Job Search Tips

Job Search Tips

Job searching is not simply about combing the papers or job-boards for positions. It requires outlining your own goals, objectives, and limitations to define the position that is right for you. It requires evaluating the companies that are a good fit for your own expectations. The following resources will help you answer the important questions for a successful job-search strategy.

Working With A Recruiter

An IT job seeker preparing to relocate from Dubai to North America contacted me in hopes of finding out what he should expect to pay in recruiter fees, and if working with a recruiter was in fact really the most efficient and effective way to finding his first new job in North America. Relocating is not nearly as easy as it had been in previous years.

With the IT job market tightening right across the board, conducting a job search in a new place at the same time that you are getting used to the new culture and surroundings may take a very long time and can certainly be very disheartening. On the other hand, you will be a fresh face in the local market, and that could work to your advantage, especially when relocating to a small to midsize market that may have been saturated in the specific field that you are an expert in.

The point is, you should not wait until you have moved into your new home and unpacked all your boxes to start looking for a job. The best plan is to start the hunt before you actually make the move. The longer you give yourself for your search, the better your prospects of finding an appropriate job before your savings run out. Above all, if you are lucky enough to find the new job before your move, your new employer might actually cover your relocation expenses. Do not hold your breath as company budgets are no longer as liquid as they used to be.

It is very very important that you find a reliable, and reputable recruiter in order to facilitate an effective job search when you are moving to a new market. A good recruiter will be able to share the secrets of the local area, fill you in on the best employers in the area, and help you find hidden pockets of opportunity that only seasoned locals would know about. Finding some recommendations of recruiters to talk to by contacting the local chapters of your favourite user group or professional association, or contacting the local chamber of commerce is your wisest strategy. That said, you do not want to limit yourself to working with only recruiters. Be active, and search for jobs online, keep an eye on the classifieds, network with anyone you know (including friends of friends) in the area you’re moving to, attend job fairs, and go directly to your sought after employers.

As for recruiters’ fees, you must not pay them yourself. While that was a common business practice in the past, it’s a rather antiquated business model. In today’s North American market place, the employers always pay the recruiter, on either a retainer or a contingency basis. In fact, be very cautious of any recruiter or staffing agency that asks you to pay for services. It’s important to distinguish between a career coach and counsellor who can help you make the transition to a new level in your career development on the one hand and companies that call themselves “career marketing” or “executive marketing” firms on the other. As far as the latter is concerned, candidates need to be extremely careful because those companies are sharp marketers and they will give you the impression that they can solve all your job search problems. But, more often than not they do nothing more than fill you with hope while you help them fill their bank accounts.

You must be extraordinarily CAUTIOUS as the recruiting industry is one that is unregulated and non-standardized, making it easy to be taken advantage of. If there is any time when someone in that field asks you for money up front, get in your car, hop on the bus, jump in a cab, or simply walk away. I will promise you that it will not be a good investment of your time and most importantly, your money.

You must not forget that there are many people who will try to help you. And there are many who are genuine in their efforts. However, when all is said and done, only you can get yourself hired!

Economic Woes Make Finding a Job Difficult

It can be quite challenging to find a job during normal economic conditions. Now, with the media delivering so much negative news regarding corporate layoffs, it’s no surprise that you might lose interest in putting in the heavy effort required to find a job. You have to get over this psychological wall.

During these trying times, looking for a job means you have to go above and beyond what it would normally take to find one. This is going to become more than a full time job in itself. But, don’t be discouraged. With hard work comes bountiful rewards. You have to go outside the box in your approach to looking for work. So, what does this actually mean? Essentially, your attitude is going to be the make or break factor in how successful you are going to be in finding a job. If you take on a passive approach with the sense of malaise, you will not be very successful. That would normally not equate to success during great times. So, be realistic and assess what your attitude is like now!

