October 23, 2010

Funemployment Blog

It's all over now except the thank you notes. The author of the Funemployment Blog was laid off at the end of 2008 and blogged about her job search through July of 2009 until she finally found a job. Along the way there are many gems to be mined. Because being unemployed doesn't mean you can't have fun.

February 23, 2010

Finding a Job

It's been about 90 days since I was hired into my new job. Like pregnancies, it's always a good idea to wait until after the first trimester to make sure it's a real thing before announcing it to the world. Plus it's a good idea to have your nose to the grindstone at your new job, which I certainly have.

Having a polished resume helped me get this job, but so did knowing how to "give good interview." Also the one thing I have heard repeated often in this downturn is that employers want to hire people who are already working. There are a number of reasons for this (maintaining good habits for one), but the end result is you want to keep working even after your last job ends?

How do you do that? Perhaps you can find a job, even part-time, elsewhere in the company or community. But you can always create your own job. Hang out the consultancy shingle or, as is the fashion today, start an online business. Who knows, you may even find your niche as an entrepreneur.

Whatever the case may be, if you're currently looking for work, I want to say don't give up hope. Take advantage of every resource open to you and work the new social media landscape.

October 19, 2009

Job Hunting in the Social Media Age

Thank you for visiting the Resume Upgrade blog. While I have stopped regularly updating this blog, please explore the archives for job search, resume and cover letter writing tips.

I am now in the job market myself and am blogging about my career search over at OrlandoNext. The new age of Social Media has changed how one goes about finding a new job. I will be passing along some of the new skills and tips I learn along the way.

Finally, please find my current resume at Emurse or join my network at LinkedIn.

March 13, 2009

Stretching the Dollar

If you are in the unfortunate position of being between jobs in this rough time of high unemployment, besides constantly working on your resume and job search, you are probably also considering all the ways to stretch the value of each dollar.

When it comes to cooking you can really make that dollar go far if you follow the example of Clara. Clara lived through the great depression and on her new online cooking show, Great Depression Cooking, she shares some of the secrets from that time to make food go far in the kitchen.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

February 21, 2009

What Does The Stimulus Package Mean For The Unemployed

The recent passage of the stimulus package is intended to put up to 4 million people back to work. That won't result in full employment, by any means, but it's certainly going to help. The new jobs will be created mostly through funds sent to the states. The states will then apply the funds to projects that are 'shovel-ready'. At least that's the theory.

So, if you're unemployed right now, what do you need to be doing to make sure you'll qualify for one of those jobs. Sure, you could apply for one of the typical construction industry positions. But remember positions of support that will be needed as well. Accounting, Safety, Inspection, Planning. Any of your skills fit those descriptions, might be time to emphasize them in your resume.

Technorati Tags: , , , ,

January 11, 2009

Twitter and your Job Search

Okay. So you're on Facebook and you're on Linkedin (you are right?), where else do you need to be when you're pounding the virtual pavement in your quest for a new career? How about Twitter? The Wall Street Journal has a recent article that might give you a few ideas on how that can help land you a career.
Looking for a new job, Alexa Scordato didn't email or call her contacts about possible openings. Instead, she messaged them via the social-networking Web site Twitter.com.
Her brief message: "Hey there! Looking for a Social Media job up in Boston. Are you guys doing any entry level hires?"
Within a week, she had an interview. Within two weeks, she had a job.
That's a pretty direct approach and I wouldn't recommend it for everyone. But it's definitely thinking outside the box, which is exactly how you have to think in today's job market.

Now, none of this is going to do any good unless you have already built up your 'street cred' on twitter. So use your knowledge to help others and freely share across the network. Lend a hand where you can and be careful about what you tweet about.

Another way to use Twitter in your job search is to follow users who may be tweeting job openings in your area or field. One of these services is @smjobwire. Social Media Jobwire focuses on jobs in just one industry.

September 30, 2008

Job Hunting while Fat

Now, I'm not going to claim that I'm the most physically fit person on the face of the planet, in fact, far from it. I know my shape, which is round in the middle, and therefore consulted people with more fashion sense than I had when chosing my interview attire. But what do you do if you feel you're being discriminated against during the job interview process due to your size?

The HR Wench blog puts her experience in the industry to the test and comes up with these suggestions: 
  1. Know who and what you are dealing with before the interview.
  2. Don't be afraid to improve (or call people on their BS).
  3. Repeat after me: you cannot afford to sully your reputation.
As it turns out, good advice for anyone who is afraid they might not get a fair shake in the interview. The onus is on you to knock it out of the park with preparation and performance during the interview process.

Technorati Tags: , , ,

August 22, 2008

Venn Diagram Your Way To Your Next Job

Ike Pigott, who writes the Occam's RazR blog, is a former emergency management technology specialist for the Red Cross. He left that position and had recently been looking for a new position. But how to describe the ultimate job he desired? What about a Venn Diagram? They're perfect for highlighting intersecting interests.

Ike's Venn looked like this:

He was able to use it to show an interview panel how his experience and interests perfectly intersected with the position they were hiring for. A great tool.

Even if you're not currently interviewing, constructing your own career Venn Diagram is a great way to focus on exactly what you're looking for in your current or next position.

Tags: , , , , ,

March 27, 2008

An argument for career searching sans resume

Seth Godin is ready to remake another industry, this time the job search. Flipping the funnel he asks why even bother to have a resume?
Great people shouldn't have a resume.

Here's why: A resume is an excuse to reject you. Once you send me your resume, I can say, "oh, they're missing this or they're missing that," and boom, you're out.

Seth believes that great jobs, your perfect job, is most likely to get filled via referral.

