Wednesday, February 12, 2014


We left Blogger and moved our weekly updates to JobStickers. Please check us out over there and SUBSCRIBE:

Also please follow us at these sites too to stay up to date on Job Hunting info!




Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Cliff Notes: The Employment Letters

Cover Letter Preparation
You need a practical cover letter that summarizes your accomplishments and highlights vital elements in your background, as well as convincing the reader to want to review your resume. A good cover letter should be customized for your job search and include an interchangeable template so you can cater each cover letter towards the exact position (even requisition ID number) for any specific employer, right down to how you can provide a solution to that particular company’s specific needs, thus making your knowledge appear superior to your competitor.

What are you seeking in this position? Tell them your objective. For example: "I am a 20-year banking expert seeking a financial advisory position with a progressive, leading company in Cleveland, OH". Even better, use the company’s name.

When preparing a cover letter, a good thing to remember is that it needs to be attention-worthy. Do not say “Dear Hiring Manager,” but rather find out the person who is making the hire and personalize it (target the letter) for them. Do not just state that you need a job in marketing, but rather why you want a job in marketing at this particular company.

A client of mine used LinkedIn to locate a specific hiring manager at a company that had posted a position she was highly interested in. She then utilized my Google search methodology (see “How I Contact Hiring Managers to Find a Job”) to find the hiring manager’s email and sent him a customized cover letter. The hiring manager told her that he immediately picked up the phone to contact her even before looking at her resume because of her cover letter.

Follow-up Letter Preparation
Post-interview can be the most crucial time for a job seeker. While you are still fresh in the hiring manager’s mind, you need to act…and quick! You need an effective follow-up letter that:

- Shows the employer your relevant interest in the job

- Shows your appreciation of the correspondence and interview they provided

- Reiterates your skills and any important information you might have not provided while interviewing

- Reminds them about some key highlights that occurred during the interview

- Updates them with important information they might have requested

- Tells why you can be the solution to their human capital needs

When I recruited for a hiring manager at an Aerospace company, he explained to me that if he does not receive a follow-up letter, he would not even consider a candidate. Now that is a bit extreme, but the point is that you never know the type of person that is hiring candidates, so you must accommodate everyone in every way that is in your control. So if a follow-up letter is something extra you can do to exceed expectations, why not do it?

In conclusion, I think a cover letter and follow-up letter are just as important as a resume. All of these documents belong in your job search “toolkit” and must be precise and just as good as your resume. I have had clients in the past that did not put the time and effort into their collateral and wondered why they would not garner an interview. It’s simple: provide the potential employers with everything possible that showcases your abilities and motivation to be better than the competition, because your competition is making sure they have all the right tools in their toolbox.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Get a Job By Targeting the Hiring Manager

In the past, candidates could self-submit their resume to job postings, post a resume on a job board or just wait for the phone to ring. A small percentage would actually try to network their way into a new job -- which is the single best way to land a new gig. Well here are some tips for you to be able to target hiring managers and therefore allow you to network and even send a resume to them directly. My goal is to help you locate key Human Resource professionals, recruiters and hiring managers at targeted companies within your industry, and at third-party recruiting firms. You want to be able to find leads to emerging opportunities and place your resume with your best prospects, and one of the only ways to do so is to have the hiring manager's contact information to begin self-targeted resume submissions, so you can increase visibility and enhance chances of obtaining employment.

Become the first to get into a company and become more competitive by accessing daily information pertaining to your industry and in your metro. Set up Google news and Yahoo news alerts for the words "relocating" or "relocation" and your city's or near-city's name to find companies who are relocating to your area. Set up alerts for "expansion" and "growth" to identify growth companies and emerging opportunities for you to seek out hiring decision makers and recruiters at those companies. I had a client that was set on being in one particular city, so her chances of receiving new employment were lower than if she would have been tolerable with relocation. Well once her husband was laid off and they were open to relocation, she requested some pointers to find new employment over 200 miles away. I showed her this process of setting up alerts, and her first interview came from a hiring manager whom was mentioned in a Google News article. My client tracked down this hiring manager she read about, submitted her resume and landed a job post-interview.

Review leading online and published newspapers like Forbes and The Wall Street Journal (and your local paper) to keep up on those growth industries. This also allows you to be fully- informed on what is going on in your market. Be an expert!

Obviously you cannot get a job unless you put yourself out there. You must answer ads, contact recruiters at staffing companies, network, post resumes on niche and general job boards and employer websites. There is still more you can do! Research growing companies that hire your job description. Connect with hiring managers and decision makers on outlets like LinkedIn. Cover all your bases!

Making Contact
Hiring personnel get annoyed very easily. Do not be overly pushy and take yourself out of the running before the race even starts. If the hiring managers and recruiters can find a job for you, trust me, they will! They want to hire a qualified candidate as fast as possible, but they know what they want and hopefully (if you market yourself correctly) they know what you can bring to the company. If it is a match, great! If it is not, let it go and move on. I once had a candidate that contacted our recruiting office numerous times a week and applied to every single job that every single recruiter posted, he became blacklisted from any future opportunities. It was not the fact that he was eager, but the fact that he then would lie to each of the recruiters and create tension between the office. It was company policy to document every conversation, so thus he was not eligible for any future opportunities with our company.

Great ways to search for hiring contacts:
- Looking up resumes posted online and searching through references on a resume. This can provide direct contact with managers and can be a good way to begin a networking campaign.
- Contacting associations and respected leaders in a certain industry and finding out who they know does the hiring at various companies.
- Communicating with college instructors or career service personnel who can provide contact information of employers who have performed on-site speeches during a class or attended a career fair.
- Networking with past colleagues and managers to find out if they know of anyone looking to add talent. Sometimes a past reference might be looking to hire someone of your skill-set again.

Another trick is to utilize the Google search command to find email addresses of your targeted hiring managers. Find the hiring manager's name either by using sites like LinkedIn, on the company's website, a professional forum or even in a job posting. Then search the company's email format. By that I mean search how the company sets up their email address for the employees. For instance, Google's might be setup like "". So now you know that the hiring manager at Google, Jane Doe, whom you are targeting will be "". Now you have the direct email address and therefore can initiate contact and even send a resume.

The goal again is to get your credentials in front of the people making the hiring decisions. Sometimes it can be Human Resources, but most of the time it is a departmental person who will physically be making the decision because that will be your new boss. So get yourself out there and work the networking route for a higher number of interviews and thus, a higher chance of interview success.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Go Find Work!

Finding a job is your job right now. For those of us that are unemployed, we do not need to take a “vacation” or “holiday break” because that’s what we do Monday thru Friday. Well, you need to work 8 hours a day doing something relating to your job search and self-marketing. The more you put yourself out there, the higher the chances of being seen and the better odds on landing more interviews.

