Five Ways to Improve Your Job Search

Let’s face it, while sure it’s exciting, looking for a new job is hard work. The job market is flooded and resources when trying to find hidden job vacancies are few and far between. Refining and improving job search is vital when looking to land a great position.

We need to continuously improve on the way we search for jobs. By utlising online job websites to look for jobs you are extending your reach to all possibilities. By improving your job searches, you effectively find scarcer job vacancies and increase your chances of being placed in your dream job.

Here are five ways to improve your job searches.

1. KNOW YOUR RECRUITMENT RESOURCES:

There are vast recruitment resources available to job seekers. Consider the number of recruitment agencies as well as online job portals available for job seekers to make use of. The numbers are astounding. Before blasting your CV all over the Net, first research the job that you are interested in to make sure that it is what you are looking for. Both online recruitment websites and recruitment agencies need to be carefully selected in order to run better job searches. Remember that these are the companies you are selecting to represent you in your job search. Commission your skill to only those agents who promise measurable results.

2. REFINE YOUR JOB SEARCHES:

After registering with a reputable job portal, and have run your first job search, learn how to refine your job search. Job seekers new to online job searching should use a refined job search to improve their search results. Quick job searches are great when looking for broad search results. When looking for refined results uniquely filtered, advanced job searches will closely pinpoint less common vacancies.

3. MAKE USE OF JOB ALERTS:

A job alert (also known as an automated job search agent) is a terrific way to use job portal resources to their greatest potential. Job notification alerts are scheduled notices received in various formats such as email or RSS feeds to inform Job Seekers of related jobs that have been posted to a job portal. By pre-defining job criteria, a job alert (search agent) will monitor activity on the job website. Based on the job criteria and keywords detailed in your job alert, the system will automatically update and notify you accordingly of matching jobs. By receiving job alerts, job seekers are savvy to positions specifically relevant to them, as they are loaded to the job site. The early bird catches the worms and that’s why you want to be a prompt as possible when applying to important employment opportunities. Improve your job searches by making use of relevant job alerts.

4. DON’T NEGLECT ANY MEANS OF JOB SEARCH:

As discussed, there are various resources that a job seeker can utilise when hunting for a job. Be sure to make use of the job search resources that are most relevant to the success of your job search. Manage a healthy balance of utilising each available resource until you can identify with those that specifically assist your career. By making use of all the resources available to you, your job searches are bound to improve.

5. MAKE YOURSELF SEARCHABLE:

Job searching isn’t all just about you searching for employment opportunities. Recruiters and employers are also searching for job seekers. By registering with reputable online job portals you are allowing yourself to be found. Head hunters run searches on online job portals and recruitment databases, hunting for candidates. If you don’t play you can’t win, so be sure to advertise your CV where people know to look. While this is not a direct way to search for a job this will enhance the results of your job hunt significantly.

There are always new and innovative ways of improving any job search. All that job seekers need do, is tap into these advanced methods of job search and brace themselves for an influx of job interview requests.

Copyright (c) 2008 Camilla Patten

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Quitting a Job – Before You Quit Your Job, Some Things to Consider

Some Things You’ll Learn About:

  • Things to consider before you quit your job
  • What to consider before you quit your job improperly
  • We’ll review typical reasons why you would want to quit your job
  • Alternatives to quitting a job
  • Unemployment possibilities will be discussed and questions answered such as: “Can you collect unemployment if you quit your job?”
  • How to quit your job gracefully and professionally
  • How to quit your job and get the last laugh
  • How to quit your job without burning any bridges. This should not be taken lightly!
  • If you want to quit your night job, some things to consider that are different from if you wanted to quit your day job. You’ll want to hear this…so don’t quit your night job yet!
  • Things to know if you want to quit your job to start a home business of any kind
  • Make a game of it!

NOTE: The information you receive from reading this article will give you some things to think about that you may not have considered but ultimately, remember that nobody can make that decision for you. You should always do your best to find out everything you can before you take any action.

