Job Search – The Most Important Part of a Job Search Is…

Today we have a guest post from Lauren Bailey.  Lauren researches and writes information on the best online colleges and degrees for modern students. She is also a freelance blogger and loves writing about education, new technology, lifestyle and health. She welcomes comments and questions via email at blauren99@gmail.com.

The Most Important Part of a Job Search Is…

I suppose this title is a bit subjective, since the “most important part” of anything depends on who you ask. However, there is one part of looking and interviewing for a job that so many people ignore, or at least don’t pay enough attention to, but that is vital to a successful job search; researching a company or business before applying for a job.

There are so many different types of businesses and organizations in today’s market. At times, you may come across a business that is about something totally different than its title would lead you to believe. Job seekers often search for open positions online, where the job title is posted first and the name of the company second. This leads people to believe that the job title is what is most important (and it is key), but the company you choose to work for lays the foundation for a successful career.

A job really is about more than just the task at hand. Your personal values and goals should match the company you work for; otherwise, you may end up sacrificing your contentment and ethics for a paycheck. This is why it is vital to do your research on a company before applying for a job.

Thanks to the internet, this type of research is easier than ever. Most businesses have their own websites (especially if they are posting jobs online), and these sites often contain pages that cover company history, location(s), business operations, management organization and more. Some companies even share information on what they offer their employees, in terms of benefits and career opportunities.

If the job post doesn’t provide you with the company’s official web address, simply enter the company’s name in an internet search engine (like Google) to find its website. If the site doesn’t provide you with all of the information you want, don’t hesitate to call the business to get the answers you are looking for. Calling also gives you the opportunity to connect with someone who already works for the company, giving you a leg up on an interview, should you decide to apply.

If you do apply and get called for an interview, you will also already be prepared for any questions the interviewer might have about your knowledge of the company. In addition, you will have had more time to contemplate any additional questions you want to ask during the interview about the business.

Good luck with your search!

Lauren Bailey researches and writes information on the best online colleges and degrees for modern students. She is also a freelance blogger and loves writing about education, new technology, lifestyle and health. She welcomes comments and questions via email at blauren99@gmail.com.

  • Job Search Part 2:Where are you looking for work?
  • Job Search Part 4: Writing That Winning CV

The Right Company and Job Search

The Right Company and Job Search! Today we have a guest post from Lauren Bailey.  Lauren researches and writes information on the best online colleges and degrees for modern students. She is also a freelance blogger and loves writing about education, new technology, lifestyle and health. She welcomes comments and questions via email at blauren99@gmail.com.

The Most Important Part of a Job Search is Finding the Right Company

I suppose this title is a bit subjective, since the “most important part” of anything depends on who you ask. However, there is one part of looking and interviewing for a job that so many people ignore, or at least don’t pay enough attention to, but that is vital to a successful job search; researching a company or business before applying for a job.

There are so many different types of businesses and organizations in today’s market. At times, you may come across a business that is about something totally The Right Company different than its title would lead you to believe. Job seekers often search for open positions online, where the job title is posted first and the name of the company second. This leads people to believe that the job title is what is most important (and it is key), but the company you choose to work for lays the foundation for a successful career.

A job really is about more than just the task at hand. Your personal values and goals should match the company you work for; otherwise, you may end up sacrificing your contentment and ethics for a paycheck. This is why it is vital to do your research on a company before applying for a job.

Thanks to the internet, this type of research is easier than ever. Most businesses have their own websites (especially if they are posting jobs online), and these sites often contain pages that cover company history, location(s), business operations, management organization and more. Some companies even share information on what they offer their employees, in terms of benefits and career opportunities.

If the job post doesn’t provide you with the company’s official web address, simply enter the company’s name in an internet search engine (like Google) to find its website. If the site doesn’t provide you with all of the information you want, don’t hesitate to call the business to get the answers you are looking for. Calling also gives you the opportunity to connect with someone who already works for the company, giving you a leg up on an interview, should you decide to apply.