Ways to make your job search a full-time job, even when everyone else is relaxing during the holiday:

1. “Stick to a daily schedule. Create a to-do list and cross them off as you go; this gives you a sense of accomplishment even during down times. This includes Monday, even if it’s July 4th. Feel free to enjoy yourself in the afternoon at the barbeque or at night during the fireworks, but set your alarm and get up and get working for the entire morning. I usually check my emails during the holidays and weekends, because it allows for me to get to candidate’s emails.” – HR Manager at a tier one automotive supplier.

2. “Check job boards daily and see if any new jobs were posted, in case your alert notification service missed anything.” – Recruiter at Manpower

3. “Send printed resumes in the mail. Few people do this any more, which is why it is effective for you.” – HR Director at Johnson Controls

4. Target companies you want to work for and know where you can add value, then network or market yourself into an interview. I once had a client that specifically networked herself into employment because she decided to meet every hiring manager in her department.

5. Contact recruiters and temporary work agencies. Recruiters work for you and the good ones do not charge you to help you find employment. However, do not bug recruiters constantly. If they need someone with your skills, they will call you. They might not have an opening right away that fits your qualifications, but if they do, they will call you. Almost 80% of the positions I have found in HR have been through recruiters.

6. “Only apply to the openings that fit within your realm. Recruiters do get the ‘jack of all trades’ candidates who, in actuality, only fit the bill for one or two jobs at most. So be aware of your resume submissions. Do not market yourself as a ‘jack of all trades’ or a ‘fast learner’. Market yourself as an expert in a certain industry/field. Hiring managers are not going to figure out where you might fit, they want to know if you fit their immediate need.” – Hiring Manager at Dealer Tire

7. “Follow the job posting directions and make sure you do what they tell you to do, if you want to apply to their job. They implement rules for a reason.” – Recruiter at Aerotek

8. “Read industry magazines. Keep up with trends and developments in your field.” – HVAC Instructor at Los Angeles Trade & Technical College

9. “Network with industry experts and other people that can help you find a job and create your own advisory board to consult with when you need information or assistance.” – COO at a Fortune 500 Company

10. “Create an online presence. Sign up for industry blogs, social networking sites and career sites. Just make sure you keep it professional” – Recruiter at Volt

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

How I Use the Oversaturated Internet to Find Career Opportunities

The Internet and generalized job boards are getting more and more saturated with resumes and thus, the competition is growing fiercer for job-seekers. I like to think about the commercials where the two guys are playing tennis and suddenly a bunch of crazy people storm the courts and interrupt play. The Voiceover actor comes in with a statement about how all the other job boards let anyone in to play, but with, they are specifically catered to those who make $100K or above. Well, it's sad but true. Below, I have compiled a list of some "other" sites that I think are beneficial for the job-seeker needing to up his or her Internet job-hunting game.

Company Portals
Almost all companies post their job openings on their company portal (or website). This is the spot on a company website where it says "Careers". When I worked in Human Resources, we always had to post our job openings on the company portal so the internal employees could apply to the opening. So we would usually just check the second box stating "share to company website" just to see if we could drum up some outside resumes.

I suggest searching all the portals of main industry players and also larger companies that hire your profession and click on that company’s “career” section. Create an online profile and post your resume so that company’s hiring manager or recruiter can find your resume. Also, set up an alert before you log off the company’s portal. Alerts are email triggers that are sent to your Inbox once a company posts a position matching your credentials. Not only does this help you get pulled up when a company’s internal recruiter is searching for resumes on the company database, but it also allows for you to apply to the job instantaneously. As a recruiter, we can become inundated with upwards of 1000 resumes for one job, so we sometimes can only get to the first 250 resumes. If you apply to a company’s opening while it’s still a fresh posting, your chances of your resume actually being seen are increased dramatically.

But remember, set up alerts on both company portals and niche and general job boards. Once a position opens up with your title, you receive an email instantly and you can have an edge on competitors by applying that same day the job was posted before the next 2,000 resumes come through.

Also, set up Google and Yahoo News alerts for your specific title/industry and general job-hunting techniques. Use relevant keywords such as "job hunting tips", "apply mechanical engineer" and "automotive production supervisor opening".

General Job Boards
As much as they have become flooded, continue to post your resume on CareerBuilder and Monster because that is where recruiters typically search for resumes first; and why not, when there are more job seekers on there than anywhere else in the world. Also use Craigslist, which is a great place to find local job postings in your area.

Niche Job Boards and Forums within Your Industry
Perform an online search with your industry title plus “job board” and review the results. Post your resume on those sites and set up alerts as well. Sometimes these sites display forums where you can participate in discussions on industry topics or trends. I had a client in the past that utilized a forum and networked his way into a new position, solely based on a discussion about a particular piece of equipment he had worked on and a hiring manager just happened to have been engaged in this discussion. The hiring manager was so impressed by my client’s knowledge, he offered him an interview the next day.

Association Websites within Your Industry
Most professional associations are easy to find online and by checking out an association’s website, you might find a job board or resume posting access. Even if not, you may find industry events being held, networking groups or even an opportunity to create a profile and join an online chat-board to stay in the loop.

Job Board Aggregators
Instead of going to the major job boards (e.g., CareerBuilder, Monster), start by using or which are called job board aggregators. These sites search jobs on all the other job boards including company web sites and local newspapers and pull the results into one, nice place for you to view.

In conclusion, some people are growing more tired because they think they have exhausted all of their online resources, but the truth is that there are so many companies that are hiring, you just have to be a little more savvy in finding those openings.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

JobStickers Podcast #8: How to Search for a Job While You're Still Employed


The 8th MJW Careers' JobSticker's podcast series will be focused on those job-seekers that currently have a job, but are proactively seeking new employment. It is important that you conduct your job search in a manner that will not affect your current role, but can also allot enough time and strategy to effectively seek new employment.

On the show, we discussed some tips and don't forget about our Free Resume contest. For more info about these and other great job hunting tips, please visit or our website

For more information on the "Free Resume" contest, check out

Monday, April 18, 2011

Closing Questions Are the Answer to a Successful Interview

Preparing for an interview is just as important as the interview itself. Without proper preparation, you can get caught off guard or even leave the interviewer questioning your ability to deliver once hired for the position. The best interview tactic is to have impressive closing questions.

While working in Human Resources as a Recruiter, I once had a hiring manager hire a candidate simply because of their interview. He was so pleased with the candidate's knowledge and their pertinent closing questions relating to the company's current situation and the actual position being advertised. The hiring manager favored the interviewee over another candidate strictly due to the fact that he showed enthusiasm to learn more and really cared about the organization.

How was that candidate able to do all this? Researching the company. You always want to make sure you research a company prior to attending an interview, so you can:

1. Know if you would enjoy working there.

2. Find out if you would fit into their corporate culture.

3. Ask educated questions throughout the interview.

4. Use verbiage during the interview that relates to the company, industry and specific job for which you are interviewing.

