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Don’t Lose the Job After the Interview

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Searching for a job is a difficult and arduous task. Trying to find the right job to match your skill set, spending hours preparing your resume, filling out online applications, scheduling and preparing for the interview, and waiting possibly weeks for results can be draining. When the process is over, it’s natural to think it’s okay to take a break, but that would be a mistake. The same drive and effort you put into GETTING the interview, needs to be put into following up AFTER the interview.

Here are a few things you can do to better your chances of securing the job.

  1. Ask the questions - inevitably, every interviewer is going to end the process with “Do you have any questions for us?” You should ALWAYS be prepared with a couple questions you can ask about the job. Don’t ask questions that can be answered by looking on the company website or reading the job description. Ask specifics about the job itself, or the team you might be working with. This will show the interviewer your level of interest and preparation.

  2. Send a thank you email or personalized note - This should always be done within 24 hours of the interview. Be sure you address the note to the person who interviewed you. If there were multiple people on the committee, send a note to each individual. Customize the body of the note and mention something specific that came up during your meeting. Also, it never hurts to remind them why you would be a good fit for the organization. Remember, your final impression can be as important as your first impression.

  3. Check your references - If you let a good amount of time pass between asking someone to be a reference for you and getting an interview, give them a phone call to let them now they might be contacted. You wouldn’t want a potential employer calling your reference and catching them off guard. Touch base with them and let them know what position you are applying for and with what company. Remind them about your qualifications and why you think you would be a good fit for the new organization. If the person gets contacted, they can speak knowledgeably about your background and experience.

  4. Follow up - If you haven’t heard anything in the time frame you were expecting, don’t be afraid to send a follow up email or phone call. Hiring managers get busy and can lose track of the amount of time that has passed after finalizing a hiring decision. Don’t be apologetic for inquiring about the status of the job. This shows the level of interest and drive you have for the position.

The work doesn’t stop once the interview is over. Be sure to follow up and continue to show a high level of interest in the position until you have a definite answer. It could be the difference between securing the job or being passed over for someone else.

 

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Successfully Onboarding New Employees

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You have sifted through stacks of resumes and sat through dozens of interviews. Now you’ve finally found the perfect new hire. To help this new employee reach their full potential in the shortest amount of time possible and maximize productivity, your company must have an effective onboarding process.

This is more than a basic new employee orientation. Onboarding is intended to familiarize new hires with the overall goals of the company and offer support while they take on initial projects. The purpose is to have the new employee experience success quickly which will translate into increased job satisfaction and decreased turnover.

Many companies lack a well thought out onboarding plan. This can have a negative impact on retaining quality hires. Let’s look at some strategies organizations can incorporate into their on-boarding plans to increase the likelihood of new employees having a positive introduction into the company.

  1. Give your employee undivided attention - When bringing a new hire into the organization, make a list of subjects you want to review and block out enough time to address them all. Letting emails, phone calls and texts continually interrupt the orientation sends a message to your new employee that they don’t deserve your full attention. This can immediately make them feel devalued.

  2. Set up a workstation - While employees will eventually take ownership of their workspace, it is uncomfortable to be assigned to an empty desk on the first day. Be sure the new hire has a working computer and phone set up on their desk. Relevant office supplies should be stocked in the desk including a small number of business cards.

  3. Introduce new hires to other employees - Set up a meeting so current employees have a chance to meet the new hire and share information about their position within the company. This is also a great time to assign the new hire a mentor to have as a resource for any immediate questions that may arise.

  4. Set aside one on one time - For the first weeks, make time in your schedule to check in with new hires and see how they are doing. Determine if the position and the company is meeting their expectations. If not, fix what can be done differently. Knowing you value their input goes a long way in overall job satisfaction.

While there are several other strategies companies can add to their onboarding process, the aforementioned are a few that can have the most immediate impact. The faster you can make new hires feel like valued members of the team, the faster they can start becoming productive and contributing to the overall success of the organization.

 

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Managing Employment Gaps on your Resume

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Employment gaps are much more common now than in the past. Rarely will you find an employee staying with the same company for 35 years before retiring. There are a multitude of reasons for these gaps: family situations, looking to advance your career, medical necessity and unfortunately - layoffs. Many people feel these can be explained during an interview. However, they might be the very reason you are not GETTING an interview.

