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Archive for the ‘Finding a Job’ Category

How To Do Voicemail Professionally

how to do voice mail professionally

Are you one of the people they were talking about on NPR recently? Please Do Not Leave A Message: Why Millennials Hate Voice Mail is taking a look at the way that leaving a message is fast falling out of favor as a communication mode. You don’t have to be part of the Millennials to hate voice mail because it can be a sudden challenge you don’t do well. But there’s a problem with refusing to deal with voice mail because it is used in business all the time.

If you are searching for a job, there’s a good chance you will need to leave a voice message. If you are contacting your manager or a client, there’s an equally good chance that voicemail will be involved. The game of Phone Tag came about because of the way busy people can’t always pick up the phone and being able to text doesn’t exactly replace it.

Deal With It & Do It Right

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Monday Motivator for Your Job Search – If You Don’t Like It, Change It

Flower

If you don’t like something, change it.
If you can’t change it, change your attitude.
- Maya Angelou

 

I am a big believer in positive thinking.  Negativity doesn't get us anywhere--and in fact, it hurts us.  I am also a believer in taking control over your own life. So how does this quote apply to us today?

If you're not happy in your current job, get a new one.  Until that happens, change your attitude about the job you have.  The best time to look for a job is when you already have one, right?  And at least you have one that's paying your bills while you're looking.  A better attitude lessens the chances of you burning bridges when you go.

If you're not happy with how your current job search is going, change what you're doing.  Always evaluate your actions in terms of your success:  which means, you can spend 8 hours a day on your job search (which many people recommend) but if it isn't getting you interviews or job offers, it isn't working and it's time to change what you're doing. If you don't like job searching in general, you can't do anything about that, so change your attitude:  Every rejection is one step closer to a great job offer.

I'm not saying it's easy.  It isn't.  Job searching is tough--but you CAN be successful.  Figure out what isn't working in your job search and change it:

Best of luck!

 

Sales Rep Gets $40,000 Pay Raise In His New Job

MoneyIf you think you're worth more than you're currently paid, or if you are looking for a new job but are worried about what your salary may be, check out today's success story:

Good morning Peggy,

I was in fact able to secure the position of my dreams! With the assistance I received from CC [in the Total Access Coaching Club] I was able to control the entire multiple interview process and even negotiate a compensation package that was almost 5% above my "Ideal" (which I thought was in the ridiculous range) number. My last position paid in the 80-90k range, depending on bonuses. My new job, with more autonomy, will deliver in the 120-150k range, depending on bonuses.

I am very happy with the level care and concern that your staff showed me over the course of the last two weeks as I was progressing through the process.

Very truly yours,

Nathan S.

What can we learn from Nathan's story?  We can learn that it's possible to get your dream job and get paid well for it (even more than you hoped for).  It's all in how you go about finding the job, presenting yourself to the company, and having those interview conversations.  Job searching is a sales process, so it's all about how you present your product (you) and show your value so they can see that you are worth their investment in you.

If you'd like to have this kind of success story for yourself, join us in Total Access Coaching.

Use LinkedIn to Get Informational Interviews

Informational-InterviewInformational interviews are information-gathering sessions,usually focused on a job or career field you're interested in. They give you an opportunity to get answers about what a typical day is like, what the person likes or dislikes about the field (which is what you may like or dislike about it), what it takes to enter that field, and what it takes to be successful in it.  In good informational interviews, you may even get advice on your situation and your best career/job search moves. Informational interviews are strictly for you to get the "inside scoop" from someone who knows. (FYI: If you're lucky, you might get a job lead, but it's very bad form to go into the interview expecting this person to help you get a job. If you're actively job hunting, check out my Hidden Jobs Finder. It will show you how to use LinkedIn and other tools to contact hiring managers who will have job openings for you.)

If you need an informational interview, it's probably because you are new to an area--which means you probably don't have anyone to ask to speak with you.  So if you can't get an informational interview by going through your current contacts, how do you get it?

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Should you hire an interview coach?

Interview CoachYou can find lots of advice in books and online for how to answer job interview questions, and some of it says to practice your interview answers with a friend, or video yourself so you can play it back to see any weak spots.  It's good advice.  You need both practice and feedback to improve your game.  The flaws here are (1) a friend might just tell you what you want to hear, and (2) if you're critiquing a video of yourself, the problem becomes "you don't know what you don't know".

Here's a thought:  If you really want to improve your skills in something, you take personalized, individualized lessons from an expert...in other words, get a coach.

Think about it.  Even pro athletes, with amazing natural abilities and countless hours of practice, have coaches and trainers to give them that one last boost over the top to excellence.

