5 Resume Hacks to Get More Interviews

resume hacks interviews

Do you know the average number of resumes sent for a single position in the United States? The number will come as a shock to most – 250. That’s the average number of resumes a corporate job opening attracts. Out of those 250 candidates, 4-6 will be selected for an interview and one person will be offered the job.

Those numbers are pretty frightening for any jobseeker. So how do you get a leg up on the competition?

The answer is your resume which is the first impression you have on an employer. You could be the most qualified candidate but if your resume isn’t any good, you won’t land the interview. We put together a list of 5 resume hacks to get noticed by hiring managers and land more interviews.

1.  Beat The Robots   

Get your resume past the ATS (Applicant Tracking System)

The first step in landing an interview is getting your resume past an ATS and into the hands of a hiring manager. The majority of employers today use an ATS (Applicant Tracking System) to screen resumes before they’re ever seen by human eyes. These systems screen your resume to determine if you’re a qualified candidate and send only the most qualified and relevant resumes to the hiring manager for review.

What’s the problem?

The problem is that these systems reject nearly 75% of resumes because they’re either not seen as a good match or aren’t optimized correctly.

The best way to get past these systems is to ensure you use a standard format and utilize relevant keywords. You should use a standard format and font because an ATS may have trouble reading resumes with unusual fonts, colors graphs etc. You should also tailor your resume to each position with relevant keywords. Look for keywords in the job description that the ATS may be looking for.

For example: If a position lists knowledge of Peachtree and Quickbooks as a requirement – Make sure they’re included on your resume.

Zipjob offers a Free Resume Review if you want to see how an actual ATS reads your resume.

2.  Numbers

Numbers on your resume help quantify your job experience

This is a quick resume hack which will help land you more interviews. Many job seekers make the mistake of not quantifying (using numbers) on their resume. There is nothing that captures a hiring manager’s attention like numbers do on a resume.

You can find a way to quantify just about anything for any industry.

Example:

“Utilized Adwords and Facebook ads to drive additional sales”

Vs.

“Utilized Adwords and Facebook ads which resulted in $400,000 in sales with an ROI of 170%”.

You can clearly see that the quantified example is more attention grabbing. It also enhances the believability and portrays you as an achiever which is our next point.

3.  Achievements

image of hack number 3 that suggest you should focus on achievements in your resume

One thing that separates a resume that lands the interview to one that doesn’t is achievements. If you’re simply listing out your responsibilities from previous positions, you’re not making a good impact.

Hiring managers don’t want to see what you were paid to do, they want to know what you achieved and how you will go above and beyond your responsibilities. Even changing the wording on some of your tasks could make you an “achiever” rather than a “doer.”

Example:

“Planned and coordinated company tradeshow appearances”

Vs.

“Planned and coordinated 15 different tradeshow appearances responsible for $1.7 million in sales”

Simply quantifying and choosing the right words can ensure that you come off as an achiever.

4.  Start Strong

Image for hack number four suggesting that your resume should start strong

You should start off your resume with a powerful summary and not an objective statement. An objective statement is boring and outdated. They should never be included on a resume and instead replaced with a professional summary.

This summary tells the employer a bit about who you are and why you’re the perfect fit for the position. Use compelling language and include major achievements from your previous positions.

The first bullet for each job description should also be the best. You want to capture the hiring manager’s attention from the start and the eye automatically lands on the first bullet points. Use strong action verbs and list your top achievements in the beginning to capture their attention and entice them to read into your resume in more detail.

5.  Concise and Relevant

Image for hack number five suggesting that you should keep your resume relevant

Keep your resume concise, relevant and free of any unnecessary information. Job seekers often include information that not only has no effect, it’s usually a turn off to a hiring manager. Don’t list two full pages of positions you’ve held that have no relevance to the one you’re applying for.

If you have no experience in that specific position, briefly mention some transferable skills that relate.

You also don’t need to list out each and every responsibility you’ve had in your previous positions. Pick the most relevant and effective experience that shows you’re an achiever and a good match for the position.

With all that competition out there you really need to stand out to land interviews. Your resume is the first impression you have on an employer and you want to ensure you make a good one. Remember to use standard formatting, start strong, quantify, mention achievements and keep it relevant. Good luck with your job search!

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6 Tips for Staying Sane During Your Job Search

You’ve updated and posted your resume, signed up for job alerts, and have consistently applied to jobs. Yet, you still haven’t landed your #NewJob2017. Don’t dismay. Our internet sources tell us that it takes roughly one month to find a job for every $10,000 of the paycheck you would like to earn. For example, if you were looking for a job that pays $50,000 a year your job search could take 5 months.

