Networking and your job search!

Networking and your job search!

Job Search Part 3: What networking can do for your job search!

Networking – this is the third and last post in a short series on Job Search. In the first at this link  we said that you have a decision to make! The clearer you are about the kind of work you want, the more likely you are to be successful.

In the second post at this link,  I set out some options for you about where to look for work

Recruitment agencies
On-Line Job Sites
Contacting employers directly
LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter
Local newspapers and bulletin boards
Graduate and Intern schemes
Word of mouth – Networking
I said that I thought networking was the most effective way to look for work; so that is what we are going to tackle to-day.

Most jobs, particularly in the private sector, are never advertised at all. You find out about those jobs through talking to people – networking.

Letting people you know, and people they can introduce you to, know what you have to offer, really does bring new opportunities. These contacts can offer advice from own their experiences of job search. They can tell you about the sector they work in and they can introduce you to others, so that your network expands.

But networking is more than just asking for help! You need to make it a two-way conversation. In order to receive, you should be ready to give.

So what have you got to share in this conversation? Well, you can be an attentive audience! You can listen with real interest, attention and respect to what they have to say. Plus you can share your own knowledge. You can talk about your own sector and you can share your own contacts. Sometimes people are really grateful for an opportunity to talk about what is happening to them at work. Play your part and offer support when it is needed.

Make it an ongoing and mutual conversation. You can become ambassadors for each other and connect each other with new possibilities.

You can network beyond your existing circle. For example at a meeting of your professional organization. If you don’t already belong to the professional organization for your sector, now is the time to join. It can be expensive but it is a really good investment. Your professional organization can help you keep you up to date with developments in your profession and in your market sector, It can give you early warning about possible changes legislation. Knowing about new trends helps you to keep up personal development even though you are out of work. Most importantly when you are out of work it provides a way to stay linked-in to the world of work.

You can network, as well, at events like job fairs which are intended to bring employers together with potential new employees. And if you are thinking of making a career change into starting your own business, lots of business networking events are held for you each week.

Networking is having a conversation

Remember, the keys to success on any networking occasion are establishing a relationship and having a conversation. It is about showing you are someone they want, but it is not about selling yourself in a way that embarrasses you or the people you talk to. Have a short description of who you are and what you do crafted before you arrive. But have a care with the traditional elevator pitch about what you have to offer at work. Have one ready but use it with care and discretion. Too many people at networking events treat them as opportunity to sell themselves rather than to make contacts.

Try to remember something particular about each of the new contact that you make. Find a quiet place to make a couple of notes after your conversation. Then follow up after the event in a way that shows you can add value. For example, if someone has a particular interest find a book or a newspaper article that you can send to them.

To network wel,l you need to understand the networking process and have the confidence to take an active part in it. If you would like one to one advice on networking email me. I am happy to offer readers of this blog a free half hour coaching session by phone or Skype

I know you can get that job you have hoped for and I would like to help you. My contact details are below

Wendy Smith, Career, life and Business Coach
Wendy Smith, Principal Coach, WiseWolf Life and Career Coaching

Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in organisational development, 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 all her books on Amazon at this link

         

 

Job Search – Stand Out From the Crowd

Job Search – Stand Out From the Crowd

job search - standout from the crowd

Job Search – Stand Out From the Crowd – This post is about applying for advertised vacancies for which you are in competition. Unfortunately, in the present climate, job seeking is intensely competitive.  There are usually many applicants for every advertised post.  That’s is why networking to find work is so important.

When you submit a written application, with or without a CV/Résumé, what matters most is that you convince the recruiter that you meet the criteria for the vacancy.  Include relevant keywords that will stand out like head lights – you can find out more about job search keywords at this link.

Once you get to the interview stage, you are up against others who havea lso shown on paper that they meet the requirements. The interview and your references will show whether what you have said on paper in valid.  And at interview stage you need to stand out from the crowd.

Standing out from the crowd is not without risks.

Job Search – Stand Out From the Crowd – Take into account the culture of the organization when deciding how to make your mark.  When deciding what to wear for the interview, for example, knowing the company dress code is important.  If it is casual then make sure you wear very smart casual attire.  No, you don’t want be so bland that you sink into the wall paper. Wearing, for example, a smart but distinctive tie, scarf or piece of jewellery, can help the interviewers remember you.  The “something distinctive “needs to be chosen with great care and very good taste!