Think of this scenario: you now have quit your job and are hunting for another…feverishly, urgently, with very little time before you go under financially. Now that’s stress! Not only that, you left for the wrong reasons. You may have quit your job because of stress, a bad coworker or boss, poor conditions, no recognition or whatever it is but it won’t matter to the unemployment office when they have a line of people waiting for benefits. Bottom Line: Do not quit your job before you have another one lined up! When you have another job lined up then you should quit your job. Nevertheless, quit your job gracefully and professionally. Let’s find out the Ins and Outs of quitting your job…

The first thing to consider is CAN you quit your job from a financial standpoint? Do you have the reserves in place (money in the bank) or another job lined up BEFORE you quit? Think of it this way, the moment you quit, you free that position up for the LINE OF PEOPLE waiting to get your job! If you do not know how to quit your job properly, depending upon the circumstances, you may very well burn a bridge. In this day and age that is not a wise idea! After you quit your job it’s far too late to try to retrace your steps and go back begging on your hands and knees should you need that job back! I’ll show you how to resign from your job in a respectful and professional manner to prevent you from burning any bridges.

If You Quit Your Job Improperly:

You may very well not only burn a bridge, so to speak, but this may also follow you for some time and become a thorn in your side when you apply for a job and well into the interview process. Even though companies have a very fine line they have to walk when an inquiry regarding a former employee surfaces it can be difficult at times to prove if something was said during the conversation since you are not even there.

You will likely be asked in an interview in one form or another some questions about your previous job. People can tell when you are not being completely honest by such things as your body language, tone of your voice, even at times when your blood pressure goes up and your heart starts to race. You may even start to perspire a bit and so on.

If you quit your job prematurely you may very well jeopardize your financial situation. It is easy to make it worse in one form or another even when you have the right intentions but you merely miss the mark of what your goals are versus what reality is. That is a hard lesson to learn.

Typical Reasons Why People Quit Their Job:

The second thing to consider is WHY do you want to quit your job? Is it too stressful? Not getting along with the boss? Just simply hate your job? Is it for health reasons? Do you have challenges when it comes to performing the job duties? Do you have to move? Are you not advancing as quickly as you thought possible? Let’s address a few of these for starters.

If your answer is somewhere in the “hate my job”, “can’t advance”, “can’t get along with the boss” arena then there may be a better alternative to quitting a job which we will discuss shortly. If it is for health (including stress) or anything that falls close to this you have a possible reason to quit your job. Do not take this lightly. If the job is high stress and/or your health is suffering then speak to your physician about this. There may be medical options available for you that will require your doctors’ endorsement. This may also protect your position/job for the time being. This is typically a protected area depending upon the state and area you live in. Let’s get into the other reasons why you want to quit your job.

If you are quitting a job to move and the move is a ‘must do’ or ‘no option’ sort of thing then it’s pretty much said and done. You should quit your job for these reasons. Just make sure you are moving for the right reasons. If you quit your job to take care of a family member or for a better job, to move to a better area to bring up your kids or even just a better area in general then you should quit your job. Follow the section about how to quit your job gracefully but remember to have another job lined up if at all possible before you give notice.

Alternatives to Quitting a Job:

Before you quit your job, ask yourself this question… Am I the type of employee I would hire (meaning you)? Would you hire YOU if you owned a company? If the answer is not a quick yes then maybe a change in your work activities is in order. Are you on time? Do you take only the allotted breaks and for only the time specified? Do you go above and beyond what is required of your job even a little bit? If all you are there for is a paycheck and all that you ever do is the minimum at your job, you will struggle with this quite possibly for the rest of your life. I’m not kidding. When you step it up just a bit your employer sees you as a bigger asset to the company. Deliver more than the minimum, do your job as BEST as you can! I don’t care what it is, give it your all and you will be recognized as a great worker! Oh yes, one very simple thing you can do to really improve how you are perceived is to SMILE! Now, would YOU hire you?

If you are having issues with your Boss or even another worker, get those issues addressed as soon as possible. If you have a union or some other governing bodies (including your Human Resources Department) then contact them to find out your options as well as the proper procedures to follow.

