Your Resume Only Has 5 Seconds To Make an Impression. Here’s What you Should Do.

resumeAuthor: Jack Kelly
Source: Forbes

I’d like to offer you some counterintuitive advice: don’t spend too much time worrying or stressing out over your résumé. Yes, I know everyone else tells you to spend an inordinate amount of time writing, rewriting, correcting, asking people to proofread it and offer their comments and advice to absolutely seek out a professional résumé writer. They’re all wrong and misleading you. I’ll make this part of your job search really easy.

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Your Complete Guide to the Interview Process

interviewSource: The Muse

Between the 20 or so of us, The Muse team has probably been on several hundred interviews in our day.

(We know. We cringe thinking about it, too.)

In other words, we’ve been through all of those OMG-what-should-I-wear panic attacks and bathroom-mirror rehearsals of the perfect answer to “What’s your biggest weakness?” that you’re probably dealing with as you prepare for your big day.

But all those pantsuits and practiced answers weren’t for naught. In the interest of sharing our hard-won job search expertise, we’ve put together a list of the biggest job interview questions we had going in—and answers that will help you go into yours totally prepared.

Consider it everything you ever wanted to know about interviewing—answered.

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3 Benefits to Using a Staffing Firm in Your Job Search

staffingfirmAuthor: Debra Auerbach
Source: CareerBuilder.com

Three key advantages of using a staffing firm are experience, insights and confidential opportunities.

Sometimes a job search can feel isolating. You’re spending hours upon hours searching for opportunities, working on your resume and applying to job openings, often without having any outside feedback about what you’re doing right or wrong. That isolation can add a lot of emotional stress to an already nerve-wracking experience.

What you may not realize is that you don’t have to go it alone. “Psychologists tell us that next to death of a spouse, death of a child and death of a parent, the fourth most emotional experience we have, coupled with divorce, is searching for a job. It is emotionally stressful,” says Tony Beshara, owner and president of Babich & Associates, the oldest placement and recruitment service in Texas. “A professional staffing firm can help eliminate that emotional stress. Staffing firms are in the trenches on a daily basis with candidates and employers.”

Beshara says the three key advantages of using a staffing firm are experience, insights and confidential opportunities. Read on to learn more about these benefits and how staffing firms can play a crucial role in helping you find your next career:

1. Experience
According to Beshara, the average U.S. professional changes jobs every two and a half to three years. So that means a worker may go a long stretch of time before needing to engage in a job search. Staffing firm recruiters, on the other hand, live and breathe the job-search process daily.

Beshara points out that within the period of time between job searches, the job market can change – sometimes drastically. “The staffing professional is current on exactly what is going on in the immediate market. They have a unique perspective that the job seeker will not have. The market for a particular skill or experience is never the same as it was three years ago. It isn’t likely any job candidate is going to be aware of that change. So, the ‘new’ candidate may think that finding a job is going to be like ‘last time,’ but it’s not.”

A knowledgeable staffing professional can help navigate a job seeker through the market changes, so the job seeker is less likely to encounter any surprises or challenges along the way. “The experienced staffing pro doesn’t give theoretical or abstract advice, but practical ‘this is the way it is … this is what you should expect … this is what we should do’ advice,” Beshara says.

2. Insights
One of the often frustrating parts about job searching is not getting any feedback from employers as to why you aren’t the right fit for a role. When working with a staffing firm, you get access to that kind of information, which can help improve your search now and down the line.

“Staffing professionals have insights that candidates can’t get anywhere else,” Beshara says. “Since the majority of us work the same clients and the same hiring mangers over many years, we know what they like and how they like it, what they will hire and what they won’t. Since we get to know them personally, we not only understand the job they are trying to fill but we know their personalities and personal likes and dislikes. We give those insights to our candidates to be sure both parties have the best chance of success not in just getting a job, but [in having] a long, solid employment relationship.”

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Job Search Like a Pro Even With No Experience

Job SearchAuthor: Faizan Patankar
Source: Career Geek

About to start on your job search or are you already looking for a job, but getting nowhere? Work experience is key and if you are lacking that, people have told you that’s the end of your job search? Well, it doesn’t have to be. I will tell you how to job search like a pro – with no work experience.

Firstly, work experience is important. If you have a chance to do work experience – i.e., if you are at university or planning to take a year out, do so. If you have graduated or are a young job seeker, then let’s move on from the fact that you do not have work experience.

So, how do you job search without work experience? Here are 5 steps to help you prepare well and polish up your personal brand to offer a high value to employers.

