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Are You Coming Across Too Young?

Young job seekers entering the job market may find themselves in work environments where they’re the youngest among older workers with more experience. Your age shouldn’t keep you from finding work, but your behavior and attitude can. Here are some common missteps young job seekers make that can turn off potential employers, and possibly cost you a great career opportunity.

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Picking the Right Size Target for Your Job Search

We talked about the problem of having a job search target that is too narrow.  But equally problematic is having a target that is too broad, or a scattershot attempt to land any jobs. Instinct tells you that having a big target gives you a better chance of hitting something. Yet with job search, a huge target is not the best way to assure success. Here are some of the reasons why:

  • Selling yourself as “I can do anything” makes you look like a dabbler who has done lots of things but is not deeply competent in any one
  • Selling yourself as “I’m willing to do anything”  makes you look desperate rather than appealing
  • Lack of clarity around your strengths makes you less memorable
  • People in your network find it hard to help if you are not clear what you’re looking for
  • Lack of focus makes you less credible
  • Pursuing jobs outside your area of expertise or well below your level is likely to leave you frustrated
  • Applying for anything and everything, even jobs that are not a good fit, wastes your time and energy, taking away focus on finding jobs for which you are truly a match

How do you assure you’ve got the right size target?  Read More »

Productive Ways to Fill Resume Gaps

No matter if you’re in a career transition or between jobs, it’s vital you continue to build skills and successes you can show on your resume.  You will be viewed much more positively if you demonstrate recent achievements and continued growth than if you present a resume representing no new skill development or career growth over the last several months.  You will also have interesting things to talk about when asked what you have been doing recently.

Spending time productively sounds much more impressive than simply saying you’ve been looking for a job. Here are four excellent avenues for productivity during a job search: Read More »

Entering And Exiting Networking Conversations

For many people (including myself), networking at social and professional events can seem like a very intimidating process.  Two of the trickiest parts:  How do enter into a networking conversation, and equally important, how do you properly end one?

Starting a conversation can be the most intimidating part of networking.  It sets the tone for everything else.  How do you determine when a good opportunity has come up to start a conversation? Read More »

Using Your “Elevator Pitch” Correctly in Your Job Search

Job seekers are often told to have an “elevator pitch”, a concise summary of their core skills and accomplishments that they can deliver rapidly to anyone who will listen.  But used incorrectly, this little speech can kill your chances for further discussion, let alone finding a job lead.  Some tips for creating a pitch that will get you in the door, not kicked out of the building. Read More »

Answering “Tell Me About Yourself”

It’s one of the most predictable interview questions out there, yet many job seekers are still caught off guard when asked “So tell me about yourself”.  Instead of dreading this question, job seekers should relish the chance to present themselves as an ideal match for the position for which they are interviewing. Read More »

Turning Social Events into Networking Opportunities

Job seekers often hear that holiday gatherings are a great place to network. But how do you do that without being annoying? After all, no one likes being hit up for job leads at a party.  Here are tips on converting a social event into a networking opportunity in a tactful way. Read More »

Avoiding Job Application Mis-Steps

You found a job that looks really interesting.  The last thing you want is for a lame mistake to ruin the chance for making a good first impression, or worse, cost you a shot at a job. Here are some classic mis-steps and how you can avoid them:

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Are Keywords Overrated?

There’s a lot of talk about keywords and how they can help your job search. Job seekers are told to load up their resumes with keywords so that applicant tracking systems (ATS) will “find” them.  In fact, some resumes feature a huge block of keywords.

The reality is that keywords are just one of many tools in your job search.  Here is where keywords bring the most benefit: Read More »

Internships During Job Search

There was a time when interns were around to fetch coffee and answer phones. But these days internships have an entirely different scope. They’ve become an important part of getting a job. Here are some of the reasons more people than ever are interning: Read More »

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