I've had a series of coaching calls recently with a guy who won't talk to his kids about his job search--and he's been out of work for a YEAR. His reason? He doesn't want to scare them or cause them concern. Underneath that, he doesn't want them to see him as a failure.
He's not alone. I spoke with a woman recently who's been in a job search for months, but she still leaves the house every day like she's going off to work--and her family has no idea. She doesn't want to upset anyone.
Here's why they're both wrong (and why you are, too, if you're keeping such an important event from your family):
1. A job search is stressful--there's no getting around that, even if it's going relatively well. If it's taking months, the stress builds. I guarantee that your kids (and your spouse) are picking up on your stress--so your 'sheltering' act is likely to fail anyway. It's not a healthy family situation. It's too much for you to handle alone--you need support from your loved ones.
2. Your kids won't see you as a failure. They just don't think that way. They only see that you need a job. Your kids' biggest concerns are going to be about them: will they have to move? will they lose their friends? You can reassure them. If you're not talking about it, they are worrying about these things alone.
3. You are missing out on a prime teachable moment in your children's lives. Do you think they'll never be in a difficult situation? You need to prepare them for the adversity they will no doubt face in their lives. Kids learn best by EXAMPLE. Show them how to pick yourself up, move forward, and overcome a tough spot. It will be something incredibly useful they will carry with them forever.
Here's a great way to show your kids how to take positive action in a crisis...sign up for a free job search webinar and tell them about it.
There are 7 big job search mistakes you could be making that are keeping you from getting hired.
Mistake #1 - Continuing To Fiddle With Your Resume
I know…your resume is very important, and it needs to be ‘perfect.’ But...there comes a time when you need to stop fiddling, tweaking, or otherwise adjusting it and just send it. Do what you can to make it as good as you can and let it go. It needs to get you an interview, and it can’t do that if you don’t send it.
To really shine in the interview, you want to blow the hiring manager away with your focus, energy, initiative and dedication right from the start. The 30/60/90-day plan is the way to do that.
The first 30 days of your plan is usually focused on training–learning the company systems, products, and customers. The next 30 days (the 60-day part) are focused more on getting rolling in your job…less training and more activity. The last 30 days (the 90-day part) are the “getting settled” part, so this section should include things that take more initiative, such as handling projects on your own or going after new business.
Are you looking for an IT job? Do you know how to handle an IT interview so that you DO get the job?
I am so excited to let you know that I just had a fantastic and very informative conversation with Jeff Lipschultz, owner of A-List Solutions, a recruiting firm in the Dallas-Ft. Worth area since 2007. A-List Solutions places technical candidates in a huge variety of companies all over the United States. He is an incredible resource for IT folks, and he spent over 30 minutes with me doling out all kinds of advice on how to do very well in IT interviews. I have put the entire conversation in an audio recording for you. All you have to do is click the bar below to hear it. Read more...
Answers to behavioral interview questions must be in the form of stories, or examples of things you've done in your career. They are projections from you about how you would handle everyday or stressful situations in this new job, based on how you've handled similar situations before.
To answer behavioral interview questions well, you need to know which questions are likely to be asked, and plan for a story you can tell. Come up with real life examples of how you have excelled in your work. Develop these stories for your behavioral interview.
How does a good resume become a killer resume that grabs the attention of the hiring manager and screams, "Call me before someone else does!"?
Employers look for performance data on your resume
Instead of just describing your responsibilities, it quantifies your experience by using numbers, dollars, and percentages that say: "This is what I achieved, and I could achieve it for you."
See what I mean: Which is better?
"Responsible for bringing in new clients" or "Brought in 20 new clients in 3 months"
"Responsible for delivering product on time and under budget" or ""98% on-time delivery of product"
"Responsible for maintaining accuracy in company database" or "Achieved 100% accuracy in 50,000-item database over 2 years"
"Dean's List" or "Maintained 3.7 GPA over 4 years"
See? Numbers are always better.
If you want your resume to powerfully sell you for the job, go through it and see where you can translate your achievements into numbers, dollars, or percentages that speak the hiring manager's language: "How can this person benefit MY company?"
When you take the big step out of military service back into civilian life, the last thing you need to be worrying about are the difficulties of a civilian job search. It’s true that veterans’ unemployment rates are higher than average, and it’s true that there are specific obstacles in your way…but the good news is that there are 3 sure-fire solutions you can implement that will get you hired quickly.
Obstacle (and Solution) #1:
Civilian employers don’t understand how your training and skill sets will benefit them.
Here’s the first thing you have to understand about a job search: it’s a sales process. You’re the product, and the company you want to work for is your customer. It’s your job to tell them what you can bring to them…what solutions you provide, what benefits you bring, etc. Civilians can’t usually translate military experience into their own ‘language’, so it’s your job to translate and explain. Start studying job descriptions for things you are applying for and insert that language in your resume and cover letters. Think about how your skills can help a company make money, save money, save time, be more efficient, etc. They’re interested in the bottom line, which is, what’s in it for them?
Obstacle (and Solution) #2:
Companies are afraid that you won’t fit into corporate culture.
Just like you had to learn the language, customs, and culture of the military, you now have to learn the language and culture of corporate America. How?
Do some online research concerning the jobs you’re interested in. What are the buzzwords? What are the big dogs in the industry doing? What are the trends?
Talk to people in the field. If you can, use any and all of your civilian contacts to set up informational interviews with people in your prospective field. Try job shadowing someone who’s working in the job you want. Ask lots of questions and educate yourself so you can speak more knowledgably about the job.
Role-play interview questions with a civilian. Good interview preparation is priceless. The more you practice, the more comfortable you’ll be in an interview situation.
Create a 30-60-90-Day Plan for every interview. There’s nothing in the world better than this for proving to an employer that you know your stuff (even if you’re brand new) and you can hit the ground running.
Obstacle (and Solution) #3:
Because you aren’t experienced in this whole civilian job hunt thing, you spend your time applying for jobs online—and your job search stretches out for months.
Applying online is a bad idea for any job seeker, but it’s especially bad for you because you already may be starting out at a disadvantage because you don’t have the ‘perfect’ background for your chosen job. Resumes and applications that don’t perfect match the keywords that Human Resources is looking for don’t get pulled up for interviews. So what happens is that even if you’d be the best employee they’ve ever had, you won’t even get a chance to discuss it with them. So, what do you do?
You must do everything you can to speak directly to hiring managers (your future boss, or your boss’s boss). That person is the decision-maker with the authority to interview and hire you. Therefore, that person is your strongest chance at getting the job. How do you find them?
Set up a profile on LinkedIn and start searching for people in your field who have the same military background that you do. Contact that person and let them know that you’re looking for a job. Ask if they know anyone looking for someone like you. Ask if you can send your resume. Use the bond between servicemen and women to your advantage. They want to help you, and they are also more likely to quickly recognize your value.
In today’s job market, all job seekers must be more aggressive than ever before. As a transitioning military to civilian job seeker, you are no exception. Use these tips, be aggressive, remember your value, and don’t give up. You will be successful.
** If you want more job search solutions for transitioning military personnel, go to Mission: Transition.
CVs are the long, detailed cousin of the resume. It delivers much more information than a resume and takes many more pages to do it. But whatever differences they might have, CVs and resumes both have the same function: to get you interviews. If you have a curriculum vitae and aren’t getting the job interviews you would like, you can borrow good resume writing principles to make your CV more effective.
Employers should WANT to talk to you after reading your CV. Very often, all it takes is a few adjustments in how you write it. Read more...