Email Etiquette for Job Seekers

Email Etiquette for Job Seekers

Email Etiquette – if you are using email to job search, for business, or to work on boosting your career, it’s important that all your communications are just as professional as they would be if you were sending old-fashioned paper letters.

Every email message you send need to be properly formatted, you need to spell correctly, your messages need to be grammatically correct, and it’s important write in paragraphs. Even though it’s email (or a LinkedIn message) when you’re corresponding regarding employment, you need to write carefully and properly.

Continue reading at http://jobsearch.about.com/b/2013/11/26/email-etiquette-for-job-seekers.htm

Creativity – When Focus Becomes Constraint

Creativity  – When Focus Becomes Constraint

Creativity – as some readers will know I started November full of commitment to the Nanowrimo challenge and writing the first draft of my third novel with at least 50,000 words completed in one month.

Out I set with the work I had already done; the story arc, the settings, the characters etc.

For the first week or so all went well and I had the “right” number of words to report each day against my title.

By the second week I was starting to flag a little and meeting the commitment was hard alongside my other work. But I was still hitting, and usually exceeding, the target every day.  I kept going!

At the end of the third week nature took a hand. I came down with some relatively minor illness. But it meant I had to stop. And stopping meant I could take stock.

Creativity – when you need to stop!

I was focussed so hard on meeting the target that I was no longer actually enjoying the process of writing. Perhaps even worse than that, what I was writing wasn’t very good and nor do I think it was very interesting. If I didn’t actually feel engaged with my hero – how were my readers going to feel?

Now I do believe setting goals is a good approach to creative writing as with anything else in life. I believe in measuring progress towards those goals. But they do need to be appropriate to the task. And they do need to become your own goals, not someone else’s, to be really successful.

I believe as well that if you wish to let your creative juices flow, there can be a time when focus becomes a constraint and you need to set yourself free.

Warm regards

Wendy
wendymason@wisewolfcoaching.com
http://wisewolfcoaching.com

 

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Finding Your Passion In Life – 7 Thought

Finding Your Passion In Life -7 Thoughts

by Dick Bolles on the CAREEREALISM website

1. “Passion” is a very broad word. Each of us chooses to define as we will.

It may vary from “work that gets me excited” to “this is why I believe I was placed on this earth.” When we are talking with someone about this subject, each of us may think we know what the other means. But often we are wrong. If we use it, we need to define what we mean by it.

2. “My passion” is related to, and dependent upon, self-knowledge.

Show teenagers, for example, a list of possible careers, and ask them which ones they feel any passion for, and they are liable to answer “None.” Come to that same person ten or fifteen years later, and they have gained in knowledge of the world of work. More importantly they have gained in knowledge of themselves.

Now they know, from experience, exactly what they like or don’t like. We, who are trying to help, may speed up that process by asking them to do a self-inventory. At any age. Typically, they will want a template for doing such an inventory.

3. “Passion” has seven parts to it.

The most helpful self-inventories always turn out to be those that correspond to the parts of a job. That is to say, every job has seven parts to it: it requires certain skills (do), certain knowledge (know), certain goals (reach), certain people environments (surround), certain working conditions (enable), certain locations (find), and a certain level of responsibility (chart).

Read more at http://www.careerealism.com/finding-passion-life/#j02Br7AMtvCXemzA.99

How To Work A Crowd – Top Tips

How To Work A Crowd – Top Tips

Job Search and Career Development – Top 10 Tips On How To Work A Crowd

 

How To Work A Crowd – whether you are looking for work or looking for promotion at work this is useful top know. Knowing how to work a crowd is invaluable. So here are my top 10 tips.