5. Ask insightful closing questions.

Remember, your competition is doing this legwork. There is nothing worse than having no questions at all. You want to add some of these following questions in the mix to make you that much more effective:

1. Is there any other information you need from me regarding my application?

2. Do you have any hesitations about me for this position?

3. How do I compare to my competition?

4. Is there any reason why I would not be an asset in the job I am interviewing for?

5. I want to work for your company; can you see any reason how I might not fit into your corporate culture?

6. Is there anything hindering me from moving forward in the interview process?

7. Where do I go from here? Can you tell me about the rest of the interviewing process?

8. Do you know when I might hear correspondence regarding the next step?

9. Is there any reason why we can't set up the next interview now?

So before you go to an interview, research the company and prepare a list of closing questions. The more work you put into the preparation process, the greater your chance of impressing the interviewer and getting hired!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Now that You Got the Interview, Don't Mess it Up!

In a good interview, there are a lot of reasons you get the job because of what you said and did. You can also get the job because of what you do not say and do! Follow these tips for a successful interview and make sure you don't make the same mistakes that have hindered so many for a chance to earn a livelihood.

1. Don't ask about time off and salary up front! Wait to find out about salary when they bring it up and wait to hear about perks once they present the compensation package to you. Asking about medical benefits is acceptable though.

2. Don't ask about what the company does! You should've researched that info so don't waste their time (and yours)! I once worked with a hiring manager that grilled candidates about the company and the current state of the company and industry. He wanted to make sure he only had passionate people working on his team.

3. Don't get too casual. I once had a job interview with a highly respected insurance company that I felt real cozy in because I knew the human resources professional. Well, one slip up and it cost me big time. I accidentally used an explicit word because we got a little personal between each other. Later the hiring manager told me I did not get the job due to that fact. Casual only gets you to a place where you lose focus on what you're doing there in the first place. Unfortunately, that's when things may come out of your mouth that shouldn't unless you're with your buddies at happy hour.

4. Don't bash your previous or current employer! It can show that you aren't very loyal and that you don't respect those that aren't on your current radar screen. Hiring managers don't want you to do that to them in case you leave and they certainly don't want anyone who uses and abuses to get ahead. Just because you aren't happy with your previous employer does not mean you have the right to express your true feelings about it to a stranger.

5. Always dress one level up! Just because you might be a tradesman and your job dictates you wear jeans and a shirt to work does not mean you should be wearing that to your interview! Wear one outfit above the job you are interviewing for so in this case, the tradesman would wear a collared shirt and slacks. A salesperson would wear a suit and tie.

Stay positive and show that you really want the job throughout the interview. Asking about salary and perks shows that you don't care about anything else. Research the company before you go. Don't speak negatively about anything, especially your previous jobs. Dress to impress. Practice these simple acts and watch the offers start rolling in!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Surefire Resume Killers That Will Murder Your Career

As a former human resources recruiter with over 10 years experience, I would commonly go through hundreds of resumes for any one particular position. And while it became tedious to sift through the same inadequate pieces of paper over and over, there was always a diamond in the rough.

A resume that stands out can create a sense of urgency for a recruiter to present it to the hiring manager without even calling the candidate first. Of course, that isn't the reality, because we do have to pause and track down the one with the "golden eggsume." Recruiters investigate all candidates to see if they really do match up with the opening.

Now you're asking, "what did that person have on his or her resume to make them stand out?" Simple... they can do the job and the resume reflects that. As much as I would like to just spend time on top candidates, I still want to help the rest of the fold, should they ask why they didn't get chosen. With that, I give you five surefire resume killers that can become deal breakers, in no particular order.

Get Rid of the Fluff - People tend to use too many adjectives (i.e., "fast learner", "hard working") when describing themselves or their experience. Do not be one of those people! Anyone can say they are a "team player". These descriptions are subjective and cannot be proven. We also don't need to know how you helped Bill get to work for a week when his van broke down.

It Isn't a Novel - You do not need to write a paragraph for each job description. I once had a candidate send me a summary of his work experience, as opposed to a nicely formatted section including employment dates, employer, location and title. My hiring manager told me it had to be cleaned up before he would even review it, so I passed the memo along to the candidate and apparently he was too lazy (or offended) to make any edits. Even though he was a fit for our opening, it was on to the next candidate!

Lack of Depth - Write tangible descriptions relating to your skills and duties. Provide numbers or results you produced and quantify the statement with that information. Anything is better than broad statements. They are annoying and a major turn-off for HR people and managers. Data and numbers showcasing your ability to impact the bottom line is what they want to see. So find out how you were able to increase revenue or decrease expenditures for your previous employers and make it known on your resume.

One Title, One Resume - Tailor your resume to the job you are attempting to land and market yourself specifically for this job. Hiring managers are focused on what they need and expect your resume to be geared towards that need. If you are interested in multiple job titles, create multiple versions of your resume. Make sure they are based on the company's job descriptions/titles you apply to and tailor them towards those openings.

Not Enough Buzzwords - Use words from the job posting to customize your resume each time you send it out. If the job posting says "project management," use that same term in your resume as it relates to your experience. Most recruiters are not experts on every single facet of every single opening, so they constantly are seeking out information from actual candidates to further their knowledge about the openings. With that said, try to help them out and put buzzwords onto your resume so they can see that you actually have comparable skills to that job posting. Plus, when recruiters search databases to find your resumes, most of the time they use those same buzzwords.

A superior resume displays your marketable or transferable skills and experience and "pre-sells" you. Not to only gain an interview, but make it so that when you walk in, the interviewer's reaction is: "I've read your resume, and I'm really looking forward to meeting with you." A superior resume puts you ahead of the ever-increasing competition, so you can be confident that you get noticed over the hundreds of other people applying.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

JobStickers Podcast #7: Phone Etiquette for Job Seekers


The 7th MJW Careers' JobSticker's podcast series will be focused on phone etiquette for job seekers. It is important that every single aspect of your job search is sharp and effective, including your messages and phone interviews with potential employers.

On the show, we discussed some tips and don't forget about our Free Resume contest. For more info about these and other great job hunting tips, please visit or our website

For more information on the "Free Resume" contest, check out

Thursday, March 10, 2011

JobStickers Podcast #6: Unusual Job Hunting Techniques with Guest Career Expert Mary Sevinsky


The 6th installment of the MJW Careers' JobSticker's podcast series will be focused on unusual job hunting techniques. In this market, job-seekers need to be creative in order to showcase their skills to potential employers and this podcast will discuss ways to make yourself stand out amongst the competition and to think outside the box with your job hunt. We will be joined by career expert and owner of the firm, Lifeworks, Mary Sevinsky. Her information can be seen on her website,

On the show, we discussed some tips and don't forget about our Free Resume contest. For more info about these and other great job hunting tips, please visit or our website

For more information on the "Free Resume" contest, check out

Monday, March 7, 2011

Brand: You. Creating and Self-Marketing Yourself to Find a Job During Tough Times

A career brand is an image that portrays you as an expert in your field, attracts your ideal employer, and reveals how you can help their business. How can you promote your career brand effectively, to stand out among increasing competition in the workforce? Self-marketing!