Below are some ways to help take away some of your job search pain and put your mind at ease:

1.  Take a Break

You don’t want to run the risk of job search burnout. Taking some time away from your job search to focus on things like your family, friends and health will help you appreciate all that’s good in your life in order to help lift your spirits.

2.  Simplify Things

no-tv

If you’re finding it difficult to make time for your job search perhaps you have too much going on in your life. Look to rid yourself of distractions like social media and TV which can suck up your free time fast. Also, see if you can delegate some of your household chores or at least save some for the weekend when you’re not so exhausted.

3.  Meditate

Meditation is a tried and true practice of many of the most successful entrepreneurs in the world. From LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner to the incomparable Oprah Winfrey, it is difficult to deny the benefits of meditation. While there are many different methods, studies have shown that meditation can change your brain matter, reduce stress and help you make better decisions.

4.  Get Outside

“Live in the sunshine, swim the sea, drink the wild air” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Sometimes, when you’re in a funk, all you need is just a change of scenery. Sure, winter isn’t the most pleasant of seasons to be outside if you dislike the cold and live in New England (we feel sorry for you) but it’s scientifically proven that being one with nature is an easy way to boost your mental and physical well-being.

5.  Get Exercise

Seeing the pattern here? Like being outside, there are endless mental and physical health benefits to getting your move on. Even if it’s just going for a 15-minute stroll, getting your blood flowing is imperative to feeling happy and healthy.

6. Treat Yourself

treat

Just because you need a new job doesn’t mean you have to deprive yourself of happiness. Sure, you may not be able to afford eating out, or clothes shopping, or Netflix even, but you can still find enjoyment in some small things. Life is short and you shouldn’t hang on to the idea that you will cheer up as soon as you get a better gig. By finding peace throughout the rough patches builds character and makes you a stronger you in the end.

 

14 Ways to Find a Job in February – #11 Will Surprise You

So it’s February and now’s about the time where 80% of us give up on our New Year’s resolutions.  Let’s not make that the case if you’ve resolved to find a new job in 2017.  In fact, if you’re still searching for a job you love, wouldn’t it be fitting to find it in February?

In honor of the upcoming Valentine’s Day holiday, we’re listing 14 ways for you to find a job you love in February.  From your run-of-the-mill job search methods to more out of the box ways, you’re sure to pick up a few new tactics to apply to your existing hunt.

1. Frequently Check Your Job Alerts

Checking your email job alerts is by far the easiest way to stay proactive in your job search. It literally takes less than a minute to pull up your email, open your job finder and scan over the newly posted jobs that match your search.  Fun fact:  Job.com has unique jobs from employers nationwide as well as aggregated jobs from the biggest boards on the web. So there’s no sense wasting your time with multiple job alerts.  Look no further than Job.com Job Finders in your email!

2.  Post Your Resume

Posting your resume to databases such as Job.com’s will instantly increase your exposure. Employers and recruiters alike pay a fee to search most resume databases.  Including your resume in the mix tells them you’re ready for hire.  If you don’t have a resume or need help cleaning yours up, check out the easy-to-build templates on Online Resume Builders.

3.  Contact a Recruiter

Most recruiters are free for job seekers so reaching out to one is a great way to learn about jobs that may not be on all the job boards.  The thing to keep in mind when researching recruiters in your area is to find one that specializes in placing candidates in your field.  Many recruitment firms focus solely on one or just a few industries.  If you’re a salesperson it doesn’t make sense to contact an IT recruiter unless you have experience in IT sales. There are also additional online services that help distribute your resume to multiple recruiters all in one go.  For example, ResumeZapper is a resume distribution service that does just that.

4.  Talk to a Friend

im-so-happy

Friends, neighbors, loved ones, they’re all eligible when it comes to hitting them up for job leads.  You never know who knows someone who’s hiring or is simply “in the know” when it comes to local job opportunities.  All you have to do is mention that you’re looking and to kindly ask that they keep an eye out for you.

5.  Check the Newspaper Classifieds.

Even though you may be thinking “newspapers are so 2000,” hear me out.  Employers today are still spending millions of dollars on advertising their jobs in the newspaper.  While most recruitment ads can be found online, the fact that they’re listed in the newspaper can mean a couple of things:  1.  The right candidates don’t use the Internet to search for jobs or 2.  The best candidates have yet to be found online.

