How to Job Search While You’re Still Employed

Finding a job is a full-time job in itself, so looking for work while you’re still employed can be especially difficult. It’s important that you set time aside to devote to your job search – and this means outside of your regularly scheduled working hours! Also, you want to avoid letting your current employer know that you’re looking elsewhere until you’re ready to give notice. Learn how to do just that by following our advice below:

  1. Don’t job hunt while you’re at work!
    • This includes working on your resume, applying for jobs, surfing the job boards, etc.
  2. Don’t take/make calls and emails from hiring managers or recruiters at your desk.
    • If you need to communicate regarding a potential opportunity, do so over your lunch or coffee break, and make sure to leave your office to make these calls in private.
    • This also means you should list your personal phone number and email address on your resume – not your work contact info.
  3. Don’t post your resume all over job boards.
    • If your current employer is hiring, it’s very likely that they browse job boards in order to find candidates, and they will know that you are looking elsewhere if they come across your resume.
    • Take advantage of job alerts instead of posting your resume. This way you will receive emails about potential job opportunities directly from the job boards.

How to Stay Fit at the Office

Sitting at a desk behind a computer for eight or more hours a day can be hard on your body. Learn how to stay active and keep fit while maintaining your office job by following our tips below:

  1. Take a walk
    • Use your lunch break or coffee break to go for a stroll around the block. The fresh air and exercise will do your body good.
  2. Use the stairs
    • So what if your office is on the 10th floor? Taking the stairs instead of using the elevator can help you burn extra calories every day.
  3. Sit on an exercise ball
    • Sitting on an exercise ball will engage your core muscles and also help to straighten your posture.
  4. Stretch regularly
    • Set an alarm as a reminder to stretch at regular intervals throughout the day. Stretching is a great way to loosen your muscles and help with blood flow.
  5. Sit up straight
    • Maintaining good posture is an easy way to relieve back pain and keep your core muscles engaged throughout the day.

What do Employers Expect from Recent Graduates?

When an employer is looking to hire a recent graduate to fill an open position, certain qualities can outweigh others. Typically, the most important thing a recent graduate can offer an employer is relevant experience, but there are other qualities that come into consideration.

First off, relevant experience typically outweighs relevant knowledge. For example, having three marketing internships under your belt and an English degree can be more beneficial than having a marketing degree and no relevant work experience.

Next, having a relevant degree can outweigh your place of education. For example, having a marketing degree from a state school would make you more qualified for a marketing position than a Political Science degree from an Ivy League school.

Another factor that a potential employer will consider is whether or not a recent graduate would be a cultural fit with their organization. Some companies seek job seekers who have a lot of independence and are able to work autonomously, while others want team players who are able to work collaboratively and share the credit of a job well done.

Lastly, an employer will want to see that a recent graduate has demonstrated growth and the ability to learn throughout their academic and professional careers. For example, they want to see that you were promoted in your job at the library from Front Desk Clerk to Catalogue Manager. Or that your internship in freshman year asked you back to work for consecutive summers.

Keep these factors in mind as you start to apply for jobs post-graduation, and make sure potential employers are aware of all your best qualities and experiences.

Why It’s Important to Be Nice to Everyone

When job seekers go on interviews, they typically focus solely on impressing their interviewer(s). Next time you go on an interview, be sure to be friendly, polite and professional with every person you encounter. You never know the importance or professional status of each individual, so it pays to be nice to everyone! First impressions are critically important, especially on a job interview, so make sure the impression you make at a potential employer’s office is a positive one.

Some professionals might be surprised to learn that many hiring managers actually consult other employees around the office to get their impression of the interviewed candidates. Hiring managers realize that you put your best foot forward with them, so they want to know how you acted and treated others when you weren’t in their presence. For example, many hiring managers will ask their receptionist or administrative assistants what their impression was of the interviewed candidate. The receptionist is typically the first person you interact with at a job interview and the way you treat them says a lot about you. Hiring managers want to know that you were polite and professional with their support staff, because your behavior will demonstrate what kind of coworker you will be if hired.

Another reason it is important to be nice to everyone at your job interview is that you never know what an individual employee’s status is within the company. For example, say you steal a parking spot from a driver in the garage and then that person ends up being the CEO of the company you are interviewing with! Or, you neglect to hold the door open for a woman who ends up being the human resources manager of the organization. From the minute you arrive at the office to the time you leave, you should make a good impression on every single person you encounter at your next interview.