Communication is key and this goes hand in hand with people skills and a little bit of finesse. So, be polite, be patient and be open for change. Pointing the finger at someone else assigning blame will not work. I don’t care if you were right or wrong, if you create a conflict it will likely compound. I am not saying to roll over though. Stand your ground (if it’s worth standing on) and state the facts. Not possibilities or speculations, just the facts. Keep any documents that support these facts or keep a log book if necessary. Remember the old cliche that addresses winning the battle but losing the war? Keep that in mind.

Your company is likely to have a process to follow for issues like this. Follow them. The chain of command (management hierarchy) is there for a reason. Use it! Stick with it until you can get some sort of resolution. There is nothing wrong with respectfully speaking with your boss about the issue even if you don’t get along with him/her and want to resolve it. Any professional will see it as an attempt to fix a problem and not take it personally. Perhaps you do things that your boss doesn’t like and it is eating at him/her just as much as his/her actions eat at you? Level the playing field and you will likely be respected as a professional.

Is a transfer to another department or location a possibility? This may save you a lot of grief versus to quit your job over something that could have been overcome with a simple transfer.

Finally, if you can’t seem to get a resolution, then start looking for another job! Don’t quit your job because you hate it, can’t get along with someone and so on. That is a foolish thing to do. However, my own personal ‘standard’ if you will, for quitting your job is right here:

- Only quit your job after you have another job lined up, then give the appropriate (at least) 2 weeks’ notice politely and in written form giving the date of your last day. Keep working hard!
- Only quit your job after you have your financial needs met (like quitting the employee work force to become an entrepreneur…see the business section below) and also with at least 2 weeks’ notice, in writing, as above. Again, keep working hard!

Unemployment Possibilities:

In general there is only one area that MIGHT allow you to leave your job and that is for medical reasons. This is an area that can get very convoluted depending upon your state labor laws, so check with them to find out the particulars for your area. If your job is aggravating an injury and the employer is not accommodating you appropriately or in a timely manner than you MIGHT be able to quit your job and get unemployment benefits but I would not hold your breath….check it out thoroughly before you take that step! With people standing in line at many unemployment agencies they may have even clamped down even further in this area by now so even if you THINK you can just quit your job and draw unemployment, check with the unemployment office FIRST.

If you are already working while drawing unemployment then be aware that if you quit a job (or can’t go to work because of requiring a doctors release) the unemployment department may very well see the drop in hours and halt your benefits while a review of your case unfolds. Remember, your benefits will typically STOP while they perform this review so be very careful with your decisions. This review can take up to a month or more!

Ways to Quit Your Job:

How to quit your job gracefully and professionally: Your letter of resignation should only highlight the positive points of your work at your company. No slander or finger pointing. Simply point out that you are leaving on whatever date and you enjoyed your time here. If it’s for another position, state it is for another position but leave the company name and such out of it. Keep it general, positive and professional. There are plenty of sample letters that you can find in a web search.

How to quit your job and get the last laugh: This is more for your own personal giggles and if used will likely result in you not laughing for long. Do not use this unless you understand the ramifications and have become independently wealthy. So, here it is. Explain in your letter of resignation that you have been told by your physician specialist in whatever field (a little research here to make sure make believe names of ailments match with the right kind of doctor) that you have been diagnosed with a terminal ailment, disease or whatever. Maybe something like Caribbean Getaw ay Syndrome or GoN2 Bora Bora Disease. Explain that the first signs of which are currently appearing and they start with the loss of sight. Then proclaim that you can’t see yourself working for them any more! Righteous!

How to quit your job without burning any bridges: This should not be taken lightly! Even though the last entry was somewhat comical it is highly recommended you keep that to yourself. DO NOT act on it. Quit your job gracefully and professionally. Period.

Quit Your Night Job? Are you crazy?

If you want to quit your night job, there is one thing to consider that does not apply to wanting to quit your day job and that is the shift itself. Sure, it can be hard on your family life, social life and so on but you have an advantage with a night job. You see, you can not only go on interviews during the day and keep up the job search but you also have fewer managers during a night job than you would have on a day job. Try the other possibilities like transfers or addressing some of the issues you have with HR or similar to keep from just outright quitting your job. Consider it a stepping stone to bigger and better things! It may even be plausible to address your concerns directly but in a non-threatening, open and friendly way. Do whatever you can to get the situation either rectified or at least reduced in intensity.