How To Work A Crowd – 10 Tips

1. First – find your crowd. Go to every likely event that you can. Even in these days of virtual communication, personal contact makes all the difference. The more networking events, professional conferences, job fairs, professional associations, senior meetings, board meetings and other gatherings you go to, the better your chance of meeting someone who can help you. Getting into meetings and events with senior staff at work gets you noticed.
2. Don’t let lack of confidence be a barrier. If you necessary go with a friend; if you are nervous of crowds take a willing friend along. It can be much easier to have a conversation when you’re not the only one trying to think of what to say. If you don’t have someone to bring then find the out layer on the edge crowd when you get there and start a conversation. Ask how they got there, perhaps, and who do they know. The chances are they are as nervous as you and will be grateful that you spoke to them. Don’t be shy or embarrassed that you’re unemployed. So are millions of other good people.
3. Smile. Smiles are contagious and they show energy. The more you smile the more pleasant the reception you’ll get – people like people who smile.
4. Do your introduction. Prepare your short introduction/elevator speech before you get there and practice saying it.
5. Keep the conversation going. After you start a conversation by introducing yourself, keep up the momentum. It’s much easier to converse when you’re on first name terms with the person you are talking to – so exchange names. Then ask a question using their first name. Once you’ve said hello, ask the person you’re talking to about their job or their field of interest. Show a genuine interest in them and what they are doing – people usually love talking about what they do. If you ask an open-ended question like “What do you think about…” you’ll be able to keep the conversation rolling.
6. Be prepared to answer questions. If the person you’re talking to seems interested in you and asks questions – answer them fully and don’t be dismissive of what you have to offer. Be prepared to explain what qualifications and skills you have and what you are looking for. If you are in employment, be ready to talk about your job and make it interesting.
7. Give out your Business Cards. Have business cards printed with your contact information (name, address, phone, email, LinkedIn profile, etc.) and ready to hand out. That way it’s easy for people to get in touch with you. Keep in them in your pocket or the side of your bag so you can get to them without making a production out of it.
8. Get Business Cards and offer help if you can. If you’re at a professional function, collect business cards. Send a follow up email thanking the person for talking to you. Let them know you appreciate anything they can do to help. Offer to help and contacts if you can. “Giving to get” works every time. Offering to help someone else with their career goals or with job leads, will pay you back with more help than you might imagine.
9. Don’t monopolize the conversation. Spend a few minutes discussion learning about others and talking about your goals, then move on. The more people you talk to, the more opportunities you’ll have.
10. Don’t Be Negative. People don’t like negativity, so don’t bad mouth your (old) job, your (old) boss and the company. Rather put a positive spin on your situation and your future plans.

I wish all those starting out on, or a continuing, a job search this week every success and if I can help, please get in touch.

Warm regards

Wendy
wendymason@wisewolfcoaching.com
http://wisewolfcoaching.com

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Thinking strategically to get ahead

Thinking strategically to get ahead

Thinking strategically – why it matters! I seemed to spend quite a lot of my time when I worked as a manager in the Civil Service sitting on promotion boards. Later, in a different context, I went on to manage recruitment of people at senior level.

Back in the day, in the Civil Service, people were promoted to grades not jobs and then, sometimes long after, they took up a post at the new level. Sometimes, in large departments, promotion boards could go one for two or three weeks and you seemed to see battalions. In all honesty, I’m not totally convinced that the panel’s judgement was entirely sound when it came to the last interview on the afternoon of the final day.

What I did learn, though, was quite a lot about what marks someone out for a more senior role.

We saw lots and lots of people who were very good at what they did. Some had been doing the same job very well for a very long period of time. They could tell you an awful lot about it. Usually, they could tell you why what they did was necessary – although not all were very clear about that.

There were others who had been in their role for a much shorter time. They could tell you why they were there and whether they should be. They knew what their work meant in the wider context of the department. Not only that, they could talk about the role of the department overall. They could look ahead and see possible challenges that they, their section and the department might face. They had thought about the issues and had their own perspective on them. And, yes, they could usually understand as well the opposing view.

When it came to looking for people at more senior level, the ability to think widely, as well as in several dimensions, mattered even more. Yes, you did want people who were technically and professionally competent but you were looking for breadth as well as depth and an ability to see the broader perspective was critical.

So if you are serious about wanting to break through to the very top of your organization, make sure you reflect on the work you do and its context; above all make sure you can take the broader view.

I wish all those starting out on, or a continuing, a job search this week every success and if I can help, please get in touch.

Warm regards

Wendy
wendymason@wisewolfcoaching.com
http://wisewolfcoaching.com
Posted By Wendy Mason

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Job Search – Please Write Those Important STAR Stories

Job Search – Please Write Those Important STAR Stories

Today we republish an extract from an earlier post. But I make no excuses because I think writing STAR stories can make such an important contribution to your job search and to your career development, if you want to prove to your employer that you are ready for promotion.

STAR Stories Make You A Star

Writing STAR stories is a way to prepare not only to write your CV but also to answer questions at interview. This will be particularly important if the organisation you want to join, or contract with, is committed to competency based interviewing or wants evidence of what you have done so far! Your STAR stories help to give evidence of just how competent you are.

But preparing your STAR stories can also be a real boost to your self-confidence, particularly if you are going through a difficult period at work.

Writing your stories

The STAR method means that for each of your major achievements you will set out the;
  • S – Situation, the background – when where, who and why
  • T – Task or tasks, you need to be specific here – exactly what was the problem you were trying to solve, you were you required to do and what was the required outcome?
  • A – Action, what did you do and what skills did you use? How did you behave? What obstacles did you meet and how did you overcome them? 
  • R – Result . what was the outcome? What happened and what were the benefits that you delivered. How could you measure them? Can you put a price or some dimensions on the scale of your achievement?  How did the organisation respond?

