jump to navigation

I have been without a computer for a week, I felt lost! October 29, 2009

Posted by jvmullin in 1.
add a comment

Have you ever had that happen to you? You are in the job search and trying to find that elusive career. You are like one in the same with your computer. You are inseperable. Then bam your computer dies! I was smart enough to keep all my important documents on a thumb drive so I wasn’t at a total loss. However, it still feel like you just lost a close friend, you are quite sure what you should do, you wander aimlessly in the house trying to figure out what you can do now.

Being a job seeker I have access to the local career center computers. Have you ever used their computers. I can tell you at times it is frustrating especially when you have signed up for a webinar and they have the network and computer set up so you cannot access it.  You just sit their cursing that you should have your own computer so that you can stay up on all the latest job search techniques or other important webinars about your profession.

Well I am back to being almost elated. I was told by tech support that they would be able to transfer all my data to a new drive.  Well they lied, they didn’t so I spend a few hours reloading a lot of software and hardware drivers. I had to reload Google Chrome which I find a god send for what I can do with it that IE cannot. The speed is worth the switch.

I can have multiple pages open and switch between them with no delay.

Well I am back and will try to get back to job search techniques and hints next week.

Since You are not busy. SAY WHAT!!! October 14, 2009

Posted by jvmullin in 1.
add a comment

I was having dinner with my girl friend the other night and she wanted me to do some research for her on the net. Granted she has a full and a part time job so I am glad to help her out. But to start the conversation with,”Since you are not busy” just set me off. It also got me thinking, how many other spouses and significant others think or feel that we are “not busy”?

Do you have one of these? Let me know and maybe I will post your story here or you can add comment to this blog.

To continue her next line was, “Well since you have more time than me”, my reply was, “Excuse me!”.  Any way she got deeper on the next sentence and I just told her to stop and just tell me what she wanted me to research.

To job search in this economy takes more work than it has ever had to in the past. Between finding the right opportunities, researching the company, the job, networking your way into the company, writing , phone calls, meetings, etc. I guess she was right we are not busy. That is on top of forming strategies and finding out what works and what doesn’t.

Half joking I tell people that I am looking for a job because my current job(hunting for one) doesn’t pay well for the amount of work that I have to put into it, has lousy benefits, no room for promotion(except landing a job), keeps me busy so I have no life balance(like I could afford one) and so I am looking for a easier position with good pay and benefits.

Currently besides looking for a job I am also a technical advisor to a possible start up company. I am researching technology and physics to develop a product so we can get funding and I can have that easier job that I am trying to find.

Then again my girlfriend thinks that I am not busy. Well since you other job seekers are not busy either let me hear what you have to say. Be nice to my girl friend she meant well.

How do I find jobs to apply for? October 13, 2009

Posted by jvmullin in 1.
add a comment

There are many ways to find jobs these days. I am using a few myself.

Company web sites. I hope that you have a list of target companies that you really want to work for. You should go to their sites and then bookmark them. Then once a week revisit them. Stay up on the news bulletins and positions.

There are newspapers and magazines ( I don’t use these)

Online biz journals and techwires. If you are willing to relocate these are ways to keep informed about what is going on in your target cities or regions. It gives you information like who is getting funding, who is getting a contract, who is laying off, who is buying who and who is getting promoted. This information will tell you who might be hiring and who to not bother with for a short period of time.

Trade Publications ( You can find some good jobs in these)

The job boards, Careerbuilder, Hotjobs, Monster, Startuphire etc I have lost faith in them even though I use them)

The job aggregators, Indeed, Simplyhired, Jobradar,Linkup, etc ( I use aggregators it is like one stop shopping) These make your search effective and efficient.

Social Media; LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, etc (These are the top 3 by the way) ( I use LinkedIn heavily)

Networking; Online (See Social media), Chambers of Commerce, Professional organization meetings, Career Fairs, WIND ( networking meetings for unemployed professionals in Massachusetts), Safe Harbor (same as WIND but in  Colorado), etc.

Agencies and Recruiters. Make sure that you interview these two avenues. Remember they do not work for you!!!! But, they might be representing you to a client. You want to make sure that you will be represented in a professional and truthful manner. After all it is your reputation and you need to know that you can trust the person you are letting represent you.

Job Boards If you are using the job boards and you post your resume….DO NOT use the resume you posted to apply for a job on t he board. You need to tailor the resume to the job. The resume you posted on the board is a generic resume not a targeted one.

Job Alerts use the advanced feature and be specific as you can for the jobs you a re seeking. It will keep you from sifting through a number of jobs you do not want.  In a profession like mine I have found out the search engines are not that intelligent.

Job Aggregators These have the same features as the boards.

LinkedIn Has a job search section. You may also find jobs in the group discussion areas. Usually under groups that are associated with your profession or alumni.

You thought job searching was easy didn’t you? Wait until we get to researching jobs and companies.

I just got laid off now what do I do? October 9, 2009

Posted by jvmullin in 1.
add a comment

Loosing your job is like loosing a friend or loved one. It is a very emotional time. Give your self a day or two to grieve and understand the loss. Then move on.

The next day or two may be ones of anger towards the old company or manager(be easy on the manager it may not have been his fault remember he reports to a higher authority)and this is okay. How do you handle it in a healthy manner? You have to get it out of your system. Sit down and write the most scathing nasty letter that vents all your issues on the lay off to the company and the manager. Once you have finished the letter, pour yourself a drink, relax then put the letter in the shredder.

Okay  I have grieved and vented what next?

Now it is time to get down to business! This could be a great opportunity for you if you decide it to be.