If You Want to Quit Your Job To Start a Home Business, Consider This:

If you have or want to start your own home business ONLY QUIT YOUR JOB after you have surpassed the gross pay from your job and have one year of wages/salary in savings (again, gross pay). Oh yes, and no bills! In this regard, when working your business part time (and while you are still working a job) limit yourself in a new business to 10 hours per week until you get it built up! Then, up it to 20 hours but remember that it is time spent WORKING your business, not tying yourself up answering emails, driving to the store to get supplies and so on. That is getting lost in the ‘putting out fires’ routine and is not ACTIVELY BUILDING YOUR BUSINESS. The time you spend should be productive, quality time. You still have a life to live and need a balance between work and recreation, family time too. You are no good to anyone if you die in the process so create a balance and spend quality time in each area of your life. Your family and your business will thank you! When you reach this point (No bills, one year savings, greater pay)then you should quit your job. No doubt!

NOTE: I recently witnessed a VERY successful speaker divulge a lesson learned that catapulted her business success. She was working 100 hours per week and making really good money, but when she cut her hours to 20 hours per week, her income quadrupled! Now, this may not be typical in the sense that you will get the same result bu tit illustrates how honing her activities to only those that were productive can result in HUGE results. In essence, she was wasting 80 hours of her week! Regardless if you double, triple or even retain the same income level for a fraction of the work, pay attention to the quality of work you are doing. If you are not growing your business then you are stuck in it and that is too much like a job!

Lastly, sometimes making a game out of your job can help. Not in a foolish sense but sometimes you just need to create a routine where you need to challenge yourself to make the job more interesting, and thereby improve your outlook of that job. You may even find you actually like it!

Employed in One Job Application?

I often get asked by job seekers, is it possible to get employed in just one job application? Of course the answer is yes, but it is difficult to make that positive and hence employed result consistent.

However, it is possible to become employed in far fewer job applications than 200 made over four months, the current statistics for the average job seeker. There are far better and more effective job application techniques which can easily get you employed in less than 30 days.

Job Interview = Dating

As an experienced recruiter or employer knows, the predictability of job search is impossible when it comes down to predicting the outcome of a job interview. Like many recruiters and HR professionals, I see this stage more like a dating exercise than a predictable or controllable set of outcomes. Much as though I may think that candidate A may be better, the employer hiring manager may like the equally good candidate B better – it’s just human chemistry!

So while interview technique and briefing each party may well allow good recruiters to achieve a 65% or slightly higher mix and prediction ratio, I have rarely seen many get consistently better results.

The interview stage is hence the biggest risk in trying to get employed in one job application, and it all comes down to human chemistry. That’s not controllable, but it is predictable.

Telephone Interview

Much like placing any job application, it is easily possible to pass a Telephone Interview, if you have read the job advert and have the required competencies – a Human Resources term for skills, qualifications and experiences (SQE).

The difference between a job application and telephone interview is quite simple: format of the communication. The information actually sought by the employer is not any different or often more extensive than that required in the job application. The only additional test is that what you claimed in the job application can actually be backed up with confidence in the telephone interview.

Job requirements?

I have always said, and wholly believe, that every essential requirement of the desired suitable job applicant can be found in the job advert. Yes, you can wholly improve your chances of gaining employment if you research and read around and about your potential employer – by as much as 200%, as you then read the wider interests of the organisation. But everything you need to known that the ideal job applicant should have is in the job advert.

Yet, time and time again, job applicants fail to read job adverts. I had considered that this was because job applicants couldn’t read, and it was but a poor reflection on our nations education system. But as it affects all categories of job application, I conclude in part this problem is derived from a candidates own drive, giving them what could be termed beer goggles!

Simply, the desire to be employed and get that dream job obviates and replaces an individuals ability to read a job advert. They read the title, look at the pay, and with jobs boards making it so simple, they just click to apply.

Communication and Rapport

One of the areas that I have concentrated on in the last five years is the most effective process by which to get employed. But it was only recently in conversation with a professional coach friend of mine that the final piece of the explanation as to why this process worked in the jigsaw of communication, and hence successful job application, clicked into place.

