Latest Articles

How to Decode Job Board Postings | Day 9

Sometimes it feels like reading a job description is like trying to decode Kryptos. No matter how long you look at it, it still doesn’t make much sense.

From epic wish lists of skill sets that no one person could ever encompass, to posts so brief and nondescript that it’s hard to tell it’s whether it’s a job description or someone’s random Facebook post, job boards are filled with the nonsensical, the ludicrous, and the downright outrageous. Before you throw up your hands and resign yourself to sending out resumes on blind faith, take a deep breath and a step back.  Here are some tried and true methods that can help you dig below the surface requirements and hone in on what the role is really all about.    Read More →

The Internet is Ruining Your Job Search: How Applying Works in 2013 | Day 8

I you haven’t looked for a job in the last couple of years, you’re in for an extremely rude awakening. A lot has changed, even for the best candidates with the most in-demand skills. There are the added factors of online networking, learning to manage a profile, a brand new etiquette when it comes to approaching recruiters, and the list goes on.

One huge problem we see on the recruiter side is that it’s easier than ever to apply for a job. Features like LinkedIn’s one-click application turn the job search into impulse shopping, which means that everyone applies for everything, which means you’re just that much more likely to get ignored. The black hole of job hunting is bigger and darker than ever. It’s also exhilarating, dynamic, and the best source of increasing your wealth and fulfillment, if you do it right.    Read More →

28 Days to a New Job: Week One Checklist

Week One of our month-long series dedicated to helping you land a bright, shiny new gig is over. It’s only been seven days, but if you’ve been following along and doing your homework, then you’ve already made a lot of progress. You’ve decided you can’t get anything else out of your current job. You’ve had an honest discussion with yourself what jobs you’re really qualified for and where you should be looking. You’ve also spent some serious time on your toolkit. The Core Four (resume, LinkedIn profile, references, and cover letter) are looking good.

Good news: the hard part is over! Everything you’ve worked on thus far will pay huge dividends once you start applying (spoiler alert: next week is all about honing your job application strategy). We’ve got a lot more exciting material for you, but first, let’s just run through a quick list to make sure all your bases are covered.    Read More →

How to Write an Effective Cover Letter

Crash

This could have been avoided with a good cover letter

Here’s a question: when does a job interview begin?

The answer isn’t “with the handshake” or “when you arrive at reception.” The interview process begins the second a recruiter or hiring manager receives their first piece of correspondence from you. In almost all cases, the first thing they see is your cover letter. The cover letter is the first test, and if you haven’t taken the time to prepare one that’s tight, compelling, and good at selling your skills, you’re already blowing it. It’s time to stop worrying about how to write an effective cover letter and start doing it.    Read More →

How and When to Secure Great References | Day 6

It’s difficult to estimate just how many job seekers we’ve seen blow an offer, just because their references were in disarray. Whether they treated them as an afterthought, believed they were either too senior or too accomplished to be asked for them, or just forgot about them all together, job seekers at any level rarely put the necessary effort into selecting, prepping, and deploying references. This is a late-stage mistake that can easily throw a wet blanket on an otherwise successful hiring process. Nail down your references before you begin applying, or you risk playing catch-up down the line.    Read More →

Creating an Effective LinkedIn Profile

You need a great LinkedIn profile. There’s no getting around that in 2013. It’s not just another social networking outlet. It’s not “professional Facebook.” It’s the digital face of your job search, and that alone makes it an absolutely necessary component in your job search toolkit. There are 200 million professionals and 2.6 million companies on LinkedIn. Over 5 billion professionally-oriented searches were conducted there in 2012. If you’re not maximizing your profile’s effectiveness, you’re missing out on one of the best – and one of the easiest – ways to up your job search game.    Read More →

How to Write a Great Resume

The resume is the core of your application materials and is by far the most difficult to construct. That’s why no one likes writing them. Doing it well is hard and time consuming, and there are a million resources for resume guidance on the market, many of them offering contradictory advice. And yet, once you’re done with the resume, it’s pretty smooth sailing. Figuring out the resume – how you’re going to position yourself, how you’re going to spin your story – will inform the rest of your job search and will be a reference point throughout the process. With that said, let’s talk about how to write a great resume.    Read More →

Preparing Your Job Search Toolkit | Day 3

So you’re almost ready to get started applying. You’ve combed the job boards and reached out to your network. You’re finding a number of promising opportunities from both venues, but there’s just one thing: you need a job search toolkit.  You need a resume. And a cover letter. And a LinkedIn profile. And references.

You forgot about the references, didn’t you?

Every year, some pundit makes a grand, sweeping statement like “Resumes Are Dead” or “Why The Cover Letter is Extinct.” These sorts of headlines are great as cynical clickbait, but they’re dangerously misleading and just plain wrong. The hard truth is that you need all four of the aforementioned tools in order to run an effective job search campaign, and it’s best to get them all squared away before you start applying in earnest.    Read More →

How to Determine What Jobs Are Worth Your Time | Day 2

Don't try this at home.In this economy, just showing up no longer counts. Jobs are no longer doled out to the deserving. Instead, they’re given to those that are the most qualified, the best prepared, and who prove that they want it the most.

This is my way of telling you not to start the job hunting process unless you’re willing to make it your relentless pursuit to end up in a hiring manager’s short list — the top three candidates of all the people who applied for a given job — every single time.

Tall order? Maybe. Achievable? Absolutely.

So what can you do today that will make an immediate and positive impact on your job hunt? Start refining the jobs you’re going to apply for.    Read More →

Making the Decision to Find a New Gig | Day 1

Not recommended

Be warned, friends: once you commit yourself to job change, it’s really, really hard to put the “new job” genie back in the bottle.

Once you’re on the hunt, the same-old, same-old of your current job will begin to wear thin and you’ll want out ASAP. Then, with every tweak to your resume, every interview you crush, and every new contact you’ve schmoozed, you’ll find yourself increasingly ready to jump into that sexy new opportunity.

But before you do, you need to be sure that you’re truly ready to pull that rip cord, and that you’re pulling it for the right reasons.    Read More →

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