Monthly Archives: January 2013

High Tech / High Touch Job Search

How many of you remember the first time you applied for a job?  If you are like me, you didn’t have the internet.  You had to leave your home and “pound the pavement.”  For my first job, I had to physically walk into a business and ask for an application.  If I was going to go out and look for a job, I had to also dress the part.  In addition, I wanted an office job, so that meant I had to wear a dress with hosiery and heels.  I will never forget how nervous I was to walk through the front door of that office building and ask the receptionist for an application.  After What a frightening and exhausting experience.

The reason for my walk down memory lane is not to bore you with my history but to set the stage for an illustration of how the “internet” has changed the way we seek employment.  Today’s job seeker does not even consider my “old fashioned” way of finding a job.  Today’s job seeker typically starts out in front of a home computer.

While I understand it takes a great deal of time to complete online profiles with the companies where you submit a resume, I urge everyone to only use the Internet to research and apply for positions only.  What sets today’s job seeker apart from the thousands who only apply online is good old fashioned human interaction or as we call it today, networking.

The High Tech portion of our job search should consist of research and submitting necessary documents for positions.  The element of High Touch in the job search closes the deal.  Reach out to those in your professional field, college alumni, or other networks to build professional relationships.  Ask for guidance and direction.   Reach out to professional groups through LinkedIn, blogs, and face-to-face meetings in your area.  Become known in your profession and help employers find you.

Technology has become a very important component for today’s job seekers, but its use should be to enhance your job search research.  An “apply online” only approach rarely closes the deal.  How often do you hear job seekers say they applied for multiple positions online and not receive one interview in return?  Technology’s role in the job search is not to replace good old fashioned interaction.   Technology and human interaction must go hand-in-hand in order to successfully conduct an effective job search.

 

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Too Late to Find an Internship for the Summer? NO WAY!

The spring semester has begun and organizations around the globe are beginning the new recruiting season for fulltime candidates and summer interns. My blog today will address some of the most popular questions I am asked by students during this time.

1. Is it too late to find an internship for this upcoming summer? No. For a few years before our latest economic crisis, companies were focusing more on fall recruiting for interns due to the supply and demand for talent. Since that time, both the fall and spring provide even activity especially at the graduate level.

2. Since most companies visit campus before spring break, does it mean that students cannot find a fulltime opportunity or internship after that time? Once again, no. While on-campus/face-to-face opportunites dramatically decrease after spring break, employment opportunities for both fulltime candidates and interns will still become available until the end of the semester and beyond.

3. What other resources can I use to find employment? My favorite resource today is LinkedIn. This one resource can provide you posted positions, connections, discussion groups, research information and much more. In addition to LinkedIn, take advantage of Twitter to communicate with companies and professionals of choice as well as Facebook. Please do not limit your job search to just on-campus opportunities.

4. How do I effectively find hiring managers at the companies in which I am applying? First of all, do not wait until after you have applied to a position. Get in front of that curve and start reaching out to people in the professions and companies that interest you. It takes time. If you think you are doing to apply for a position and connect with the hiring manager in a matter of a few days, you are probably setting yourself up for disappointment. Finding key people in organizations who are willing and able to help you is not easy nor quick, but it is the most effective.

While I have only touched on the answers to the questions listed above, I have listed the bottom line answer to each. It’s not too late! Opportunities at both the fulltime and internship level will be available throughout the semester, but you must take advantage of the other resources available to job seekers in addition to your on-campus career centers. Building professional relationships takes time but must be a key element in your career management plan.

Please comment and list other questions you would like for me to answer.

 

21 Day Job Search Improvement Challenge

Happy New Year!!!!

As I sit down to write my first blog for 2013, my thoughts go back to the last blog I wrote for 2012.  Your Job Search Resolutions for 2013  In that entry, I talked about challenging yourself to resolutions that will improve your job search practices.  Please reread the suggestions I outline.  I hope a few make their way into your job search plan this year.

Studies show that you can create a habit if you continue something for 21 days — some good and some not so good.   Today’s generation uses the word “like” at least once in almost every sentence.  They didn’t start this habit overnight, and they won’t stop overnight either.  It takes time — 21 days.  I challenge you to take the next 21 days and change some of your bad job search habits.  Here are a few recommendations:

1.  Manage your jobsearch part time not in your free time.  Let’s face it, we do not have free time.  Saying that you will do something in your free time just doesn’t happen anymore.   Maybe you need to treat your job search like a class period or maybe you can just mark time on your calendar easily and stick to the schedule.  Whatever you do, you have to plan your work and work your plan.  You can’t just plan to work out and get in shape.  You have to actually work out.  So, schedule time for your job search and stick to that time doing something productive.  Do that for 21 days in a row.

2.  Emphasize a high touch / high tech balanced job search.  If you only apply to positions online, your chances of failure are extremely high.  You must network your way to key hiring managers in the organizations to succeed.  It is difficult to find the right person who knows about the position in which you applied and can get you to the right hiring manager.  But, you can’t ignore that the number one way vacant positions are filled is through inside direct referrals.  Does it take a long time to complete the online application?  Yes.  Does it take time, effort and perseverance to network effectively?  Yes.  Does it get frustrating?  Absolutely.  Nonetheless, you have to measure your career goal against the time you are willing to put into reaching this goal.  Maintain this balance for 21 days.

3.  Stop sounding desperate.  When you have bills piling up, getting a paycheck is the goal.  When you need a job, you need a job.  But, keep in mind that hiring decisions are made the same way you shop.  Have you ever purchased something because the vendor needs your business?  Would you hire a chef to rewire your home for electricity because that company needs your business? Of course not.  You would hire a company that specializes in fulfilling your needs.  Be very careful in marketing yourself as a jack of all trades lest you be known as an expert of nothing.  We purchase and hire excellence.  If you find yourself telling people you can do anything, then I challenge you to redesign your job search marketing plan.  Do this for 21 days.

In order for you to break your old job search habits, you must first accept your plan in the past isn’t working for you.  Maybe you have been able to apply online and get a job in the past.  Maybe you are from cultures that focus on placement as opposed to personal branding to succeed.  Whatever your past experience, anyone wanting to climb the corporate ladder must accept that with a more advanced career will come a more advanced process in managing your career.

Are you up for breaking your old habits and taking the 21 Day Job Search Improvement Challenge?