Jumpstart Your Job Search

It’s been more than a while since you’ve gotten a bite. You can’t even remember which folder it was where you saved your latest resume update. Your interview suit might be in the back of your closet, or it might be at the dry cleaner still….who really knows.

 

Does this sound like you? Are you finding yourself in the dry and weary wasteland of waiting for a lead or a call back or any semblance of interest? If this is where you find yourself in regard to your job search, then it’s time for a jumpstart! It’s time to dust off your skillset, shake off your missed opportunities, and hit the ground running.

 

Very, very few opportunities in life ever fall into our laps without doing some work on our end. If you want to be noticed, to be set apart from other interested employees, then you have to get back in the game and play it strategically. But how, when you’ve been out of the game for so long?

 

Resume – up to date and top notch. Hire a professional if need be to make sure you are marketing yourself fully and highlighting all of your strongest assets.

 

Cover letter – very specific to the job for which you are applying. Push past the temptation to use the same template for every job and, instead, modify each letter to cater to the job qualifications at hand.

 

Networking – stay connected with your “people”, don’t let the out-of-sight/out-of-mind theory find itself to be true. Your network of contacts, over the course of your lifetime, will offer you invaluable opportunities and pry open many doors that may have otherwise remained closed. And keep your LinkedIn account fresh and full of information, a hiring manager will be turned off by checking out an account that hasn’t been touched or updated in years.

 

Your time has not passed nor has all hope been lost of ever working again, so chin up. You just need to be jolted back into gear and get your act together. Platinum Resumes exists to offer help and hope to those such as yourself, who might need a little assistance in getting their resume to the top of the stack but who are very much qualified and capable. Call us at (816) 986-0909 or contact via email at info@platinumresumes.com. Let us help you to help yourself and let’s get those job offers headed your way!

July 31st, 2015|Blog|

Why You Should Always Keep an Eye Out for Other Jobs

Do you love your job? Great. Do you plan to leave anytime soon? Probably not? Well, good for you! But, just because you have a job doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be looking elsewhere. As you reside happily in your current position, you can still be working toward a happier and more secure career path by keeping your eyes and ears open for other opportunities.

 

As we exist in our own little worlds day after day, we have to stay connected to all that is going on around us and stay current with the changes in trends and in job markets. Such changes will affect our future whether we realize it or not. Things may be smooth sailing now, but we can never fully know what awaits us around the corner. As we wait, why not prepare ourselves? Why not take a look at what else is out there as we’re daily evaluating all that we want out of life?

 

There are three areas to contemplate as you are looking at other jobs, reasons why looking for a job while you’re technically “not looking” isn’t a bad idea. Keeping your resume dusted off and staying sharp on your interview skills are a must. Stop for a moment and think through each of these as you consider your circumstances.

 

It Gives You a Goal… Have you ever found yourself looking at a job for which you weren’t quite qualified? You go ahead and apply because you’ve got a good-looking resume and solid career history, but those certifications or years of specific experience sure would look nice. Well, get crackin’. If you know the jobs you have on your dream list require more experience than you currently have in certain areas, then start now by gaining said experience. Even though that particular job probably won’t be available years down the road, you will be better equipped to find something of that same caliber.

 

It Helps You Piece Together Who You Want to Be… Career paths these days are much less linear than you used to be, and there is much more leeway to jump around here and there. You don’t have to climb the corporate ladder rung by rung if your vision is to skip around a bit or to climb a different ladder altogether. As you are evolving in your career and discovering more and more about your strengths and interests, you may just find that a different type of job path would better suit you. Keeping a keen eye on other jobs out there will allow you to see possibilities for your future if you ever decide to switch gears.

 

It Gives You a Worse-Case-Scenario Plan… If unexpected news comes your way and you find yourself without a job, wouldn’t it be nice to have a plan B? Having a list of potential jobs that would fit what you want and need is always nice to have at your disposal. Closely perusing the latest job openings on some of your favorite websites is a great way to keep your list updated in the event that your worst-case-scenario plan is called into action.

 

https://www.themuse.com/advice/why-you-should-look-at-other-jobs-even-if-you-love-the-one-you-have

July 24th, 2015|Blog|

Top 5 Questions to Prepare For to Nail Your Next Interview

Part 5: “What kind of salary do you expect?”

 

As we wrap up this blog series today, we are contemplating one of the toughest issues that job candidates will face in an interview, the discussion of salary. What kind of salary do you expect? What’s your bottom dollar when it comes to being compensated for your job? What salary range are you interested in?

 

The question can be asked in several different ways, but the answers must have little room for variance. This topic must be well thought out as you prepare for your big interview, and you must be very confident and direct as you ready yourself to approach the mention of salary.

 

An important point to remember is that it will be in your best interest to avoid answering any question pertaining to a desired salary range on the front end. This would be tantamount to someone asking what you’re willing to pay for a house you haven’t seen yet. A good response to this is, “I think it best to discuss the needs of this position in addition to my qualifications, which will provide both sides with the necessary information to determine appropriate compensation”. If you are required to provide a range up front in an application, put a huge range with the low number being the top of what you want. e.g. $60K-$120K. Do not worry about pricing yourself out of a conversation. If they don’t want to pay what you want, they aren’t a good fit anyway.

