30 June 2014

Listing References For A Job?

Do you need to know how to list references for a job? Some employers actually do check references in order to see how you performed on a job, how long you held the position, etc. You should always have your list ready when you are searching for work, but how should you lay it out? The tips below offer information regarding how to list references for a job, so that you can do it correctly and gain the most benefit. 

What exactly is a reference list? If a prospective employer has ever asked for this and you weren't certain, it is simply a list of names and contact information of those you have worked for in the past. These individuals should be able to give a reference regarding your work ethics, attendance history, and other details about your job performance to a potential employer. 

1. Give good references. When you create your job reference list, it's important that you give the names and contact information of those that you know will give you a good reference. Before you list former employers on this list, contact them and make sure they don't mind, and that they will give you a positive recommendation. This will help them be prepared for the call, and it won't come as a total surprise. 

2. Continue with the style of your resume. If you have written a resume, write your job reference list using the same style and font, so that all of the documents you submit match. This is simply meant to help you present yourself in a professional manner. 

3. Create a separate page for your list of references. It is important that you job reference list is on a page all its own, as many employers will pull this page out when contacting former employers (and it just looks organized and professional.) Title the page "Reference List" at the top, and center this at the top of the page in a bold font, preferably Arial, New Roman or Verdana for easy reading. 

4. How to lay out each individual reference. When creating your list of job references, simply list the contact person's full name on the first line, such as "Ms.Anne Greenway." Their job title goes on the second line, and the name of the company where they work goes on the third line. The street address and city and state with zip code are placed on the fourth and fifth lines respectively. Last, you will want to list the phone number on the sixth line, followed by the email address on line seven. 

5. List your best references first. If you provide a list of 4 or 5 job references, a prospective employer is likely to call the first 3 on the list. List those references that are likely to give you a glowing recommendation at the top, so that employers contact them first. 

If you need to know how to list references for a job, follow the tips above. A positive recommendation from several previous employers can make a significant impact on whether or not you obtain the job! 

28 March 2014

Do you appear as a Desperate Job Seeker?

Are You Desperate Job Seeker?

How many times have you ever heard someone say to you?
I emailed my resume to 80 different jobs today and I haven't received one response!

So what exactly does a desperate job seeker do wrong and why? They mass-mail their resumes, apply for positions they aren't qualified for, apply to every position listed, work with multiple recruiters and use any opportunity to hand over a resume at a networking event, etc.

I made the exact same mistake during a job transition. My thought was "I will definitely land a new job within a week if I use these methods."
I submitted myself to jobs directly on companies websites, applied for the same job through multiple career channels and worked with a few recruiters on the same job.
I thought my newly updated resume would surely be seen and definitely impress the right people. I was Networking and so Proactive! After joining Richard, Wayne and Roberts as an Executive Recruiter, I learned how wrong my approach was and why that methodology did not work.

Don't take your resume to networking events
Networking events aren't job fairs. For that matter, most resumes get shredded at job fairs, or recycled back at the company. Why? Because most resumes aren't tailored to the unique needs of the employer. Even if you research which companies will be at the job fair, your resume still can't speak exactly to the needs of the hiring manager. Therefore, you should not take it to these events.Do grab the recruiter's or hiring manager's business card. Instead of handing out resumes, take the recruiter's or hiring manager's business card and follow up with them after the event with a nice thank-you note. One nice thank-you note is differ inciting yourself from all the other job seekers.

Don't just apply to any position listed. While you must apply for job openings to receive unemployment benefits, don't just apply to any position listed. Chances are you'll come back to this company at a future date for a position that looks interesting. If you leave a negative mark on the company's applicant tracking system (ATS) Automated tracking system, it will be hard to change that perception later.

Do target companies that you're interested and build relationships with them. If there are companies that you really care about, I would caution you about applying to them directly. Chances are high that your resume will get lost in their (ATS). Unfortunately, many hiring managers send a brief job description to Human Resources with targeted key words.You could be passed up because your resume has Quality Control and the keyword is QC. That is another reason to always use both abbreviations and the entire word within your resume.

Instead, focus on getting to know decision makers and current employees inside the company whom you can use for employee referrals. Also get to know past employees who can serve as referrals to their former colleagues at the company.
Don't elevator pitch. Recruiters, hiring managers and especially other job seekers aren't interested in hearing your objective, what you're looking for and how someone can help you. 
Job seekers make this mistake when they answer the question: "Tell me about you." This is an ice-breaking question, not an invitation for an elevator pitch. When you're elevator pitching, you're missing a true opportunity to listen to the needs of the hiring manager and position yourself correctly. 
Do build relationships. Exchanging business cards isn't building relationships; neither is talking to someone at a networking event. Building relationships requires careful listening skills and a genuine interest in getting to know the other person.  

03 March 2014

Why Bother Networking? Is It Worth It?

What Is Networking?

Networking is a common term today within any industry. It can have two meanings – the process of linking computers and other devices together so they can communicate, and the process of meeting and talking to other people to help your career. This article is about the latter.

Networking is the process of meeting people, talking to people and getting to know them, with a long term aim of helping your career. It’s done by a lot of people and it’s good to know what’s involved and why you need to do it.

Why Should I Network?

One of the most popular phrases in the working world (which you’ve probably heard before), is the phrase “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know”. This means that knowing and associating with the right people can be more important than what you know or what you do. It aims to remind you of the importance of people skills and networking.

There are many reasons why networking is a good idea:

Keep informed of career opportunities in your industry
Learn about ideas and trends in the industry
Meeting new people
Understand more about other areas
Developing your communication and listening skills
If you’re considering a career change, or looking for new opportunities for a promotion, you should be looking to network whenever and wherever you can. You don’t always get a promotion or change that’s just handed to you – you need to be able to find out where they are and take your own steps to get there.

How Can I Network?

Well, the answer to this is to get out there and talk to people. You can do this at work, at social events, at different meetings, wherever people in your industry or workplace are together. You don’t even need to be in a group situation – you could be talking to a single person.

Essentially, you make conversation with people and get to know them. It doesn’t always have to be work or business related – it can be a personal conversation. However, you need to know why you’re networking and why you’re there, in order to have an appropriate conversation.

How Can I Get Better at Networking? 

There are a few things you can do to be more effective at talking to colleagues. Some of these could be:

Think of the reason you’re meeting people. Is it to find out what’s happening in your company? Are you looking for any new job offerings? Or something else? Knowing why you’re there will help your discussions.
Networking is about being mutually beneficial to both people. Realising what you have to offer is a good thing to do.
Get a business card made for yourself, if you don’t have one already. It should, at the very least, have your name, email address, and phone number on it.
Practice your “soft skills”, which include listening, body language, and conversation skills. These come with practice and experience – in a future article I’ll write about how you can do this.

Hope this article helps with your networking. What are your thoughts? Post your replies in the area below.