When companies review resumes and see gaps between jobs, an impression is created that you lack the ambition or ability to advance your career. What company would want to waste their time interviewing a candidate with those qualities? You want to show career progression, not stagnation and if there is inactivity in your resume, it’s best to address it.

The first step is to explain the gap. If you were let go from a company, explain why. Were they restructuring, downsizing or relocating? Being let go for these reasons are easy to clarify and it is much better to address them in your resume, then to leave them unexplained, hoping they will be overlooked.

If you voluntarily left a job, don’t be afraid to give the reasons for it. Millions of people in the workforce take time off from employment for sabbaticals, travel, or family obligations. Good intent behind leaving a company can be easily explained. Emphasize the activities you participated in during your time away from employment which helped improve your professional standing. Companies are much more likely to view a resume favorably if you can show certifications, education, freelance work or any other valuable experience that would convince them you continued to advance your professional learning.

Finally, if you were dismissed from a previous job for an individual reason, you may have no other option but to wait for an interview to explain it. If this is the case, be prepared prior to the interview. Be honest, stick to the facts, and don’t come across as bitter. Stay positive and emphasize what you learned from the experience.

Remember, a resume not only tells a prospective employer about your professional history, it also implies a standard of ethics. Taking control over what your credentials illustrate will make it harder for hiring managers to make negative assumptions about any gaps they may see.

 

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Unique Perks You Can Offer

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Research shows happy workers are productive workers. Therefore, employers place a high premium on keeping members of their team happy. While working in an environment with like-minded coworkers and a great company culture can be rewarding in itself, there are other unique perks that can attract prospective new hires.

  • Flexible Scheduling - Trusting your employees to get the job done should be the bottom line and it shouldn’t matter if it’s done during the hours of 9 to 5. Offering flexible scheduling is very enticing to new recruits. It allows them to work when they feel most productive and if that happens to be at 8:00 p.m., a company on a 9-5 schedule would be missing out on that employee's best work.
  • Wellness - Whether it be healthy meals provided for the staff, an on-site gym for physical fitness or occasional chair massages for destressing, every worker could benefit from some type of wellness perk. Keeping employees healthy means less sick time and more productivity.
  • Student Loan Debt Reimbursement - In 2016, the average college graduate entered the workforce with $37,000 of debt. Offering yearly bonuses, to be applied directly to student loan debt, is a great perk for millennials who are entering the workforce more burdened with student debt than any other group.
  • Continuing Education - Not everyone can afford the privilege of a higher education. Offering workers compensation for pursuing their educational interests or broadening their skill base is not only a great perk, but could help the company in the long run.

With today’s tight applicant pool of high quality workers, companies need to do what they can to attract the cream of the crop. Using some of these incentives could help your organization stand out from others and be the deciding factor for new hires.

 

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The Changing World of Job Searching

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With many workers looking for career advancement and growth, the job market can become saturated with potential candidates. This can make it difficult for you to stand out to a potential new employer. In addition, there have been significant changes in how job searches are conducted, so it’s important you reacquaint yourself with those changes. If you don’t update your approach to job searching, you could be missing out. Here are some changes you should be aware of:

  • Resume - Managers will spend about 15 seconds or less before deciding if they will revisit your resume, so you need to stand out immediately. When including job descriptions, be sure to point out what you did in previous jobs that the potential employer would be interested in. Focus on what you would be able to do for their company. Keywords are also important. Find specific skills or qualifications that were used in the job posting and use those same keywords in your resume.
  • Cover Letters - Although cover letters are not as common as they once were, they are still used. Write less in your letter and use bullet points, highlighting your skills. Use the cover letter as an opportunity to offer new information the resume does not provide.
  • Networking - It doesn’t matter if people are in your industry or outside of it, if they are influential, you want them in your network. The more contacts you can make, the better chance you have of “talking to the right person at the right time”. Building relationships and networking is crucial in order to be successful in today’s job market.
  • Social Media - The biggest change in job searching in the last ten years is social media. You can use Linkedin to establish a name for yourself that goes well beyond your resume. Since potential employers will more than likely look at your Linkedin account when considering hiring you, you want to add information that enhances what is already in your resume.

