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The Easy Way to Write Good LinkedIn Recommendations

Whether you do it to sincerely help people you like, or in order to grow your own network, writing an enviable LinkedIn recommendation is an important job-seeking skill.

But I don’t know anyone whose definition of a fun afternoon is putting together interesting testimonials for every co-worker, friend, boss, client, classmate, and family member on LinkedIn. Take heart. There are ways to streamline the task and still deliver the goods.

When you write an effective recommendation, it makes you look good! Every intelligent, accurate, and positive reference you write increases the likelihood that your contact will reciprocate. And anyone reading your well-done recommendations will know what a stellar individual you are.Read more

Soft Skills: How To Shake Hands

handshakeThe sweaty palm. The vise grip. The pump handle. The dead fish. These are the handshakes that don’t create a favorable impression.

Although I’ve never heard of a handshake so bad it blew a job offer off the table, the perfect handshake is something every jobseeker needs. It’s a social skill that telegraphs to a new acquaintance what a fine person you are – that you know how to make friends, behave yourself, and yet have some spunk.

So, before your next job interview, review my pointers for what makes the perfect handshake. In just a few minutes, you can boost your likability score.Read more

Countdown to a Perfect Video Interview: 30 Pointers for Success

countdown-perfect-video-interviewUnless you’re accustomed to talking in front of a video camera, you’re probably not looking forward to any interview conducted via webcam.

But since the video interview is increasingly common, if you’re serious about landing a great new job, you’ll be smart to learn some simple facts about the process.

With a little practice you can make a great impression during your on-screen interview. Let’s take it step by step to get you up to speed.Read more

The Smart Way to Change Your Career

drawing-crossroads-copy

If you’re unhappy with your job, maybe a new job isn’t the answer.

Maybe a new kind of job is what you really want, a change of career. People change careers for all kinds of reasons and at different stages of their lives.

More than half of all American workers want to change careers, so if you are thinking along these lines, you’re in the majority. The first step in deciding if a career shift is a good idea is to examine your reasons for wanting to change direction.Read more

5 Steps to Planning Your Job Search

daily_plannerIf one of your goals for 2015 is to advance your career with a better job, let’s get started!

For most people, just the thought of looking for work – the research, the applications, the interviews, the networking – seems daunting. But if you break the process into manageable steps, you’ll feel in control, be able to track your efforts, and have better “luck” finding that dream job.

Here is my list of the five most important steps to get a new job.Read more

How to Look for Work When You Have a Job

look-for-work-copy“If my boss thinks I might quit, he won’t trust me. He won’t give me any big projects or more responsibilities.”

“My current company has an informal policy to fire you if they learn you are looking for a new job.”

“If my co-workers know I’m thinking of leaving, they won’t see me as a team player anymore.”

“My supervisor will be so mad he’ll never give me a good recommendation.”

These are some of the concerns I hear from clients who are planning to look for work while they are still employed. Clearly, job hunting while still employed is tricky.Read more

If You Think You’ll Lose Your Job

I talk to people all the time who have been fired. Sometimes they see it coming, and sometimes it’s a surprise.

Kaitlyn worked as a research lab technician. She told me, “I noticed I was being left out of key decisions and meetings.” She suspected that a change was coming.

But for another client, Carlos, an events coordinator, the pink slip came as a shock. He told me, “I didn’t even realize the company was in trouble and getting ready to downsize.”

Because it’s always easier to find a job when you have a job, having your resume up-to-date is just plain smart. Even if your present position isn’t in jeopardy, you never know when opportunity—a better job—will come looking for you.Read more

50 Ways to Be a Better Networker

hello-im-new-copyMore than a third of all people found their last job because of someone they knew.

If that’s not enough to push your networking efforts into high gear, I don’t know what will.

Networking isn’t a skill that comes naturally to everyone. Most people have to learn how. Making connections with other people can be especially difficult if you are shy, introverted, young, or lacking social skills.

Whatever your business experience or social comfort level, it’s not difficult to improve your networking skills. You don’t need a teacher or a seminar, just some new habits.

Here’s a list of 50 habits to master. Learn these and you’ll be on your way to building a the kind of network that advances your career.Read more

Your Questions Answered about the Background Check

background-check-jobmarketsolutionsWhen an interviewer tells you, “Everything looks good. We’ll just need to run a background check,” will your heart start pounding and your brain start racing? That’s not unusual.

Understanding the reasons and scope of background checks should put your mind to rest. Here are some of the questions I’ve heard in recent webinars I’ve given, and my answers.Read more