WorkWise: Ramping up for fall's job hunt

culp@workwise.netSeptember 9, 2012 

(Dianne M. Daniels) Dianne Daniels helps a client update his wardrobe for interviews. She’s an image coach based at Norwich, Conn.’s Dianne Daniels Speaks Inc.

Fall launches the strongest job-hunting season of the year as employers anticipate New Year’s budgets. Be one of the people they meet and plan to hire in the New Year, if not before.

“Fall gives people a chance to think differently about their experience, education and expertise and develop a fresh point of view about what they have to offer,” says Dianne Daniels, image coach at Dianne Daniels Speaks Inc. in Norwich, Conn. “Get out of the box you might unwittingly have put yourself in. For example, fill software gaps by taking a weekend or night class.”

She adds that any education or training will help make you more relevant, indicate to an employer that you take the initiative to learn and get you up to speed.

REPUTATION

When did you last look at your public presence? John-Talmage Mathis of Enterprise, Ala., suggests that you “clean and repair your digital profile. Open a Google account to remove unwanted links. Set privacy settings on Facebook.”

He also advises you to update your career profile on professional and job-hunting sites. If you’re unemployed, you might create a professional web page.

Managing your online reputation is essential. If your wedding nuptials appeared on Google and you shared information for friends, disable the link so personal details don’t roll across the screens of potential employers.

“Whether the boss (himself) searches for your name,” Mathis continues, “or a background checker performs the search, it's that one thing that may tip the scale in not getting the job ... or getting the job.”

Watch those tweets.

NUMBERS

Executive search consultant Tom Carter, managing director of Hanover Search (US) Inc. in New York City, tells candidates to develop a spreadsheet for their search.

“High growth less than ten miles from my house could be one category,” he explains, “(followed by) Fortune 500 companies less than 30 miles from my house.”

Then he recommends researching issues of trade magazines for a dozen leads. When you’ve used them up, find more.

He sees executives and others with track records failing to view job hunting as partly a numbers game. Instead, they invest emotionally in a single company where the position seems just right.

“They KNOW it’s the right position,” he observes. “They KNOW they’re perfect for it. They HAVE to HAVE it. (But) many don’t understand the vagaries of roles being filled.”

Then comes the despair. Instead, he says to shift gears by searching for about ten possible jobs you like, even if they’re all the same but in different companies. He also advocates a 15-second elevator pitch for each type of job you’re seeking and 90-second answers during interviews.

QUICK TIPS

If you’re not sure if your appearance is dated, Daniels points to GQ and Business Week for photos of men, Money for men and women, and O, Essence and More (the last for 40 and over) for women only. Unsure about colors? The online Pantone Fashion Color Report Fall 2012 displays colors for women and men separately.

Look for “boosters” in your job search, suggests Steve Dalton, career coach at Fuqua School of Business at Duke University Durham, N.C. They like to help job seekers and will respond to your emails within three business days.

If not, “reach out to a second person at that same employer,” he says. He maintains that seven days of nonresponse from any contact signals the time to follow up and find a new one.

The season is changing. Capitalize on its rhythm by initiating your search.

Dr. Mildred L. Culp welcomes your questions at culp@workwise.net. © 2012 Passage Media.

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