Making calls to contacts that intimidate you will be the first step, and brewing the nerves to do so is a must. To do this, you must instil a sense of confidence in yourself by believing that you really have NOTHING to lose. You have to understand and believe just how true this is. The following are just a few guidelines to help get you motivated in your job search:

  • Ask yourself if there is an area or sector that you have always had interest in working in. Now is the best time to explore those areas. Assess your experience and skills with the requirements for this given area or sector and determine how well they complement one another. Is it possible to bring your skills and experience over to this new area?

 

  • Research at least ten companies that interest you. Assess what they are all about, what their direction is, and what their success or failures have been. Then determine if what they are doing or trying to do will complement your pedigree. If there is a fit for you, track the person responsible for the area within which you would be interested in working in and introduce yourself. Bring to this persons attention the unique skills you bring to the table and how they can be of tremendous interest to this person and this organization. The key here is to hone in on a problem the company may have and present the answer to this problem. Having achieved this, and hoping they have the budget, you will most likely be hired.

 

  • Make sure you have facts when approaching a hiring manager. Introduce yourself as: “I have noticed that you are going in …… direction and have …….. plans. I can save you ….. amount of time and resources by offering you the following solution(s).” And, then define this solution briefly. The individual you are talking to is very busy and will not give you a lot of time to make a great first impression, so be prepared!

 

  • Now is the time to learn what’s what and who’s who in the business world. Read, read, and read more! If you haven’t already, you now need to get to know your business world intimately. That means logging onto varying news web sites and read up on the current newsmakers that are relevant to you. Pick up your industry journals. It’s time to know who is doing well and who is not but has the potential to do so. Research involves a fair amount of effort. But, without it you will not know what direction to go in.

 

  • Read about companies that are not relevant to your industry but are doing exceptionally well. Is there any way you can get your foot in the door here? Why not. You will never know until you research and measure your options. Nothing will effortlessly fall into your lap. You have to instil a sense of intense urgency and passion in your job search. Be confident in yourself, and get out there!

 

  • To help make yourself feel confident, you should think about volunteering your time to organizations that could benefit from your help. Essentially, you should consider getting out there and contributing so that you have a sense of usefulness while actually providing some priceless help to people who desperately need it. Not only will doing this help your community and make you feel better about yourself, it will give you the chance to connect with people that you probably would have never come across before. These people could be your portal into a new job.

 

Our economy is recovering. This is a fact. As of May 28th, 2002 analysts have found that Canada has been creating jobs and hiring at the fastest pace of the G7. Know that there are jobs being created. But, you also must realize how competitive it is out there. Unfortunately, or fortunately for you, most people become lethargic and easily discouraged in the job search process because of the fact that it is so competitive. That attitude will destroy you. Be prepared to invest some time and energy, and you are certain to prevail much sooner over those who are sleeping in until 10AM every day. Hit the pavement, and hit it in a hard and unique way!

Interview Tips – Career Development

Interview Tips

Interview Tips

In the highly competitive job market of today, simply getting to the interview stage can be a struggle. Now that you’ve made it, there are countless questions to ask yourself. How do I describe my experience in a way that is interesting and engaging? How do telephone or video-conference interviews differ from in-person? How do I carry myself physically?

We have included the following articles of note to help you answer pertinent questions such as these, and present yourself professionally and confidently.

 

Typical Interview Questions

Interviewing can be a stressful experience. We at GuruLink want to give you the upper hand. We have compiled a list of traditional generic questions that may have slipped your mind in preparing for your next interview.

Be ready for these!