Since many job seekers complain that submitting an application online feels like a black hole, applying through a newspaper ad can be much more transparent.  Many newspaper ads provide a phone number or an email address at the very least.  This gives you a point of contact for follow-up.

6.  Visit Company Career Pages

06-01-15_may-whistleblower-digest_compliance-meme

Most large businesses have a branded company career page.  You know, a place on their website that promotes their company and explains why everyone and their mother wants to work for them.  They’re usually complete with a mission statement, company values, and pictures of the company’s team building activities and work outings.  There’s also typically a job search function or link to their current job openings.  A great way to streamline your job search on company career sites is to come up with a list of all the major employers in your surrounding area and go down the line, Googling each one.

7.  Attend Networking Events

seal

I get it, attending networking events is NOT everyone’s favorite thing to do.  But it just may be necessary to finding the job opportunity of your dreams.  If you’re super shy or cringe at the idea of showing up at a function alone, summon a friend.  It’s likely they’d have something to gain from the experience as well.  Some ideas for finding networking events near you include “meet-and-mingles” which you can ID by joining industry groups on LinkedIn, networking websites such as Meetup and Eventbrite, and even Craigslist.  And just remember, networking events are created for, wait for it…networking!  So while you may be intimidated by so many strangers in one room, everyone is there for the same reason.  Don’t be embarrassed by putting yourself out there.  Just do it!

8. Attend Job Fairs

The slightly less scary and possibly faster approach to finding a job outside of networking is attending a job fair.  Job fairs can give you great practice marketing yourself in front of company recruiters and HR professionals.  They’re also great for getting free resume advice right on location.  While some companies interview candidates throughout the job fair, others are present simply to promote their employer brand.  Regardless, job fairs offer invaluable opportunities for your career.

9.  Get Promoted

We appreciate you spending so much time reading our posts and searching our jobs but a better job could be right under your nose.  Have you considered moving over to a different department or working your way up at the company you’re with now?  Many companies hire from within.  Some have robust career development programs.  And others end up in a bind and need a replacement employee fast.  Do some self exploring to understand if you’re qualified to do a different job at your company and if said job will make you happier. If there’s an opportunity, go after it.  It will be a heck of a lot easier interviewing for a company that already knows you than to have to prove yourself to one that doesn’t.

10.  Leverage Your Social Profiles

social-media-and-my-career

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that this tip is no longer a new age tactic.  It is common knowledge that hiring managers can and will search for you on Google, Facebook, LinkedIn and the likes in the event they find your resume interesting.  So what’s a job seeker to do?  The obvious, of course.  Clean up all your social profiles.  That means no controversial content:  No party pics, no offensive political posts and no negativity.  Employers want to hire happy people!

In addition to keeping it clean, make sure your profile is up-to-date with your current work status and accurate title.  And speaking of, leverage all of those coveted contacts of yours.  Social media isn’t just a gold mine of data for advertisers.  Review your connection’s job titles and places of work and message those who may know of an opportunity that’s right for you.

11.  Volunteer

If you can swing it, volunteering is an excellent way to get a job.  Aside from it complimenting the rest of your experience on your resume, you can actually acquire new skills and knowledge as a volunteer.  And if that’s not enough, a study by the Corporation for National and Community Service found that those who volunteered had a 27% better chance of finding a job than those who didn’t.

12.  Connect with Alumni

If you attended a college or university you should have access to some sort of alumni network. Many universities have local chapters all over the country and are great assets in the job hunt.  School pride runs deep and those involved in alumni networks are on a mission to help as many fellow alumnus as possible.  If you can’t seem to find an alumni chapter near you, LinkedIn is a great alternative where you can search professionals who went to the same school as you.

13.  Connect with Former Teachers

We all have that one favorite teacher who really left an impression on our lives. But did you make one on theirs?  This may sound way out on left field, but if you’re still living near your old school, it wouldn’t hurt to reach out to your former teachers to see if they can help.  When you’re in the job market, it’s best to leave no stone unturned.  The more people who can help you find a job, the better.  Besides, it’s usually not acceptable to include a former teacher as a reference in job applications.  But if you have one that thinks the world of you, it’s likely they’ll offer whatever help they can in finding you a job.