Before you begin self-marketing, you need to understand:
1. What you are going to market about yourself
2. Who you are going to market yourself to
3. Why you are going to market yourself to them

This article offers some important tools to develop your career brand and understand your self-marketing plan.

Goals of Self-Marketing
1. Provide direction to help eliminate trial and error. As a result, save time and money.
2. Network with key industry players.
3. Identify your transferable skills. Marketing these skills, not just job history and accomplishments, puts you in higher demand (i.e., more interviews).
4. Determine what other industries your transferable skills fit into. The industry you are in affects the success of your career. Market yourself in growing industries (green-collar, biotechnology, nutrition, IT). Steer away from dying 5. industries (textile, printing, newspapers, steel manufacturing, etc.).
6. Resolve any setbacks that hurt your career and prevent you from getting interviews. Fix your resume so it does not portray you as "a job hopper", "lacking education", or "unable to advance at a company".

Create Your Own Mission Statement
Just as mission statements provide direction and purpose for companies, individuals can benefit from having their own personal mission statement too.

Your mission statement says what is important to you. Write yours before starting a career to get on the right path and connect with companies that have similar values and beliefs. You can revise it or write a new one at a career crossroads. Its sense of purpose is great motivation!

What to include:
1. Goals - Aspirations in life (short-term and long-term)
2. Core values - Who you are and what your priorities are
3. Successes - Professional, personal, etc.
4. Offerings - How you can make a difference for the world, your family, employer or future employers, friends and community

Integrate Assessments into Your Career Branding
Career and personality assessments reveal consistent patterns in your traits, characteristics, strengths, preferences, and skills. The assessment results may lead you in a new career direction. If you have an established career, they tell you how well your traits and branding messages align with your career path.

Present your distinctive and noteworthy traits to your targeted employers. Remember that not all recurring patterns contribute to good branding (e.g., introversion). Disregard any pattern you feel is not really you.

Incorporate the assessment results into your career branding materials: resume, cover letter, elevator speech, interview responses, portfolio, business card, etc. Convey a consistent branding message throughout all of these materials. But you can use different branding statements for different industries.

Tag! You Are "It"!
Self-marketing is not just about selling your specific skills. Everyone has skills. They get you in the door, but not necessarily get you the job. There can be 100 or more applicants per job posting, and they all have the same or better skills as you. How can you stand out as "the one"?

Develop a tag-line. A great tag-line tells people exactly what a product is and how they will benefit from using it. This is what employers want to know about you! Specifically, how you will help them make and save money. Tell them how much money you helped a previous or current employer make or save on a given project, sale, or time period.

Dear Career Journal...
Did you have a diary or journal when you were young? It helped you express feelings when no one else would listen, or when you did not want anyone else to listen! Similarly, a journal can help and guide us in our professional adult life too.

Writing in a career journal allows you to set aside time to think and learn more about yourself and your career. Just as when you were younger, using a journal allows you to express emotions (good and bad) about career progress. When you read past entries, see how far you have come!

Use your career journal to:
1. Write your personal mission statement
2. React to self-assessment tests
3. Do a SWOT (Strengths/Weaknesses/Opportunities/Threats) analysis
4. Evaluate your current situation
5. Reflect on your successes and failures
6. Devise career goal ideas (breaking into a new career, as a volunteer or consultant)
7. Think about career alternatives
8. Establish daily or weekly career-related objectives or tasks
9. Develop action plans to achieve your objectives and tasks
10. Make checklists
11. Record network contacts, job interview results, etc.
12. Develop job correspondence material (cover letters, resumes, thank you letters, etc.)
13. Practice job interview questions and answers
14. Gather salary information
15. Jot down ideas and information you like and want to use in the future
16. Record things you want or need to learn, skills to improve upon
17. Discover and explore your workplace values
18. Record your job-related likes and dislikes (and employers' likes and dislikes)
19. Note lessons learned
20. Develop ways to improve the workplace
21. Review job-search trends
22. Develop plans for achieving promotions
23. Document the career paths of your peers that you want to emulate
24. Prepare for job performance reviews

Do not keep your career journal at your workplace. Keep it at home on your computer or in a notebook. Try to set a regular time of day to work on your journal, maybe right after work. Maybe before work to get yourself motivated and focused on what you can achieve that day!

Your journal is always ready, and no matter where your career path leads you, you can continue to use it throughout your professional life.

Key Marketing Tools:
Strategic Marketing Plan - Your plan answers these questions:
1. What have I accomplished, where am I now, and where will my career be if I do not take action?
2. Where do I want to go with my career?
3. How do I get to where I want to go?
4. How do I put my plan into action?
5. What do I need to change if I am not getting success?

Market Research
Understand trends in your career field. Consult resources such as the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Outlook Handbook. Interview industry professionals. Study the companies you would like to work for. Use this information for your cover letter, resume and job interview.

Marketing Mix
You are probably already familiar with the 4 P's of marketing, or the "marketing mix". The 4 P's are product, promotion, place, and price. Translate these in terms of you and your career for job search success.

You are the product with unique characteristics, features, and skills. Expose your "product features" in your tag-line and resume. Let employers know your work experience, leadership experience, professional memberships, technical skills, education and training.

Make sure that your on-line marketing tools (i.e., Facebook or Myspace) are cleaned up and employer ready. You do not want a potential employer to see something on your personal networking sites that will land you in trouble.

Do not forget "packaging", to properly present yourself and your credentials to potential employers.

This is your cover letter, resume, phone calls, correspondence and interviewing. Promotion tools include anything that you can use to get a job interview and ultimately get a job offer.
Be memorable by utilizing multimedia marketing like email, follow-up phone calls, or try using regular priority mail envelopes to send resumes, cover letters and other "marketing materials". This increases your career brand and distinctiveness.

This includes everywhere employers can access you. How are you reaching employers or people who can connect you with employers?
1. Internet job-searching and applying to job postings
2. Cold calling
3. Networking with current and former coworkers, colleagues and alumni
4. Speaking with recruiters at staffing and employment agencies and company HR departments
5. Visiting your university career centers and alumni offices
6. Attending professional association meetings and seminars

Price includes all aspects of the compensation you can receive from potential employers, as well as your strategies to get the price you want, and that the employer feels you deserve. Your price not only includes salary, but also insurance, benefits, paid time off and perks.

Call in the SWOT Team!
Performing a SWOT Analysis, used in marketing planning, is helpful to use in your career planning. SWOT stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. It answers:
1. What are your Strengths and Weaknesses (in your internal environment)?
2. What are Opportunities and Threats in your career field (external environment)?