If you do apply and get called for an interview, you will also already be prepared for any questions the interviewer might have about your knowledge of the company. In addition, you will have had more time to contemplate any additional questions you want to ask during the interview about the business.

Good luck with your search!

Lauren Bailey researches and writes information on the best online colleges and degrees for modern students. She is also a freelance blogger and loves writing about education, new technology, lifestyle and health. She welcomes comments and questions via email at blauren99@gmail.com.

  • Job Search Part 2:Where are you looking for work?
  • Job Search Part 4: Writing That Winning CV

Job Search Part 4: Writing That Winning CV

Job Search Part 4: Writing That Winning CV

Are you looking for work? Then you have come to the right place!

This is the fourth in our new series on Job Search. In the first post at this link http://wisewolftalking.com/2012/07/05/job-searchwhat-kind-of-work-are-you-looking-for/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, http://wisewolftalking.com/2012/07/12/job-search-part-2-where-are-you-looking/, I set out some options for you in terms of where to look for work

In the third post, last week,  http://wisewolftalking.com/2012/07/19/job-search-part-3what-networking-can-do-for-your-job-search/. I said that networking was the most effective way to look for work and we discussed how to do it well.

Now we are going to consider how to write a winning CV

Last year we published a series of posts on CV writing and you can find the links to them below.  You can find lots of books on CV writing on Amazon and those that come well recommended are at this link

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! 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 yours short (no more than two sides of A4), 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, 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 (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, sum up what you actually 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

And, in these hard economic times, if you have saved an organization money or generated new business, flag it up with figures and facts.

Next week we’ll tackle writing that convincing covering letter!

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

Wendy Mason is a career coach working mainly with professional women who want to make that jump to senior level. Before working as a coach, Wendy had a long career in both the public and private sectors in general management and consultancy as well as spells in HR.  She now divides her time between face to face coaching, and coaching and blogging on-line. You can contact Wendy at wendymason@wisewolfcoaching.com and find out more at http://wisewolfcoaching.com

Coming shortly – the WiseWolf Career and Personal Development Programme – if you would like to know more email wendymason@wisewolfcoaching.com

  • Building Your Portfolio – STAR Stories Make You a Star!Writing your CV! Part 1 The Basics 

  • Writing your CV! Part 3 Pondering on CVs; language,confidentiality, competencies and referees!

  • Writing your CV! Part 2 Making Choices

  • Modifying Resume Job Titles Risky… Unless You’re Honest by Dawn Rasmussen

  • Identifying transferable skills; a core ingredient of a successful career change

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

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

Are you looking for work? Then you have come to the right place!

This is the third in our new series on Job Search. In the first at this link http://wisewolftalking.com/2012/07/05/job-searchwhat-kind-of-work-are-you-looking-for/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 last week at this link, http://wisewolftalking.com/2012/07/12/job-search-part-2-where-are-you-looking/, I set out some options for you in terms of 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 must 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 on-going and mutual conversation. You can become ambassadors for each other and connect each other with new possibilities.

You can network beyond your existing circle at, such as, an event run by 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 really is a good investment. Your professional organization can help you keep you up to date with developments in your profession and in your market sector, as well as getting early warning about possible changes legislation. Knowing about new trends helps you to keep up personal development even though you are out 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.

But, 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 an elevator pitch (a 30-60 second description of what you do and why someone should work with you) but craft, and use it, with care.

To network well 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

Next week we’ll tackle writing a winning CV

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

Wendy Mason is a career coach working mainly with professional women who want to make that jump to senior level. Before working as a coach, Wendy had a long career in both the public and private sectors in general management and consultancy as well as spells in HR.  She now divides her time between face to face coaching, and coaching and blogging on-line. You can contact Wendy at wendymason@wisewolfcoaching.com and find out more at http://wisewolfcoaching.com

Coming shortly – the WiseWolf Career and Personal Development Programme – if you would like to know more email wendymason@wisewolfcoaching.com

  • Job Search Part 2:Where are you looking for work?

  • Job Search – Dealing with rejection

  • Job Search:What kind of Work Are You Looking For?