The interview is also an opportunity to show clearly that you will bring added value beyond that required by the job specification.  Show that added value with care. And make sure that what you say is relevant to the questions that you are being asked and to the job.

You can stand out by showing your enthusiasm. Being actively engaged in the process and showing real interest in the organization impresses. Be interested in what the interviewers have to say to you.

Prepare well!

The impression you want to make is that you are intelligent, highly competent and likely to be an asset to the organization and to your future work colleagues.

Make sure that you get a good night’s sleep before the interview.  Do your best to arrive in plenty of time.  You want to be bright-eyed and relaxed – not red-faced and slightly out of breath.

You want to be remembered but for all the right reasons!

Make sure you do your home work. Find out all you can you can about the job, the organization and the people you are likely to meet. Treat them with courtesy and work hard to show evidence that you are the person best able to do the job.

If you would like support in your job search please get in touch.

Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in organisational development, 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 all her books on Amazon at this link

         

Get on with the interview panel

Get on with the interview panel

How to get on with the interview panel – most job searches mean you have to deal with panel interviews.  Many large employers use panel interviewing as a part of their recruitment process.  It means a number of different people can be involved in the decision-making process.  They can be from different parts of the organization with an interest in the role. This gives a range of perspectives. Job interviews conducted by a panel are seen to be fair. There are seen as valid because a number of different opinions and views are taken into account..

Usually, each panel member will take turns to ask questions about your fitness for the role; your background, experience and interests.  It can be difficult to build rapport with each panel member . And sometimes, unfortunately, there might be one panel member that you find it particularly difficult to get on with.  This can happen at an interview, just as it can in other parts of your life.

Get on with the interview panel – tips

    • Knowing who the panel members are beforehand is a great help.  If you can, research people on the internet using LinkedIn, for example!  If this is not possible, use your knowledge of the company and the position to prepare to respond to questions from different parts of the organization. These could be human resources, line management, technical and finance.
    • Your introduction is important to creating the right first impression. This is a good opportunity to connect with each panel member on a personal level before the interview questions begin. Make initial eye contact with each panel member. Try to respond warmly and with interest.

When the questions start, listen carefully to what is being asked

  • When the questions start, listen carefully to what is being asked and don’t be afraid to ask for clarification. Make sure you understand correctly.  It is important to answer the question that has been asked.
  • Make initial eye contact with the person who asked the question. And then include the other panel members in your answer. Scan from one face to the next, pausing briefly on each. Focus on speaking to each individual As you finish your answer, return your focus to the person who asked the interview question. Stay calm and answer each question thoroughly.

Keep it pleasant

  • If you do get into a discussion, or you are asked to consider an alternative point of view, again stay calm. Do not expect to be successful if you let anger or annoyance show. Take time to respond with a considered view. Watch your body language. You can show frustration without saying a word.
  • If there is someone on the panel that you really cannot get on with, then don’t ignore how they make you feel and why.  Is that person to be your immediate boss in the new organization, or someone further up the line to whom you will report? Think seriously about whether the role is right for you.  Do this even if you are successful and it is a generous offer. I have worked with a number of clients who sensed at interview that all was not well. They ignored those feelings, only to have regrets later.

With the right preparation and approach, I hope you will get on well with all the members of any interview panel that you meet. If you need advice, 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

         

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Top Salary Tips

Top Salary Tips

Job Search – Six Top Salary Tips

Top Salary Tips – when you are looking for work there are all kinds of factors to take into account. Many we have covered here before. For the majority of us, the main reason we choose to work is so that we can earn money to support ourselves and our families.

These tips will help you get paid the salary you deserve and then help you to look after your money.

  1. What are you worth?

    Work out what your value should be to an employer. Research what other people with your skills and experience are earning and use that information to back up your salary negotiation. The same role can pay differently in different sectors and in different parts of the country so take that into account in making your calculations.

  2.  Learn to negotiate

    You will find lots of tips on negotiating on-line. You are in a much more powerful position before you accept a job. Think about the things you have to bargain with and, for example, how scarce your skills are. Use the information you have gathered about what other people are being paid for the same type of work. How far are you prepared to go? Know what will be unacceptable and work out your limits. Be ready to sit on your hands and wait for a response from your potential employer.