Internal, positive aspects which you can capitalize upon, such as:
1. Work experience
2. Education
3. Technical skills and knowledge (e.g., computer skills)
4. Personal characteristics (e.g., superior work ethic)
5. Strong network of contacts
6. Involvement with professional associations and organizations
7. Enjoying what you do

Internal, negative aspects that you plan on improving, such as:
1. Lack of work experience
2. Inconsistent major with the job you are looking for
3. Lack of specific job knowledge
4. Weak technical knowledge
5. Weak skills (leadership, interpersonal, communication, teamwork)
6. Weak job-hunting skills
7. Negative personal characteristics (e.g., no motivation, indecisiveness, shyness)
8. Weaknesses identified in past performance appraisals

External, positive conditions out of your control, but you plan to leverage or add value:
1. Field trends* that create more jobs (e.g., globalization, technology)
2. Field needs your set of skills
3. Opportunities for advancement in your field
4. Location
5. Strong network

External, negative conditions out of your control, but you may be able to overcome:
1. Field trends* that diminish jobs (e.g., downsizing, obsolescence)
2. Companies are not hiring people with your major/degree
3. Competition from college graduates with your same degree
4. Competitors with superior skills, experience or knowledge
5. Competitors who attended better schools
6. Limited advancement in your field (too competitive)
7. Limited professional development in your field
8. Find hiring/employment trends in your field. Go on-line to ABI/INFORM, Business News Bank, and Lexis/Nexis.

After completing your SWOT Analysis, add the results to your Strategic Marketing Plan. Also, use your SWOT results to develop the following in your Plan:
1. Career goals
2. Marketing strategies
3. Action plan with deadlines

The Elevator Speech
The Elevator Speech is a clear, concise introduction that can be delivered in the time it takes to ride an elevator from the top to the bottom of a building. It can be as short as 15 seconds or as long as three minutes. Write down your Elevator Speech, and practice it so it comes naturally. Be ready to deliver it!

Use it at:
1. Networking events (including "unconventional" ones, like shopping)
2. Career fairs
3. Cold calls to employers
4. Voice-mails
5. Your current workplace, when you encounter the higher-ups
6. Job interviews when asked, "Why should I hire you?" and "Tell me about yourself"

Your Elevator Speech includes:
1. A greeting
2. Your name
3. Your industry or field
4. Accomplishments, background, qualifications and skills
5. If you are graduating soon, what school and what degree
6. What you want to do and why
7. Why you enjoy what you do or want to do
8. What interests you about the listener's company/business
9. What sets you apart from others
10. Your tag-line that you developed!
11. Your mission statement that you developed!

Finally, capture their interest and request action.
1. At a career fair: "May I have your business card, and give you my card and resume? Can you add me to your company's interview schedule?"
2. Networking: "What advice do you have for me? What employers do you suggest I contact?"
3. On a cold call: "When can we meet to discuss how I can help your company? May I send you my resume?"

Asking for a Raise and Salary Negotiation Techniques in a Declining Economy

To get the money you deserve, you have to ask for it and explain why you deserve it. In a bad economy, wondering "When is the best time to ask for a raise?" is sort of like asking "When is the best time to buy a house?" The answer is, "Whenever you need a house!" So if you feel you need (and deserve) a raise, now is the best time.

Reasons You May Feel Hesitant
1. You feel lucky to even have a job.
2. You worry the boss might view it as "unacceptable" or out of the question.
3. You are afraid of being rejected, demoted, or fired.
4. You feel guilty because friends and colleagues are laid off or cannot find work.
5. In general, fewer Americans are getting a raise (across all industries).

Your boss cannot fire you for asking for a raise. Under normal circumstances, it is customary to ask for a raise every 12-18 months. If you received a mediocre raise, ask your boss if you can revisit the discussion in 4-6 months.

The most opportune time to bring up a raise is after you have earned a major victory for the company or department, or whenever you are on the boss' good side. Schedule a convenient, stress-free time for your boss. If you prefer, ask them if they want to discuss it over coffee so it feels more comfortable.

Getting Ready
Any time you negotiate salary or a raise; you must be confident and be prepared. Compile a list your contributions and for each item, state its impact on the company's bottom line.

Here are some examples:
1. Goals met
2. Projects completed
3. Problems solved
4. Impact on your department or team
5. New ideas or projects generated
6. Tasks fulfilled
7. Knowledge gained
8. Expectations exceeded
9. Kudos from clients and co-workers

In your discussion, follow these guidelines:
1. Acknowledge that you understand the economy and company's financial situation.
2. Do not insinuate that your current salary or job position is a problem.
3. Never give an ultimatum or threaten to quit if you do no get a raise.
4. Do not tell them if you have a better offer from another company.

What to Expect When You're Expecting...a Raise
First and foremost, get ready to hear "No". When you know it is coming, you can respond unemotionally and state your prepared arguments. Take the initial rejection as jumping off point to start negotiation. Reiterate your best arguments and then about other possible options.

Budget can be a real issue for negotiating a higher salary or raise, especially in a tough economy. Non-cash options are a great alternative if your employer's budget cannot grant a raise or higher salary. These perks may seem less attractive than what you hoped for, but they do save you money and make life easier.

If you still come away empty handed, set up another meeting in 4-6 months or whenever the budget improves. For the mean time, define goals with your boss that you can meet to win a raise the next time.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

JobStickers Podcast #5: Career Fair Techniques


The 5th of the MJW Careers' JobSticker's podcast series will be focused on career fair techniques. Career fairs are not supposed to be about long lines and bad parking. You need to do as much as you can to not waste your time, nor the time of the companies in attendance.

On the show, we discussed some tips and don't forget about our Free Resume contest. For more info about these and other great job hunting tips, please visit or our website

For more information on the "Free Resume" contest, check out

Monday, February 14, 2011

JobStickers Podcast #4: Sample Interview Closing Questions


For the 4th installment of the MJW Careers' JobSticker's podcast, we will be discussing some sample interview closing questions. You should always be asking questions at the end of an interview!

On the show, we discussed some tips and don't forget about our Free Resume contest. For more info about these and other great job hunting tips, please visit or our website

For more information on the "Free Resume" contest, check out

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

JobStickers Podcast #3: Quick Internet Tips to Help Find a Job


Welcome to the 3rd installment of the MJW Careers' JobSticker's podcast! This week we will be discussing some quick internet tips to help you get started (or continue) your job search.

On the show, we discussed some tips and don't forget about our Free Resume contest. For more info about these and other great job hunting tips, please visit or our website

For more information on the "Free Resume" contest, check out

Monday, February 7, 2011

Salary Negotiations: The Initial Offer and Your Response

When negotiating salary or other benefit, you are also negotiating the foundation of a relationship, so you want to get off on the right foot. You and the employer must come to an agreement that you both feel is fair.

If you have multiple job offers, you can sharpen your negotiation skills. Practice with a company you are indifferent about working for. If you are feeling confident, try for the company with the best offer. Remember, if they are negotiating, then you are the leading candidate. Use this power to your advantage.

The following are the best steps to take when negotiation begins:
1. Do not negotiate until you have an offer in writing. Let the employer go first with the offer. However, if they ask you first, tell them your salary range (that you determined with the Considerations in this handout).
2. Restate their offer, and then process it. Keep an honest yet non-emotional response (including body language) based on your research.
3. If it is less than you expect, indicate that it is lower than you expected per your research. Be prepared to verify the sources of your research.
4. Counteroffer with your research-based response and desired range. Remain objective, optimistic, and polite.
5. Never accept an offer right then and there. Ask when they need to know your decision. A respectable company does not ask you to respond immediately.