14.  Get Creative

billboard

When all else fails you just might have to get a little creative.  We’ve seen a variety of ‘extreme’ job search methods used by job seekers over the years. From Nina Mufleh’s online resume that earned her an interview with Airbnb, to Adam Pacitti’s billboard that received over 100 job offers, there’s no limit to the creativity that can be used to get the job you want and deserve.  Shoot, (pardon the upcoming pun), we even came across a photographer who sent out 400 action figures of himself just to make his work known.  My point is, if you’re passionate enough, you’re creative enough.  If you feel stuck in a rut and just need to be heard, try doing things differently.  You just might get the results you’re looking for.

Got any job search techniques we missed?  Add them in the comments below.  Like this article? Share if with your friends.  Thanks for reading!

5 Traits You’ll Need to Survive in a World That Thinks “Unemployed” Means “Unworthy” (Spoiler Alert: It Doesn’t)

By Michaela Alexis, LinkedIn 

It’s funny how the words “fired”, “unemployed”, or “laid off”, are taboo enough to make people squirm.

Even today, six months after landing my dream job, when I mention that I was recently laid off, people smile nervously and their eyes dart around the room, like I just declared that I am the president of a Nickleback fan club. Yes, I meant to admit out loud that I’ve failed. No, there’s no Bailey’s in this flat white.

We’ve really effed things up for job seekers, haven’t we?

We calculate capability with pre-populated keywords and/or gaps in a resume, and regard job seekers as flighty or broken. The hardest part of being a job seeker now isn’t the interviewing process or updating your resume. It’s the emotional exhaustion that you have to endure. It’s retaining your identity and confidence in the face of constant rejection, frustration, and social bias.

We need to stop telling you to look outwards for a sign, to wait for somebody to see your value or hope for good things to come. The truth took me thirty years and countless mistakes to find, but here it is.

The most important work you will ever do for yourself starts right now. Hold your heart. Use that beat as momentum. The life that you’ve always wanted and needed begins from the inside out. I know how Disney-esque that sounds, but it’s the most important truth I can offer you.

Here are five traits that you can work on that will not just serve you during your job search, but far beyond.

1. Vulnerability

After being laid off, before I realized that it was better to be a warrior than a human burrito!

Lately, I’ve been hosting LinkedIn share-a-thons, where I share job seekers updates to my 26,000+ person network. The job seeker needs to describe their dream career, share their strengths, and I encourage them to share a photo that captures their personality.

That one act of vulnerability will drastically change my connections’ job search, as it did for me. Once I hit publish six months ago and realized that I didn’t collapse of embarrassment, vulnerability became exhilarating. I felt empowered, I took back control. I started to unmask myself.

Vulnerability is strength, power, and courage. It’s magnetic, it’s your superpower. If you want to land that career, tell the world. Don’t give into the stigma, ask for help from your community.

Scott Stratten sent me a box filled with boxes after I told him that I was laid off. He was a stranger, and I hadn’t even told my family or friends yet. My life changed in ONE private message, one minute of boldness.

My recent podcast episode? It happened because I reached out to the host.

Writing for Karen Salmansohn? It happened because I sent her a private message.

If you want something that you’ve never had, you’re going to have to try things you’ve never done.

2. Purpose

You need to believe in something bigger than yourself, outside of your personal bubble.

No matter where you are in your life, you always have something to give, even if a smile or warm hello is all that you can muster. Volunteer however you can, it will grant you a wider view of the world.

I discovered my purpose by reflecting on my childhood. I was always either a) writing b) taking care of others or c) crying. I cried a LOT. Anyways, I combined my passion for writing, my sensitive spirit, and my love of caring for others, and creating this Linkedin presence that energized me throughout my job search, and fulfills me to this day!

3. Perseverance

Yes, I get loads of negative comments. No, that will never stop me from writing!

Perseverance means consistently showing up. It means putting in the time and effort to move forwards even when you desperately want to throw up your hands and go back to your duvet cocoon.

Perseverance means embracing rejection, pain, and failure, because you know that the stumbling blocks ahead are going to make you stronger and wiser.

Perseverance is one of the most important traits you’ll need throughout your job search, and in life.

4. Balance

The more balance that you can create in your life, the happier you’ll ultimately be.

Before I lost my job, I was one of those people that glorified the “hustle”. I was “making it” because I was one of those people that existed off of coffee and worked around the clock, even though I was more miserable than I had ever been.

I began morning yoga and meditation after I was laid off to pass the time. It quickly became more of a lifestyle than a task on my to-do list. Yoga and meditation gave me the clarity that I needed to focus on my purpose, which was writing and helping others. Focusing on my purpose made me more fulfilled, and helped me feed my confidence and optimism. My confidence and optimism were why I landed a new career in two weeks and turned down four job offers in the process.