  3. Don’t forget benefits!

    Lots of people do not take into account the real value of benefits when negotiating a salary. If you get stuck on the amount of your salary try negotiating your benefits’ package with your potential employer – it may cost them very little to give you a better benefits’ package but it might make a big difference for you.

  4. Learn to manage your money

    Learn to make the most of what you get paid. If you don’t know about budgeting, then find out and learn to set your self a budget each month. Work hard to stay out of debt and don’t over use those credit cards. Remember loans have to be repaid and there is very little prospect of the economy improving quickly; what is borrowed now might put your future at risk. If you do borrow be careful who you do it from and learn about interest rates. Again use the internet to research money management.

  5. Start saving

    It’s never too early to start saving for the things you might want in the future and even for your retirement. Most large organisations now have to give you access to a pension scheme. Don’t forget that at sometime you might want to buy a house, Saving schemes can be started with quite small amounts.

  6. Think long term

    I’ve mentioned pensions and saving above. But think long-term in a broader way. When you are thinking about the salary for a role, don’t just think short-term about what you will be paid initially. Think about what the possibilities might be in your chosen field for future earning opportunities. Will your new employer be able to give you access to them. Don’t sacrifice the longer term for a short-term win.

    This is just general advice, you should always take advice from a properly qualified financial adviser when planning your financial future.

    Wendy Smith, Career, life and Business Coach
    Wendy Smith, Principal Coach, WiseWolf Life and Career Coaching

    Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in organisational development, 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 all her books on Amazon at this link

             

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Writing That Winning CV

Writing That Winning CV

Writing That Winning CV – a CV that is going to win you the job is the one that makes the reader want to know more about you. The CV that makes it much more likely that you will be invited to an interview! Your CV needs to show the recruiter that you will be best fitted to to meet their requirements. Good CVs are valuable and a very good investment of your time.

So how do you make yourself stand-out from the crowd?

Any CV that you write is only relevant if it shows how you meet the requirements of the particular role. So be ready to tailor you generic CV for each post. Be specific about skills, experience and personal qualities. Show that you understand their requirements.

These days employers and recruiter receive sacks full of CVs. Make sure yours short (no more than two sides of A4 if possible), easy to read and attractive.

Lay it out clearly with enough space and clear section headings.

Your CV shows what you bring to the organization

Your CV shows what you bring to the organization, so make it look professional.

  • Choose a clear, professional font that is easy to read (e.g. Arial, Calibri, Times New Roman)
  • Make no typing mistakes – CVs with typos get “binned”. A simple spell check is not enough: ask someone else to proof-read your finished CV
  • Have clear headings (key skills, work experience, education etc) so that these can be scanned quickly
  • Order your experience and education into reverse chronological order with the latest first.
  • For recent posts, show what you achieved and delivered for each post
  • Concentrate on the last 10 years and sum-up earlier experience briefly.

Many recruiters’ job sites search candidates’ CVs for specific keywords. It is important to include those which are likely to apply for the particular job. Create clear statements that demonstrate your skills and what you deliver, using terms that show you as positive and pro-active.

These are positive keywords, you could use to describe your personal attributes

  • Accurate
  • Adaptable
  • Confident
  • Friendly
  • Hard-working
  • Innovative
  • Pro-active
  • Reliable
  • Responsible
  • Intelligent
  • Experienced

When describing your experience and achievement use pro-active descriptions like:

  • Achieved
  • Formulated
  • Planned
  • Broadened
  • Generated
  • Managed
  • Represented
  • Completed
  • Implemented
  • Shaped
  • Delivered
  • Saved

If you have saved an organization money or generated new business, flag it up with figures and facts.

I know you can get that job you have been hoping for and I would like to help you. Email me wendy@wisewolfcoaching.com now to arrange a free half hour coaching session by Skype.

Wendy Smith, Career, life and Business Coach
Wendy Smith, Principal Coach, WiseWolf Life and Career Coaching

Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in organisational development, 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 all her books on Amazon at this link

         

 

How to Become Your Resume

How to Become Your Resume

Your resume! On paper, you’re the perfect candidate. So, how do you make the same impression in person?

Here is some advice. For example:

Divide your time on a two-to-one ratio. For every hour you spend on the mechanics of interview preparation, researching the company, your route and means of travel, wardrobe preparation, etc., spend two hours with your resume and preparing for questions.