With the growth of technology, many things about job searching have changed. To ensure your approach is sound, you need to use the latest tools. Try following some of these suggestions and you’ll be landing job interviews and job offers in no time.

 

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Unite Employees and Build Brand Awareness

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Building brand awareness and increasing visibility are important goals for any company. Regardless of the company’s size, quality candidates want to work in an environment that offers a sense of community. There are some simple ways you can unite your employees, build your brand awareness and attract the type of high caliber applicants you want. Below are some suggestions on how to do just that.

  • New Employee Welcome Kits - Nothing welcomes a new employee to a team better than company “swag.” Items such as office supplies, technology accessories and apparel that boasts the company logo help new hires feel they are part of the community. Be sure branded items are part of this welcome kit so the newest member of the organization becomes another form of advertisement.
  • Celebrations and Giveaways - Find any and every reason to celebrate and acknowledge success. Whether it be birthdays, anniversaries or work goals achieved, have some type of memento to celebrate the occasion. Holidays or year-end gatherings are great times for larger giveaways. These gestures will make the employees feel valued and cohesive.
  • Customer Appreciation - Show your loyal customer you value their business by sending customer appreciation gifts. These can be sent around the holidays or even after the completion of a particularly large project. It is a great way to say thank you, show your customers their business is important to you and get your brand into the community.

The way an organization does business is defined by the individuals who comprise the organization as well as its clients and customers. Uniting employees creates a positive work culture and directly affects customer relationships. Integrating some of the gestures mentioned above will also help strengthen those relationships and build a reputable brand.

 

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Stop Losing Offers after the Interview

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Being invited to interview for a position requires a lot of work. Your resume and skill set has to be impressive enough to set you apart from the majority of other candidates who applied. While getting the interview is exciting, the work can’t stop there. Read on to find out what you should be doing AFTER the interview is over.

  • Ask Questions - When the interview comes to an end, typically you will be asked what questions you have. Never respond with “none”. It is very important you do your homework BEFORE the interview and be prepared for this final question. Research the company and formulate questions that show your interest in the job and team you could potentially be working for. Be sure to prepare enough questions so if any of them are touched upon during the interview, you will have others.
  • Contact Your References - It is always a good idea to contact the names you are supplying as references and let them know you recently interviewed. There is nothing worse than a potential employer contacting a reference who is caught off guard. Supply your references with an updated resume so they can “freshen up” on your skills and experience and speak about them knowledgeably.
  • Send A Thank You Note - Following up after an interview is not an option, it is an expectation. There is no need to break out the fancy stationery, an email is acceptable but be sure contact is made within 24 hours of the interview. Be certain to mention something specific about the job or position. This shows your level of interest.

If you find you are getting several interviews, but are failing to get offers, try some of the suggestions mentioned above. Job searching is a frustrating process and requires constant reevaluation. Finding ways to improve this is process is all…….part of the job!

 

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Finding Quality Candidates

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The ever changing landscape of recruiting has hiring managers and recruiters looking for new and unique ways to attract top talent. Keeping up with these trends, makes talent acquisition a much more successful process then if your organization falls behind. Below are a few things you should be doing to find, attract and retain quality candidates.

  • Develop accurate job descriptions - Finding the right hire for a position starts with knowing the skills the position requires. Careful thought should be given to experience needed, skill sets required to complete the tasks of the job, and the roles the individual will fill. While this sounds very basic, many companies are not careful to develop accurate job descriptions.
  • Employer branding - If you don’t explain WHY your company is a great place to work, you won’t attract top talent. A critical part of recruitment strategy is demonstrating the reasons a candidate would want to work for a particular organization. Using social media platforms is a perfect way to advertise. Allowing prospects to communicate with current employees gives them insight about the culture of your establishment.
  • Develop an ideal candidate profile - When you know what you want, often it is easier to find. This profile should be used by the hiring team to outline the qualities and characteristics that are being sought for a specific position. Don’t forget to include personality traits that would allow this candidate to seamlessly integrate into the company culture.

Keeping up with recruiting trends is challenging. Companies need to do their best to ensure hiring managers employ the latest industry techniques. By doing this, you can be confident that you are acquiring the best talent available.

 

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Pushing Past Tiredness

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Searching for a job is an arduous process. The key to being successful is being consistent and looking every day. As your search goes on, you might find your motivation failing and tiredness creeping in. Continue reading to find a few ideas that can help you push past the tiredness.