First you have to decide do I want to stay in the same position or do I want a challenge and move up a notch. Do I want to stay in the same industry or try something new.  Once you have decide that then sit down and write out your skills and accomplishments. Do they fit your new plan? If they do not quite fit then what. Then it is time for researching and networking to gain more insight into the position you are seeking.

Once you have accumulated all this information it is time to form your game plan. Treat it as a project with objectives, milestones, dependencies, interdependencies, and rewards. Now execute the plan.

This will get you  started.

New Age in job hunting October 8, 2009

Posted by jvmullin in 1.
add a comment

The techniques we used just 3-4 years ago do not work today. For those who have held the same job for 15+ years are really at a loss because those techniques are really outdated. What do you do where do you get up to date information?

Instead of buying books on job hunting except for a few, your best bet is networking groups for unemployed, searching the net, searching blogs on job hunting(oh look you found one) or asking fellow colleagues who are in the same boat you are. What boat is that you ask? Why the worse sales and marketing job there is. The hours are long the pay is pitiful and sometimes there is no support. Your customer base has and continues to dwindle. You say hey wait I am not in sales and marketing I was a (fill in the blank here). Yes you were! Do you remember all the skills you used to perform that job?  Do you  remember all your accomplishments? Are they in your resume? Is your summary telling the skills and what you can do for my company now?  Well I hope so!

There is a vast array of tools out there for the job seeker to use. As a job seeker you need to test each tool to see if it is the right tool for you. So you try this nice shiny tool and you use it for 2-4 weeks and you get no results. Now what? Put it back on the shelf it isn’t the right tool for you and now try another. You keep doing this until you find the right set of tools that work for you.  We all have different backgrounds and skills and tools we used to perform our last job. Well it is the same thing for job hunting and all the techniques. You have the find the combination that best fits you.

LinkedIn has become a very powerful tool for job seekers. But just having a basic profile doesn’t cut it if you are a seeker. You have to learn to use every portion of LinkedIn and understand what advantage it gives you.  To hel pout my fellow seekers I have a power point presentation on developing a web presence using LinkedIn. I am also going to conducting a workshop in a few weeks to help them further. How did I learn? By researching reading online articles and just using it until I got it right. Now I have added this  blog to my LinkedIn page.

People ask me, why haven’t you landed yet? I have a few red flags that I have to overcome in order to land. I do not see a problem with any of them as they are personal and will not effect my work or business ethic. I just need to explain that in person.

Knowing your short comings is half the battle. Having a strategy helps you face the inevitable. Ah! Strategy.

You are in a hunt of your life. You are 1 in 6 candidates qualified for a position. Do you have a strategy to show that your number 1? Do you know what you are going to say in an interview to come out on top? Do you have a plan to land your next position? You need to develop a strategy a game plan a project plan. After you develop it then execute it.

Networking! Is networking part of your plan? The BLS says that only 5% of jobs being filled are done through a job board and that everyone else is landing through networking. They also say that those that are in an organized networking group land twice as fast. I am actually in 3 networking groups in person and 4 more online groups via LinkedIn.

I will get into specifics of job hunting in later posts.

Feeling violated October 6, 2009

Posted by jvmullin in 1.
add a comment

I went to log in to my LinkedIn account Saturday and was told that my account was suspended. It took until this afternoon to get the problem resolved. It seems that someone hacked my account and sent out a number of messages. All they asked me to do is to change my password.

Since I use LinkedIn as my number one job tool, I felt a major lose without having access. I manage a group for a networking organization for unemployed professionals. I post interesting articles and other information for my fellow job seekers. It made me feel like I was letting them done not having the ability to put information out.

I guess no sites are safe from hackers. I thought that LinkedIn being a professional networking side would not attract hackers but I have been proven wrong.

Protect your sources is all I can say.

Depression in job hunting October 4, 2009

Posted by jvmullin in 1.
1 comment so far

The last couple of days has brought further bad news about the unemployment scene. They do not see the employment picture getting any better until 2017. The economy isn’t due to hit bottom until 2014 and maybe that will inch out further.

This type of information does not help the job seeker. With growing competition and few openings it is hard to get motivated to get up in the morning and face the day. I talk with fellow job seekers all the time and there is a lot of depression building out there.

Depression is bad because it shows and it will show when you get that elusive interview. Depression is also self defeating. It makes us question our worth and ask ourselves are we really any good at what we do?

When people ask me what I do to get motivated in the morning I joke around, I say that, “I lift the sheets up and look for a toe tag and if there isn’t one I get up and get going”.

I then tell myself that there is a career out there for me and that I have to find it. I know that finding it is hard work. I also know that when I do not get a reply from a company not to be discouraged. I know that companies have cut what the view as overhead staff i.e. HR, accounting,  finance etc. I know that HR is very busy sifting through resumes and cover letters trying to find the best of the best as well as perform their other duties. I know that somethings have to be put aside and unfortunately we are it.  Recruiters do not work for us and we do not yet work for the company so we are viewed as insignificant and therefore we do not get the respect that is due to us as professionals. This just adds to the depression.

I myself try to stay open minded and understanding. That does not make it any better it just makes it a little less painful.

I try to stay positive and understanding what my fellow job seekers are going through I try to help them as well. I guess it is therapeutic for me.

I find that networking helps me to control the depression, as well as, telling myself that I am the best at what I do, that I am unique at what I do, that I am valuable to a company and I just have to figure out how to get them to realize it.

For all my fellow depressed job seeker friends out there, you are somebody and do not let this economy destroy you. Stay open minded and learn what HR and recruiters are going through. Learn the newest job search techniques. We will prevail in the end. We are talented and worthy.