People like hearing a well told story. And telling your stories well will make sure you are memorable for the right reasons; so long as they are not too long, they stay positive and they are realistic!

You will not put all detail from your STAR stories into your CV, but it really helps to remind yourself of the past vividly when you write it.

When you start, think right back to the beginning of your career;

  1. Use your laptop or simply get a notebook and note down all the good things you have achieved. We are talking here about your personal successes!
  2. Don’t spend time on the things that you don’t feel good about! Remember, a whole programme or initiative doesn’t have to have been a total for your part of it to be something you are proud of!
  3. Now pick at least 10 achievements across your career. For job search, include at least five from the more recent past. But there is no limit to how many STAR stores you can produce.
  4. For each achievement, write a STAR story, setting out what happened and clearly explaining your contribution.
  5. Of course you can write as much or as little as you like about each success but for your portfolio record about one page of A4 for each is usually enough.
  6. Start with your early achievements and work forward.
  7. Do your research if necessary about times, places and events. You are building a portfolio to be proud of so make sure your stories are accurate!
  8. After you have completed each story take a pause and review! Enjoy your success.
  9. When you have completed five lay them out before them and feel proud – I bet you had forgotten how good your were!
  10. When you are ready, type them up and print them out on good quality paper! Then put them in a folder with your name on the front!

Your portfolio now has its foundations. You can references and recommendations as well as certificates you hold and any awards. From this material you can draw soundly based evidence of your competencies. It can be drawn on for your job applications and used as reminder of just how good you really are when you hit those career bumps that everyone has to endure sometimes

By the way STAR stories don’t have to be confined to paid employment. Have you had a voluntary role? Are there things you have done for your local community? Well write the stories and put them in! They will all serve to show just what a valuable and competent person you really are!

And I would love to hear how you get on and I wish all those starting out on, or a continuing, a job search every success. If I can help, please get in touch.

Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in management, coaching and personal development. That experience means she is equally at home helping clients find a new career direction, starting-up new businesses or dealing with life’s more challenging personal issues. You can contact her at wendy@wisewolfcoaching.com

Wendy has written a little eBook on how to get on with your boss and a book on job search – you can find her books on Amazon at this link

         

Follow Companies on Popular Social Media Sites to Keep Up to Date in Your Industry

Follow Companies on Popular Social Media Sites to Keep Up to Date in Your Industry

Today we have an article from Tamara M. Williams who loves learning about Career Development. She shares her knowledge and experiences in her articles. She also posts articles on other topics so visit her EzineArticles’ profile to learn more.

In order to grow in your career you should try to keep abreast of your industry. While this might seem like you need to visit every site you should just stick with the ones that bring varied content. A lot of companies have LinkedIn, Google+ and many other social media profiles. If you want to take advantage of the information that they share then just follow them on these sites to learn more about them. Each site offers simple ways to find your target companies. Use these methods so that you are always on the forefront of the latest happenings.

The first step is to determine which career you will be focusing on, companies that you want to work for and those that are in the same industry. Then the second step is to visit their website. On each website, look for their social media buttons and follow them. This means that when they post new information you will see them on your social media homepage. Using a mixture of social media sites also allows you access to various media content that will make the information a richer and deeper experience.

LinkedIn

First, visit LinkedIn and find the Search bar at the top of the page. Since you want to connect with various companies then start typing the names of one that you already know of. When the results show up, look under the Companies headings in the search results and click the company name. You will be taken to the Company’s Profile page. Select the Follow button at the top. You can view the other tabs for Career, and Products and Insights. Now that you are a follower, you will receive updates on your home page when there are job openings, news on products and services, and other great pieces of information. You can also find out if anyone in your network works at the company and can connect with them if you wish to. Next look at the right columns for the headings: “Persons also viewed” to see a list of similar companies. Go ahead and follow those as well. The more companies you connect with the more you will learn about each company and their respective industries.

Google+

Apart from LinkedIn, companies also have a Goole+ Profile. So after you have a list of companies that you wish to follow then navigate to Google+. Again look for the Search bar at the top and start typing the name of the company. Select the company name and once you are on their profile page then look for the Follow button. You can add them to a specific group if you wish. You can view the other tabs for Posts, Photos and YouTube if you want to get more information. In Google+, they share a lot more images and videos so gathering information is fun. You can also find out who are in their Circles if you wish to follow those persons and companies as well. Once you get back to your Google+ homepage then you will see the latest posts made from all the companies that you follow. Of course, you can return to a specific company whenever to want to get more details.

