Job Search Fail-What Is Your Next Step?

September 17th, 2013

If you’re not having success in your job search it’s time to reevaluate your strategies. Begin with the basics. Have someone you trust inspect your interview attire and role play the interview scenario.

Don’t overlook your résumé. Review our résumé tips here. Per, the average time spent perusing your résumé is 5-7 seconds, leaving no margin for error.

Job or a career?

Unless you’ve got a significant nest egg, it’s important to decide if you are willing to take a job while you wait for a career opening. A lower paying position outside your career interest can bring in the funds while you continue to job search. Do your best in every job and exploit every opportunity to learn and grow-even at an entry level job. Networking is all about who you know, not necessarily what you know. That non-career job may open doors to an opportunity because of who you connected with in a positive way.

Don’t sit around and wait

Doing nothing creates deadly gaps in your résumé. A part-time, temporary, or seasonal position with your targeted company or in your career puts you in on the inside. This is a choice place to be, giving you access to employment openings and providing valuable contacts inside the company.

If you haven’t established a social media presence (and why haven’t you?) now is the time to get this valuable ball rolling. Social media is a valuable reciprocation tool. The more you input the more your network grows. Build your network now so it’s in place when you need it. Review our post How to Network Yourself into Your Next Job.

Top tips to reenergize your job search

  • Create a schedule and daily goals. Commitment and follow through of goals not only gets the work done, but it makes us feel good about ourselves, too.
  • Find an accountability partner to keep you focused and encouraged.
  • Consider taking a class after your job search hours. Not only do you expand your skill-set but education is empowering to your mental well-being.
  • Volunteer. This is an excellent opportunity to help others, learn new skills and network.
  • Be visible online and in person. Don’t miss opportunities to connect at events. Keep your online presence vibrant with relevant posts and comments.

Take control of your job search. Regroup and strategize to turn your future around!

Let Olympic Staffing Services help with your job search.  We don’t simply fill positions—we build relationships, taking the time to understand your unique talents and qualifications. Contact one of our seasoned team of staffing professionals to learn more about what Olympic Staffing can offer you.

Do References Matter?

September 10th, 2013

Current résumé writing opinion is that the old ‘references available upon request’ portion of your résumé is passé. Does that mean that in the social media age references are passé also? No.

Forbes quotes a recent SHRM (Society for Human Resource Management) survey which indicates: “Eight out of 10 HR executives consistently contact references for professional (89 percent), executive (85 percent), administrative (84 percent), and technical (81 percent) positions…”

The value of references

References are valuable. They offer a potential employer an opportunity to verify your résumé and work experience and give a peek into your work ethic from those who really know you. Like your social media foot print, references are another tool to evaluate job candidates for red flags and discrepancies in character.

In a competitive job market, a good reference can be the determining factor between you or the other ideal candidate landing the job.

How to mine good references

If you are currently employed, do check out your current employer’s reference policy. Fear of litigation limits most companies to only confirming dates of employment and position. Many companies refuse requests for letters of recommendation from departing employees, even those leaving on good terms.

When evaluating references remember that three is considered the ideal number. If you have more references save them for inclusion at the interview, but only if requested. Top references are current and former supervisors, the most current the better. Move on to colleagues who have known you in the workplace. Again, pulling references from your current employment history is best, as well as utilizing employees who have known you the longest. After colleagues consider references such as professors, and personal connections that are relevant to the position you are seeking.

What to look for in a reference includes:

  • A reference who can easily verify your work ethic and history.
  • Someone who is enthusiastic about you.
  • If possible utilize someone who works for or has a connection to the potential employer.

Don’t overlook your professional references on social media sites, especially LinkedIn. Review your contacts and do ask them to recommend you for skills, especially those related to the position you are seeking.

Forbes suggests that you “strategically think about whom to ask for a LinkedIn recommendation. Reengage them before you start to submit job applications anywhere. Share your recent résumé, a sample cover letter, and a prospective job description. Give them a heads-up that they could be contacted because of their LinkedIn recommendation.”

Maintaining your references

Don’t ignore the importance of keeping your reference contact information current.  Keep your references updated on your job search. When you get that new job send notes of appreciation to your references.

Did we mention that you should always ask before you use someone as a reference? And don’t assume someone will give you a glowing reference. Allow them a graceful way to decline.

We at Olympic Staffing Services are here to help. We don’t simply fill positions—we build relationships, taking the time to understand your unique talents and qualifications. Contact one of our seasoned team of staffing professionals to learn more about what Olympic Staffing can offer you.