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Thread: Job Search Tips...Just my experience

  1. #1
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    Job Search Tips...Just my experience

    Job Loss...it just bites.

    I know I was pretty much in shock the first few days (weeks according to my wife). I took some time to get my ducks in a row and know what my options were. I was let go with about 700 others and my former employer had contracted Right Management to do some counseling classes to help us get re-acquainted with the whole interviewing process. Things had changed dramatically in the past 12 years since I last looked for a job.

    Luckily I had worked with our HR folks with implementing several of their job search/management tools, so I had some clue as to what I was up against. One major thing that had change was the "filtering" process. HR recruiters no longer read each resume coming in. They simply do a keyword search for the terms that they are looking for...very Google like. Keywords like iSeries, PHP, Java, Blackberry, etc. were the only words that they had to see for me to get noticed. The fact that I have no degree, just experience working with certain products or languages, these were the only qualifications I needed. Suddenly my webmaster skills of web page promotion became a very valuable asset to my job search.

    Today's recruiters are, as with any other corporate department, utilizing the tools that their budgets afford them. Luckily there are many widely used and popular job search tools available that are free to use...and they use them too.

    LinkedIn - is one of the most utilized tools for job search and leads...it's free to use, but some companies do pay to do the advanced searches. I found my latest job through LinkedIn.

    At first I added many of the co-workers that had gotten laid off with me as contacts. I had all kinds of recruiters requesting to be one of my contacts. At first I denied them, I felt they were just probably just trying to see who my contacts were. After some thought, I realized that one of these recruiters could be looking for someone with just the right qualifications that happen to know...why deny my friends of the opportunity. So I started letting these folks in, which happened to be how I was contacted as well for the job I have today. It's about networking...either use it or you may be passing something good up.

    Career Builder - is another great tool for job searches. It allows you to create multiple resumes that can be tailored to the jobs that you are applying for, which you should do. The site allows you to setup keyword searches of your own and receive notifications when new jobs matching your search become available to post for.

    Resumes - They changed a lot in the 12 years since I last looked. Used to be that you were to keep to one page. Now they afford you the opportunity to do a better layout and larger font (12pt.) to make them easier to scan. Start with a quick summary, List bullet points of your areas of expertise, then list your work history. Work history should contain Accomplishments and brief descriptions of what expertise was used to achieve the accomplishment, very important to answer the what and how of each accomplishment.

    Be sure to use job posting descriptions to tailor the resume that you submit for each job, there really isn't a catch-all resume. The list of keywords that are in the job description need to be in your resume. I'm not saying to lie about anything, most recruiters don't know the technical aspects of a job, they are just looking for the matching keywords to select resumes to begin their search. Sometimes you have to just get your foot in the door and make a good impression. That right impression can take you a long way.

    One other note, there are different types of resumes. If you're an educator or executive, you may have one that is much more in depth, but this is one of the basic styles

    Your info on LinkedIn may have to be updated or tweaked to match much of the same info you're providing in the submitted resumes. Consistency is key with recruiters, everything needs to mesh or they won't get warm and fuzzy about you.

    Social Networking - Companies today are even asking for if you have a website or a facebook page. Warning...The recruiters will check out these pages just to see what you've been up to on your personal time. This is great if you haven't posted recent pictures of you puking at your buddies bachelor party the night before the interview...know someone that got bit by this. So be careful also what info you provide if it's not something you would normally share with them.

    This information is mostly of my opinion, observations, and such...so take it for what it's worth...but all my sleep deprived brain can muster tonight otherwise probably could rant on a lot longer. Let me know if you have any questions, comments, or want more ranting.
    Last edited by Darren Wright; 08-19-2010 at 03:14 AM.
    Darren

    To a small child, the perfect granddad is unafraid of big dogs and fierce storms but absolutely terrified of the word “boo.” – Robert Brault

  2. #2
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    Great information, too bad so many will need it
    The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
    William Arthur Ward

  3. #3
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    Hi,

    Your article is excellent. It is nice to see from the other side. Almost all of my working career has been as the owner / boss. I am sure it will help those seeking employment.