Read more at this link

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

         

Job Search Interview – When the Interview Went Wrong

Job Search Interview – When it Goes Wrong

Job Search Interview – so, you put lots of effort into preparing for that interview and you tried hard but somehow, something just went wrong. You know it and you suspect they know it too!

Perhaps you woke up not feeling well or something had  happened in your private life to distract you. Maybe something happened on the journey!.  Whatever it was, there something threw you off your best performance.  And now you feel bad about it.

Can You Get A Second Chance?

Well, here is the good news! Although not all, there are many employers who may be willing a give you the benefit of the doubt if you are well fitted in other ways.  Going back quickly, thanking them for the time they have spent on you already and explaining your circumstances may just do the trick.

Don’t go over the top but email or write to them briefly explaining what went wrong.  Make sure you emphasise your interest in the job and ask if it is possible to meet a second time or perhaps arrange a phone interview. Remind them of your referees and that they will be willing to confirm what a good candidate you are.

Set out again briefly why you really want this job and your interest in working for the organization and then sum up why you are particularly well fitted for the role. Don’t forget to remind them again of your contact details.

You have nothing to lose by giving it a try,  and much to gain.  Good luck.

Wendy Mason is the The Career Coach – helping you to find fresh perspectives on your Job Search and Career. She helps you work towards your goals and aspirations, in a way that fits in with both work and home life. Email her at wendymason@wisewolfcoaching.com,  find her on Skype at wendymason14, or call +44 (0) 2081239146 (02081239146 for UK callers) or +1 262 317 9016 if you are in the US.

A free trial/consultation allows you to try phone coaching from the comfort of your own home and without risk. Don’t forget to ask about the Summer Special Offer 

 

 

Do you include a profile statement in your CV?

Do you include a profile statement in your CV?

Profile statement – A few thoughts on the value of including a short summary profile at the top of your CV!

This profile is sometimes called the career summary, personal profile statement, profile statement, resume summary, and summary of qualifications. All refer to profiling your key qualifications for a particular job on your résumé.

The profile sums up your skills and experience, and it can include your career goals. This is a part of your CV that you should certainly tailor to the particular needs of the specific job for which you are applying. These are the headline words that will flag up to a recruiter why you are right for the role.

Essentially, a profile is a very condensed and targeted version of a cover letter. And there are clear benefits to including a good one. It can help you stand out among the hundreds of applications companies receive. Most employers spend only a few seconds looking at your CV, and most of this time is spent looking at the top half of it. So, even if a potential employer reads only your profile (located directly beneath your name and contact information), they will still have a clear idea of how uniquely well fitted you are for the role.

In addition, your profile can include Keywords that will help your application get picked up by the recruiting management software that many companies use now use to screen applications.

Keep your profile concise – between one and four short sentences and you can use bullet points. Focus on the requirements for the job and what you have to offer. Overall, integrate your employment history and skills into the qualifications listed for the job – make sure right at first glance, you look like the best candidate.

Wendy Mason is the The Career Coach – helping you to find fresh perspectives on your Job Search and Career. She helps you work towards your goals and aspirations, in a way that fits in with both work and home life. Email her at wendymason@wisewolfcoaching.com,  find her on Skype at wendymason14, or call +44 (0) 2081239146 (02081239146 for UK callers) or +1 262 317 9016 if you are in the US.

A free trial/consultation allows you to try phone coaching from the comfort of your own home and without risk. Don’t forget to ask about the Summer Special Offer 

Job Search Techniques

Job Search Techniques

Job Search Techniques To Help You Stand Out From The Crowd

Job Search Techniques – with increased competition for jobs, it’s more important than ever to brand and market yourself to find success. Career coach Linda Ginac, Master PCM and CEO of The  Ginac Group, offers tips on how to find your talents and the value you can bring to a company and then use professional techniques to advertise yourself.  (This video is Copyright MyFoxAustin.com)

Wendy Mason is the Happiness Coach and author of a new novel, The Wolf Project.  Wendy is a life and career coach and writer. She is passionate about helping people find happiness at work and at home! To find out more email wendymason@wisewolfcoaching.com, find her on Skype at wendymason14, or call +44 (0) 2081239146 (02081239146 for UK callers) or +1 262 317 9016 if you are in the US.  

A free trial/consultation allows you to give phone coaching a real trial without any financial risk. And remember there are great benefits to be achieved from coaching by phone or Skype.

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