Since I discovered the benefits of balance, it’s become a necessity, not an option. Spend some time away from your job search, and you’ll be surprised at how quickly balance will rewire your mind.

5. Confidence

Maintaining your confidence is now your full-time career during your job search. It is your most treasured trait, and the hardest to preserve under such stressful circumstances.

However, confidence is a choice. Confidence means admitting that you are hurt, frustrated, lonely, or afraid, and confronting your pain like the warrior you are. Confidence means practicing affirmations, taking risks, trusting your capabilities, and getting fired up about all of the growth and possibility ahead, regardless of how crappy that last interview went, or how you didn’t get a callback.

Hold your heart again. I won’t tell you that your job search is going to be easy, because it won’t be. But I will tell you that your worth does not depend on your status, title, or bank balance. You are capable, worthy, and ready. And as long as your heart is beating, you have everything you need to make it happen, my friend.

Top Resume Tips for 2017

By Natalya Khaykis, ZipJob 

The way resumes are written has changed over the decades. The once widely accepted objective statement is now discouraged by most hiring managers. Resumes also need to be written and formatted to pass the Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) most employers use.

An ATS is a software that screens your resume before it’s ever seen by a human. It looks for keywords and other information that match what the employer is looking for. This has replaced the need of manually sorting through hundreds of resumes and has saved companies time and money.

The average corporate position in the United States receives an average of 250 resumes. We’ll show you the top 5 tips for your resume in 2017 which will help you kick-start your job search.

Top 5 Resume Tips for 2017

1.  Accomplishments Over Duties – One of the biggest mistakes job seekers make when writing a resume is simply listing out their job duties. With all that competition, you need to show the employer specific achievements where you went above and beyond.

For example, instead of saying:

“Managed the sales team to ensure sales quotas were met”

Go for something that’s more achievement based:

“Managed a sales team of 8 and developed new marketing campaigns which saw a 34% increase in sales”.

Doesn’t that sound so much better?

One of the best ways to catch the employer’s attention is to use quantifiable achievements. Hiring managers love to see numbers on a resume. It catches their attention and makes your experience look more believable and tangible.

2.  ATS Optimization – Most employers use an automated resume scanner called an Applicant Tracking System. These systems pull information from your resume and determine if you’re a good match for the position.

On average, 75% of resumes are weeded out and never seen by human eyes. The problem is that many candidates are qualified but their resume just isn’t optimized for the ATS.

So how do you optimize your resume?

The first thing you need to do is use a standard resume format. Avoid any fancy colors, graphs, tables, fonts and images which the ATS will have difficulty processing.

You also want to ensure you use the keywords the ATS is looking for. It looks for keywords that relate to the position or qualifications the position seeks. The best place to look for keywords is the job posting itself. Look at some relevant keywords from the job posting and incorporate them in your resume. You need to tell the ATS that you have the skills and qualifications needed for the job.

It’s also a good idea to have your resume reviewed to see how it does in an ATS.

3.  Ditch the Objective – The resume objective was once widely accepted and appeared on almost every resume, not anymore. The objective basically says “Hi, here is what I want out of this job and my career”.

The hiring manager or employer isn’t looking for what you want, but what they need and how you benefit them.

This is best expressed with a resume summary. The resume summary should be a bit about your background, skills and why you’re a great candidate for the position. You can check out this guide for writing a good resume summary.

4.  Skills – This is one of the most important sections job seekers leave off their resume. Your resume should have a “Skills” or “Qualifications” listed in short bullet points. This allows a hiring manager to quickly see relevant qualifications, and it’s also great for including relevant keywords for an ATS. You can easily tailor your resume for each position by swapping relevant keywords.

Here is an example of a skills section on a resume:

skills-on-resume

5.  Include a Cover Letter – There has been much debate as to whether cover letters are effective, or even read anymore. The answer is that it depends on the hiring manager but many still do put a lot of emphasis on a cover letter. The cover letter allows you to speak in a more conversational tone and tell the employer your qualifications and why you’d make a good fit for the position.

A well written cover letter would never hurt your chances of landing an interview, and it actually may be the deciding factor.

The best practices for writing a resume are always evolving. We now need to write resumes for both humans and machines. Keep these tips in mind when writing your resume and good luck with your job search!