    Enjoy,

    Jim
    First of all you have to be smarter than the machine.
    VOTING MEMBER

  4. #4
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    Great tips. Especially on the key word search

    Been thinking about starting my own business since the construction supply business is so bad and no one is looking to hire a 61 year old balding fat guy.
    Faith, Hope & Charity

  5. #5
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    Thanks for the write-up, Darren. Very good tips, especially with your insights into the HR search game.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Gibson View Post
    ...no one is looking to hire a 61 year old balding fat guy.
    It's not looking real good for a skinny long-haired guy in his mid 50s, either.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

    workingwoods.com

  6. #6
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    Thanks darren for this thread it will be sent to my SIL and daughter who are looking for new jobs.. and i might be using it too,, but not yet
    If in Doubt, Build it Stout!
    One hand washes the other!
    Don't put off today till tomorrow!

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vaughn McMillan View Post
    Thanks for the write-up, Darren. Very good tips, especially with your insights into the HR search game.



    It's not looking real good for a skinny long-haired guy in his mid 50s, either.
    Faith, Hope & Charity

  8. #8
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    Well, I wish no one had to use that info, but glad it may prove useful.

    One thing that was stated in the counseling sessions was age. Don't let your age affect the attitude of finding a position. You've got experience to offer and experience can sell itself.

    One other thing I found in my search is that a lot of companies will use contract help and then hire direct if the person works out. A lot of the folks that got laid off at the same time as me refuse to search through a recruiting company or consider contract jobs. I know several folks that went the same route as me, in taking a contract position, and have been hired on at very notable companies.

    Like I said, it's just my experience with them, but doesn't hurt to check them out.

    I've got some additional material that I'll post later for searching and marketing. There are some alternative routes for those that maybe want to start their own business or franchise. I have a friend that is working with a woman that counsels people that are looking to get into franchising and finding something that they think will work for them. Mostly she helps them decide what their goals are, then recommends franchises that fit those goals and budget (I need to call him anyway...so will let you know how it's working for him). Last we spoke, she had set him up to do short internships at various franchised so that he could see the day to day operations. Not for everyone, but an interesting route.
    Darren

    To a small child, the perfect granddad is unafraid of big dogs and fierce storms but absolutely terrified of the word “boo.” – Robert Brault

  9. #9
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    well darren i would like to think our age doesnt hurt us but there are many places that it does, the health risk and the added premiums for there existing plans can deter smaller companies. and then enter in the age thing of being set in our ways and the kids arent doing it right..what about the not being ignorant to what is right and what isnt..that too comes with age and in my case the smaller companies dont like wisdom just shut up and do it and say yes sir..how high sir.

    i do understand that larger companies look differently than smaller ones,, they have better plans and more areas to spread it out over. but even some of the bigger companies are taking away the pensions for any new hires.. and the pay rates are differnt as well..can be doing the same identical job and gettin considerable less pay. so us older folks do need to look at everything and not just jump on the first one to say, yes i will hire you.
    If in Doubt, Build it Stout!
    One hand washes the other!
    Don't put off today till tomorrow!

  10. #10
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    Great tips Darren. Really shows how things change over time.

    I remember my past job searches consisted of mass mailings of 'customized' cover letters, resumes, all printed on high quality paper. Every detail of every paragraph scrutinized for typos, grammar, and readability.

    The last job I got didn't require anything more than some folks asked me if I wanted to work for them and I said yes.

    Did you actually send out hard copy resumes? Or was this all electronic in this day and age?
    Programmer - An organism that turns coffee into software.
    If all your friends are exactly like you, What an un-interesting life it must be.
    "A door is what a dog is perpetually on the wrong side of" Ogden Nash


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