Their Response and Your Arguments
They may have to consult with the company and get back to you. Rarely do they withdraw an offer because of a counteroffer, but they may if the company is reorganizing or downsizing. Hopefully the employer returns with a satisfying offer. Otherwise, they state their objection and the offer that stands.

Numbers always work in salary negotiation just as they do in your resume. Never give subjective or emotion-based arguments like, “My co-workers really like me” or “I deserve it”. Give undeniable business-related numbers such as, “I increased annual sales by $25,000” or “As vice president, I’ve reduced my department’s employee turnover by 40%”.

Handling Common Salary and Raise Objections
You may hear the following objections. Here are some methods for overcoming these:

Their Objection and Your Response
1. "That’s not within our budget for the job."
“That’s all we have allocated for the job.”
• Communicate your value to the employer.
• Convince them to revise the budget allocation for the position.
• Point out that the amount is below market value, using your researched range (not an exact amount).
• Show your interest in the job, but mention that you cannot justify accepting less than the market value.

2. "Other employees with similar qualifications and experience aren't paid that much."
“You’d be earning more than others in this type of position.”
“No one else has received a raise, so why do you think you should?”
• Persuade them that you should earn more because you are worth more. Give specific examples to support your argument (e.g., more advanced degree or more experience than others).
• Suggest that they give you a different job title so you fall into a higher salary bracket. Offer to take on additional responsibilities to offset the higher salary. Usually big companies are not quick to blur job titles and salary levels. But smaller companies not using formal pay-grades may be more flexible to this.

3. "Your salary history does not justify such an increase."
“That’s a lot more than your last salary.”
• Stress that you expect to be compensated for the value of your work and what you plan to achieve within the organization. Help the employer realize that previous salaries are unrelated to this job. Try using these responses in terms of your situation:
• “Yes, I earned less at my last job. However, I held that position for 3 years and the experience I’ve gained certainly warrants an increase.”
• “What I’m paid is below market rate. That’s one reason I’m looking for a new job. Because of my skills and recent degree, I don’t want to accept anything less than market value for a new job.”

4. “You haven’t been working for a while.”
• Do not let them assume you are willing to work for less, need retraining or are desperate for a job. Let them know that you offer as much as those with current experience.
• Stress that your endeavors away from work (training, education, volunteer work, personal projects) enhanced you as an employee.
• Accept a lower salary and request a performance review in 6 months. Ask for a guarantee that if you meet your goals, they will increase you to the market value.

5. “I’m sorry, but it’s our policy not to negotiate.”
• Look into whether this is true about the company. If it is true, you may have no choice. If might not be true, say, “I understand you don’t normally negotiate salary. But I am an exception, because…”
• Negotiate for better non-cash benefits.

Final Offer
Know when to quit. If you sense the employer getting frustrated with your proposals or states that this is all they can do for you, stop and evaluate the existing offer. Do not give the impression that you are impatient or greedy. You may annoy the employer if you push beyond their limits, and they may withdraw offer.

When they come back to you with their final offer, be ready to evaluate and decide to accept or decline. Once an offer and package is agreed upon verbally, always make sure they are going to mail it to you in a signed, written document (an “offer of employment” letter).

Other Negotiables
Salary is not the only area to negotiate. If the employer rejects your desired salary or in certain jobs, industries or companies where salary is non-negotiable, you still have other options. These other options may be more important to you and might be negotiable.

To better prepare and negotiate, you may want to ask their HR department for information about benefits and options available. These can include:

• Bonuses (performance-based)
• Performance reviews (including timing and percentage)
• Health, dental, life and disability insurance
• Retirement or pension plans
• Vacation and sick days
• Work-from-home days
• Tuition reimbursement
• Overtime policies
• Profit sharing plans
• Stock options
• Employee discounts
• Company car and expense accounts (like commuter expenses)
• Relocation/moving expenses
• Termination contract
• Professional association or gym memberships
• Certifications
• Childcare
• Sign-on bonus

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Tell the Company, “Show me the money!”

Salary Negotiations Overview
Many job seekers leave the salary verdict up to employers, assuming that they cannot negotiate their compensation. While some employers do not encourage negotiation, there are others who are willing to be flexible, for the right candidate!

Reasons to negotiate salary:
• Your education, experience and skills are worth more than the offered amount
• The pay range for the position is less than the industry average
• The area’s cost of living is higher and the salary offered does not coincide
• You have received multiple offers with similar salary amounts and benefits

You must determine a desired salary range. This gives you more flexibility during negotiation. Most employers already know their range for the position, so you want to aim for the high end.

Consider the following to determine if your desired salary range is reasonable:
• Scarcity of the required job skills and experience in the job market
• Your career progress and experience
• Fair market value for the job
• Level of the job within the organization
• Salary range for the job within the organization
• Salary range for the job within the geographic area
• Salary range for the job within the industry
• Existing economic conditions within your job market
• Existing economic conditions within your industry
• Company-specific factors such as comparable jobs, culture, pay philosophy, and promotion practices

Research the going market rate for someone with your skills and the type of position for which you are applying. When you know you are making less than your industry peers, you have more ammunition to ask for a higher salary or a raise. Check out these and similar websites:

• (log in and go to Career Resources>Salary Calculator)
• The Bureau of Labor Statistics at

To determine your minimum required salary, also take into consideration your expenses, cost of living, saving needs, etc. Once you establish this baseline number, you know the lowest point in your expected (and desired) salary range.

Also, think of a salary range that seems unattainable to you. When you negotiate, fight as if you were fighting for that amount! It causes you to want it more.

Increasing Your Perceived Worth
By increasing your perceived worth, you gain a powerful position at the negotiation table. Here are some ways to do this:
• Present yourself in a positive manner as the "must have" candidate. They are more interested in a long-term asset, not just the right person for the job.
o Make everything flawless (your resume, interview responses, and dress style).
o Speak confidently about your accomplishments.
o Express your goals.
o Show that you fit in the company's culture.
• Show that your work value is better than what they realize. Speak in terms of the whole company. Instead of “I can provide good customer service”, explain how “I can retain valued customers and stimulate business activity”.
• Convince that you have more to offer the position and the organization. Establish how your unique skills, experience, and understanding of the company's needs, make you more qualified than other candidates.
• Validate your skills while objectively negotiating the offer. Throughout the actual negotiation period, listen and politely assert the value you have presented.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

JobStickers Podcast #2: You've Been Laid Off! Now What?!?!

podcast, career, coaching, job, hunting, outplacement, advice, resume, interview


Welcome to the 2nd official MJW Careers podcast! This week we will be discussing what to do immediately following a layoff.