Ready to get a resume that’s guaranteed to get past the ATS and in to the hiring manager’s hands?  Check out ZipJob!  ZipJob uses professional writers and technology to ensure your resume gets noticed.  Learn More.

Words of Wisdom: Inspiration for Your 2017 Job Search

live-intentionally-aaron-larson-one-love-ministries-vimeo-thumbnail-1Judging from all the headlines, Facebook posts and tweets 2016 has been a pretty rough year.  But rather than reflect on all the gory details, let’s look onward to 2017
with the promise and hope that we’ll be able to turn things around in a new year. That said, hope alone cannot change things. It can’t change who we are and it can’t change how we are. If we want to change we must take action. And in order to take action we need to be inspired.

While inspiration comes from many places, today we turn to the Holstee Manifesto. Much
greater than a mission statement, the Manifesto was created by three founders of a t-shirt company who not only wanted to put their definition of success and happiness in print, but wanted to share their positive intentions with the world.

It’s a highly relevant piece of work that can be applied to almost anything in your life, especially to your pursuit for a new job. It begins like this:

This is your life. Do what you love, and do it often. If you don’t like something, change it. If you don’t like your job, quit.  If you don’t have enough time, stop watching TV.

You can read the rest here. While we all have our own individual hopes, goals, wants, and dreams, we all share the same need for work. Work creates our livelihood. It ensures our well-being. No matter what goes on in the world around us, the one thing we can control is how we choose to spend our time working.

Here’s to a happy and successful New Year. We look forward to helping you find your #NewJob2017.  Search, apply, and prosper!

 

It’s Called a Life, Not a Life Sentence! How to Move Forward When You Feel Stuck

By Michaela Alexis, LinkedIn 

If I never let go of my first dream job, I’d still be a can of beans.

Don’t believe me? Here’s proof (no, I wasn’t being cheeky, my hand just moved as this was shot)! This was my very first day of my first marketing job, and I had to walk around a local market like this on Mardi Gras, handing out flyers.

Oh, and at one point, THIS was my dream job, too, when I worked as a bartender at a country bar!

I’ve worked in all sorts of jobs, from a grocery store clerk, professional bubble blower, Disney cast member, and a can of beans, to a legal studies teaching assistant and Marketing Director. Heck, I’ve even spent a few days cleaning carpets and urinals. I have had a spectrum of experiences, ranging from neat-o to nightmare-ish.

We all have to start somewhere. And for some, those experiences shape you, refine you, help you to become a kinder, more compassionate human being. You can talk about them (like I am right now) with humour, fondness, and a little bit of “What was I thinking???”

But what happens when you can’t let go? When you’ve settled into a career that should have been abandoned long ago, but you’re holding on for dear life in fear that you won’t find anything better, that you’re not worthy of your career dreams, or, worst of all, that you deserve unhappiness.

I have never been happier career-wise in my entire life. But not only did it take scrubbing toilets and dressing up as a can of beans to get to this place, it also took willingness to let go, move on, and trust in my abilities when the dream changed.

The most important thing I’ve learned over time is this:

There is nothing more excruciatingly painful than feeling trapped in a life that you’ve drifted into.

So, if it feels impossible to move forward, let’s tackle what’s going on behind those feelings, shall we? Here are the top 5 reasons why you are feeling stuck!

1) You don’t recognize that a career is a relationship, not a task separate from your being.

A career is a relationship. Most of us aren’t fortunate to find “the one” on the first try. It takes time and patience to figure out what your needs are as an employee. I know that I thought I’d love working in an open concept style office, but when I was actually put into that situation, I quickly realized how much I valued my privacy and peace.

The other issue I see popping up with my Linkedin connections is the belief that the culture will change. If the company doesn’t value its employees, if gossip and bullying is the norm, or if the job feels like you’re serving hard time, it’s not going to magically change tomorrow. Focus on the things that you can control, and start examining your wants and needs.

2) You are too busy to focus on what you actually need to

We, as a society, need to stop the glorification of “busy”. Being busy makes you feel important and valued while you’re in the zone, but ends up depleting you of the energy you need to build the life you want. It becomes a vicious, addictive cycle. I remember feeling like I just needed to do more to feel more. But, the only thing I ended up feeling was burnt out.

I would say that most people feel stuck because of this. Think about what happens when you don’t get enough sleep. Think about how hard to is to think clearly and make decisions. The same happens when you are constantly spending your energy in the wrong places. You can’t pour from an empty cup. If you want to take those important first steps, you need to put your mind and body at the very top of your to-do list.

