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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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!

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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.