  • Could you please tell me about yourself?
  • How can you help us to grow? Why should I hire you?
  • What is it that you expect from us so that we are the best employer in your eyes?
  • What are your goals? Both sort-term and long-term? How did you establish them?
  • How did you learn about our organization? What made you apply for this role?
  • What would you consider are your greatest strengths and weaknesses?
  • What are the qualities that you would look for if you were in charge of hiring new employees?
  • Are you willing to take courses?
  • How do you work under pressure? Give examples from your previous jobs?
  • Where do you see yourself in 2 years? What about 5-10 years from now?
  • In what ways do you think you could make a valuable contribution to our company?
  • What things about a job give you the most satisfaction?
  • Tell me about an accomplishment that you are proud of.
  • Describe your ideal job.
  • What have you learned from your mistakes?
  • What is your biggest frustration with your current or most recent position?
  • Why did you leave your last position or why are you looking to leave?
  • How would you like your next position to be different?
  • How do you get along with your current supervisor?
  • Tell me about a conflict you had with someone in your work environment and how you dealt with it.
  • How do you spend your time at work?
  • How has your college experience prepared you for a career? (If applicable)
  • What motivates you to put forth your greatest effort?
  • Why did you choose the career for which you are preparing?
  • What qualifications do you have that make you think you will be successful?
  • What do you REALLY want to do in life?
  • What do you think it takes to be successful in an organization like ours?
  • How would you define the word, “success”?
  • Do you have a geographical preference? Are you willing to relocate? Travel?
  • What criteria are you using to evaluate the company for which you hope to work?
  • Why have you been out of work for so long?
  • Who do you admire?

 

Surviving Tricky Interviews

Most recruiters or employers are normally quite friendly and congenial as they try to learn more about you and your background during an interview. In all likelihood you will leave the meeting feeling that you have met someone with whom you would like to work, and could see yourself working, with. Then there are the interviewers who go out of their way to be abrasive and adversarial.

By provoking you, they hope to measure and assess your composure in order to determine how you react when you are frustrated, angry or under pressure. You must be prepared for these interview games.

The following interview situations are some that you might very well encounter. Following them are guidelines on how to handle them.

Who Are You?

The recruiter or employer opens the meeting with: “Tell me about yourself.”

This statement should not trip you up. It gives you a great opportunity to explain why you are the best person for the job. Your answer should come from the prepared statements you have relating to how you can benefit the company, not on such autobiographical elements as where you grew up, your marital status or your hobbies and interests. Give a nice brief summary of your professional experience, then conclude with a strong statement outlining your most important strengths and accomplishments as they relate to the sought after role. Recruiters or employers who open a meeting with “Tell me about yourself” are handing you a golden opportunity to go through your qualifications and wrap up an offer. Instead of dreading these opening remarks, prepare for recruiters or employers who begin this way.

Promoting Yourself

The interviewer begins the conversation by bluntly asking, “Why should I hire you?”

Many people trip over this question when asked and make a terrible first impression. Again, you could not ask for a more beautiful opportunity to lay out your qualifications on the table. Try being just as blunt as the interviewer when describing your most salient strengths and accomplishments. Give a nice brief summary of your professional experience, then conclude with a strong statement outlining your most important strengths and accomplishments as they relate to the sought after role.

Profitable Silence

Some recruiters and employers will not say anything after you have answered a question. They just stare at you. In response, most of you get anxious and either laugh or grope for things to say, and your remarks more often than not backfire. A short period of silence is easy to manage. You have given your answer to the recruiter’s or employer’s question, and now it’s up to them to continue the flow of the conversation. Simply gaze back while slowly and silently counting to 20. If these 20 seconds seem like an unbearable amount of time and you feel pressured to break the silence, ask the recruiter or employer a question about the position or company. Your question will be brilliant if it uncovers details about the available job. Instead of dreading difficult interview situations, prepare yourself to handle them effectively. While your competition will make a poor impression and lose points with interviewers, you can cast yourself in a favorable light and be well on your way to winning an offer by simply having prepared yourself!

