Halimah Bellows Advises on Job Search No-Nos

Recently Halimah Bellows, Career Coach and Author of Champion Your Career: Winning in the World of Work, gave advice on KATU2’s AM Northwest for anyone embarking on a job search. You can watch a video of her interview at: http://katu.com/amnw/books-authors/job-search-no-nos. Below is a summary of her suggestions.

  1. Companies will not allow you to call for an interview, and they frown on anyone walking in asking for an application. Your first impression is now your resume.
  • Since most resumes must be sent online the resume must stand out and show your best skills.
  • If you want to stand out even more and above the rest, write a cover letter even if not asked for – a 2nd opportunity to show how your skills match the job description.
  • In online resumes employers look for key words, be sure to include these in your list of skills – read the job description carefully, use their words for your key words, or look up on line – Occupational Outlook Handbook, or O net to find job descriptions of occupations – search for resumes in the field – look for what is repeated.
  • Networking: LinkedIn, B2B Meetings, Chamber meetings, Alumni associations
  • Names are still magic, inside contacts – ‘so and so referred me’ – aha, a connection, use it.

 

  1. Tap Into The Market
  • Visit Job and Career Fairs
  • Expand your List of network to social, political, or religious organizations
  • Dig deep. When filling out an online application, assessment, resume and cover letter do a Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter search for someone who works for the company you are applying for. Drop them a line and mention you are applying for the company they work for-they may be able to help pull your app out of the pile and put in a good word for you.
  • Join organizations associated with the field you are interested in finding work: American Film Marketing Association, Financial Women International, etc.
  • Membership services are a way to network within the field you are seeking and a way to meet people in your target industry: trade shows, seminars, internships, publications, professional development, employment referrals. TIP: Choose your internship seriously—many of students have been hired after an internship, as they already know you. “show up on time, be reliable, take initiative.”

 

  1. Myths about Networking and Job Search Issues
  • I went to a small school so there won’t be resources for job networking: While the alumni network may be smaller, it probably is a tighter network.
  • Someone will find a job for me, an employment agency, a college placement office: Most jobs are not well advertised. Ask around, learn how to be a good researcher and detective.
  • If I have a degree, I can get a job. If I can’t find a job, I have to go back to school: Your success in landing a job lies in your ability to assess the totality of your life experiences and relate them to your career goals and the job opening you are pursuing. You must sell yourself to the employer once you get the interview. If you cannot find a job related to the direct degree, look at the skills you have and the ones that are ‘transferable’ into different occupations.
  • The younger person will get the job: Many articles are written about age bias. However there are employers out there who prefer more mature workers who have more experience, are more reliable, and won’t have childcare issues.

 

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