Tips for Re-Entering the Workforce

If you have taken significant time away from work – whether by choice or by chance – re-entering the workforce can be a daunting challenge. Learn how to make your transition back into the working world a little easier by reading our advice below:

1. Try Temping:

  • Temping is a great option for re-entry workers. Working temporary assignments is a great way to sharpen your skills and transition back into a work routine.
  • Temp agencies commonly work with re-entry workers, so they won’t be as wary of the gaps in your resume as a hiring manager looking to fill a permanent opportunity would be.

2. Network:

  • Re-entry workers typically have a lot more networking opportunities than a recent graduate or young professional.
  • They have already spent several years working, so they have developed business contacts within their industry. These contacts are great networking tools and can be used to help them get their foot in the door with a great organization.

3. Freshen Up Your Resume:

  • The rules of resume writing have probably changed since the last time you were looking for work, so make sure you update your resume accordingly.
  • If necessary, speak with a job counselor or career center for assistance. Make sure your resume best presents your developed skills and experiences, and also adheres to modern resume rules.

4. Put Together a Portfolio:

  • Before you even have a job interview, you should create a portfolio showcasing some major projects or presentations you completed earlier in your career.
  • Providing a visual representation of what you have to offer a potential employer can help you show them the value you could bring to their company.

5. Update Your Knowledge:

  • Re-entry workers should make sure that their technical skills and industry knowledge is up to date before applying for new positions.
  • If necessary, seek technical classes in order to update your computer or software skills. Also, research your desired industry to make sure you are up to date with current events and changes.

6. Gather References:

  • If possible, try to get recommendations and references from your former supervisors and coworkers.
  • Submitting great references and letters of recommendation with your resume can help prove to potential employers that you are worth interviewing.

 

The Most Important Part of Your Resume

What is a resume? A document that showcases you as a professional and demonstrates to potential employers why you are the perfect fit for their open opportunity. The main purpose of your resume is to show why you are qualified for certain positions, but a lot of job seekers tend to forget this fact when applying to jobs. Don’t lose focus by spending too much time worrying about trivial aspects such as the length of your resume, the formatting, or the objective statement. The most important part of your resume is your work experience and how that experience applies to the jobs you are applying for.

When applying to individual job postings, you should tailor your resume for every, single one! You need to thoroughly review job postings to comprehend exactly what experience and qualifications a potential employer is looking for, and then ensure that you meet those requirements. If you do have the required experience, make sure your resume clearly shows that!

For example, if an employer is looking for someone with strong Excel skills, they want to see that you have used Excel in prior positions. Instead of just listing “Excel” under the Technical Skills section on your resume, clearly state how and where you used Excel throughout your work experience. A potential employer should be able to see exactly where you used Excel and how you used it without having to call you and ask about it.

Showing your demonstrated experience is especially important if you are looking to transition into a new career or a higher level role. For example, if you are a teacher applying to be an administrative assistant, you need to demonstrate how your work experience as a teacher qualifies you for a role as an admin. Or if you are a junior associate applying for a senior position, show how your role has prepared you to move up to the next level.

While details such as the formatting and wording of your resume are still very important, showing your demonstrated work experience is the major priority for your resume. Always remember to tailor your work experience for each and every job posting to ensure a maximum return on investment of your time!

Interview Do’s

While every interview situation is different, we have created a list of the ultimate interview “do’s” that are guaranteed to increase your chances of successfully landing a job offer.

–        Do arrive on time: Plan to arrive fifteen minutes early for your interview. Potential employers will assume you have bad time management skills if you are late for a scheduled interview.

–        Do talk positively about your former employer: Talking positively about a former employer will show loyalty and respect, which are both traits employers look for in potential candidates.

–        Do bring several hardcopies of your resume with you: Even if you are not asked to bring a resume with you, you should always have a few copies on hand just in case you need them.

–        Do avoid over sharing personal information: While it’s important to share your work experience and skills in detail, you should avoid talking too much about your personal life and opinions.

–        Do ask for your interviewer’s business card before you leave: You won’t be able to follow-up appropriately after your interview without your interviewer’s business card.

–        Do make consistent eye contact with your interviewer: Displaying good body language and making eye contact will help to further engage your interviewer.

–        Do avoid wearing a lot of cologne or perfume: You don’t want to bother your interviewer’s allergies or distract them with an overabundant fragrance.