  • Make a List - Each evening, make a list of things you want to accomplish the next day. Be sure to prioritize, so you will accomplish the most important tasks first. Setting a purpose for your day will help you accomplish a lot more, regardless of how tired you feel.
  • Take Breaks - Burnout can happen quickly while job searching. Remember to give yourself breaks during the day so you don’t make hasty or poor decisions. Taking five minute breathers will give you a quick burst of energy to continue your search.
  • Eliminate Distractions - Turn off your email and phone notifications while you are searching. While it is important to know when someone is contacting you about a position, it is also very distracting and difficult to stay on task when you are constantly turning your attention to something else.
  • Change Locations - Changing your environment can also change your attitude. Giving yourself a variety of areas to pursue your job search can help improve your mood and in the long run, help you maintain your focus and achieve your goal.
  • Eat Healthy - This might seem like a “no-brainer” but often times people who are job hunting tend to grab quick snacks instead of eating a nutritious meal. Lack of nutrients will contribute to the sluggish, tired feeling you might already be experiencing while job hunting.

Don’t let job searching become laborious and frustrating. Allow yourself to have a multitude of lists, manageable goals and time to regroup. The better plan you develop for yourself, the better your motivation will be. Let’s face it, motivation is a HUGE factor in your success.

 

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Recruiting Passive Candidates

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Not every candidate is the enterprising, dynamic go-getter that will fall into the hands of an awaiting recruiter. Passive candidates, or those who are not actively looking for a job, are shy or reserved in looking, or cannot or have not found your advertisement, require a little more effort in recruiting. Understanding how to attract these potential hires is very important because they could be the perfect match for your team.

Overlooking this population of the workforce is easy but could also be detrimental to your business. Even though these candidates are passive, they are still highly qualified and highly skilled. Investing the time to actively look for them now can benefit the success of your company later.

Here are a few tips that can help you recruit passive candidates:

  • Use social media as an introduction. As you investigate and identify hires who could be ideal for your organization, make an effort to connect with them on social media. Pay attention to their posts and try to develop a rapport with them. This will help build a connection. When the time is right, pursuing them with a job offer will be less challenging.
  • Ensure your application process is as easy as possible. After you’ve done the hard work of actively searching out a passive candidate, don’t undo all that work by frustrating someone with a cumbersome application process. If you feel they are the perfect fit for your team, you may even consider having them skip a “formal” application process.
  • Make it easy for THEM to research YOU. If the candidate is not already familiar with your company, you can guarantee they will research you enough until they ARE familiar. Be sure they can locate information about you on multiple sources and the information is consistent.

Recruiting passive candidates is not always easy, but the hard work pays off. Remember, in order to convince someone who is not actively looking to change positions, the offer will need to significantly improve either their salary, working conditions, or advancement opportunities.

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Morning Creativity

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Today’s world is made up of technology saturation and information overload. This can be devastating for someone whose career requires creative thinking. Before eating breakfast, most of us have already grabbed our smartphone and checked emails, social media, news and anything else we might have missed during the night. The problem with this, is that morning is typically the best time of day for creative thinking. Your mind is fresh and free from distractions until you pick up that smartphone.

Instead of stifling your creativity for the day, consider changing your morning routine. Limiting your information intake will allow your creativity to flow. Read on to learn a few ways to overhaul your mornings so you can optimize your innovative thinking.

  • Leaving your mornings free to have creative thoughts can help your career excel. If you typically wake up and watch the news prior to leaving for work, start watching the evening news after work instead. Keep a pad of paper by your bed instead of your phone to jot down any thoughts you might have awakened with. You’d be surprised how many times you wake up with a great idea in the morning, only to forget it before you ever reach the office.
  • Restructure your mornings at the office. Meetings, calls and “catch up” work is often done first thing in the morning. Try to push those tasks off until after lunch, this will free up your morning (your most creative time) to develop those thoughts and ideas you woke up with!
  • Avoid being sedentary in the morning. Consider going for a morning walk/run or do a light workout. The more you are up and moving, the more your creative juices are flowing. Once you do get to the office, try standing at your desk as opposed to sitting. The goal is to get the blood moving. Not only does it boost your creativity, it boosts nearly every dimension of cognition.