Difficult Personalities

If recruiter or employer is determined to make things tough for you, the only thing you can do is be ready for it and handle it appropriately. The recruiter or employer might try to frequently point out your weaknesses, constantly interrupt you, intimidate you with their knowledge of the field, or continually disagree with your comments. These methods of intimidation are especially effective if you are being interviewed by a group of people at once. Most of you often become so flustered or worked up that you fall apart and blurt things out that you later regret. Forgetting to mention important information is also quite common in these circumstances. Your best ammunition against this is to play along. The secret weapon is to recognize that the recruiter’s or employer’s antagonism is nothing more than a game. It is a game aimed at determining if you can keep your cool. By acting politely, calmly and evenly, no matter how rudely the recruiter or employer behaves, you will be demonstrating your confidence and maturity. Granted, the interview can become quite challenging. Some circumstances may arise that are so extreme, you have to realize that they are acting this badly to learn how aggressive or assertive you can be. Research. Any and all information you can get in advance about the person(s) you will be meeting, as well as the personal characteristics the company is looking for, will help you know how to behave.

There are other more simple yet subtle ways to arouse you during an interview. These include seating you in a wobbly or squeaky chair, next to a hot radiator, beside a breezy open window or with the sun in your eyes. You do not want to be interviewed like this. So, explain to the interviewer what’s annoying you, and then continue the conversation while moving your chair to a different location or sitting in a different place. Do not bear it and compromise your chances. Stand up, speak up in a polite yet assertive manner and correct the discomforting situation. You can only be respected for this. No one cares much for a passively quiet teammate.

Do Not Bad-Mouth Your Former Employer

What made you want to leave your job?

This is one of the first questions you will be asked by an employer or recruiter in your initial interview, be it over the phone or in person. So, why you are interested in leaving your current job or why have you left your most recent job?

The last thing you want to do is to take this opportunity to go off about how much you despise your old boss or your peers from your old company. Saying bad things about an employer in an interview setting reflects more negatively on you than the employer.

Always speak positively, or at least refrain from making any negative comments when asked this question. No employer will hire someone who appears to have a bad attitude or cannot seem to get along with peers, reports, or superiors.

Resume Tips

Resume Tips

Resume Tips

As a job seeker, your resume IS the storefront of your business. Understanding how to write a concise and powerful resume that is compelling for potential employers is the crucial first step in landing the job that is right for you. We have compiled a list of articles of note and have included some of our own examples to help you write that winning resume.

 

GuruLink Sample Resumes

Gurulink is committed to helping you present yourself in the best and clearest way. We want you to find the right positions. An effective layout and presentation can greatly improve your chances of getting the job! Take a few moments to review the sample documents below:

Defining The Objective of Your Objective Section

Through trial and error we have learned to identify the most effective methods of defining one’s objective section. The following will help clarify what an objective section is, and how you should tailor it to your needs based on your experience and aspirations. The run-on sentence will be the demise of your objective section.  A typical BAD example is found below:

OBJECTIVE: To utilize my professional experience in the technology sector. Contributing to the best of my knowledge and fostering positive people relations using my skills with a preference to jobs with responsibility and a variety of tasks, while continuing to learn and experience new challenges, which will promote growth in any field for which I am qualified.

A properly written objective is concise, to the point, and crisp. Below are some GOOD examples:

OBJECTIVE: To secure a challenging position in an IT-based company with opportunity for professional and intellectual growth.

OBJECTIVE: A positive and energetic professional seeking a position in project management and management.

OBJECTIVE: Seeking a Network Administration position where my hands on experience, self management, and communication can be effectively utilized to improve operations and contribute to your organizations further growth and increased profits.

Keeping your objective to the point will effectively stop you from over-extending yourself as in the statement below:

OBJECTIVE: To take up a suitable assignment in Toronto for two years in a field other than my profession in consistence with the purpose of my life to serve humanity.

 

Monster.com Resume Center

 

Workopolis Resume Writing Tips

Career Development

Career Development

 

Career Development

At GuruLink, we understand that career development is an endless process. GuruLink provides you with current information on employment concerns such as salary surveys, interviewing, and resume tips. Please browse our selection of professional development resources and contact us to find out how a GuruLink Representative can help you put the right foot forward in every step of your career path. We strive to prove ourselves as your trusted career advisors.

 

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