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Keep on keeping on

Consistency is important in a job search.  Even if you think you are getting nowhere you need to stick to your plan and keep sending out resumes and following up.  In this job market it takes longer so you need to be more persistent. You need to adjust your resume, cover letter and follow up format sometimes, but you shouldn’t stop sending them! You never know where your next opportunity will come from, so keep networking even if it’s just talking to your friends and family on a day when not much else is going on. A career coach can help you keep motivated in your search when it gets frustrating.  For more information about Career Selections’ career coaching options please see our Career Counseling Sessions page. www.careerselections.com  

By |October 28th, 2014|Career Planning, Job Search Advice|Comments Off on Keep on keeping on

In a job search? Start with yourself!

A job search should always start with yourself. It doesn’t matter if you are entry, mid or end career level. Understanding your strengths and weaknesses, work styles and transferable skill set can help you to decide on the next step and market yourself in an honest and successful way. In the world of career counseling there are a variety of tools for self-assessment. One of the most respected assessments is the Self-Directed Search which was Career Counseling guru John Holland’s Magnum Opus. The Self-Directed Search organizes work styles into 6 major areas represented by the letters RIASEC (Realistic;Investigative;Artistic;Social;Enterprising;Conventional) but everyone gets a 2 or 3 letter “Holland Code” consisting of the 2 or 3 most dominant styles. There are over 700 potential combinations. The Self-Directed Search is the assessment I most often recommend to my career counseling clients. Not only is it the most thorough self-assessment, the codes are also used in the US Department of Labor’s database of jobs – www.onetonline.org. This makes it really easy to match a work style to a job type. Let me stress, however, that these codes are just the starting point. Career counseling is not a science it is a process. These codes are used to get the discussion started. It’s a way to get a client to look at themselves more objectively. One of the most difficult things to do in a job search is finding a way to describe yourself in your resume and cover letters. How do you describe yourself? Once you have your Holland Code, you have the start of your self-narrative. You can apply what the codes tell you about yourself to your job descriptions – which should tell a story of your […]

By |October 28th, 2014|Uncategorized|Comments Off on In a job search? Start with yourself!

Persistence is the key to getting an interview, but being a pest is not!

I’m the first person to advocate follow-up when on a job hunt. But, I also acknowledge that too much follow-up can be a turn off. So here are some guidelines to help:  Don’t follow up the day after you sent your resume. Leave it until at least 5 business days have past. Employers often don’t have time to read resumes right away so give them a chance. Don’t worry if you don’t have a name to follow up with, try to get through to the right department – phone or email. Leave a message clearly stating your name, contact number and interest in the job for which you applied. Don’t send your resume multiple times if you don’t get a response the first time. It makes you look desperate. If you get through to the person that is prescreening the resumes, do thank them for their time, don’t oversell yourself and don’t push them for an “on-the-spot” decision. The chances are they only have a vague recollection of your resume (assuming they received many) so it is enough to reiterate your interest in the job and find out if you can check back with them again. At the very least this will send them back to take a second look at your resume knowing that you will be calling again. Accept rejection with good grace and ask if there are any other jobs coming up for which you might be better suited. It’s ok to let the recruiter know you are disappointed, but remember it is also tough for the recruiter to tell people “no”. Send a thank-you note (mail or email) even if you have been rejected. You never know, there may be another […]

By |October 23rd, 2014|Uncategorized|Comments Off on Persistence is the key to getting an interview, but being a pest is not!

Resume Writing for Dummies

Don’t worry, I’m not insulting the resume writer! All too often, we write our resumes in a way designed to dazzle the reader with our in depth knowledge of our job and industry. However we forget that, more often than not, the first screener of our resume is not the hiring manager but a recruiter who is a “dummy” when it comes to the technical intricacies of our particular job. As a “dummy” I have read many resumes that have left me totally baffled as to what the candidate actually did in his or her prior jobs. I don’t understand the jargon, abbreviations, industry buzzwords or phrases. I’ve spoken to corporate in-house recruiters who have confessed to me that they haven’t got a clue about the technicalities of the job for which they are seeking candidates. They are more interested in seeing how the person works, and will leave the technical screening for the second interview with the hiring manager. Recruiters usually conduct “behavioral” interviews which is Human Resource-speak for interviews that find what kind of person the candidate is – how they work and how they respond to different working environments and management styles. Studies have shown that past behavior is a pretty good predictor of future job performance. Does your resume let the recruiter know how you successfully overcame the challenges of your past jobs? So, write your resume as if it is going to be read by a “dummy”. Have a friend or family member that knows nothing about your industry read the resume. Did they get an idea of what you did at your prior jobs, or did it sound like gobbledygook to them? Take a leaf from best selling non-fiction […]

By |October 23rd, 2014|Career Planning, Job Search Advice, Recruitment, Resume Tips|Comments Off on Resume Writing for Dummies

It’s never too early to start planning your Career!

I recently gave a Career Planning presentation at a Middle School to a bunch of 7th graders.  I was blown away with the thirst they had to know about how to plan for their futures.  Schools tend to be focussed purely on getting them into college and do not encourage them to plan further than that.  My experience showed me that not only are they capable of making longer term plans, they really should be making longer term plans in order to make better choices about college.  In this day and age when college education is exorbitant, it is more vital than ever that students choose to study things that will really help them in their career later.  That doesn’t mean only vocational schools, many jobs don’t need specific vocational training, but a student should start to think about playing to their strengths in college in order to maximize the experience. What do you think?  Should Middle and High School student go through some formal career planning sessions?

