.
  • Lies - If you lack a specific certification or work experience, focus instead on the skills you do possess.