Role-playing interviews with an objective, experienced industry expert can give you so much of a boost in your interview skills that you not only do well in the interview, you crush it....just blow the hiring manager out of the water with your confidence, competence and style.  An interview coach can not only help you shape your answers to interview questions, she can help you spin difficult situations into positives (or at least neutrals), and can help you pinpoint and develop those intangible qualities that are ultimately job-winners.

I do provide interview help for candidates from CEOs to entry-level, and maybe I'd be a good fit for you--and maybe not.  Either way, you should get some outside help in this competitive job market.

Find someone who is an expert in your field that you are comfortable working with.  Hiring an interview coach is a small investment in yourself that will pay off big for you when you land the job of your dreams.

3 Careers With Animals – Getting An Education

Do you have a passion for animals? Working with creatures of all shapes and sizes is possible within a wide variety of jobs. Many people work with animals purely for the love of them. They span from looking after horses, to preventing the abuse of stray dogs – however, a few of them require a high level of training. Below are three very different, interesting careers for the more studious amongst you.

 

Vet

 

Veterinarian/Veterinarian Technician

The role of veterinarians and veterinary technicians is similar to the role doctors and nurses have with human patients. Veterinary technicians are well trained in all aspects of animal care. This also includes surgery.

The training involves the completion of an academic 2 to 4 year course, usually at a Veterinary Technician School. Further education is also required to be a fully certified vet.

Students should be ready to take a Veterinary Technician National Examination (VTNE). This provides the means for further employment in a hospital for animals or a veterinary laboratory.

The most common qualification is a two-year degree from the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). This provides students with a wealth of knowledge in areas such as animal welfare and physiology. These courses can be taken via the internet, but practical skills are learnt with the usage of live animals.

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Rules for References – How to Make Sure Your References Help You Get the Job

References - CopyJob references matter. A great reference can convince a hiring manager on the fence to go ahead and hire you--and a bad one can knock you out of the running fast.

Which references are best?

Past bosses are always at the top of the list of the best references. If your last job situation wasn't great, you might have to get a little more creative to get a good reference. Try asking a high-level client, a colleague, or a manager you didn't directly work for but who knows your work.

Choose and coach a great reference

It's important to choose someone you know thinks a lot of you, who can express themselves well, and who knows about the job you're going for so that they can speak to your strengths.  You need to coach your references.  Tell them about the job you're going for and jog their memory about things you did that are particularly relevant.  You need to give your references a call anyway to let them know they're about to be called for duty.

When you have a lineup of great references, maintain them and keep them ready for action.  Two to three times a year, send regular emails about your career activities.  It's a nice touch to pass on items or bits of news that may be helpful to them.  When you maintain this regular contact, it's never awkward when you call and say, "Hey, I'm interviewing for this job, and they'll probably be calling you."

Thank your references

Always send a thank you note to your references for their service to you and let them know how it all turned out.

See 4 Great Networking Tips to show you what to say during those contacts and help you maintain your network.

Monday Motivator – Bring the Data In Your Job Search

Flower

In God we trust.
All others must bring data.
- W. Edwards Deming

 

I love this quote because one of the primary strategies that I insist on with all job candidates is putting data on their resume in terms of numbers, dollars, and percentages--quantification.  Why? Because, not only does quantification grab attention, it offers proof that you really can do and have done what you say you have done. This will position you head and shoulders above other candidates who don't offer this proof, which makes it more likely that you'll get an interview, and it sets a positive bias in your favor before you step foot into the interview.

If you want data on your resume that convinces hiring managers to call you for an interview, check out my Extreme Resume Makeover Kit and quantify your resume.

 

Resume Mistake: Too Much Information

Superman Say you're a recruiter, and you've just received a resume that includes a paragraph like this:

In my spare time, I am physically active. I run, mountain bike, play tennis, and I teach yoga on weekends. Physical activity keeps my body and mind in shape, and promotes balance and clarity in my life. I belong to a community theater and am active in productions, and I play bass in a band. I am an avid reader. I am a mother of two and gave birth to my second daughter between degrees; taking only 3 months off and continuing to work while taking classes, which shows my drive and tenacity to succeed!

What would you do?

This applicant is trying really hard to impress, and does seem to have a pretty impressive energy level and variety of interests. In spite of that, she's not going to go on a recruiter's or hiring manager's short list. (Not to mention that description of hers makes me think: when are you going to have time to do your job?)

There are many mistakes people make when resume writing, and Too Much Information is a definite mistake. Personal information is usually unnecessary and can even raise discrimination issues.

What you do in your spare time is a lot less important than what you can do for the company. What are your skills? What are your work accomplishments? What have you done that will demonstrate you'll be a great hire?

