5 Actionable Tips for 4th Quarter Job Search Success

Posted: November 7th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Career Transition Networking, Job Search Networking, Personal Branding, Social Networking | Tags: , , , , | Comments Off on 5 Actionable Tips for 4th Quarter Job Search Success

Fall brings crisp leaves, apple cider, kids in costumes, families around holiday tables and a drop in job search. For some reason all these things are great except that last one. Why is it that job seekers, both employed and unemployed, relax their search efforts during the 4th Quarter?

Regardless of the reason why, here are some tips on what to do to remain successful during what job seekers think of as a “useless” and “dead” search quarter (hint: plenty of people get hired during Q4).

Tip #1: Do Nothing Different
According to Professor John Millikin of the W.P. Carey School of Business, you should do nothing different. He said, “It may make sense to mentally pull in your expectations for a fourth-quarter start date, but not your efforts. Some companies who operate on a calendar fiscal year may be waiting to hire until the first quarter, but that is certainly not always the case. When companies are hiring, they are basically hiring for the long haul. I was hired in the fourth quarter and have hired people in that quarter, as well.”

Tip #2: Network, Network, Network
This is an important tip during every quarter however, as Melanie Winograd with The Impact Group points out, 4th Quarter has parties and holiday gatherings which makes it a great time to use who you know to identify gaps in organizations that you can fill.

Tip #3: January Hires are recruited in Q4
Lauren Milligan with ResuMAYDAY mentions that while January may be one of the busiest hiring months, the candidates that land during that month come into contact with companies during November and December. If you’re going to land during Q1, you’ll need to be searching actively during Q4.

Tip #4: Keep Interview Skills Fresh
Candidates land interviews, and jobs, in 4th quarter, which means it’s essential to keep your skills fresh. Jeff Gordon, publisher of I Want An Education, recommends you practice their interview skills to enhance them, arrive early when invited to an interview and look your best.

Tip #5: Go Social
If anytime was going to be the time to overcome your fear, and possible frustration, with LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook, make it your 4th Quarter job search objective. Social networks are where 67% of companies are investing their recruiting dollars next year and where over 80% of companies source their candidates. Spend more time integrating social media into your search; even it’s just posting that you’re “learning something new today about social media and your search”. It’s a step in the right direction.

LinkedIn and Facebook: What’s the difference?

Posted: October 26th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Career Coach, Job Search Networking, Social Networking | Tags: , , , , , | Comments Off on LinkedIn and Facebook: What’s the difference?

This afternoon I spent 2 hours working side by side with one of my apprentice coaches and my intern showing them how to build a ‘pimped out’ professional LinkedIn profile. To change things up, we headed to Starbucks rather than working at the office. While we were working, a gentleman (Ben) leaned over and asked “Are you guys ghostwriters?” I smiled and said, “Only for LinkedIn and resumes.” He then asked for a card; he had just finished an interview.

LinkedIn’s Not For Me
Since we’d just stepped next door from the office, I grabbed my laptop and phone but not my cards (bad, bad idea). To make sure he had our information, I asked Irvine to email him. When she sent it to him, he commented “Oh great, I could use your help. I need a new job although I don’t think LinkedIn is for me; Facebook is the same anyway.” To which she said, “LinkedIn is more of a professional networking site whereas Facebook is for family and friends.”

I was busy working with Barb and only found out about the exchanged third hand at the end of our meeting later (when I was so proud I gleamed with joy). Irvine was spot on in her assessment. Many professionals I meet, speak with and coach respond to the idea of networking and connecting on LinkedIn with “it’s not for me” or “my company doesn’t really use LinkedIn” or “LinkedIn isn’t used in my industry/profession.” If I only had a dollar for every time I heard that I’d be…well, far better off financially than I am now.

Consider these facts: 100MM+ professional, registered users including executives from every Fortune 500 company. 200 countries. 50% users are U.S.-based; 50% users international. The only social network to go public. If you, your industry or your company isn’t using it – who are all those people on there? And for goodness sake, why would you NOT want to connect with them?

Facebook – What it is and is Not
When Irvine said to Ben that Facebook is great for family and friends she was absolutely right. It’s a perfect place to connect with old friends from elementary school, new friends from your neighborhood, family members in other cities, states, countries, etc. Using Facebook as a job search utility is also a good option, when done within a strategic and savvy search model. Given that Facebook changes it’s privacy settings often, and sometimes without notifying it’s user base, and that often times you’re friends with colleagues, this social network is best used as a friends and family connection base. Your pictures and posts are more personal on Facebook and they may not be something you want a potential employer, hiring manager or colleague to see.

The Difference: Professional and Personal
The main difference between LinkedIn and Facebook is why you use them and who you connect with on each network. LinkedIn=professional networking to connect with colleagues and professionals. Facebook=socializing and connecting with friends and family. Confusion creeps it’s head when they crossover and thanks to networking, employee referrals and the power of word of mouth, Facebook has become a great engine for penetrating people’s personal social circles both for companies, hiring managers and recruiters. That’s okay if you allow it and want it. To dismiss LinkedIn is to toss out 100MM potential career contacts that can lead to a new opportunity; that makes much less sense.