–        Do dress appropriately: Dressing inappropriately for an interview is the number one way to discount yourself from consideration.

–        Do act interested in the company and position: Although you know you’re interested in the job, you still have to prove it to your interviewer. Potential employers want to see just how dedicated you are to working for them.

–        Do thank your interviewer for their time and consideration: It’s always a good idea to follow-up after an interview with a nice thank you note.

–        Do avoid chewing gum: Chewing gum during an interview is not polite, and it can be very distracting for your interviewer. It can force them to focus on your chewing rather than what you are saying. Avoid bringing any food or drinks for the same reason.

–        Do turn off your cell phone first: You don’t want your phone ringing in the middle of an interview, so make sure you turn it off before walking in. Even silenced cell phones occasionally vibrate or make noise, so turn your cell all the way off to avoid any unwanted distractions.

Maintaining Professional Social Media Pages

Social media can be a great resource for job seekers, but it can also be a large hindrance for those who don’t monitor their pages’ content. Make sure your social media pages present you as an employable, respectable professional before using them as a resource in your job hunt. Even if you don’t use Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter to help you network and apply for jobs, some organizations go out of their way to check social media pages before presenting a candidate with a job offer. Read over our tips below to make sure your social media pages present you as a great candidate to any potential employer.

  1.  Use a professional, flattering photo as your profile picture or avatar. This means no pictures of you in your Halloween costume, making a funny face, or partying in college.
  2. Set your privacy settings accordingly. If there are any inappropriate or unprofessional pictures or posts on your social media page that you cannot delete, make sure they are not visible to anyone who visits your page.
  3. Delete anything you wouldn’t want a potential boss or coworker to see. It’s better to be safe than sorry, so even if you think your pictures are completely private, it might just be better to get rid of them.
  4. Link your social media pages to an email address you don’t list on your resume. Changing your name on Facebook or using a nickname on Twitter does not mean an employer can’t find your profile. If your profile is linked to the same email address you have on your resume, all an employer has to do is search for that email address to find your profile.

Keeping your social media pages looking professional and presentable will definitely help you in your job search. Don’t give potential employers any excuse to disregard you as an applicant by making sure your social media pages present you as a desirable, hirable professional.

Business Cards for the Unemployed Job Seeker

While business cards are typically used by working professionals to stay connected in their industry, unemployed job seekers can also benefit from the use of a personal calling card. You might not have a title or company to list on your card, but you can still include vital information that you can pass along to potential employers or networking contacts. We’ve included a sample business card for an unemployed job seeker below:

 

John Doe

Administrative Assistant

(555) 555-5555           linkedin.com/johndoe

John.Doe@email.com         Washington, DC

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pertinent information to include would be your personal contact information, your address or city, and links to your professional social media pages. Including your most recent or desired title is optional. At the end of an interview, we recommend you hand these cards out to your interviewer(s), so they know where to contact you to follow up for another interview or to present you with a job offer. Also, these cards are great to have on hand when you meet a new networking contact that you want to stay in touch with. We also recommend providing your networking contacts with a few copies of your card, so they can hand them out at their own discretion to potential employers. Overall, personal business cards are a great idea for the unemployed job seeker, because they allow you to connect with the people who can help you land your dream position!

Tips to Improve Your Commute

Commuting to and from work can be a large source of stress for many professionals, and that stress can end up affecting your general mood and work performance each day in the office. Learn how to improve your commute by following the advice listed below:

  1. Listen to music

–        Listening to upbeat music is a fun and easy way to boost your mood.

  1. Don’t stress over things you can’t control

–        Traffic and delays with public transportation are incredibly frustrating, but they are unfortunately out of your control.

–        Take preventative measures to avoid traffic or metro-delays as much as possible, and try not to let these issues cause you more stress.

  1. Read

–        This recommendation is only for public transportation or carpool riders.

–        E-readers make it easy for you to read on the go and are convenient to carry in your purse or briefcase.

  1. Socialize

–        Use your mandatory time behind the wheel or sitting on the metro to socialize.

–        If you drive to work every day, consider adding a carpool rider to talk to during your trip.

–        On public transportation, you can easily make new friends and socialize with other riders.

  1. Take the scenic route

–        Avoid high-traffic areas and take the scenic route once in a while.

–        Driving the same route continuously day after day can start to wear on you, so change things up now and again by taking a different route.

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