My first news appearance…about the job search!

The career center director at my school called me last week to tell me a reporter was coming to interview him. The topic was how social media has affected the job search. This is basically what my thesis is centered on, so he wanted me to pop in and give my two cents on the job search. So I did! The reporter, Consumer Bob, interviewed me for a while, but only a couple blips made it to the final cut. Still counts as a first news appearance, I guess. ;) Here’s a link to it (might take a bit to download):

http://www-rohan.sdsu.edu/~cba/streaming/video/5-24-11KNSD.mp4

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Twitter chats rule!

Twitter chats are a valuable job search resource that few people take advantage of. They’re a place to get feedback on your job search from career experts, recruiters and other job seekers. Twitter chats are when a group of people virtually meet for a certain time period (usually an hour) to discuss a specific topic. It’s a great place to learn and find key people to follow. I think few people know they exist, and those that do don’t know exactly how to join them. Lemme give you a run down of some popular ones and then some instructions on how to join them.

  • #HFchat      Fridays 9 am PST     A chat by the same creator of #HireFriday that answers 4-5 pressing questions to advance your job search.
  • #jobhuntchat      Mondays at 7 pm PST      Career advice based on four questions a week.
  • #careerchat     Tuesdays at 10 am PST    Hosted by Manpower, the leaders will answer a wide range of career-related questions.
  • #u30pro     Thursdays 5 pm PST    Chat for all ages and professionals that focuses on issues surrounding professionals under 30.

There is also an upcoming “Dr. Woody” chat this Wednesday, May 18th, at 8pm EST. Dr. Woody is my mentor and a well-respected career consultant. This week he’ll center on interview tips. Dr. Woody and other participants will share ideas in regards to the following questions:

  • What’s the wackiest, most bizarre interview question you’ve heard?
  • How do you deal with tough or off-the-wall questions?
  • How do you dress for the interview?
  • Do you prep different for phone vs. Skype interviews?

Here are four easy steps that’ll get you involved in a Twitter chat in no time:

  1. In advance of the chat, take a few minutes to sign up for a Twitter account if you don’t have one already.
  2. Right before the chat, go to TweetChat and sign up in the first box by linking to your Twitter account.
  3. Now, enter the hashtag for the chat (e.g., #drwoodychat) at the top of the TweetChat screen and click “Go.”
  4. Start chatting!

Hope to see you in a Twitter chat soon!

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Think Human Nature When on the Hunt

Does it all go back to the instinctual hunt?

I met my long-time friend (whom I consider to be very business savvy) for a pedicure the other day, and she said she was waiting a few hours to email a company back about setting up a Skype interview for the following day, because she “wanted to play a lil hard to get.” I was floored. Although this concept was far from new to me in the dating world, I had never really thought of doing that in the job search process. I’ve always heard business people stand behind the whole first come, first served perspective on things. (Isn’t that the kind of promptness a company would want out of an employee?) But she explained that she didn’t want to come off as desperate. She wanted to come off as a desirable candidate who has “options.”

I set out to do a little research and found this BNET article. In it, CC Holland agrees that “playing hard-to-get is still the right approach. If you don’t respect yourself, how can you expect a potential employer to respect you?” This is true. They had already been beating around the bush with my friend, and she was annoyed by it. She was sick of the ways companies were treating her in the job search.

This aspect of human nature does seem to carry over from dating into the workplace. We want what we can’t have or what seems more desired—like the hot playerish guy that all the girls swoon over, even though he’s an a-hole.

I’ve written posts in which I’ve compared a job interview to a first date, but my friend’s perspective was a new concept to me. In this economy, it seems backwards to play hard to get when there are dozens of other people vying for the position. But maybe she is right. As of today, she did make it past the first round of interviews and into the final pool of applicants.

What do you think? Have you played hard to get with an employer?

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Are you ‘bot or not?

I was Robot on the Jobrecently getting some work done at a Starbucks (my second home lately!), and I overheard someone talking to a recruiter on the phone. The guy was distressed about a recent interview he had for an IT position. The employer had said that, although he gave a great interview, he didn’t have the exact experience required for the position. He seemed very frustrated.

He then when on to ask the recruiter in a flustered tone, “Do they want a problem solver or a robot? Just because I haven’t done that job before, doesn’t mean I can’t learn it. I have the proper education that proves I’m capable of it.”

He brings up a great question. Is it right, or even ethical, that employers seem to prefer a robot-like employee who has done a job a million times and can do it blindfolded? Or should they simply target candidates who are great problem solvers, eager to learn and adapt to new tasks?

This is an excellent question. What do you think? As the Svedka Vodka marketing team would ask, “Are you ’bot or not?”

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Hungry? Side Jobs to Put Food on the Table

make money on the sideFind yourself turning to top ramen and PB&Js way too much lately? Unfortunately, unemployment checks aren’t up to par with the budget you were used to when you had a full-time job. And even if you have a full-time job, the salary might not be what you expected, especially if you’re a recent grad. But there are lots of great ways to make extra cash under the table. And they don’t even require a degree or experience. Two that I personally turn to when times are tough are tutoring and babysitting.

  • Tutoring: The great thing about this is that people will pay a lot for it and everyone has something they excel in! You can do anything from teaching someone the guitar to helping a middle schooler with math (if you’re like me, you don’t know anything past geometry). You can probably find work through word of mouth. But I really like Wyzant. You set the rate, and they take a portion of it (a pretty big chunk if ya ask me). But I’ve charged as high as $50/hour. People will pay for it if it means good grades or a new talent they can show off.
  • Babysitting: You may not have time to take on a full-time nanny job (which pays very well btw), but you can pick up a few weekend shifts here and there. If you can’t hang with babies like me, try an elementary school kid. And don’t be embarrassed. Nannying is a real job!

Of course, my main side job is resume writing, but don’t do that! I don’t need anymore competition. =)

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My first video! “If you hate your job…”

Brazen Careerist (like LinkedIn but better!) asked everyone to make a 30-second video about their one career tip! Here is mine. Although, I must admit, it ended up closer to one minute!

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Make Your Edumacation Stand Out

Stronger Education Section on ResumeOne of the early decisions I make when I edit someone’s resume is whether their work experience or education should go first. For recent grads, putting education first will typically make for a stronger resume. However, a recent grad with a strong work history (e.g., internships) and/or a degree that doesn’t match their career objective should put experience first.

Another concern I’ve heard from clients is that they have a weak education section. Either they don’t have the required degree for the job they want or their degree doesn’t match their career goals. To help with this, consider adding a subsection titled “related coursework.”

Under the heading, list actual course names related to the job you’re applying to, especially electives. For instance, maybe you want to apply to a sales position, but you majored in Biology. Did you take any business, communication, writing, or speech classes? The skills you learned in these courses would definitely make you a better salesperson, but the hiring manager reviewing your resume wouldn’t know this if you only list “B.S. Biology.”

Lastly, for you college students and recent grads—take high school education off your resume! If you are still in college, list the degree you’re working on and your expected graduation date. Listing your high school information makes you look young and inexperienced—no reason to drive that fact home. Plus, if you went to college, you obviously have a high school diploma.

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