If you don't have a resume, what do you have?

How about three extraordinary letters of recommendation from people the employer knows or respects?
Or a sophisticated project they can see or touch?
Or a reputation that precedes you?
Or a blog that is so compelling and insightful that they have no choice but to follow up?

So that means you'd better get started now to make an impact in your industry, network with people who might just find you a job in the future, or become a subject matter expert through a popular blog.

Keep in mind the caveat that some jobs won't be filled via referral. They'll expect you to follow the instructions on the help wanted ad to the t. The ability to follow instructions being a key requisite for that position, failure to do so automatically eliminates you. Of course, you have to ask yourself if that's the kind of job you deserve.

As much as anything Seth's idea is a strong argument for using LinkedIn. The networking, recommendation, and referral systems built into LinkedIn practically automates the referral process.

Tags: , , , , , ,

March 18, 2008

Use YouTube, but not for a video resume, please

Seeking a new job? Want to prove you're an expert in your field? Here's an idea that will help you stand out in a crowded, talented field. Do a video everyday on YouTube that demonstrates something you know. Doesn't have to be much, just a two minute how-to, or your subject matter expertise on something in the news.

You don't even have to write a full script. Just an outline with a couple of the big points you want to hit. Maybe put in a good joke or two. But don't do anything forced, let your natural self shine through. It is a good idea to dress and look professional, though. Always dress for the job you want to have five to ten years from now.

If you don't have a video camera, get on eBay and get a cheap Web cam then set up a YouTube, Blip.tv, or Seesmic account (or all three). If you don't have a video you can at least do a few Screencasts of software or research you're an expert at or Google-doc Presentations.

Make sure each account links to your Linked-In page or Emurse resume (or both). You can even add a little tag to the end of each video with the URL and your email for contacting you.

Finally, publicize your videos on Linked-in, Facebook, Twitter, your blog, etc. You want the full affect of your social network to help you promote your job expertise. You don't have a job and even after reviewing and answering job wanted ads you're still going to have extra time in the day. So you have no excuses.

Technorati technorati tags: , , , , , , ,

February 20, 2008

How to Ask For A Raise

The Art of Manliness (although I'm sure it applies to any sex) lays out the simple and easy way to ask for and receive a raise.

1. Just Ask
2. No Ultimatums
3. Determine your value by job browsing
4. Ensure people know your value
5. Increase your value

Nothing earth shattering. But worth keeping in mind if you have a review coming up. (Read)

Tags: , , , ,

February 04, 2008

Blogging your way into a Job

With the 2008 recession looming in the distance (depending on what part of the country you're in, it's not all that distant at all), it might be time to start a blog.

Even if you're still employed you can supplement your income with a website. Have a passion? Start writing about it. Network online with like individuals, then start writing timely and targeted informative posts that answer key questions that others who share your passion have. By timely, I mean keep an eye out for trends in the news that will cause people to search for terms in your area. Then quickly get a post up answering exactly those questions. Even if its just pointers to where to get the right information, you'll start to become known as an authority on the subject. By targeted, I mean stick to the subject at hand. If you want to have a personal website, or a meta-blog that talks about blogging, keep that on the side. The sole purpose of this blog is to build your authority in the community that surrounds your passion.

Who knows, the end result just might be you get employed doing the very thing your most passionate about. All because you write an authoritative blog on the subject matter.

For a quick five minute set up to your own blog, I recommend you give either Wordpress.com or Blogger.com a try. If you want something more professional with reliable hosting and plenty of other bells and whistles then TypePad is the choice for you. There's a monthly charge for hosting. But I use it for my other professional blog.

Any of the above can be set up by the average internet user in five to ten minutes. For the slightly more advanced user, I recommend that you also purchase your own domain name for your website then use the domain masking service provided by all three of the above services to make it appear as if you're hosting your own website at your domain, even when you really aren't. This allows portability in the future should you wish to move to another service. My recommendation for affordable domain registration is www.GoDaddy.com .

Blogging is the first step. In the future I'll be writing about what other social media steps you can take to further your career. Good luck, I hope you won't need the services of Resume Upgrade in the near future, but if you're hit in the recession. A little planning ahead may make your next job search easy.

Tags: , , , , , , ,

December 01, 2007

How thinking like management can help your career

Here's some good advice for anyone looking for career advancement: think like your boss.
The first key to thinking like management is to understand their motivations. What or who do they fear? Who do they need to impress? What will make them look bad (or good)? This might mean thinking macro and seeing things above your pay grade, but it will help you understand the good and the bad decisions they make. Just as a good boss takes the time to understand things from his employees’ point of view, the wise employee tries to understand her boss.
Not only can this help you in your current job, but if you're applying for a new position, put yourself in your future bosses shoes. Ask what pressures are affecting their job and then be clear on how you can help relieve that stress and solve those problems. (Via The Job Bored)

Tags: , , , , , ,

November 02, 2007

Ten Tips For Writing A Resume That Will Get The Right Kind Of Attention

The Simple Dollar has Ten Tips For Writing A Resume That Will Get The Right Kind Of Attention. I do disagree with the first point, keep it to one page (it's a guideline, not a rule), but the rest of his points are excellent.

1. One page only, period.
2. Write everything with active verbs.
3. List everything positive that you can think of about past positions, and use the best.
4. Be concrete.
5. Assert your abilities strongly right at the top, but be sure they’re backed up by the concrete achievements that follow.
6. Lead off with home runs.
7. Leave accurate and professional contact info.
8. Write a one-page cover letter, always.
9. Be professional on social networking sites.
10. Don’t be flashy in the design of the resume.


Tags: , , , ,