On the show, we discussed some tips and don't forget about our “Free Resume” contest. For more info about these and other great job hunting tips, please visit or our website

For more information on the "Free Resume" contest, check out

You Better Work It (at the Next Networking Event)

Work the Networking Events & Tips of the Icebreaker

Get the most out of networking events and understand how to utilize your time to maximize your benefit. Also, some icebreakers to get you going at the networking event.

Tips to remember at your next networking event:
• Get the most out of networking events.
○ Join industry networking functions by checking online with relevant associations.
○ Research who is attending and make a list of the best people for you to meet.
○ Develop and strengthen relationships by following up with your top connections.
○ Arrange your own networking functions!

• Look and act appropriately.
○ Practice and know your elevator speech! Use it as your introduction.
○ Be positive, friendly, and enthusiastic! No one wants to talk to (or hire) a bore!
○ Ask questions and listen.
○ Get to know the person and the company.

• Remember people’s names.
○ Use their name at least 3 times throughout your conversation.
○ Swap cards and write a note or description on the back to remind you who they are.
○ Later you can forward articles or other information about their industry (or hobbies) to them. This keeps you connected with them.

• Getting into a networking group at an event.
○ Stand by and observe their body language until you get an opening.
○ Offer them some refreshments.

• Getting out of a networking group at an event.
○ Always act interested, even if you are not.
○ Say, “Thank you! I enjoyed talking with you. Enjoy the rest of the evening.”
○ Swap business cards and say, “Can I call you so we can discuss this further?”
○ Always close with a handshake and smile.

• Do not forget about unconventional networking places like community events, prayer groups, PTA meetings, charities, political campaigns, local shopping, etc. You never know where your next lead will come from, so keep resumes in your car and business cards in your pocket or purse.

In your first networking conversation with someone new:
• Always begin with, “Hi! I’m ____. How are you?” and shake hands firmly.
• Say your elevator speech.
• Focus on them, not you.
• Compliment them.
• After you have talked business, ask about casual topics like family and spare time.
• Use the lingo and networking tricks you overhear, if they get a positive response!

Try using these statements as icebreakers or to spark further conversation:
• “I’d like to know more about [the company/positions available/something else you have researched].”
• “What an outstanding [booth/event/turnout]!”
• “Isn’t this is a clever [brochure/marketing item]?”
• “Where do you work?”
• “What kind of work do you do?”
• “How did you get into that industry?”
• “What do you enjoy most about that industry?”
• “How did you go about getting your job?”
• “What do you enjoy most about your job?”
• “What keeps you motivated?”
• "How are you going to continue growing your business?"
• “Who is your most challenging competitor and why?”
• “What is your greatest challenge?”
• “Which industry websites or blogs do you follow?”
• “Are you attending other [career fairs, events, etc.] soon? I’m interested in going too.”
• “If you weren’t in your current career, what would you be doing?”
• “When you are not at work, what do you do for fun?”

Friday, January 14, 2011

Matt Warzel's Interview with the Wilmington Star News Newspaper

Below is the entire article from the Star News Newspaper when they interviewed the President of MJW Careers, Matt Warzel. It was published on Friday, March 19, 2010.

Job search tips shared at New Hanover libraries
By Cece Nunn

Published: Friday, March 19, 2010 at 9:24 a.m.
Last Modified: Friday, March 19, 2010 at 9:24 a.m.

People looking for work should take every opportunity they can find to learn new skills or get advice on the best way to continue their search, says Matt Warzel of MJW Careers, a business based in Wilmington that provides services for job seekers.

“If you're unemployed, looking for a job is a job,” said Warzel, who has spent 10 years in the fields of human resources and staffing.

Warzel will be providing two free opportunities for job seekers to improve their chances this month, one at the Northeast Regional Library, 1241 Military Cutoff Road, and another at the downtown New Hanover County Public Library, 201 Chestnut St.

At the Northeast session at 6 p.m. Tuesday, March 23, Warzel's talk will target an audience of job seekers who have some job experience but were downsized or may be re-entering the workforce after retirement. For them, knowing their way around the Internet, from looking at company Web sites to using job sites like or, is key, Warzel said. Understanding social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter, along with finding opportunities for face-to-face meetings, will boost a job seeker's chances, he said.

Also, using numbers in your resume is more important now than ever before because employers want to know how a worker improved the bottom line at his or her last company, Warzel said, adding that employers don't care as much about the responsibilities a worker had as they do about the numbers.

“Present yourself as if you're a company,” he said. “You've got to make yourself more marketable.”

At the downtown session at 11 a.m. Thursday, March 25, Warzel will address the basics of a job search for people looking for lower paying or entry level positions, including setting up an e-mail address, filling out paper and online applications and interview skills. He'll also talk about what to wear when meeting with a potential boss.

“Dress sharp,” he said. “Wear one level up,” which means if you're vying for a job as an employee at a coffee shop, dress like the manager of the shop.

In those situations, first impressions may mean everything.

“Nine times out of 10, they're going to hire you based on the initial conversation,” Warzel said.

Warzel's sessions come at a time when the unemployment rate in Wilmington in December 2009, the most recent rate available, was 10.1 percent compared to 8.2 percent the previous year. For New Hanover County, the rate that month was 9.7 percent, compared to 7.3 percent.

In the past two years, more people have been using New Hanover County Public Library computers, in many cases to aid job searches, said Dorothy Hodder, public services librarian.

Warzel's sessions will help the library as well as its users.

“Right now we are so short staffed that we are not able to offer classes ourselves,” Hodder said. “This is a great opportunity for us to give library users somebody with real experiences who they can come to with questions and maybe get some places to look for jobs that they aren't aware of.”

You can view the original article online here: Star News Article

JobStickers Podcast #1: WAZO 107.5 Wilmington 01-13-11 Radio Show Interview

podcast, career, coaching, job, hunting, outplacement, advice, resume, interview


Welcome to the 1st official MJW Careers podcast! To set things off, I will be sharing my morning radio show interview with Foz and Jocelyn over at WAZO Z107.5 in Wilmington.

On the show, we discussed some resume tips as well as our “Free Resume” contest. For more info about these and other great job hunting tips, please visit or our website

For more information on the "Free Resume" contest, check out

Monday, January 3, 2011


MJW Careers will be giving away 1 free resume each week! Also, $10 referral bonuses for everyone! Here's how it works:

1. We will be posting a photo each or every other week (on one random day/time) on our Facebook Page here:

MJW Careers Resume Writing Services, Outplacement and Career Coaching Facebook Page

2. The first person to "tag" the photo with his or her name receives a free resume or a credit for a free resume for the future (or to be given to a friend in need).

3. Beginning next week, MJW Careers will be posting a weekly VLOG on our Youtube page that will contain a "secret keyword" at the end of each video (there will not be a secret keyword on EVERY video, so you have to monitor it closely). The first person to post that "secret keyword" on the Facebook page above will receive the free resume or credit. Here is the Youtube page:

MJW Careers Resume Writing Services, Outplacement and Career Coaching Youtube Page

4. Subscribe to this JobStickers Blog, MJW Careers Facebook Page and MJW Careers Youtube Page to stay up to date on all announcements and contests.

