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7 Oops! You Forgot To Have An Overall Plan.
Do you know what your goals are? Yes, to make money. (Of course!) But do you know where you want to be in 5 years? In 10 years? Despite the current economic and political upheaval in the world, you have to have a focus and plan as far as the types of jobs you want, why you’re qualified and how you plan to get there. Need help making sense of all this? Click HERE.
6 Oops! You’re Not Aware Or Unable To Cope With The Changing Job Market And The New Ways Of Getting A Job.
It’s tough. The last 10 years have been rough if you’ve been out in the job market. Whether you’re a career changer, a worker over 50, have been laid off or are even an entrepreneur, things have changed. The world now expects you to submit resumes online. Gone are the days where you could walk into a job, talk to the hiring manager and schmooze your way into an interview. There are more people competing for fewer jobs. You’re screened by a human resources database (Ask us about Applicant Tracking Systems) before your resume ever touches human hands. Generalist-type skills no longer work. You have to have experience in the industry and particular job function that the job ad calls for. Used to be a time where you could send off 20 resumes unsolicited and count on at least 5 interviews from that, without much effort. Now most of us have sent out 100s of resumes and never even hear back from the employer. The rules of the game have changed. You have to have a compact resume (read: marketing piece) that shows your skills, has the right keywords in it and submitted in a timely manner to ever get consideration.
5 Oops! You Forgot To Include Relevant Industry Keywords In Your Resume!
The job market now calls for you to market yourself like a Fortune 500 company. Gone are the days where your talents spoke for you and your resume was actually read by a human reader! You have to now prepare your resume to make it past the first screener, a computer. Applicant Tracking Systems (or ATS) are the normal “HR” screeners you must 1st pass before you make it to a live, breathing person. To do this successfully, you must know and use current, relevant keywords in your resume that 1) show you know what you’re talking about, 2) can relate to the current job market, and 3) fulfill the needs of the current position at hand. Do you know how to do this, or would you just rather go and hide because it’s too much? We understand. Having trouble? Give us a Shout Out and we’ll point you gently in the right direction.
4 Oops! You Applied For The Job A Wee Bit Too Late!
If you apply for any job posting more than 24-48 hours after it goes online…….You’re too late! Isn’t that terrible? You have to first have a resume that has 1000 keywords in it so Applicant Tracking Systems can pick you up, then you have to apply for the darn job as soon as it comes screeching out of the Recruiter’s email account! Such is the life of those who want to be king……….The trick? Set up alerts on your favorite job board so that you get relevant positions emailed to you in a timely fashion or have a regular schedule set up so you can check them on a consistent (read 2X a week) basis. Need somebody to crack the whip so you’ll make a regular schedule, stay on track and hold yourself accountable? We know just the folks.
3 Oops! You’re Applying For Jobs In Industries Where They’re Actually Not Doing A Lot Of Hiring!
Do you know which industries are hiring? We do. And it doesn’t matter how talented, smart or experienced you are, you must hunt where the fishin’s plentiful. Make sense? If for example, you’re known as the go-to gal or guy in the tool-and-die industry, who cares? Unless you’re entrenched in the industry and know you can get a job quickly, there ain’t a whole lot of hiring here so you must transfer your skills elsewhere. If your industry is going through a downturn or your company is experiencing layoffs, you need to get out of the boat NOW! And put your talents to use in a place that can appreciate them. Need to know where your *superior* job skills can get the most bang for your buck? Give us gals at RFLO a shout out and say “Show Me The Money!” to get your hands on our most current list of 100 top hiring employers and industries.