By |October 22nd, 2014|Uncategorized|Comments Off on It’s never too early to start planning your Career!

Productivity Curse – Revisited

I’ve posted about the Productivity Curse before, but recently had another conversation with a Healthcare clinician who is sick of the pressures and unrealistic expectations of complying with insurance regulations. She told me about treating a terminal cancer patient whose insurance company had authorized both Physical and Occupational Therapy, but mandates that this poor patient, competed an hour of each every day – unless this goal was met, the insurance company would not approve payments for any therapy. As the clinician pointed out – even a healthy person would find it difficult to do 2 hours of exercise every day! The Skilled Nursing facility needed the OT and PT revenue and the treatment had to take place regardless of how the patient was feeling.   What seems to have happened in every industry where productivity has taken over as the most important business criteria is that regard for human well-being is a distant second criteria. The fact that this has happened in Healthcare is alarming, to say the least.   Often businesses run on efficiency models first formulated for manufacturing. I’m primarily thinking of the Six Sigma philosophy that seems to have spread like a virus through every kind of industry. It’s one thing to find ways to turn out more widgets from a factory conveyor belt, but to apply these management philosophies to the care of human beings seems, well, inhumane.   Am I wrong in thinking businesses should put Human beings first and profits second? Can we ever reverse this trend? What do you think?

By |October 22nd, 2014|Career Planning, PT and OT News|Comments Off on Productivity Curse – Revisited

How to get your resume noticed

I once got a resume that was printed on fluorescent pink paper.  It certainly stood out.  But not in a good way 🙁 .  To be fair to the candidate, they had probably been told to make sure their resume was noticed.  This piece of advice is so universal that it sends job seekers in their thousands to resume writing services in order to make their resume absolutely perfect. It’s not a bad idea to have a perfect resume, but that is not what gets it noticed.  A recruiter or hiring manager has to have a reason to read and consider a resume.  The most common reason is that the resume has been given to them by someone they know.  Even a less than perfect resume has a better chance of success if it is from a connection rather than an anonymous job posting. In other words, what I am saying is the resume is less important that the method of delivery.  Any job seeker should be concentrating more on networking and less on rewriting their resume a hundred times to make it perfect. If you don’t believe me, just ask around and find out how people got their jobs, and see how many people used their network – even if indirectly to get the job they are in.  This is particularly true of jobs obtained in the last 5 years. Fortunately, networking opportunities are much greater now than before thanks to social media.  Using LinkedIn and Facebook to network with people that can pass your resume on to the right person at the company they work for is a great way to get your resume noticed. Contact Career Selections if you would like to […]

By |October 20th, 2014|Career Planning, Job Search Advice, Networking, Resume Tips|Comments Off on How to get your resume noticed

What Career Lessons can we learn from Big Business?

Do you remember Virgin Records? This was Richard Branson’s first business and it grew organically into the Virgin Mega Store brand. Had it been Richard Branson’s only business the Virgin name would now be extinct. Tower Records, which was one of Virgin’s big early competitors filed for bankruptcy in 2006 and is now no more. Tower Records did not diversify.   In this modern age where change happens at a breakneck pace, only those who can diversify will survive the relentless pace of progress. In the past it was possible to start in a job and work in it one’s entire working life – retiring with a gold watch and ample pension. There are many unemployed people today who had expected to do just that. They worked in one job after college or high school. Worked hard, got promoted and stayed loyal to their employer for 25 or 30 years. Then BAM! Suddenly they are out of work. Their employer changed its business model or went out of business of they are victims of “reorganization” which is often a euphemism for culling older, higher paid workers in favor of younger recruits with fresher skills and ideas.   Like Tower Records, they didn’t diversify and now nobody is buying what they have to offer.   It doesn’t matter how we do it, but it is more important than ever for us to have a second career option that we can easily switch to if necessary. Even if it’s just a skill we use for our own personal enjoyment, it could save our bacon when our hitherto main source of income dries up.   So even if we have a job, in which we are relatively secure […]

By |October 20th, 2014|Career Planning, Job Search Advice, Recruitment|Comments Off on What Career Lessons can we learn from Big Business?

Like our Facebook Page for a chance to get free Career Planning

Our offer still stands to give away $250 in career planning services to one lucky person who likes our Facebook page.  If you win you can get the career planning for yourself, or donate to someone else if you are not in need of career planning at the moment.  Career planning can help anyone plan for their futures no matter what stage they are in – a high schooler, recent grad, career changer, job seeker or retiree.  Your career encompasses all areas of your life, not just your paid job!  A retiree still has a career – they are engaged in community activities, social activities, travel, family life, and sometimes learning new skills.  We know people that are more active in so-called retirement than they were when they were working!  So go ahead – like the Facebook page and you might just win the career planning services. https://www.facebook.com/Careerselections?ref=bookmarks  

By |October 16th, 2014|Career Planning, Networking, Uncategorized|Comments Off on Like our Facebook Page for a chance to get free Career Planning

Jersey Shore Dream Job! – Director of PT

This job could be just what you need to bump up your lifestyle happiness.  Live and work on the beautiful Jersey Shore.  Work in a state of the art outpatient clinic for an established PT owned practice group.  Bring your Outpatient Physical Therapy experience, management and marketing skills and surf board! High base salary with bonus incentives paid monthly and yearly.  Great benefits and all the Sun, Sea and Sand you could want! Call Anne at 201-940-7376 or email: anne@careerselections.com

By |October 16th, 2014|Job Postings, PT and OT News|Comments Off on Jersey Shore Dream Job! – Director of PT