  • How networking can help your career and your business

Job Search Part 2:Where are you looking for work?

This is the second in our new series on Job Search. In last week’s post at this link http://wisewolftalking.com/2012/07/05/job-searchwhat-kind-of-work-are-you-looking-for/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.

I asked you to decide

  • Whether this was going to be a career or were you looking for work so that you can pay the bills and keep yourself?
  • What you really enjoy doing and what do you dislike?
  • What you are good at?
  • What kind of organization do you want to work for?
  • How much do you need to earn?
    Now you have the answers to these questions, you are ready to begin your job search. This week we going to consider where you should start looking. I am going to list your options and tell you little about each one.

Recruitment agencies

These days most people sign up with one or more recruitment agencies. It is a good idea to make contact with several – you can find lots of them on-line. They are a good way to keep up to-date with what is going on in the job market. Many agencies will have a mix of permanent and interim/contract roles. There are specialist agencies so check whether there is one in your field. Register with the agencies you feel comfortable with. They will keep you up to date with their vacancies. Most recruitment agencies do a good job for employers and job seekers. But be aware that high levels of job searchers has meant people without real expertise have set themselves up as recruiters. Ask plenty of questions and ask friends and relatives for recommendations

On-Line Job Sites

On line job sites give you immediate access to all kinds of jobs and you can search them in your own time at home. More and more employers are using sites like http://www.monster.co.ukand http://www.reed.co.uk to find new staff. You will usually find these sites provides lots of other resources to help you in your job search. Take time to browse and get a real feel for what is available. Before you search think carefully about the key words you will use to find possible jobs and use their user guides to make the most of the sites.

Contacting employers directly

The word on the street is that most vacancies, particularly in the private sector are never advertised. They are filled by people already known to the employer. So of course it is worthwhile making yourself known. There is no reason why you should not ask about jobs available. If an employer can fill a job without advertising, it saves them time and expense. Even if they don’t have vacancies now and you make the right impression, they may contact you in the future. Find out as much as you can before you approach them, then tailor your CV appropriately. Most people try to find out the name of person responsible for hiring new staff and write to them. Others have success by approaching a senior executive in the department they want to work in directly. If you have done your home work and show a real interest in the company you can find this direct contact can be a good way in.

LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter

Social networking is an incredibly powerful tool for the job seeker. LinkedIn in particular is a powerful business networking tool used directly by employers to find staff and by head-hunters and recruitment agencies. Keep your own profile clean, up to date and professional. Use social media as well and LinkedIn in particular to help you research organizations in your job search.

Follow the organizations you are interested in, for possible recruitment activity as well as other news. Make sure that your social activity doesn’t weaken your opportunities. Remember it is all out there for a prospective employer to look at – make it work for you.

Local newspapers and bulletin boards

Local companies still advertise with local newspapers and use their online bulletin boards, so don’t ignore them. Find out which day your local paper is published and, more importantly, which day they advertise jobs. Contact them and let them know the type of work you want, your skills and your experience. They may know of a suitable position or let you know if anything comes into the office.

Graduate and Intern schemes

If you are a recent university graduate (or about to become one) you should consider graduate schemes in your field of interest. They can be a fast track to the top but sometimes they have a high rate of attrition – find out as much as you can about them before you commit. There will be information about how to apply on the organization’s website. They are usually very heavily subscribed so don’t take it personally, if you are not one of the very lucky few. But it is always worth giving it your best shot.

Internships are usually unpaid or very poorly paid. But they can provide valuable experience and a way into particular fields – for example, in the media, If you are young, don’t have work experience and you can afford it, they are a good option. Again, you can research them on-line and you will find them on sites like Reed and Monster.

The Best Method – Word of mouth – Networking

I’ve said above that most jobs, particularly in the private sector are never advertised at all. You can find out about those jobs through your friends and relatives and through networking. I’ll cover networking in the next post in this series. Networking events, conferences and exhibitions can be a rich source of new contacts.

