Successful Strategies for Your 2013 Job Search

The New Year brings new hopes, challenges, goals and for many companies it brings new budgets. Budgets have been set aside to bring on new employees for the 1st quarter of 2013. Whether you are unemployed or satisfied in your current position of employment it is always important to know how to locate your next quality job quickly and efficiently.A keyword rich resume is still the most valuable tool to unlocking the doors to getting a job. Keywords are those words that define skills and certifications that are specific to your industry. Keywords should be displayed in your summary as well as throughout your resume job descriptions. If you have an advanced degree or industry specific certification such as CMQ/OE, CQA, CQE or PMP you should list it after your name, in the summary and in your Education section of the resume. In addition to describing your job duties be specific in terms of your industry experience using terms like: government, plastic injection molding, medical, CMM, FDA, ISO, etc…Your resume doesn’t need to be complicated. The best resumes are keyword rich, easy to read, and listed in a chronological order. Your resume should start off with your name and contact information at the top. This information should be in a large enough font so that it is easy to read. There is no need to list your street address but it is very important to list the city and state that you reside in. You don’t want to make the recruiter or hiring manager have to do any ‘guessing’ while reviewing your resume. Next provide a summary of your skills. This can be listed in bullets or a simple paragraph. Sample summary information may be, ‘Over ten years of Quality Engineering in a manufacturing environment.’ Next list your Employment History in chronological order, providing start and end dates that include a month and year, for each job. Provide the company name, your title and a brief description of your job duties and accomplishments. Lastly list any education, certifications and related volunteer activities that you participate in.With a quality resume on hand it is time to ‘post & search’. Increase your odds of the right people seeing your resume by posting your resume on the job boards. Start with the major boards such as Monster, CareerBuilder, DICE, Indeed and TheLadders. Post on niche/industry specific as well as at the career site for your alumni association. It is imperative that you create a full and complete profile on LinkedIn. The vast majority of recruiters start their searches using LinkedIn. Include a professional photo on your LinkedIn profile. For some reason, perhaps it is human nature, but profiles with a photo garner more attention.After you have posted your resume and created a profile on LinkedIn it is time to do a little searching on the internet. LinkedIn has a superior job board where you can search for information about the company and the people in your list of contacts that might work at or refer you to the job that you are applying for. My favorite one stop job search site is Indeed is the #1 job search site worldwide. This site basically pulls in job postings from thousands of websites, job boards, newspapers, association and corporate career sites. Indeed is super easy to use with a clean, uncluttered presentation that reminds me of the simplicity of a Google search. After you hit the ‘Find Jobs’ tab you will see that Indeed offers you information on each job listing that relates to the company and type of position. You can learn about what the average salary is for the job posting, reviews for the company, interview questions and experiences that others had while applying for the company that posted the job. There is a host of valuable information that might vary slightly differently from what you would find on LinkedIn.Keep track of your job search activity. Create a spreadsheet or simple MS Word document where you record the date, name of company, title of position and any username or passwords that you create when you apply for a job.Hopefully you will land an interview within a reasonable amount of time and effort. Before you conduct your interview prepare a cheat sheet where you record information about the company, the job description and the person/persons that you will be speaking with. Do a Google search and LinkedIn search for the people that you will be speaking with. See what associations and groups they belong to. LinkedIn will show you how long they have been with the company and in their current position of employment. You can see what other companies the interviewer has worked for by searching for them on LinkedIn. Wait until you have conducted your interview to send them a LinkedIn invite. On your cheat sheet for the interview write down some key reasons for why you would be a good fit for the job. Write one or two reasons as to why you would stand out from any other potential candidates. Jot down some notes as to what have been some success stories for you on the job. Write out 3 or 4 questions that you can ask the interviewer. An example of a good question to ask the interviewer might be, ‘What kind of career advancement opportunities would there be for this position? Where have other employees moved to within the company that have started at this position?’ Another good question to ask is, ‘What are some of the bigger challenges for the person that will fill this position?’ Shy away from asking about benefits and vacation time until you are confident that an offer is forthcoming.It is good form to follow up your interview with a thank-you letter. An email is the most effective way to send a thank-you letter. Address your email to the person that played a key role in the interview process, if that person was not the recruiter, send the recruiter a cc. The recruiter will save your email in your profile that they have saved in their internal tracking system. In the subject line include your name and the position that you interviewed for. In the body of the email include an acknowledgement for the time the team members took to meet with you, i.e. “Thank you for taking the time to speak with me this afternoon regarding the Quality Engineer opportunity with General Tire.” Next express why you are interested in the position, “The state-of-the-art technology involved with this position reveals General Tire’s commitment to both safety and quality.” Follow with 2 or 3 reasons why the company should hire you for this position, “I believe my extensive experience with Quality Engineering within the Tire industry would allow me to be a major contributor to the team within a very short period of time.” Conclude the letter with repeating your appreciation for the opportunity and your desire to hear back from them, “Once again I thank you for the opportunity to interview with General Tire. I look forward to hearing from you soon.” Sign off with full contact information:Sincerely,
Jane Deer
Candidate for Quality Engineer (job id: 67590)
Cell: 555-689-9876
Email: Jane’s email address hereHopefully your next email will be to your current employer providing them with your letter of resignation. Once you know that you will be leaving, make sure to give a minimum of one week notice, two weeks is the preferred norm. Verbally inform your immediate manager of your situation and let them know the last day you will be working for the company. Follow up with an email sent to your manager informing them what your last day of employment will be, this will serve as your written confirmation. The email to your manager might look something like this:Dear Manager,Please be advised that my last day of employment with CompanyABS will be Friday, February 21st 2013.It has been a pleasure reporting to you and serving CompanyABC. I have greatly enjoyed my duties and learned much from the challenging projects our team has taken on.I wish you and the rest of the team members continued success with CompanyABS.Sincerely,
Employee NameIn addition to sending an email to your manager you will want to send an email to the rest of the team members that you work most closely with. Send a group message so it doesn’t appear that you have favorites on the team that you will or will not send individual messages to. Unlike the message sent to your manager two weeks in advance, send out this message one or two days before you actually plan on exiting. Your group email can look something like this:Dear Department X team members,Please be advised that my last day of employment with CompanyABS will be Friday, February 21st 2013.I leave with a sense of gratitude for working alongside so many talented and kind professionals. I have learned so much from all of you. *You can end the email here or if you prefer add a brief, generic explanation for your departure.*Example explanations: After much careful consideration I have decided to take my career in another direction and have accepted an offer with another company. OR: George and I have decided to relocate the family to Southern California. We will leave North Dakota and CompanyABC with fond memories and hope to visit often.Feel free to stay connected with me via LinkedIn, here is my profile link: _______________________Best Wishes to all of you,
Employee NameThe subject line for both emails might read: Employee Name, Title, last day of employment announcementFinish as many assignments as possible and work with your manager and co-workers to make sure that you transfer knowledge and project assignment duties to the appropriate personnel.Now it is time to say ‘Buh-Bye’ and move on to your next exciting venture in life; good luck!Happy job hunting and career goal catching for 2013!