LinkedIn and Google+ are just a few ways to follow companies of interest and stay updated on the latest careers, products and services and other insights being shared. Using these social media networks to boost your career development is easy since you get all the updates on your homepage. This saves you the trouble of going to each company’s website or profile page when you need the latest information. Of course, still feel free to visit their websites because you get more detailed information there.

About the Author:
Tamara M. Williams loves learning about Career Development. She shares her knowledge and experiences in her articles. She also posts articles on other topics so visit her EzineArticles’ profile to learn more.

Find related articles at
http://ezinearticles.com/?expert=Tamara_M._Williams

New Week, New Job Search

New Week, New Job Search

So this is the start of a new week and for some of us it is the start of a new job search. And, if that is you, you will have heard all kinds of myths about how difficult it is going to be to find work.

First, yes, it is a challenge. But it is a challenge that lots of people are meeting and over coming. Lots of people are getting jobs and you can be one of them.

What you, the new job seeker, will find is lots and lots of advice and more people than you expect, willing to support you. You will certainly find lots of advice in the discussions published here. So check in regularly and if you are not finding what you need let me know. I’ll try to make sure that we cover it.

The key lessons I think I’ve learned from working with people looking for work is that it takes commitment, confidence, flexibility and resilience.

You need to commit time and energy to your job search and I know successful candidates who have chosen to spend 36 hours a week looking for work. Keeping a regular routine helps to keep up your morale anyway.

If you are not already a very confident person, or the experience that brings you here has knocked your confidence, then you need to get to work. You will find lots of books and coaches like me around hoping to help you.

Being willing to adapt and change to meet the needs of a changing market place opens up possibilities and, again, this is easier with more confidence. You need to work on being willing to adapt flexibly to meet the needs of a potential employer. You are never too old to learn new tricks. If you don’t believe me, get in touch, there are a few experiences I would be happy to share.

Resilience is something you may have to work at, too. Finding work generally takes a while in the present climate and you will probably have to bounce back from some knocks. You will be in good company though. I know lots of people who’ve been through this, only to be very successful at their next attempt or the one after that.

It’s important to keep your life fresh even though you don’t have a job. Make sure you eat properly and get some exercise. You could get involved in volunteering, take up new hobbies and new sports! You might surprise yourself, meet new people and discover talents you didn’t know you had. Who knows what new opportunities they may bring?

I wish all those starting out on, or a continuing, a job search every success and if I can help, please get in touch.

Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in management, coaching and personal development. That experience means she is equally at home helping clients find a new career direction, starting-up new businesses or dealing with life’s more challenging personal issues. You can contact her at wendy@wisewolfcoaching.com

Wendy has written a little eBook on how to get on with your boss and a book on job search – you can find her books on Amazon at this link

         

Creating a Good First Impression

Creating a Good First Impression

Creating a Good First Impression – whether in your career or social life, it’s important to know how to create a good first impression. This article from http://www.mindtools.com/ provides some useful tips to help you do this.

It takes just a quick glance, maybe three seconds, for someone to evaluate you when you meet for the first time. In this short time, the other person forms an opinion about you based on your appearance, your body language, your demeanour, your mannerisms, and how you are dressed.

With every new encounter, you are evaluated and yet another person’s impression of you is formed. These first impression can be nearly impossible to reverse or undo, making those first encounters extremely important, for they set the tone for all the relationships that follows.

So, whether they are in your career or social life, it’s important to know how to create a good first impression. This article provides some useful tips to help you do this.

Be on Time
Someone you are meeting for the first time is not interested in your “good excuse” for running late. Plan to arrive a few minutes early. And allow flexibility for possible delays in traffic or taking a wrong turn. Arriving early is much better that arriving late, hands down, and is the first step in creating a great first impression.

Be Yourself, Be at Ease
If you are feeling uncomfortable and on edge, this can make the other person ill at ease and that’s a sure way to create the wrong impression. If you are calm and confident, so the other person will feel more at ease, and so have a solid foundation for making that first impression a good one. See our section on relaxation techniques to find out how to calm that adrenaline!

Present Yourself Appropriately
Of course physical appearance matters. The person you are meeting for the first time does not know you and your appearance is usually the first clue he or she has to go on.

But it certainly does not mean you need to look like a model to create a strong and positive first impression. (Unless you are interviewing with your local model agency, of course!)

No. The key to a good impression is to present yourself appropriately.

– Read the rest at: http://www.mindtools.com/CommSkll/FirstImpressions.htm#sthash.A0VubFkh.dpuf

Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in management, coaching and personal development. That experience means she is equally at home helping clients find a new career direction, starting-up new businesses or dealing with life’s more challenging personal issues. You can contact her at wendy@wisewolfcoaching.com

Wendy has written a little eBook on how to get on with your boss and a book on job search – you can find her books on Amazon at this link