As 3.8 million college students enter the workforce this year, entry-level professionals are launching their careers during one of the most challenging job markets in recent history. As of early June, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics says the unemployment rate is now at 13.3%.
Tens of millions of (skilled, experienced) Americans are out of work right now so it’s ridiculously hard for new grads with little relevant work history under their belts to compete for open jobs. The last time college students walked off the graduation stage into such a tough job market was during the Great Recession of 2008, when unemployment peaked at 10%.
Some of my more challenging clients are the people who’ve been denied jobs because they don’t fit the profile of a perfect job candidate. Extended employment gaps, a negative background check or credit report, physical limitations, and being considered too old, too overqualified, or too expensive are all very real challenges to securing gainful employment.
We often write resumes for people who have lost jobs due to downsizing, mergers and acquisitions, off-shoring, changing regulations, or industry shifts. Whether a layoff is anticipated or is a surprise, it can be an emotional minefield. Here is the advice I’ve found most helpful for these clients.
Congratulations! Your hard work and perseverance paid off. You got the job you wanted. Now what?
First, it’s time to celebrate. Pat yourself on the back and share the news with your closest friends and confidants.
Take a few days for yourself, a small vacation. You deserve it. Use the time to catch up on what you love to do, the things you haven’t been able to indulge in while job searching.
Tie Up Loose Ends
Now’s the time to write a courteous thank you note to the hiring person or your new boss, saying how pleased you are with the offer, and how much you look forward to your new duties. This is especially appropriate if you don’t start for a couple of weeks.
Now’s also a good time to touch base with HR and any contacts at your new company. Ask if there’s anything you need to do before your actual start date, such as taking tests or gathering personal paperwork.Read more
Many people believe a resume is just something you put together after you’ve been fired. They think it’s something you use to find a new job.
Well, that’s certainly true, but a resume can do way more than convince people to interview you! Based on feedback I get from my clients, here are 12 benefits enjoyed by people who have a current resume in hand—said another way, reasons why everyone needs a resume.
1. A Resume Builds Self Assurance
The most common perk that clients report back to me goes something like this: “I feel so much more confident now that I’ve seen what I look like on paper,” or “I didn’t know how effective I’ve been in my industry.” So, yes, a fresh resume always gives you a new perspective on yourself. Most people don’t have a realistic picture of what they bring to their company or their field.Read more
Apparently it’s not just Hollywood that has a love affair with youth. Many employers seem to as well. I’m reminded of the problems older job seekers face every time I talk with them at a workshop or interview them for a resume or LinkedIn makeover.
So, these tips are especially for you if you were born before 1965.
If you are unemployed because you were laid off, resist the temptation to take a vacation. Don’t act retired. Instead, dive into the job hunt! Doing so demonstrates your strong work ethic and youthful enthusiasm. Employers love a positive attitude and a passion for work.
Face it: some industries are going to be more receptive to boomers than other industries. Therefore, be practical about where you look for jobs. Smaller, more traditional organizations, including nonprofits, trade associations and niche educational programs, usually have smaller staffs, and are more likely to value experience and expertise.
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
If 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
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
More 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