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  • 13 Job-Search Tips for the Holidays

    By Debbie Kukla

    Surprisingly, the holidays are a wonderful time for job seekers! According to HR consultants and recruiters, many companies are not13 job seeker tips for holidays impacted by the holidays; business continues as usual. If an employer needs to fill a position, it will not make any difference whether it is November, December, January or June. Hiring is based on need, not on time of year. In addition, the holidays are a time when professionals may resign to take a new job that will begin in the new year.

    The holidays are also an opportune time to network because people tend to be motivated to help others as part of the spirit of the season. Also, holiday events are excellent networking occasions. With all of the religious, family and social events taking place, networking opportunities abound! This is a great time to expand that list of contacts and maintain impetus going into the new year. Tell people about yourself, ask for advice and contact names, and collect business cards to follow up.

    Following is a list of suggestions to help you maintain your energy level and confidence as you search for a new job during the holidays:

    1. Send holiday cards to hiring managers with whom you have recently interviewed and enclose a brief note reinforcing your interest and capabilities.

    2. Continue to schedule networking meetings to help you maintain a positive mental attitude, bolster your confidence, and maintain focus.

    3. Do charity work and volunteer your time. This will help you maintain a positive outlook and will present networking opportunities.

    4. Use holiday get-togethers with family and friends to remind them about your job search.  Articulate your ideal job and the type of work you are seeking.

    5. Research companies by reading articles in business sources, using www.zoominfo.com and www.manta.com to ...

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  • Building A Personal Brand to Stand Out From the Crowd

    It Takes More Than a Hat to be a Cowboy

    by Meredith Masse

    The best brands tell a story about how they solve problems. The best brands entice us because they’ve createdBuilding A Personal Brand to Stand Out from the Crowd meaning for us. 

    Your personal brand needs to do the same! And the key to building a powerful personal brand lies in understanding what you as an employee or leader -- and only you -- bring to the table and how to tell your brand story. This goes for the currently employed seeking the promotion or sweet assignment, the leader who wants people to follow and job seekers looking to land sooner rather than later. Let’s use the job seeker in this example.

    “Maketeer,” best-selling author, and creator of the world’s most popular blog Seth Godin defines “brand” in this way:

    “A brand is the set of expectations, memories, stories and relationships that, taken together, account for a consumer’s decision to choose one product or service over another. If the consumer (whether it’s a business, a buyer, a voter or a donor) doesn’t pay a premium, make a selection or spread the word, then no brand value exists for that consumer.”

    Translating that into personal brand for job seekers, it might read:

    Your personal brand is the set of strengths, talents, traits, skills, experiences, results, accomplishments and culture fit you hold dear that, taken together, account for your future employer’s decision to choose you over another candidate. If the hiring manager doesn’t offer another interview, tout you to other interviewers in the company or spread the word otherwise, then no brand value exists for that hiring manager.

    Consider these three elements when developing your personal brand so you’ll stand out from other candidates for the job:

    1. What You Do: Your Strengths

    What unique abilities, skills, experiences do ...

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  • Putting Your Best Foot Forward: 5 Guidelines for Job References

    by Ray Blush

    Recently, I was talking to a Vice President of Human Resources who works for a medium-size manufacturing company guidelines for job references in Ann Arbor. The executive indicated their organization always checks two to three business references and sometimes one to two personal references as part of their decision-making process in hiring a person. This company and others check business references for several reasons including verifying past employment, confirming whether or not the person would be eligible for rehire and inquiring about previous job performance. 

    When a company representative speaks with references who are not previous employers, questions typically focus on work habits and personality attributes. The thinking process behind checking references is to get a third party’s impression of an applicant as well as verifying accuracy of the information provided during the application process.

    In this job economy, putting together a list of references is just as important as writing a robust resume. Having positive references will differentiate you from everyone else. When former employers and others who have direct knowledge of your skills, abilities and personality are willing to provide recommendations to prospective employers, their comments can make the difference between getting the job offer or not being considered for employment.

    So, here are five job-reference guidelines that will put your best foot forward with employers:

    1. How many references do you give employers?  Typically employers want three to six references including former supervisors, co-workers and people you have supervised if you are applying for leadership/supervisory positions. If, in your previous positions, you worked with suppliers or customers, you may want to include them in your list.

    2. Contact your references.  Send an email, make a call, or visit with them in person to inform them you are seeking new employment and you would like to use ...

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  • 3 Buzzwords to Avoid on Your Resume

    By Jessica Rayburn

     

    I know you’ve heard it:  Resumes are your first impression when applying for a job. And even if it isn’t your first impression, it’s an important marketing tool when applying for a position.  3 buzzwords to stop using on resumes

     

    Job seekers spend hours reading, studying and learning about what they must INCLUDE in their resume. But they often don’t spend enough time learning what to leave out—namely, buzzwords! Overused phrases and vocabulary can detract from all of the hard work you’ve invested in your resume. 

     

    Although we see many buzzwords on resumes, here are three that must get the heave-ho immediately:

     

    1. “Familiar with” – This phrase implies that while you might know a system or process, you are not an expert at it. And what are employers looking for?  Experts!

     

    2. “Spearheaded” – Yes, action verbs are important on a resume. But in the process of searching for original action verbs, many job seekers have started using the same language entirely too much —like “spearheaded”—thereby stripping the word of all originality. It’s been turned into a trite phrase that employers see on too many resumes. If you use this word, please use it in moderation and consider using other action verbs like “lead,” “directed” or “supervised” as well.

     

    3. “Experienced” – Chances are, when you are applying for a position that requires experience, each applicant who is applying is also experienced. Avoid using the actual word and inducing eye-rolls from the hiring manager. Instead, explain HOW you are experienced. Talk about what you have done in the past and use stories and examples to show your qualifications. 

     

    Resumes are tricky and must constantly be tweaked and adjusted for each position for which you are applying. Don’t let your hard work and qualification be ...

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The vOIce

The vOIce is written by many of the managing partners of OI Partners. Topics include our ideas on how you or your organization can be effective in areas related to career development, executive development, workforce development, career transition and more.


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