I’ve never seen a tombstone that said “I wish I had written one more work email”. Time is a gift, so focus on what actually matters.

3) Your identity has become intertwined with your career

This is an easy trap for people that are perfectionists or just super passionate about their work, whatever it may be. I’m definitely guilty of this myself. I went to Carleton University for six years for a degree that should have taken four years. I was so wrapped up in the cocoon of being a student that I didn’t want to think about being anything else.

The reason that my Linkedin title doesn’t say “Marketing Manager at Grade A” is because I am acutely aware of how easy it is to mistake who you are for what you do. You are so much more than your job title, and moving on to a different career isn’t going to make you more or less YOU.

4) You feel like hating your job is better than being a “job hopper”

The stigma surrounding “job hopping” is straight up silly. Yes, of course, there are extreme examples of people that just can’t seem to get it together, but for the most part, “job hopping” is just “career experimenting”.

I come from a long line of “career experimenters” and I’m damn proud of it. My mom was a nun that traveled the world, helping in orphanages, before becoming an elementary school teacher and internationally competing as a Masters track and field athlete. My father was a radio DJ and used car salesman before immigrating to Canada and becoming a beloved family doctor. I’ve been blessed to grow up with two parents that truly found their purposes and loved their careers, but were beautifully messy in their journeys towards living their passions.

So if the job is making you miserable, stop obsessing over how it may look to recruiters and/or hiring managers. That can’t be your sole deciding factor. When I was laid off, I was only working at my last job for about 4 months. While, yes, it made me self-conscious, I knew that a resume could never fully capture my capabilities anyhow, and focused on proving that I deserved an awesome career. You are just as deserving!

5) We live in a fear-based culture where joblessness is a like a death sentence

I realized how deep feelings of scarcity were ingrained in me when I turned down four job offers before accepting the role with Grade A. Each time, I felt physically nauseous. I felt irresponsible, irrational, and ungrateful.

I had the student loans office calling me, and I barely had enough cash coming in from Employment Insurance to cover my groceries, gas and parking to get to interviews. For the first time ever, I couldn’t pay my rent on time and had to call my parents to loan me the money. As desperately as I wanted to throw up my hands and throw out my dream job wish list, I knew that my fear was directing me to where I needed to keep going. It was actually my compass.

It’s so easy to doubt your own capacity for awesomeness, to listen when well-meaning friends and family encourage you to stick it out because the job market is brutal. But why cheat yourself?

Stop waiting for the tide to change. You are the tide. You have absolutely everything that you need to create the life you deserve. At some point, you’ll need to decide whether to allow yourself to drift aimlessly and hope for the best, or strap on a life jacket and swim like hell towards the shoreline.

Read the original piece here.

How to Job Search Like a Presidential Candidate

jobsearch2016Election season is over and we can all breathe a sigh of relief. Whether you loved or loathed the presidential candidates it’s fair to say they both gave their best efforts over the last 20 months. And while just one candidate gets to walk away victorious, a lot can be learned from the process.

Let’s take the candidates’ campaigns, for example. Both fought long and hard for what they believed in, never losing faith along the way. This is the kind of mindset needed for a successful job search as well.

Winning over America’s vote may be slightly more challenging than say, winning over a hiring manager but many of the same principles apply. Let’s review them shall we?

Do Your Homework

Whether you’re thinking about applying for a job or you’re about to enter the interview chair, you have to be “in the know.” No one wants to elect an uniformed president just as no one wants to hire a clueless job candidate. It’s important that you’re familiar with the company and up to speed on the trends and best practices that will help you succeed in the job.

Be Prepared…But Not Scripted

This is especially important during the interview. It’s never a good idea to shoot off the cuff without fully knowing the point you’re trying to make. As Donald Trump learned during the debates, you’re likely to get a better response if you have a well-thought-out plan. But, it’s also smart not to sound scripted. Hillary Clinton was heavily criticized on her robotic stature throughout the debates which kept her from connecting with her audience. While practicing your interview points will help calm your nerves, never sound canned.

Highlight Your Strengths

When campaigning for presidency, candidates must always explain why they’re the best person for the job. The same goes for you. Whether it’s on your resume or during an interview, you should always lead with your strengths. But pointing out your skills and accomplishments isn’t enough. You’re competing for a job after all. If you can find an angle that highlights how your uniqueness makes you the best candidate for the role, you’re likely to win the job.