 

The next step in best preparing yourself for a solid interview is to really dig into your research and make a few inquiries. First off, be sure you’ve inquired about the additional benefits of the job, so that you’re looking at the big picture. Health insurance, dental, 401k, pension, stock options, time off, etc. are all very important as part of your package. If you are in a situation where you do not need some of the benefits being offered, suggest increasing salary for declining health insurance, etc. A second area of inquiry should be regarding the compensation increase structure. If it is not very aggressive, a few percentage points annually, suggest a higher starting point. Remember, once you agree to a number and get started, it is VERY difficult to renegotiate in the future.

 

Many people who think they are ready to nail a job interview are not yet very effective negotiators. The thought of rising up in opposition to your potential employer can seem kind of unsettling, and understandably so. However, confidently defending your angle in the matter of your compensation is a respectable place to be in, as long as you are demonstrating clear and sound explanations.

 

This negotiation experience can be seen as an opportunity to provide additional information to overcome the potential objection of the hiring manager, by providing in detail what you can produce for the company to make it worth paying a bit more.  The CFO might be a hard sell, but if the individual that is interviewing you is in your corner with you then you stand a better chance of pulling out a win with a higher salary.

 

Remember. if you get to the point a company wants to hire you, they truly want to hire you! This is the opportunity to negotiate strongly, where most people miss out. Be confident in your requests and avoid the tendency to ask for something and immediately start defending it. It’s a sales game, sharpen your skills and you will win it!

July 17th, 2015|Blog|

Top 5 Questions to Prepare For to Nail Your Next Interview

Part 4: “Why did you leave your last job?”

 

As we continue through this blog series, our focus is to reveal even more helpful tips in getting you well prepared for your next job interview. This week that focus rests upon our fourth question: “Why did you leave your last job?”

 

This question can definitely be one that catches you off guard, potentially tripping you up if you haven’t rehearsed properly. If you have left your former job on any bad terms or with a bad taste in your mouth, it is human nature to be tempted to vent about such frustrations. Take heed…your job interview is not the place for that!

 

If the hiring manager asks you this difficult question, it is important that you answer honestly. However, you must do so with tact, finding a way to explain yourself without ripping your former employer. If you choose to answer this question by spending the bulk of the time harping about your old boss or company, you will be doing yourself no favors. You are likely to leave the hiring manager thinking of you as bitter or petty, when instead you want to be showcasing other attractive qualities.

 

So, how do you go about doing your homework on this question? As with every other question we have discussed in this series, it is important to spend time brainstorming. Consider your former job and develop some solid thoughts on the reasons surrounding your choice to leave. Maybe it was out of your hands. Maybe you couldn’t wait to get out of the door and burn some serious bridges, or maybe you left reluctantly and still hold onto special relationships with former coworkers. Whatever your case may be, there is a story involved, and you will bring this story with you into your new job.

 

The ability to nail your next interview is yours if you want it. Even though you might not already know exactly what the employer is going to ask, you have gained a very good idea of the probable questions. Do not set yourself up for failure by oversharing or just trying to “wing it”. Even if it seems odd at first to rehearse and recite your answers, you will thank yourself later! Stick with it and get ready to wow your potential employer with your cool and collected confidence.

July 10th, 2015|Blog|

Top 5 Questions to Prepare For to Nail Your Next Interview

Part 3: “Will you tell me a little about yourself?”

 

Today, as we continue in our series on how to go about nailing your next job interview, we will share from our wealth of knowledge taken from a variety of hiring managers. There is a short list of questions that can be guaranteed to make it into the discussion at your next job interview, and we’re here to help you sail through the experience with confidence.

 

“Tell me a little about yourself.” Sounds pretty basic, right? No research needed. You’ve got an abundance of experience to chat about, years of life to unfold before the employer sitting in front of you. But….hold that thought. Although your employer wants to know about you, there is a limit to what he or she really wants to know. Their interest is in the pertinent and not the superfluous. There’s no need to discuss how that bad breakup in college really helped set your course toward self-awareness, or how your bad stroke of luck back in the fall really put you into a financial slump.

 

When the hiring manager asks you this question, the goal is to learn more about who you are and what you can bring to the company. What makes you interesting? What about your personality and your history makes you the right fit for this particular position? Your character often defines your work ethic and creates the image of how you would look in this new role.

 

As you rehearse and prepare for your interview, think of at least three to five attributes that make you a strong candidate for this position and build on those. In telling who you are and where you’ve been, discuss the details about your life, both personal and professional, that are helpful in highlighting those attributes. If you know yourself to be more trustworthy than any other coworker you’ve ever worked beside, then make a point of weaving that into your story. You can discuss how you are committed to your family and friends and how that commitment follows you into the workplace as well.

 

This is not a question that should have you in knots. You want to feel comfortable to sit back and share a glimpse of yourself with your potential manager, but it will take some preparation on the front end. As mentioned above, sit down and get your thoughts together first. If it helps, you can even write out a solid paragraph that shares a few details about who you are and what brings you to this point in your life, in a concise format.

 

After you’ve worked through that and gotten a grip on what exactly you want to say, then you can commit it to memory and feel prepared to nail that portion of the interview! This question, which once left you feeling unsure, will now be one that you’re eager to answer again and again.

July 3rd, 2015|Blog|
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