Employee Turned Entrepreneur: Thinking of Taking the Plunge?

Posted: October 11th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Career Coach | Tags: , , , | Comments Off on Employee Turned Entrepreneur: Thinking of Taking the Plunge?

As an employee turned entrepreneur myself, this is a plunge I have taken and coach clients on from a career, business, and personal level. With nearly 30MM job seekers, including 14MM unemployed, and a job search process that takes over 211 days to land a new job, it’s no wonder many professionals are wondering if now is the time to take the plunge and open their own small business. If you are among the millions of Americans considering going this route, take the time to think through it thoroughly.

Finding funding
Quite a few small business owners starting their first entrepreneurial venture start with the “friends and family” funding option. With The Great Recession’s impact, many friends and family have likely had their stable careers, income, and savings accounts impacted negatively requiring an alternative funding source. Up next, credit cards and banks. Credit cards are a scary option as the interest rates are high and you’ll likely need to get them in your personal name since the business has no established credit or history. That leaves banks, still are an option for those with very good credit. Contact your local SCORE office for help with small business and minority, and women-owned business loans.

Saving for success
We all love our own ideas and think our business will be the best one yet, or we sure wouldn’t be invested the time, energy and effort – much less money- into it. To prepare that you and your family are set up for success ensure you have at least 12 months of savings in the bank before you embark on your entrepreneurial journey. The stress of opening and operating a business will be far more than working as an employee; adding the strain of finances will be enough to put your business under even if began as a great idea.

Balancing act
Do you remember the first time you kissed your wife, or husband? What about the first time you saw your baby’s face? Your new love will be your business and it will take away from every other love in your life. Your blackberry or iPhone will take priority from your family, your friends and your vacations. You’ll be responding to clients and orders when you used to be relaxing. Vacation? Two weeks will seem like an eternity. The 40-or-50-hour work week will soon become a thing of the past, a dream you have on the nights you achieve more than 4 hours of uninterrupted sleep when you’re not business planning during the night.

The best part about all of this is that although you’re walking around in a daze, partly from the lack of sleep and partly from being consumed by your business ideas, you will contributing and working for…you. All of this will be going to your bottom-line. That also means that every minute you take off is a minute that you’re not generating revenue or closing a deal.
Opening my businesses has been the best journey in my life. They have cost me dearly in many ways, relationships that were lost to my crackberry and hundreds of dollars have been spent on creams to avoid dark under eye circles. They have benefited me in far more though – cheering on my nephews at 2p.m. soccer games, heading to N.Y. at the last minute – after all, I can catch up on work on a Sunday!

Career Coaching Return On Investment: Does It Exist?

Posted: May 17th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Career Coach, Career Transition Networking | Tags: , , , , | Comments Off on Career Coaching Return On Investment: Does It Exist?

As a professional career coach for over a decade, I make it my business to study the trends of the “employment” business. If that sounds odd to you, you’re not alone, in fact my parents are with you. Until I became a published author last year, my parents had such a hard time explaining what I did, much less understanding it, that my mom would regularly as  how my job search was going!  (Don’t tell them but I have a job…that I love, as a career coach.)

Career Coaching: Does It Work?
Yes. Did you expect me to tell you otherwise? On a serious note, it does work and in a variety of ways. According to a study conducted by Metrix Global , the ROI of executive career coaching exceeding 500%, excluding “significant intangible benefits”.  In other words, for every $1 you pay out, you receive (or save, which is the same thing) $5 in return for that investment.  If that sounds high to you, I thought so too which is why I did an investigation of my own.

Of the clients I’ve career coached specific to resume and Linked In essentials, here is the ROI they have experienced:

  • 81% have landed interviews and moved on to the second phase of the hiring process
  • 19% landed new jobs with an average increase in base salary of 14.5%
  • 8% landed new jobs with equal base salary compensation
  • 99% used the new market-focused job search tools created for their search to achieve these results

Intangible Benefits

Career Coaching ROIIf money was everything in life, I would never have become a career coach or published author. The intangible benefits are what get keep us happy, strong, committed and smiling on days when life seems bleak or when – as a struggling entrepreneur you’re eating the same dinner three times a week.  These are the intangibles. Study after study, from the Society of Human Resources Management to the International Coaching Federation and Metrix Global, prove that intangibles benefits rank higher to individuals than increased compensation. In two of these studies, survey’s respondents cited:

  • 52% increase in self-confidence
  • 60% increase in personal and work productivity
  • 53% increase in career satisfaction

Coaching ROI Exists, Now What?

Now that you know career coaching generates a 500% ROI for your financial investment, increases your self-confidence by 52% and career satisfaction by 53%, what’s next? That question is for you to answer. Are you ready for an executive career coaching? Do you want to change careers? Is it time to get inspired and engage a professional career coach?  Wherever you find yourself, know that the best results come by creating a clearly defined coachable goal and connecting with the right career coach from day one.