Use the Law of Large Numbers

It’s common knowledge that candidates hot on the campaign trail have to make as much contact with voters as humanly possible. The more hands they shake, the better their chances are at winning. Use the law of large numbers when applying to jobs. Yes it’s redundant. Yes it’s exhausting. And yes, it’s not for the faint of heart.

Be Resilient

If either one of the candidates gave up whenever they hit a bump in the road the election would have been forfeited a long time ago. Any good job worth having is worth working for. Realize that you may put a ton of time and effort in to applying for a job only to never hear a peep. You may also get as far as the fourth and final interview and then lose the job to someone else. If you begin your job search knowing there will be some rejection you can prepare yourself for the long and arduous road. By staying steadfast and positive , you will catch your break. It just takes time.

Be Social

Social Media has never been as prominent in a presidential race as it was this year. Trump was a clear winner when it came to having a social media presence but Clinton wasn’t too far behind. There are many advantages to using social media in your job search.

For example, TechCrunch recently reported that employers will soon begin promoting their jobs on Facebook. You can easily market yourself as employable by updating your profile with your past and present work experience. Just be aware of the shortfalls of the platforms and keep your posts clean.

Be Relevant

Living in the New Media age allows for us to receive and release information in real time. Just as social media has become an integral part of a presidential campaign, you should adopt all modern forms of the job search. While it’s likely you’re already using your phone to look for jobs, take it up a few notches.

There are plenty of mobile job search apps that let you apply to jobs directly from your phone. Increase your chances of standing out and speed up the application process by having a mobile optimized resume. Also take the time to set up a professional profile on LinkedIn. Many employers are now requesting this in the application process.

Build a Strong Network

Networking is one of the most discussed topics when it comes to finding a new job and for good reason. A strong network or support group can open the door for new opportunities, provide references and give guidance and advice. In Trump’s acceptance speech he humbly gave credit to his family and GOP allies that helped him get the win. By nurturing your network, you will find yourself with a group of individuals who help you succeed.

Be Honest

There’s no doubt that Hillary Clinton’s trustworthiness was an issue for her while campaigning. Trump too had his fair share of falsehoods. If you’re even considering lying on your resume to get a job just don’t do it. The stakes are high enough when you’re vying for a new position. Don’t risk burning bridges by forging your qualifications.

Be Yourself

If there’s anything to take away from this election process and the new President-Elect it’s that you don’t have to have the most experience. You don’t have to be the most articulate. But if you put in the work, surround yourself with smart and supportive people and above all, be uniquely you, you can accomplish anything.

 

 

Top 10 Career Costumes for Halloween

dancerWhether you love or loathe dressing up for Halloween there are some occupations that require a standard uniform each working day of the week. We’ve compiled a top 10 list of our favorite career-friendly Halloween costumes along with the occupation’s median salary*. With these numbers in mind, you might consider a career change or at the very least, a last-minute costume idea!

  1. Doctor – Ranked #1 for the salary alone, General Practitioners make an average of $184,390.
  2. Nurse – Continuing with the medical theme, RN’s make $67,490.
  3. Police Officer – Although not for everyone, some people prefer upholding the law for a living. The average Law Enforcement Officer makes $58,320.
  4. Firefighter – Notoriously known for their modest pay of $46,870 Firefighters typically find satisfaction in their heroic job duties opposed to their actual salary.
  5. Chef – The rise of reality cooking shows has made the chef costume relevant once again. The annual salary for a chef or head cook is $41,500.
  6. Farmer – Another tried and true costume is the overall clad, straw-hat wearing farmer. Whether an animal breeder or one of the agricultural kind, farmers make an average of $45,340.
  7. Construction Worker – Popular during the days of the song “YMCA” by the Village People, a job in construction will get you anything from $31,910 as a laborer to $62,070 as a supervisor.
  8.  Dancer – From ballet to tap, dancers use dance performances to express ideas and stories.  Anyone who has ever had to purchase a costume for a recital can repurpose it for Halloween, granted  it still fits! Dancers make an average of $14.44 an hour.
  9. Scientist – Most commonly portrayed as “mad,” there are quite a variety of them. From animal to food and political to health, Scientists make an average of $62,160.
  10. Maid – While the French Maid outfit is more suitable for a night of burlesque than cleaning toilets at the Holiday Inn, the costume has always been a staple at Halloween stores across the country. With the vast amount of hotels in cities small and large, housekeeping jobs are always in demand at an average salary of $20,740.

*Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Employment Statistics, May 2015