It is no secret people think more clearly in the mornings. Having a career in which creativity is a critical part of job success means utilizing morning creativity to its fullest potential. Making a few small changes in your morning routine could result in seeing big changes in job performance.

 

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Adding Video to your Hiring Process

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As the workforce begins to change and the younger generation begins to take over, adjusting the hiring process to match these tech savvy prospects makes a lot of sense. This new group of candidates is much more comfortable with technology, so you need to find a way to incorporate it while recruiting. One way to accomplish this is to add video to your hiring process.

The idea of integrating video into your recruitment process might seem strange if you are unsure how to do it. Below are a few ways that can help your hiring process become more tech friendly:

  • Consider posting your jobs with short informative videos. Not many companies are utilizing this process yet, so you will set your company apart from the competition and attract top talent. The younger generation will be much more likely to see the posts sooner than traditional posts because of the amount of time they spend on their devices.
  • In addition to posting video ads for your open positions, encourage “video resumes” from potential candidates. Allowing a short video when applying for a position, not only enables you to see the creative side of the candidate, but you can see some of their personality as well.
  • Conduct video interviews. You can choose from a variety of online applications such as Skype, Montage or Jobvite, which gives you the face to face feeling of a traditional interview but allows for more flexible scheduling.
  • Once a decision has been made on a hire, use video to help with the onboarding process. This will give the new employee all the resources they need immediately. Many companies have transitioned their talent acquisition process completely online so recruits can complete most of their training before they ever walk through the door.

Trying to appeal to the younger generation’s passion for technology will give your organization a leg up when looking for new talent. Adding video to your hiring process is one way to attract potential new hires while setting your company apart from the rest.

 

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The Importance of Picking the Right Coworkers

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You have done everything just right – created the perfect resume, kept your social media platforms concise and consistent, and aced the interview, but always seem to get in jobs that never work out. Why? Could it be that you are forgetting one key element during your job search process? Many job candidates overlook the importance of picking the right coworkers.

Yes, looking at the coworkers you will be working with is critical to finding the right position. Think about the amount of time you will be spending with these people. It is important that you spend your time with compatible people. Not only will this make your job more enjoyable, but you will develop some lasting relationships with these people.

Here are just a few ways you can incorporate meeting or “interviewing” your potential coworkers before accepting that next position:

  • Search social media for employees of the company you will be interviewing with. Look at their interests, their posts, and what comments they have about their job and the company. All of these things will give you an idea of how this person feels about their position, and if you have any general interests that are similar.
  • At your interview, make sure it is clear to the hiring manager how important it is that you work with similar minded individuals. If they do not offer for you to meet some of the employees, ask if you can, preferably outside of the office environment. Suggest have a lunch with members of the team you will work with. This will give you an opportunity to meet and get to know them outside of the work environment.
  • Networking is a great thing. Even if you have not met any of your potential coworkers through networking, someone else you know may have. Reach out to your contacts and see if anyone has any information they can share about your potential work teammates.

Being happy in your job is more than just making sure the job itself and the company are a good fit. You will work with your coworkers closely, therefore it is important you share some interests.

 

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Benefits of Performance Coaching

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Recently, many hiring managers have discovered that performance coaching is providing exceptional benefits to their companies. This type of coaching has been described as a way to maximize an employee’s potential, and with ongoing coaching, it can help build and maintain effective employee relationships. Here are just a few of the benefits you will see from performance coaching:

  • Effective coaching has shown an increase in productivity. Employees feel like part of the team when coached, and are willing to go the extra mile. In addition, when you provide them the tools to maximize their efforts, they feel like their work is part of the overall good of the company.
  • Increased employee engagement is a direct result of performance coaching. These employees will engage more in their normal work, and will be more active in meetings, meeting company goals, and sharing suggestions.
  • Because employees are more satisfied and happy in their positions, the retention rates for your company will increase significantly. Not only will your employees stay, but they will give great referrals, helping your recruiting efforts.
  • If you have been looking for ways to build leaders within your current employee pool, look no further – this is your answer. You will not only build solid leaders, but you will have great growth opportunities available.
  • Performance coaching is not just a benefit for your employees, your managers will benefit from this as well. They will develop new skills and will take pride in making sure their staff is performing well. It will motivate them to do more and engage in performance daily.