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December Might Be The Best Time To Look For Work

decemberjobhuntAuthor: Gina Ragusa
Source: Mic

Job seekers who think December is worst time of the year to hunt for work may need to rethink their strategy, as some recruiters say the holidays are the best time to find new hires. Rather than taking a break from the search because you think decision-makers are too distracted with holiday parties and vacation, it’s actually smart to ramp up your efforts.

“Most people looking for a new job tend to think the holidays is a good time to take a break,” Doug Matthews, president and CEO of Career Partners International, said in a press release. “This is never a good idea. In my 30 years working with candidates in outplacement, December is one of the strongest months to receive job offers.”

In fact — despite some advice that says February and January are the best months to find a job — if you wait until the new year, you may miss a great opportunity. Why? Competition increases after the first of the month, Vicki Salemi, career expert at Monster, said. “Recruiters also have more time to focus on your application during the holidays because it’s a little slower and they receive [fewer] resumes.”

Want even more specific advice? Submitting your application on a Monday or Tuesday seems to be a sweet spot to get a reply, some data suggests.

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National Hire A Veteran Day

Hire-a-Vet

The Job Shop is proud to support the members of our national forces by participating in National Hire A Veteran Day! Are you a veteran in the San Francisco Bay Area looking for work? Do you have friends or family who served in the armed forces and are looking for work in the Bay Area? We have tons of opportunities and would love to help! Send a resume to jobs@jobshopsf.com, or give us a call at 415-227-8610. We can’t wait to hear from you!

How Do You Stand Out In A Field Of 3000 People?

standout
Author: Sjoerd Gehring
Source: The Daily Muse

You’ve probably heard that the average job posting receives 250 applications, but I’ve seen as many as 3,000 people apply for the same role.

I’m not telling you this to scare you, but rather as encouragement. Because some people do make it through to getting hired—despite that level of competition.

As the Global Head of Recruiting for Johnson & Johnson, I’ve seen what makes the difference in whether people move to the final stages of the application process—or not.

Without a doubt, from interns to C-suite level leaders, the most impressive candidates I’ve seen are the ones who’ve taken the time to define what they want to accomplish in their professional life.

They have a professional purpose.

By that I mean they know why they do what they do, what they want to ultimately achieve, and how they plan to get there. Because they’re so clear on their goals, and so open in sharing them, I can tell almost instantly when I’ve met someone who should be working at our company.

So, if you keep applying and hearing nothing back, the number one piece of advice I can give you is to find your professional purpose and then use that as a foundation point throughout any recruiting process—from your cover letter to final interview.

With that in mind, here are two steps you can take now:

Step 1: Get Clarity

It’s easy to get swept up in the day-to-day of your job. A constant flow of urgent deadlines can make time slip away and, before you know it, two or three years have flown by.

That’s why it’s important to take time out, hit the pause button, and think about what a successful career really means to you. Determine where you get the most fulfillment in your professional life and start thinking about how that could become your professional purpose. Then get something down on paper and iterate on it.

If you’re not sure where to start, Muse Career Expert Lily Zhang recommends asking yourself three questions:

1. What can I do to help other people?

2. What does my ideal day look like?

3. What do I find intolerable?

Here’s an example of how to use your answer(s):

I spoke to a candidate recently who lost one of her parents to Alzheimer’s and had decided to look for ways to contribute to curing this disease. Her plan was to become a recruiter for the next three years so she could identify and attract the best Research & Development talent for a pharmaceuticals company to help them in the search for a cure. Her ultimate goal was to save enough money to apply to medical school, so she could contribute more directly down the line. Needless to say, she really stood out against the other (equally qualified) candidates we were considering for the job.

Your professional purpose doesn’t have to be as profound as that (mine isn’t!), but it should be something bigger than the job’s duties or making money. When you tell a hiring manager something you really connect with, they’ll be more willing to put their neck out, because they know that you have the passion to stick with it.

Step 2: Share It

Which brings me to to this: Once you’ve figured out what’s driving you, don’t be shy about sharing it with others. Yes, it can be a little uncomfortable to put yourself out there, but authenticity’s an HR buzzword for a reason. When you share more of yourself, you’ll find that people gravitate toward you and are eager to help.

Next time you’re asked to introduce yourself, weave in your professional purpose. (If you’re not 100% confident in how it sounds, here are two strategies for creating a one-line elevator pitch.)

I’ll bet people will ask you more about it or offer to connect you to someone who can help you on your journey to achieve it. Sharing a genuine reason why you’re pursuing a certain avenue in your career is much more compelling than listing off your past positions’ titles.

It’s the same in interviews. There are so many boilerplate answers to the question: “Why are you interested in this company (or role)?” And, as recruiters, we’ve pretty much heard them all.

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