5. Referral Bonues: For every person you refer, you will receive $10 if that person decides to get a resume developed by MJW Careers. Meaning, if you tell your friend about MJW Careers Resume Writing, I will give you $10 if your friend purchases a resume from me. Make sure you let that person know to mention your name when contacting me!


Matt Warzel
President, MJW Careers

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Internet Links for Job Seekers - General & Niche Job Boards

Links to improve your job search and career focus.

General Job Boards

Niche Job Boards




Call Center

Child Care






Entry Level/Internships







Human Resources/Recruiting


International Development



Law Enforcement

















Technorati claim token YU7GRJ3FV5M9

Make Networking Work for You in 2011

Are you are someone who says, “I HATE networking”? Why? Maybe you feel intimidated, are too shy, lack confidence, or do not know what to say.

In addition to getting someone you know to introduce you to someone you do not know, networking means you do the same for other people. As you network, keep in mind jobs for which other people are looking. You may be able to help some of them get a new job or career. They may return the favor in the future!

Whether you like to or not, networking is a crucial component in career success. We promise, the more networking you do, the easier it becomes! So get out there and start now! The sooner you start, the sooner you are able to do it with ease. Here we offer tips for taking the “work” out of networking!

Networking is Easy! Just Remember, “Own It”!

Objective: Set your objective. Meet (X) number of people in (X) amount of time (per day/week/month) and swap (X) number of business cards.
When/Where: Schedule informal meetings with them including an agenda (talking points). Prepare a “script” to make speaking via phone more comfortable.
Notify: Notify them of your goals, skills, experience and accomplishments.
Inquire: Ask for advice, information and contacts. Do not ask directly for a job!
Take Away: Obtain at least two more names from them that you can contact.

• Update your resume and have it ready to distribute! If you do not have them already, get business cards. Sign up for deal alerts on, wait for Vista Print to offer a free business card deal, and order them!

• Be clear about who you are and what you want.
○ If you are wishy-washy when people ask what kind of job you are looking for, it only makes it harder for them to help you.
○ Never respond with, “I’ll do any job!” It not only makes you look desperate, but unsure about your career.
○ If your job preferences vary between industries, that is OK.
○ Determine if there is anything you are willing to compromise. (Perhaps, relocation?)

• Make sure your online marketing tools (e.g., Facebook or MySpace) are cleaned up and employer-ready. You do not want a potential employer to see something on your social networking sites that might land you in trouble.

• First tell the people closest in your life that you need a job. You gain the confidence to approach others later. Inform parents, siblings, parent’s friends, professors, career services at your college, past colleagues and bosses. Set up a face-to-face meeting to show that you are taking your networking seriously. This also helps them remember to mention you when they encounter a prospective employer.

Some Spots Online Where People Are Networking...And You Should Too

Always be networking! Network online and search for networks you are familiar with, depending on your profession. Use the following sites for researching and networking with business professionals, including companies and their employees:

• Ecademy
• Facebook
• iKarma
• Jigsaw
• LinkedIn
• MySpace
• Ryze
• Spoke
• Twitter
• Xing
• Ziggs
• ZoomInfo

Join groups on Facebook, Yahoo Groups and LinkedIn and go onto,, and to find groups related to your profession and network with those people. Tweet about the networking events on Twitter to get the word out there for others!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Experiencing Multiple Layoffs & Finding Help

Unfortunately, consecutive recent layoffs or settling for a lower income is becoming more common nowadays. Many Americans have lost two jobs in the past two years. This includes more high-level executives and management.

Those who have experienced multiple layoffs are usually willing to settle for less. With more executive-level employees losing their jobs, people with repeated layoffs have a harder time proving their worth to hiring managers. Many businesses view such individuals as lacking capability and integrity, rather than as victims of a recession.

Remedies for Repeat Job Loss
• Attend training to refresh outdated skills
• Consider a new location, industry or profession
• Keep your best contacts in the loop about your job hunt and make sure they have the latest version of your resume
• Send expert tips, information and newsletters on topics you know well to potential employers. Offer to take questions or give advice as a virtual consultant.
• Create a personal website focused on potential employers*
• Use an outplacement service or career coach, like you are now!

*A customized Web page (on your Website) highlighting your relevance to a specific company is a great way to attract attention. Give hiring managers a private link to this Web page, (for that company’s eyes only!). Describe how your experience would benefit their particular business and the issues they face.

Fighting the Stigma
You can fight the stigma of back-to-back layoffs by giving a sincere explanation during interviews: "I have been laid off twice in the worst economy in 50 years."

Before starting your job hunt, you must overcome any anger about your recurring joblessness. If you have negative feelings, those emotions are reflected in your job interviews. Do not sound desperate, but be positive and enthusiastic!

Try helping the less fortunate to neutralize such negative feelings during your job search. Charity efforts can tap into your key skills (e.g., project management, networking, marketing, organizing, etc.) and rebuild confidence. They are a great resume builder too! It shows you are doing something productive (in addition to other job hunting tasks) during your time out of work.

Find a volunteer activity involving a company where you want to work. Your participation allows you to network with employees and a get a sense of whether you fit into their culture. In making this effort to understand a possible employer, talk with vendors, competitors and former employees. Use this research to discuss the company's challenges when interviewing.

Surviving Multiple Interviews
One challenge for victims of multiple recent layoffs is surviving multiple interviews. As the applicant pool gets smaller with each round, people with recent repeat layoffs may be at a disadvantage.

Tell them about your skills that are better than others or that others probably do not have! For example, emphasize your frequent international business trips. Supply details about work with various country managers and customized efforts based on culture and market conditions.

Have perseverance! Even if you are turned down, stay positive and keep pressing on with your job search. Stay in touch with all potential employers. Circumstances may change for the hiring manager (e.g., the person they did hire ended up not taking the job).

Finding Help
Getting laid off may require using state services that you have never used before. Here are some starting places for finding help. (Most of the websites below are for North Carolina. Go online for corresponding websites for your state.)

Am I eligible for unemployment insurance benefits? If you have lost your job through no fault of your own, you may be eligible. Visit your state’s Employment Security Commission website. For example, North Carolina’s is:

How do I file for unemployment insurance benefits?
There are three options:
• Online:
• By telephone: 1-877-841-9617 (toll free, 24 hours a day, seven days a week)
• In person: At your nearest Employment Security Commission (ESC) office

How do I start my search for a new job? While a newspaper provides lots of independent job-seeking ideas, your local ESC office and JobLink Career Center staff can help you locate new employment possibilities and prepare to apply for jobs.

Find your nearest JobLink location at:

I need training to move into a new career, but how can I pay for training without a job? Look for opportunities within your community and visit these websites:


Financial Aid:

Free Online Training:

Service Obligation Loans:
Trade Adjustment Act:

Workforce Investment Act: