Archive for January, 2012

It is challenging to stay motivated in a job search.  Some ideas to help boost that positive attitude are to start the day by reading the Bible, journaling, working out, eating a healthy breakfast, catching-up on recent news events and reviewing your goals and tasks to accomplish during the day ahead.

As the day progresses it is easy to get discouraged if you don’t have any interviews scheduled or networking meetings.

It can be beneficial to surround yourself with visual reminders of why you are searching and what you enjoy about life and the positive things that motivate you and inspire you to work hard… even the things that make you smile.

Consider placing Bible verses, motivational quotes, inspirational pictures (scenery, landscapes, island escapes, sunrises, sunsets, animals, family members, photos or illustrations that make you giggle) or other items that encourage you to think positively, see the glass half-full and to ‘take on the day’ in visible places you see frequently such as your bathroom mirror, bedside table, desk, car steering wheel, etc.

Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.

Proverbs 19:21

Many are the plans in a person’s heart,

   but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails.

Proverbs 16:9

In their hearts humans plan their course,

   but the LORD establishes their steps.


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An opportunity arose for me to present a workshop to job seekers focused on Career Coaching.  In my preparations I came up with a list of 20 items that anyone looking for a new position should have ready to present or tailor for a specific opportunity.  The list follows below.  I will share more with you on what the benefits of each of these items are and some tips and pointers.

  1. Motivational Quotes and Inspirational Pictures
  2. Strengths, Personality, Skills, Values, Interests, Abilities & Talents
  3. Resume (Traditional and Web-Friendly) à Bio Profile
  4. References
  5. Business Cards
  6. Thank You Notes à Class-Act Follow-up + Relative Info
  7. Cover Letters
  8. On-line Social Media Presence
  9. Former Employer (Dates, Phone Numbers & Addresses)
  10. Residence History and Dates
  11. Salary History
  12. Daily Schedule / Weekly Goals
  13. 2-Minute Verbal Resume
  14. 30-Second Elevator Pitch
  15. Differentiate Brand-U –> Presentation & Interpersonal Skills
  16. Target Company / Industry / Geography / Job Title
  17. STAR Success Stories for Behavioral Interview Questions
  18. Accountability Partner
  19. How to Successfully Network
  20. Constantly Growing Contact List – Who do you know?

These items can be a springboard for a successful job search.  Previously I mentioned some basic branding tools in a job search that I said I’d expand on in my next post but I thought it would be more beneficial to take a step back to ensure that all my bases were covered as we move forward to getting your job search toolkit ready.

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When you think of a fabulous cup of coffee you probably think of a certain company.  When you ponder your favorite meal you might think of a specific menu item from restaurant. When you want a bottle of water to quench your thirst you might prefer one brand name over another.

The brands that leave the most influential marks on our minds are the ones that tell a compelling and memorable story.

So, what’s your story? How will you stand out among the crowd?

Do you know what your strengths are?  What is your value proposition? What is key differentiator that makes you shine brighter than the competition?  Why YOU rather than all the other candidates vying for the position?

Employers want to know … WIIFM: What’s in it for me?

How will you save the company time or money (improve productivity/efficiency or reduce costs)?  How will you bring more dollars to their bottom line (increase sales)? Will you solve problems the company or department is facing?  Will you reduce the level of stress and pressure the employer is under?

Following are two simple ways to know some of the areas to focus on ‘selling yourself’ before and during the interview:

1.) Review the job description and focus on the key words.

Highlight these in your Resume and Cover Letter

2.) Ask a powerful closing question:

This is one that I learned from my colleague, Lynn Guillory, “I’ve really enjoyed getting to know more about the company and this particular opportunity and feel that I am well-suited for this role.  Assuming for a moment that you feel that I am the best candidate for the position and you offer me the position and I accept. Let’s fast forward 6-months and say you walk into my office and say “Hiring you was the best decision I have made!”  What exactly would I have done to cause you to say that?”

NOW — You listen.  The response that the hiring manager gives is the key to what they are looking for in the person they select for this position and the key needs or ‘pain points’ for the employer related to this role.  Take notes.

Once they have finished sharing their response with you respond by highlighting some of your most powerful success stories related to what they are looking for in their successful new hire.  This exercise is very effective as it puts the perspective employer with a vision of you in the position and it is normally a question that impresses them in the thoughtfulness of it AND it is a way for them to highlight the most important aspects of the role and what they are looking for someone to be successful in that particular job.

There are some basic branding tools in a job search that I’ll expand on in my next post.

— Resume

— Cover Letter

— Business Cards

— 30-Second Networking or Elevator Pitch

— 2-Minute Verbal Resume

— LinkedIn and Social Media Presence

— Core Competencies and Strengths

— CAR Success Stories (Challenge, Action, Results) and Measurable Accomplishments

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