I said to her that I was now convinced that I had tracked the most effective process for any job seeker to get employed, and told her about some of the key tactics and decision points. I said to her that I knew that this was creating a better communication and hence engagement with the potential employer and hiring manager, but wondered if there was another factor at play by which to explain what was happening?

As an engineer by training, I had concentrated on effectiveness of process. In summary the job seeking system gets the job seeker ahead of the competition and closer to the hiring manager, effectively what a good recruiter does to win recruitment business. But as an NLP trained coach, she immediately understood what the process was creating: both the right communication at the right time; but also as a result, the right rapport with the employer and hiring manager. Thus in communication terms, it’s not just about what you communicate, but when, resulting in a build up of the right rapport; and hence employment.

Employed in one job application

We were recently approached by a potential client who wanted us to write her a Cover Letter, a service which we no longer provide as a stand-alone option. After talking to her, the office staff asked if I could directly talk to her, where by as a long term job seeker she needed some considerable help.

This lady was, like many long term job seekers, looking at a poor set of statistics and long term unemployment over 90 days, when the average job seekers success ratio has fallen by two thirds. She had seen a job that she really wanted, was fully technically qualified for, and having written her CV, all she needed was the perfect Cover Letter. Could we help?

I talked the job through with her, and as she had the supporting evidence of both the job advert and the job description, I could have fully analysed the job with just this information. But after a bit of searching – OK, 5 minutes in total using some very easily learnt boolean search techniques around Google, LinkedIn and the employers website – I managed to find a biography profile for the hiring manager.

System of how to get employed

Using all three of these pieces of information – job advert, job description and hiring manager biography – I created an SQE priority sheet. Some of these were hard technical factors associated with the job description, while some were soft factors, mainly associated with the profile of the hiring manager. I then compiled the priority sheet, and checked it using a simple technique to assure myself that the match between employer requirements and job application was as perfect as it could be. I have used this later technique in some job markets where there are very few jobs or employers, and it works superbly in gaining better job application statistics.

From the checked sheet, I then compiled the required Cover Letter, and again checked the output using the check technique on both the Cover Letter and her draft CV. Both were then adjusted again. I then got the job applicant to check the priority list using a very simple technique which both follows the defined employers application process, as well as breaks it. This is in no way an immoral or risky technique, but it drives through the candidates advantage and confirms the priority sheet.

Hiring manager job application

Interestingly at this point, something happened which I didn’t expect and yet was not surprised by: the employer offered our job seeker customer an Informational Interview! At this point after such a long period of unemployment, I had to temper her enthusiasm: honest, it’s just an informational interview outside of the formal HR employment process, which you will still later have to go through. You can get as much information about the job at this stage, but also need to treat it as a formal interview.

I knew the Informational Interview had gone well, as she called me two hours after the designated time slot that she had been allocated. The first piece of news was that the formal interview process was to be held two days later, and the second piece of news was that they had asked to undertake a formal background check, and should she agree? I asked her to think for five minutes about key issues that she wanted addressed, and were there any open questions left on the Informational Interview table? We hence compiled a follow-up thank you letter, accepting the interview date and confirming the ability to start background checks. Seven days later she started her new job!

Employed in one job application: possible, but…

I don’t, as I said at the start of this piece, believe that there are a fixed set of outcomes which can be wholly controlled to get employed in one specific job. The job interview comes down to human chemistry, which means that the outcome is at best a 65% chance of success.

But I do believe that job application technique, when best learnt and applied against the most successful techniques, it is possible to get employed quickly and in a timely manner. The reason the average job seeker presently gets 1 telephone interview per 20 job applications, and spends four months job searching is poor technique. If any of them figured out that it’s costing them on average nearly £10,000 in both lost income and additional costs, they would quickly do something much better, much quicker.

Simply put, if you can find 50 suitable jobs for which you are skilled and qualified for, then there is no reason why you should be unemployed. It really is that simple if you know the right job application technique. Plus, if you know it well and have access to the right information, possible to get employed in one job application.

Good Luck!