2 Oops! You Don’t Know Your HIE!
Do you feel lost and confused in this current maze of job search, job hunting, “I feel like I’ve had the rug pulled from under me” economy? Don’t worry! You’re not alone. Many of us, particularly folks who’ve been employed 10+ years who now find themselves looking for jobs, workers over 50, millennials, 30 somethings, many of us have gotten caught out in the firestorm that is now the current job market. To make sense of it all and have a direction, Resumes For Ladies Only suggests you start with your HIE. Your Hobbies, Interests, Expertise. Particularly if you’re working in an industry that’s experiencing a downturn. Begin to put together a list of those areas you’re good at, it could be anything. From a serious job-related skill to a hobby you enjoy after work. These are areas where you’ll shine in because you do them naturally. Say you’re a gardener but you’ve always worked in IT? Why not combine your skills and put yourself out there for IT Support in a hospitality or landscaping-related firm? It’s possible and so much more enjoyable than just shooting out 100s of resumes, praying one will stick. (Trust us, we know it’s hard to let go of this habit.) Use your HIE to point you in the right direction. Just make a list of activities you like, and combine them with things you already do. Then begin to build your resume around that! Sound simple? It is! But it can take all day. Need a gentle nudge in the right direction? You know who to call.
1 Oops! You Forgot To Prioritize Your Efforts!
Not all job opportunities are created equal. And so you must prioritize your efforts according to your metrics. What’s important to you? Salary, strength of firm, industry, position/job function, retirement benefits, stock options, flexibility to work from home? All these things matter. So when you start out you must prioritize which jobs to apply for, how much effort to put into them and where they fit in your long-term plan. When you say, “Hmm……where do I want to be in 5 years?,” you should be able to know where this particular job opportunity fits into that plan. If you’re looking for gigs over $70k and this one is only paying $50k, you better have a good reason why.
That way you can stop putting your efforts into jobs/opportunities/businesses that waste your time or will cost you too much in the long run. At Resumes For Ladies Only we think you’re great. Everything about your job search should be just as smart, efficient and tactical as you.
Need some help putting it all together, in a non-threatening, non-over-the-top sales-pitchy way? Get the professionals. We help you put your resume and job search into perspective, without all the hang ups. In a clear, concise, easy to understand way. Give us a shout @ firstname.lastname@example.org and put in the subject line “SHOW ME THE MONEY!” Include a copy of your resume if you have one and let us know which of the 7 steps you’re having trouble with. Whether it’s finding your HIE (we know, we thought it was clever too), putting together a credible timeline and holding yourself accountable, finding out which industries and companies would work best for you—whatever it is, chances are we’ve solved it for another client and we can put the same work together for you. Toodles!
I like Ron Johnson. And judging from some of the comments on his work, a lot of other people do. It’s hard to see someone who comes into a job with so much enthusiasm, to get told in not so many words, “Don’t let the door hit you on the way out.”
But out he is, and it got us to thinking, what could that mean to the average worker? I mean, most of us if we lose our jobs, it’s certainly not in a public firing, but it hurts just the same.
What lessons can be learned here for you, Job Search Superstars, to put into play in your own life?
1. Be careful of over-enthusiasm. Sometimes, in an effort to do a good job, we bring habits from a former position, relationship or idea, into play into something current…………That does not always work. As we saw with Mr. Johnson’s attempt to remake a staid JC Penney, bringing over his ideas from his Apple days, did not necessarily translate into success at JCP.
2. Plan, Plan, Plan. Most critics of Ron Johnson say it was not his ideas that were at fault, but his execution. IMHO, I agree. I watched week to week, on pins and needles, hoping to see some success, so that the money and time spent on saving JC Penney was actually a save and not a loss. Now we know, for the most part, it was a loss. Because there was no plan, no test to see if ideas were actually feasible before implementation, all that work was for naught. The Lesson: Plan your ideas carefully, rather than just think they’ll work because you say they’ll work.
3. Watch the people who encourage you to make a move, when you suspect it’s not in your best interest. I have to say, one quality I admire about executives, is that there is no loyalty. When a CEO or plan of action at a company is not right for them, they’ll move on. This is what happened at JCP. My understanding is that some who were initially under Ron Johnson were either fired or left on their own…..Smart. When things aren’t working, cut your losses and move. which leads us to our 4th point……….
4. Watch the folks who actually put this bad move into play. Famed hedge fund investor Bill Ackman, who has always struck me as a bit of an ass, http://www.vanityfair.com/business/2013/04/bill-ackman-dan-loeb-herbalife was the man who initiated this installation of Ron Johnson as the new CEO of JC Penney. I don’t know their relationship, but I laughed and at the same time was miffed at how Bill Ackman encouraged this move to JCP and initiated what I see as a losing proposition. The takeaway: Know the motives, mindset and goals of the folks who push you to do something. Their true motivations may not match up with yours. And if you have to take the hit, you might be by yourself, as Johnson found out the hard way.
