Tag Archives: job hunt

How To Prepare For The Great Job Hunt

By, Diana Ouzts

I’ve written a lot about The Great Job Hunt from the hunter’s perspective. How to target the job and shoot true are vital components to bagging a job because one never wants to go on The Great Job Hunt without being armed and ready. But, let’s look at The Great Job Hunt from a different perspective, from the perspective of the game, in this case known as, “The Employer.”

What do prospective employers see when faced with a multitude of faceless job hunter resumes? How does The Employer decide which great hunter will score an interview? What kinds of questions do employers ask when the hunter sits across the desk, all locked and loaded ready to snag the job?

Every now and then, I come across books that really deliver value. Recently, I discovered a wonderful book that gives job hunters an inside look at the thought processes of prospective employers and what motivates them to, “Pick me!” In the book, This is How to Get Your Next Job: An Inside Look at What Employers Really Want, author Andrea Kay interviewed hiring managers and asked them one question: “Why didn’t you hire the last ten people you interviewed?”

The answers were unexpected. The overarching answer wasn’t that the applicants were lacking in skills or experience, but hiring managers based their decisions upon how applicants seemed during the interview. If an applicant told too many personal things, itseemed like the applicant would talk too much on the job.

I talk a lot when I’m nervous. Oops.

Typos on a resume make you seem careless. Being late for an interview makes you seemunreliable. Kay writes, “Before you walk into the interview room, think about how you’d like to be remembered after you walk out.” Applicant behaviors before, during, and after an interview absolutely affect job offers.

I had one very qualified job applicant not get a job because of her behavior after the interview. After the interview, my candidate did not realize she was standing outside the open window of the hiring manager while she talked on her cell phone in the parking lot. Her use of off-colorful language made her seem like she’d be rude to the company’s clients.

An interview is an evaluation process and everything about you is fair game, from your appearance to the very way you speak. This is How to Get Your Next Job actually helps to put the right words in your mouth. For instance, instead of saying you have good people skills, say instead, “I put people at ease,” or, “I speak and write in a way that makes it easy for customers to understand what I mean.” That’s an awesome replacement for, “I provide excellent customer service.” Don’t you think? I’m going to use that!

There are several great components to This is How to Get Your Next Job, including a “Would You Hire You” test, and “20 Things You Should Never Do.” Number nine is saying, “I won’t do that!”

I’ll make sure not to do that!

Job-hunting is just that—it’s a hunt, and it can be scary out there. The outcome will be determined by preparedness, awareness, and tenacity. Remember, to be forewarned is to be forearmed. So, load your hunting arsenal, wipe on the bug repellent and let The Great Job Hunt begin!  What’s your best job hunting strategy?

Does Age Matter?

We are all facing the effects of the “Big Reset” being thrust upon us by this particularly vexing economy, and this means that adapting and adjusting on every level is vital to success. Let’s face it; we live in a world of judgments and perceptions where everything, from fashion to finance, matters. And so, it follows that within the job-hunting arena, age matters, too. This is not a good thing, or a bad thing, or an unfair thing—it just is and should be faced pragmatically. So, how are we going to face it?

Just as there are definable passages in human development (infancy, childhood, adulthood, middle-age, and old-age), there are definable passages embedded within, “The Great Job Hunt.” There is an age-appropriate approach, and it’s all about the decades, baby.

Twenty-year-olds are worried about getting their foot in the door. During this decade, experience is limited, but it is an optimal time for taking career risks, since fiscal responsibility is low. This is a time of experimentation, when working for lower wages, interning, or even volunteering is a grand way to gain valuable experience.

Thirty-year-olds are becoming a little more focused in their career trajectory. This is the decade to focus your resume on showing job growth and longevity.

“Think about the next job on your resume,” said Elizabeth Lions, Human Resources Consultant and Career Coach. “Does it make sense in your career path? If it doesn’t, don’t make that move. Your resume tells a story.” (http://www.theladders.com/career-advice/job-search-in-your-20s-30s-40s-50s-60s).

By the 40’s, your career should show, not only growth, but also focus and meaning. However, because of skills and experience, you are now considered more expensive to employ. You need to convince prospective employers that you are worth it. The focus is now on “branding” yourself (http://www.theladders.com/career-advice/successful-career-planning-management).

The dream of retiring in your late 50’s and 60’s, collecting Social Security, and sailing off into the great sea of relaxation, hobbies, and travel is quickly morphing into the nightmare of retiring, perhaps, but because of that pesky, economic “Big Reset,” having to flail your way back into an age-slanted job market. It’s scary. In order to combat the age stigma, 50 and 60-year-olds need to remain current on all fronts: Technology, skills, vernacular, appearance, attitude.

Invest in yourself; learn new and current technology. Re-imagine your transferable skills; update your old ones. Lynda.com offers practical tutorials that really work, from MS Office to the latest software and business skills. This is the time to believe in yourself, and to convince others to believe in you. After all, you have decade’s worth of practical and valuable experience to offer employers.

Is your conversation up to date? Do your words “date” you? Do you know what Facebook is? Are you on LinkedIn? While you may have zero interest in actively pursuing social media, social media is a major currency of the modern job market; it is employment cache. Get plugged into the vernacular of social media so that you can speak intelligently and be engaging to a hiring manager who will, more than likely, be your child’s age.

Be your own best advocate and package appropriately. A very big concern to employers for hiring candidates in the 50’s and 60’s is health. During these decades, health issues can be costly to employers, so focus on being and presenting a healthy package. Be fashion-forward on interviews. Sit up straight, make eye contact, and smile. Amazingly, statics reveal that as people age, they smile less. Smiling is associated with youth. Pull out the Crest White Strips and smile!

Finally, you have years and year’s worth of real-world knowledge.  You may even have advanced degrees; you know a thing or two. Don’t be a Know-It-All. It is vital to always remember that no matter your age, an old dog can learn new tricks! Get excited about learning new things, be a good listener, and be enthusiastic. Present this image and your prospective employer will be excited about hiring YOU!