Archive for September, 2014

Resume Review – a reminder

September 29, 2014

As the fall job search season gets underway, I know you are re-thinking your interview outfit.  Switching from linen to wool, light colors to darker, is part of your challenge.

Another challenge is to make sure your resume is as current as can be.  If you have not seriously updated your new elements  document in a few years, this neglect will be obvious to all who read it.

What to do?  Get some help!  You really need such elements as hyperlinks and evidence of your involvement in social media (your choice which venue to use).

And please allow me to propose (humbly) that you check out my e-publication, Reflections on Resumes: Taking a Second Look. You can learn about little tips and tricks that will give you the confidence that you are as current as can be,  and that you are displaying your accomplishments to best advantage.  You can be reading this small guide on your computer, tablet, or e-reader within a minute or so.

I’m Career Counselor Anne Headley and I approve this message!

The Interview Outfit: what’s that new accessory?

September 26, 2014

This morning, while entering data into my fitbit app, I got to wondering about the impact of wearing a fitbit bracelet on a job interview.

The fitbit is that almost-ubiquitous plain bracelet that you see in all kinds of basic colors.  My doctor has one.  My hairdresser has one. My swimming buddy has one. I have one!  There’s a pedometer and a heartrate monitor tucked inside the bracelet, logging one’s fitness level as well as sleep effectiveness.

So I picture the interview.  If the interviewer is noting your grooming, your outfit, shoes, watch, and shoes, why wouldn’t he or she notice this bracelet?  And what conclusions might one draw?

  • She’s commited to fitness – good for her!
  • Perhaps she’s a goal-setter.
  • She has embraced technology.
  • Interesting – I’ll ask her about it.  I’ve been thinking of getting one.

These are points in the applicant’s favor.

And those assumptions are at least partly true.  Committed to fitness?  Well, when wearing the bracelet, I’m on the lookout for ways to attain that daily goal and to log a few minutes into the more active category.  And yes, I had to install an app and then use it.  Techie, right?

Anyway, I think fitness apparel is a great way to support the traits you have already submitted on your resume.  It is a fantastic conversation starter, and also a great way to combat age discrimination.

What has been your experience with wearing a fitbit or comparable activity monitor?

The job of jobhunting (4)

September 9, 2014

The fourth element of the jobhunter’s day is one which can draw on the activities of the three previously-discussed realms.  I refer to your social activities.

Social needs no definition.  It is that people stuff.  Networking.  You are supposed to do it, many of you love it, most of you fight it.

This is the realm of truth-in-cliche: It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.

You can become better connected, starting today.  Improving your people quotient really must be part of every job seeker’s day.

Go where the interesting people are.  That might be in a class, at a coffee shop, at a clean-up-the-park day, at the gym.  Or at the pool or your back alley.  Meet someone new or reconnect with someone you haven’t seen in some time.  Just once a day.  

Actually, social activities can permeate the entire day of the successful job seeker.  As you are reading up on happenings in your field, you could be reminded of someone you know who would like to read this article.  Contact that person now!

As you are filling out a job application, you might think of that casual acquaintance who works at that firm.  You could contact him or her and ask a question.

There is little room for depression or inactivity in the life of a job seeker.  You’re so busy preparing for the new opportunity (yet to be determined, I know), that after all that conventional activity, the academic research, the creative projects and the socializing, that you will realize that you have taken steps on the structured path toward tomorrow.  Your knowledge, your availability, your involvement and your network will support you and make you a keen candidate for that next opportunity.

Here’s a final thought from Harper Lee:

If you can learn a simple trick, Scout, you’ll get along better with all kinds of folks. You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view.

So how are you spending today?

 

 

 

 

The job of jobhunting (3) – what’s new?

September 2, 2014

I’ve been thinking about how a jobhunter can spend the day being effective and positive.  I’ve previously written about being conventional and academic, meaning doing obvious things like posting on job boards, responding to ads, and keeping up one’s skills and knowledge.

So what else is needed?

Creativity now comes into play – every single day.  I suspect that this part of the job search is the primary reason people seek career counseling.  Without it, you will get what you have always had, and you probably don’t want that.

Creativity means – following impulsive thoughts, paying attention to your dreams, reading something different, doing something really unusual in your community, acknowledging your intuition.  Here’s where you allow those scary thoughts about what you’ve always wanted to do.

Do you see the connection between what you seek professionally and random ideas?  Probably not, but – please trust me – a connection may come to you.

Here’s an example of the randomness (and effectiveness) of creative thinking:

Yesterday I listened to a story by a friend.  She goes to an exercise program for women, and there she heard a story about an acquaintance (age late 50s) who recently lost her job and was facing a long, difficult search.  The next day my friend heard another tale of woe from someone in a private school who needed to hire a new (……… – it doesn’t really matter).  Lightbulb flash!  Same field, two different stories, two workouts at the gym.  If my friend had not gone to work out that day, if those two acquaintances had not also gone to the gym … the magic would not have happened.

Yes!  My friend, a wonderful networker, connected the dots, put one person in touch with the other, and magic happened.  The job seeker went to the school, applied for the job, and was promptly hired.

Moral of the story:  Go where the people are.  Share your creativity.  Don’t confront anyone with your need, but rather share it.  Most of all, get out of the house, get out of the doldrums, and let creativity lead you into unexpected connections.