As you can see, the benefits of performance coaching are much more than just companywide – they will benefit the company, the employee, and the managers. Performance will increase, engagement will increase, and recruiting will become easier. If you do not have this type of program in your company, consider it today!

 

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Your Recipe for Success

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Still searching for that perfect job? Perhaps you need to change how you are looking at your job search. Many job candidates today look at their job search as a necessary evil – well, yes that is true, you may need to work, but if you changed how you look at your job search, you just might find your recipe for success.

It has been said that if you look at your job search as your current job, you will put in more effort and get better results. It should be more than updating your resume, applying for jobs on the job board, and going to an interview. Each ingredient in the recipe (process) is as important as the rest, but if you neglect to add one – your end product will not be as expected. Does your recipe for success include these ingredients?

  • Resume – your resume is the main ingredient in your success, this is no secret. It is important that your resume be well-written, and include the skills that will set you apart from the rest of the competition. Make sure that your resume is crafted to coincide with the position you are applying for. This will show a potential hiring manager or recruiter that you took the time to read the job description, and design your resume to showcase the qualities they are looking for.
  • LinkedIn – do not be naïve about your LinkedIn profile. Every hiring manager and recruiter will look at your online presence, therefore, you must make sure that it is accurate. Keep your profile up-to-date, stay active in posting in your industry, and make sure that you network with others. This will show your credibility and show that you stay active in your industry.
  • Interview – whether it is a phone interview or an in-person interview, it is important that you prepare accordingly. Do your research on the company before the interview, know the questions you will ask, and practice, practice, practice.

While there are only three ingredients in your recipe for success, they are important ones. Make sure you take the time to perfect each one, and treat your job search like it is your current job. Before long you will have job offers pouring in.

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Unique Ways to Find the Next Hire

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Finding qualified job candidates is difficult for many hiring managers, but seems to be getting more difficult with technology. If you are experiencing this, you might want to look at some unique ways to find your next hire.

While more hiring managers today are using the normal recruiting tools – job board advertisements, LinkedIn, and other social media platforms, it has been shown that some of the “old standby” methods work just as well, if not better. Consider some of these surprising places you might find your next job candidate:

  • Pay attention to the staff, the next time you go to a café, restaurant or shopping. One of them could be your next super star hire. Take notice of your server – are they exceptional at their job? Perhaps your café barista knows you and your order and has it ready by the time you get to the counter. And, don’t overlook that retail worker who went out of their way to help you find the perfect fit! Great candidates are all around you – you just have to look.
  • Do you read in the morning? What do you read? Consider adding a few great blog sites to your morning reading ritual. Many bloggers are great candidates, and can fit many specialty niches. Find a few who you enjoy their writing, and start a conversation. This is a great networking opportunity and can help you find some great talent.
  • Consider hosting a networking event for your industry or specialty. Not only will you get to build relationships with like-minded people, but you will be able to build a great network for referrals.

Hiring the best talent is always at the top of every hiring managers mind. Continue using your normal methods of finding talent, but consider adding a few new methods. These unique ways of finding your next hire, may well be worth the look.

 

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Talking About Your Unemployment on LinkedIn

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When you are unemployed and looking for a job, you may have questions on how to convey that information on your LinkedIn account. Since recruiters and hiring managers often search this social media platform for possible candidates, it is important you keep your profile updated.

Here are a few tips to talking about your unemployment on your LinkedIn profile:

  • As you begin to apply for open positions, recruiters and hiring managers will review your profile to check for consistency with your resume. Keeping your profile updated is essential. This will include adding an end date to your last position.
  • A popular way for job candidates to alert others they are looking for employment is by adding it to their headline. Common statements include: "seeking new opportunity," "actively looking for a new position," and "seeking next opportunity."
  • During your unemployment, consider posting frequently. Posts illustrating your skills and passion for the industry will get you noticed. You can put a line at the bottom of your post letting those who read your article you are looking for employment.
  • Consider volunteering while you look for new employment. Be sure to add your volunteer work to your LinkedIn profile and comment often about the work you are doing. This will help with networking opportunities, as well as getting you familiar with others in the industry.

There is nothing wrong with candidates announcing they're unemployed. In fact, it's critical to attract recruiters and hiring managers to your LinkedIn profile.

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