Organize Your Job Search

Be methodical in your approach. Make sure you keep track of who you have contacted and the stage you’ve reached with each one. This means you will be able to follow them up effectively and not duplicate your efforts. Keep a mini-file for each job application and record feedback if you are unsuccessful. Keep background files on the organizations you would like to work for . When you tailor your CV, keep a copy in your portfolio file for future use.

In Part 3 at this link, http://wisewolftalking.com/2012/07/19/job-search-part-3what-networking-can-do-for-your-job-search/ , we’ll see what networking can do for your job search

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

Wendy Smith (formerly Wendy Mason) is a personal coach and writer at Wisewolf Coaching. She is a qualified coach and a member of the Association for Coaching as well as being a member of the Institute of Consulting and a graduate of the Common Purpose leadership programme.  Wendy is author of “The WiseWolf Job Search Pocket Book: How to Win Jobs and Influence Recruiters” as well as two novels and a number of articles on management and well-being. Her latest publication is a little eBook; “How to Get on With the Boss.”  You can contact Wendy at wendy@wisewolfcoaching.com

 

  • Job Search:What kind of Work Are You Looking For?

Job Search Part 1:What Kind of Work Are You Looking For?

Are you looking for work?

Well, what kind of work are you looking for? The answer is critical for success in your job search!

You have some decisions to make!

So you are looking for work. But perhaps you are not entirely settled yet on the kind of work you want. But the clearer you become about what you want, and the more you know about that kind of work, the simpler your job search becomes. And the more likely it is to be successful.

Deciding on the right kind of role for you is a big decision to make. There is a lot to consider.

Is this going to be a career or are you looking for work so that you can pay the bills and keep yourself, and perhaps your family, afloat?

Some people take stop-gap work or decide that, for them, life outside work is where their real satisfaction comes from. They have chosen not to make the commitment that goes into building a career, usually because they have made a very strong commitment to something else. Others are committed to making a career. They want to build on their skills and experience and look for promotion opportunities. But, both may be looking for a new challenge at work or a new environment. Where are you?

What do you really enjoy doing and what do you dislike?

We all tend to work best at things we like – what do you enjoy doing? Think about your interests and the things that you have enjoyed doing in the past in both your work and personal life. What kind of environment suits you best? Now look in the mirror and think about what have you disliked doing and what environments have you disliked?

What are you good at?

Take some time to think about what you are really good at and what are your key skills? What do you bring to the party? Now, you need to be really honest with yourself – remember nobody is good at everything. What are you not so good at. It helps to be honest because taking a job that requires you to spend much of your time on things your are not good at, is full of risk, And this includes work which is done just to pay the bills.

Note. Taking a stop-gap role while looking for right opportunity may be a good idea. But if you hate the stop-gap work it may sap the energy and motivation you need to follow up a possible career opening. Perversely, being frustrated and miserable in the day job isn’t always the best place to start a really productive job search.

How do you want to work?

It’s important to decide how you want to work to make sure your search is as accurate as possible. Consider,  for example, whether it is going to be a permanent, employed post or would you take on an interim role “temping” through agency or as an independent contractor? Could you take an internship or volunteer which would give you experience, but is likely to be unpaid. Then think about travelling and commuting. How far away from home are you prepared to work?

What kind of organization do you want to work for?

Think about the variety of organizations that are around – large or small, public or private? Then what about sector, such as, Finance, Education or Health?  Each will have its own culture and opportunities.

How much do you need to earn?

When looking for a job it is good to have an idea how much money you are looking for. But you also need to know how much money you need. Work out a budget and be clear about the style of life you want to lead.  How much money is it going to take to support it?  In terms of what you aspire to,  it is worth considering roles both slightly above and those slightly below your target. But be realistic and remember that if an organization wants you, they may be prepared to negotiate.

When you have the answers to these questions,you are ready to begin your job search – you can find help in Part 2 at this link. If you need support getting to the answers email me  at the address below – it just the kind of help I give my clients

Wendy Mason is a Life and Career Coach.  She helps people have the confidence they need to be successful at work and to change career while maintaining a good work/life balance. You can email her at wendymason@wisewolfcoahing.com

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