5. CYA. Even if you’re a corporate employee and not some executive big wig, you need to act like you’re a small business and an executive in your own right. Because in reality you are. You are responsible for your own success. You are responsible for evaluating whether opportunities are right for you or if you should pass. We don’t always do a good job of this, or even see the “enemy” coming, in the form of a dead-end job or a straw position, or the like, but in the end, whether we get what we want out of life or not, is usually up to us, and no amount of excuses will do. As they say in business, all success needs no explanation, but all failures usually come with a million excuses.
It’s your job to look out for you.
Part 2 Next Week
A recent Gallup poll (http://www.gallup.com/poll/160790/sequestration-starts-americans-unsure-consequences.aspx) states that 51% of Americans don’t know enough about the sequester to judge if it’s a good or bad thing for the economy or for themselves personally. I tend to take a more negative view. As a layperson, and a veteran resume writer, I hear from many people who feel the effects of the sequester and believe it’s a bad thing, even if those changes have not already taken place in society. It’s like waiting for the other proverbial shoe to drop: You know something bad is about to happen, you just don’t know when.
This article spells out in layperson’s terms what the sequester actually is and how it affects you as a job seeker.
By definition, the sequester is a series of automatic spending cuts by the federal government that take place across the board. Some cuts will be to the military and defense, while some will be for “discretionary” or social programs such as Medicaid and Social Security. These cuts are designed to reign in the ballooning federal deficit (now at approximately $16 trillion).
The problem: Congressional Republicans and Democrats (who else?) cannot agree on how to reduce the deficit. Democrats generally want tax loopholes for the wealthiest Americans and largest corporations closed in order to raise revenue, while Republicans generally want to “reform entitlements,” which really means that cuts to social safety net programs such as Social Security and Medicaid will take place.
Ironically, the sequester was never supposed to happen. President Obama signed it into law under the guise that the cuts would be so painful and catastrophic that Congress would never let it happen.
So much for good planning.
These conflicting ideas of how to control and reduce the deficit have kept the American government operating on a “crisis-by-crisis” basis for a while now.
It has made the best of us nervous, and even those of us employed in “good” jobs worried about the see-saw effect, weighted down by the uncertainty in governmental priorities and diligently wondering what it will take to finally get the United States on a solid road to financial recovery.
Well, you can’t control politics and you certainly can’t control the economy, but we feel there are things you can do to maintain your sanity in an insecure job hunter’s market.
We already know it’s a buyer’s market when it comes to getting a job these days, but these are some keys you can control in order to put the odds in your favor.
1) Stay focused. As much as possible, tune out the negative noise. After a while, it just all seems to blend in to the background, and pretty soon you just feel it’s all bad………..Stay focused. Remain aware of the facts, of course, about the economy, the job market and factors affecting it, but remain focused on your job search even more so.
2) Have a plan. It seems obvious, but nothing beats the job search blues when dark clouds are all around you, like having a job search plan. Know what types of jobs you’re going for. Are you in marketing or sales? Technology or business? Know who you are in relation to the jobs that are out there. Know your specific job titles and the industries that work well for you.
3) Stick with it. It’s so easy to get derailed when it seems like everyone you know is facing either a job loss or a reduction in hours. Be the example and stick with your plan. I believe as a job seeker, that if you’re not working, your full-time job, barring other circumstances, should be looking for work. That means “doing the doings.” The little things that we sometimes want to forget because times get hard and it gets discouraging. To help you out: Make a schedule of all the employers you’re supposed to follow up on each day. Make a list of promising opportunities that you see online and apply for them right away (within 24 hours if possible). Follow up appropriately after interviews to make sure you stand out in the right person’s mind. It’s these little things that will make the difference. It gives you accountability. It’ll also keep your mind off the negativity.
4) If you’re a federal worker, prepare for possible furlough days. They are scheduled to happen in the upcoming months, but make a plan now. That means, for example, rather than stay home on furlough days, use that time to actually go for interviews, rewrite that resume or improve your computer skills (especially if you’re a worker over 50 or someone who isn’t comfortable with technology that’s commonly used in your field.)
5) Keep learning. As this economy switches from an information age to a knowledge-based workplace, keep your skills fresh. That means taking that class you might have been putting off, learning that new skill that all the whipper-snappers in your industry know. If you’re stuck on how to get there, here’s a link to some free classes you can take at the world’s largest and best universities for free: http://salary.com/free-online-classes-top-universities/
6) Use (or create) your support network. This is perhaps the best of ALL keys available to you to get ahead in this economy. Use the power of the network. Need babysitting on Thursday in order to go job hunting? Ask a trusted friend, family member or neighbor. Car in disrepair and need to get to work on time? Find folks in your neighborhood or from your job with whom you can carpool and save on gas and expenses together. Simply put, trade favors and services with people you know and trust to make the best of limited resources. Whatever you lack, find others to fill in the gap so you can give and get what you need to make your income stretch. Besides being a creative and wise way to handle finances and life’s challenges, it’s also an excellent way to make potential job contacts.
7) Research industries that are actually hiring and see how you can transfer your skills there if need be. Industries such as “sin” jobs (alcohol, tobacco, gambling), entertainment, DIY (think Home Depot), education, certain areas of healthcare and anything that takes advantage of the economy, such as pawn/loan/consignment will often have more openings than others.
This certainly is not an exhaustive list, but by keeping your mind focused on the essentials and the things you can control, you’ll find you’ll have more presence and peace of mind to weather the current storm and continue forward as you reach toward your job search goals.
*originally published on Salary.com
Ahhh…….The good life. Many a corporate drone have dreamed about escaping the rat race and retiring to some secluded island owned by Sir Richard Branson or other well-known magnate in the Caribbean. Beautiful white sand crinkling between your toes, sweet aromatic stogie poised between your very important lips and crystal clear waters whooshing all around, making you feel at peace and in control, like the King or Queen you are. Right? At least that’s what those myriad biz opportunity ads that come on late at night to lure you into one more pyramid scheme tell you. Just an investment of $149, they say, and all this wealth will be yours. While we can’t judge for you whether using that product will make you the next Internet millionaire (if you are, please write us and tell us about it—better yet, take us along), but we can tell you what you can do to grow your small business dreams if you’re hankering even just a little bit for “the good life.”
It’s been said a rough economy makes folks get creative. Unemployment wavering back and forth around 7-8% (http://www.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.nr0.htm) makes people desperate.
Everyone wants a piece of the pie and when you worry about job security constantly, being thankful for just even having a job, many more of us begin thinking, “What can I do to get out of this?” You want security, you want to be able to provide for your family, without working 18 hour days and without giving up all of your personal life.
Even in good times, many of us have probably fantasized about what it would be like to own a small business, the romanticism of working to build a small empire, all from scratch, like the great tycoons of old……….Rockefeller, Carnegie, Buffet……yes you’d be in great company. But is it really that easy?
Let me share with you from experience: No. It is challenging, it is rewarding, but if you haven’t heard it before, let me warn you now so you will forever know—it is much harder to work for yourself than it will ever be working for someone else. A steady paycheck is a steady paycheck. You might hate your boss, you might work for a pittance, but you get that pittance every 2 weeks.
Come on out here, the water’s fine, the gurus say. Well before you put on your swim trunks, and dive into the sea of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire, let us give you a reality check to help you decide clearly if a small enterprise, perhaps just part-time, could be for you.
9. Research your HIE (hobbies, skills, interests). What are the things you love to do, the things you’re good at? This will most likely form the foundation of your mega success, because you’ll never stop working at something you love.
8. Will any of your HIE make you money? For example, it’s great if you own the largest tool and die shop this side of Kansas. What isn’t great if nobody’s in the market to buy. Before you plunk down your hard earned money, do some research to see if anyone will spend a buck procuring that product or service you love so well.
7. Get some professional help. No, not the psychiatric kind, but the business start-up sort. My favorite is http://www.score.org. If you’ve never heard of SCORE (the Service Corps of Retired Execs), let me tell you you’re missing out on some of the best minds who can help you make sense of the business maze. These are folks who have been there and done that, on the frontlines of corporate and entrepreneurial success, chances are in your particular industry. Take advantage of their strength. Pick their brains. They might just help you avoid wasting A LOT of time and money.
6. Enlist the support of family and friends. Nothing spells disaster in any small business like going it alone. Forget the romantic notions of staying up all night, working away while everyone sleeps, waiting for that great day of hitting business gold. If you want to really succeed, you need the support, understanding and assistance that comes from your closest loved ones backing you. When family members understand what you’re going for, it’s much easier to support you. Especially when a paycheck is on the line, and you’ve convinced everyone that this “will be the next big thing,” you need all the love (and patience!) from loved ones who are depending on you, that you can get.
5. Get your finances in order. Wouldn’t you just love to have unlimited investment in your start-up or yet-to-be-established venture? Oh, if traditional banks would just hear you out and quit giving you that load about your credit, the tight lending market, the unfeasibility of your idea and lack of experience. Who are they? Well unfortunately banks and to a lesser degree, credit unions, were the de facto way of getting loans for business in times past. But today, there’s a different story. Fortunately for you, there are places like http://www.kickstarter.com/. They fund creative projects but there are many more funding sources for the small business leader in you. You no longer are beholden to big banks that take you through loads and loads of red tape and delay, only to turn you down anyway. Look into microloans and crowd funding. That’s where the money’s at.
4. Have follow-through. Many an entrepreneur with a great idea didn’t make it simply because they were honestly, a flake. You have to have the courage to stay with your idea, even if it doesn’t work out. You may waste some time, you may lose some money, but if you thought you were going to get rich without losing something, investing something, it was perhaps wrong to think of entrepreneurship as a way out of employment hell anyway. Anyone you get to invest in your idea, whether mentally or financially will want to see that you have some skin in the game. Stick with it and be willing to lose, until you can come up with better ideas that win.
3 . Have a plan. A business plan that is. Get professional help, again. But this time as it relates to laying down a solid financial, marketing and product or service plan that will get people talking. A serious investor, even if just a family member or friend, will want to see something on paper. To most folks, that shows you’re serious and not just talking out of thin air……….Yes we know you’re a genius and can do all it in your head, but your business plan is just as much winning the support of family and friends as it is about building your mini empire. Trust us. No matter how bright you are, you need a business plan and if you don’t know how to do one, check out the folks at http://www.sba.gov to get started.
2. Surround yourself with people smarter than you. Sometimes this one is hard. Because it means you have to admit someone is already doing something well that you wish you could do. It means letting go of ego and being willing to learn. You can’t become better at a task surrounding yourself by people who are not as good as you. You’re better than that! You must take the time and cultivate a network of allies, entrepreneurs and investors who understand the cruel waters you are about to tread. Make friends and don’t bombard them (yet!) with business information. Ask them probing but non-threatening questions that will make them open up to you and trust you as a colleague, as opposed to the over eager beaver who doesn’t know when to leave well enough alone. This kind of exposure will save you countless hours of unnecessary work, introduce you to peers who will become your mentors and give you knowledge that you’d probably take years to find out on your own. Pick their brains, but reasonably. There’s nothing like a friend who understands what keeps you up late at night.
1. Commit to excellence. We saved this one for last, because it’s the business (and business owner) who commits to excellence, does the hard stuff when everyone else is slacking off, who is going to succeed. Excellence is hard to define but easy to recognize. Even if other aspects of your business are off, excellence inspires people to believe in you, to give you a chance, to show off your work. Everyone wants to be associated with the best. Make that someone you.
We look forward to hearing about your Next Big Thing. Keep us in the loop and we’ll keep an eager eye out for you as you make your way to the cover of Forbes as the coolest new member of their Richest Americans club, Caribbean white sand beach and all.
Learn how to join your own Richest Americans Club by visiting http://www.resumesforladiesonly.com and ordering a business plan. You won’t become a millionaire overnight but we bet you’ll get there significantly faster with our help. Seriously.