creativity, culture, community
“Change brings opportunity.” Nido Qubein I like that saying. I’ve been making some changes in my life and career and I’m trying to stay focused, productive and optimistic.
Over the last few months I’ve learned some new things about job searching in 2011. These are personal observations through my own experiences and info I’ve gleaned from talking with other job hunters. Links to articles with more tips and advice are at the end. Hopefully something will be of use to you!
A couple of months ago I got an iPhone. I know, I know…what took me so long? I like to think I was content with my old flip phone. But the truth is, I was intimidated by having to learn how to use yet another gadget. Now that I have it, I can’t imagine not being able to take and send photos on the spur of the moment, playing “Words Free,” or looking up Starbuck’s locations on the fly. Oh yeah, I use it for phone calls, too.
Recently I was asked by a potential employer to help on a project, but one of the requirements was that I needed to text proficiently. (There’s that darn phone again!) Most of my texts look about like this: “jos sayn helo. givee ME a clall to tlk sooon. “Luckily there was part of the project that I could handle. Thankfully I enjoy social media and I’m a whiz with Excel spreadsheets. But, I am ordering unlimited texting!
Especially if you are older, do not offer to fax or ask anyone to fax you something. Seriously they will think you are a fossil. If someone wants a fax, they’ll ask.
Dress professionally and get out there and shake some hands and make some contacts. People do not see you sitting behind that computer screen. Yes, I’m also talking to myself here. This is on my “to do” list each week.
Facebook is not a computer skill.
If you are in a field that deals with social media, you can list Facebook but you should also have others such as Twitter and LinkedIn. Start slow and build up and remember you are in a totally open space. EVERYONE can see what you are saying. I like the philosophy of Tony Hsieh from Zappos.com about social media: “Keep it inspiring, connected, entertaining or educational.” Potential employers sometimes look at your social media pages before they hire you. Imagine them reading your posts.
Dress for success.
Make sure you dress properly for the job you are seeking. This means different things for different jobs. But definitely give this some thought. It might mean getting a new on-trend jacket, updating your color or hairstyle, or a picking up a more professional looking handbag. You only have a few seconds to make a first impression and you want to look professional and polished.
Though looking for a job takes daily effort, also keep yourself refreshed with other activities such as reading, visiting a museum, attending cultural functions or sports events. You never know where you’ll meet a contact and doing things makes you a more interesting person. You might also consider doing some volunteer work, especially if there is something that relates to your career. It will give you a chance to stay current in your skills and help others at the same time.
Kerry Hannon offers good advice in her “Top 10 Job Tips For Job Hunters Over 50” post on Forbes. Among the information she shares is that a well-crafted resume is key, and the #1 mistake on resumes is just listing job tasks and not what you achieved in each position. http://onforb.es/mVWZMR
Here’s an interesting article entitled “How To Look And Act Like A Leader” by Joann S. Lublin for The Wall Street Journal. I agree that it’s important to look and act professionally – both during the interview process as well as when are at work. Sometimes we get a little lax and that can cost us career opportunities. http://on.wsj.com/r6O6Jj
If you are thinking about starting your own business, here’s a great article by Steve James for Talent Zoo: http://bit.ly/ouXEMd
I know change is inevitable and I’m trying to embrace it. I’m also trying to keep this in mind: “Change brings opportunity.”