Remember your resume's audience: Who's reading your resume? What will show them that you'll be an asset to the company? Don't annoy employers with irrelevant resume information they have to sift through to find what's important to them. Because chances are, they won't.

What will grab an employer's attention in a positive way?  Quantification.

Redo your resume and get a personal review for free.

 

How to Get a Sales Job (If You’ve Never Worked In Sales)

sales interviewLanding your first job in sales (with no experience) can be difficult, but not impossible.  Here are 3 great tips for landing a sales job:

1.  Work the "Do-It-Yourself" plan.

  • Arrange a ride-along with a sales rep. See what a typical day is like. Ask questions about the job, find out how to be competitive in the job search and once you get the job. Get a few names to call from places they sell to.
  • Use the field preceptorship (job shadowing) to fill your resume with keywords that will make sure it's noticed by computerized tracking systems. Your resume should have a sales focus and also highlight your technical background in your field.

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How Can Career Coaching Help You Get the Interview and Land the Job?

career-coachingA career coach can be a job seeker's best friend.  Just as an athletic coach trains an athlete to improve and achieve more, a career coach can help a professional focus and hone skills to reach a higher level of success.  Good career coaching can help you

  • transition into a new career area,
  • beat out more experienced competition as an entry-level candidate, or
  • gain an edge in a very competitive job market.

As a career coach, I often get questions like:

  • "I am sending my resume but I can't get interviews. What can I do?"
  • "I've been downsized / laid off / fired.  How can I explain this to employers?"
  • "How can I transition from pharmaceutical to medical sales?"
  • "I get interviews but I don't get any job offers. "

Customized career coaching can solve all of these problems.

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Monday Motivator – Take Risks In Your Job Search

Flower

Take risks: if you win, you will be happy;
if you lose, you will be wise.
- Author Unknown

 

If I take a risk and try something new and it fails, I don't think of it as a failure.  I think of it as a learning experience.  Don't get me wrong...winning is better. :)  But we all learn from everything that we do.

Your job search can feel like a time when everything is a risk. For some, that means that they don't try much...they don't step out of their comfort zone, and that holds them back.  I encourage you today to step out.  Take a risk.  You can't win if you don't at least try.

I run into a lot of job seekers who are afraid to take my advice to directly contact hiring managers.  They feel that it's too risky.  They don't want to be a bother.  They don't want to make anyone mad.  That's the wrong way to look at it.

Contacting hiring managers is less of a risk than you think.  Great managers always want to know about someone who could be a fantastic solution or a needed resource for their company.  Knowing about you and what you can do for them is always a positive.  And when you do, you exponentially increase your chances of getting interviews.

If you don't know how to get started contacting hiring managers, or you want a proven way to do it that eliminates the risk, check out my Hidden Jobs Finder, which puts you in front of lots of hiring managers for potential jobs and gets you multiple interviews.

 

‘Retiring from the Military – Landed My Dream Job!’

MilitaryMan (2)I love this job search success story--just in time for Veterans' Day.

Peggy,

I am retiring from the military in two months. My first interview was not good, but in my post interview review I found you. Your system is a great one - I nailed all of the subsequent phone interviews and my face to face interview. The result is I landed my dream job against some stiff competition. The brag book was a game changer and when I brought out the 30-60-90 day plan I could sense the deal was sealed. Thanks!

Cheers, TLR

Not sure about brag books? See Brag Book Essentials for Every Job Hunter.

Here's a great post for phone interviews: Phone Interview Tips (and you get a free download!)

Make sure to check out How to Answer Interview Questions, too!

4 Easy Networking Tips for Your Job Search and Career

canstockphoto16503259For a great job search and continuing career opportunities, you need to build and maintain a good network--but many people don't know how to do this well.

Here are 4 keys to give you have the kind of professional network that will serve you well in your job search and career:

1.   Contact your current contacts.

When's the last time you gathered up a list of all the people you know and have met in your work life?  I bet the number of people you know would surprise you.  Now--how many of those would you feel comfortable contacting for a job lead?  Probably not so many. The key to being able to tap this resource (your network) when you need it is to nourish it when you don't.  Here's how:

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ESL Job Search Tools

ESLIf English is your second language, finding a job can be difficult.  It's important to sound confident when you are speaking with potential employers but not only can this be tough on the best of days, the language barrier can add an extra obstacle.  Here is an excellent tool to help you practice job interview answers so that you can speak to employers confidently and get the job offer:

Job Interview Questions and Answers Video Series

This series consists of 50 different videos where I ask a job interview question that you can answer on your own, and then you can play my answer.  Compare both, and easily see how to improve your answers immediately. These are the answers that will get you hired.

I've been hearing many comments from folks who aren't as comfortable with English telling me that they love this tool.  I encourage you to give it a try and see for yourself.