Huntsy has Landed
We’re excited to share that Huntsy is open to the public! Job hunting can be the pits. There’s only so much you, a job hunter, can do in one day: keeping track of all job applications, networking efforts, and follow-ups is a job in itself. Huntsy manages the annoying stuff, allowing you to focus on finding your next great career move. Here’s how it works:
Sign up for an account and install our “Add to Huntsy” button into your browser. Whenever you see a job that you might like around the Internet, click our button to store it for later so you can apply when you’re ready. We’ll keep the URL and the details handy. From the Huntsy dashboard, you can stay on-task with following up, scheduling interviews, submitting resumes, and all of the other to-dos for each job opportunity.
Connect your LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter account and Huntsy becomes even more powerful: we’ll automatically look through your social networks and identify people you already know at each company whose job you’ve bookmarked. Reach out to them and get your network to work for you. We hope you enjoy using Huntsy and that your job search goes swiftly. And when you find your dream job and have the offer letter in your hand, please send us a note! We’d love to hear from you. The Huntsy Team
Some Optimistic Employment Numbers to Help Inspire Your Job Search
The Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics has released a handful of reports over the past two weeks that should give job hunters hope for a successful 2012. Here is a list of hot-off-the-press highlights from the reports, along with some information on a new program that will launch in the upcoming weeks to assist young job hunters (ages 16-24) in finding work this summer:
“Payroll employment rose by 200,000 in December 2011…The unemployment rate, at 8.5 percent, continued to trend down.”
200,000 additional people joined or rejoined the workforce last month. Fewer unemployed people will likely result in less competition for newly open jobs this month. During the worst of the recession, companies reported receiving several hundred applications for positions that typically would have received only a few dozen applications in better economic times. After the flurry of hiring activity in December 2011, there’s a good chance the average number of applications per position will start to decrease. So, get psyched up and start submitting more application packages, as your odds of being selected may be improving!
“Job gains occurred in transportation and warehousing, retail trade, manufacturing, health care, and mining.”
Take a close look at industries that are growing, and use this industry information to your advantage in your job search. Ask friends and family members employed in any of these industries how their work is going and if they’re aware of any new opportunities within their companies or in their fields. On your favorite job search engine, browse postings in these industries to see what’s becoming available in your area.
“The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons…declined by 371,000 to 8.1 million in December. These individuals were working part time because their hours had been cut back or because they were unable to find a full-time job.”
As more people work more hours, they will have more money to purchase more goods and services. As the demand for goods and services increases, new jobs will need to be created to meet the increased demand. Go to your preferred job search website and sort the postings by date. What types of jobs are being posted most frequently? Are you qualified for them? If not, what steps could you take to better position yourself?
“Unemployment rates were lower in November than a year earlier in 351 of the 372 metropolitan areas…Two hundred thirty-nine metropolitan areas reported over-the-year increases in nonfarm payroll employment.”
It’s great news that 65% of the nation’s metropolitan areas have added jobs since this time last year and that unemployment rates are down in 94% of these areas. If you’re not totally tied down to your current locale, consider following the trail of opportunity to areas where the greatest number of new jobs have been created (such as Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown, Texas), where the highest percentage of new jobs have been created (like Hot Springs, Arkansas), or where the unemployment rate has remained consistently low (including Bismarck, North Dakota). Finally, if you’re a younger job hunter (ages 16-24), the Department of Labor and the White House want to help put you to work this summer through the Summer Jobs+ 2012 program. This initiative is an attempt to combat the high unemployment rates among America’s young people. Many private companies are already on-board, and they’ve committed to provide life skills, work skills, and on-the-job training for America’s youth. There will be at least 180,000 opportunities posted across the country. Check out the full details of the program and sign up to be notified when the Summer Jobs+ Jobs Bank goes live at www.dol.gov!
5 things you MUST scrub off your Facebook profile if you’re job hunting
The hiring process is very time-consuming and expensive for businesses, and many companies are increasingly seeking out unconventional but easily available sources of information when screening and researching job candidates. In an effort to make sure they hire someone who is responsible and conscientious, there have been several reports of human resources and hiring managers combing over publically accessible details that have been published as part of applicants’ Facebook profiles. Here are 5 steps to rapidly clean up your Facebook profile to give it a more professional image (and to limit what’s available for perusal), in case a hiring company comes snooping.
1.) Delete status updates that bash your current or a past employer, were posted while on the job (when you probably should have been working), or are admissions of poor job performance.
You don’t appreciate having private issues broadcast to the world, and neither do employers. Openly bashing an employer through a status update or post (even if you feel it’s justified) will indicate that you’re unable to proactively handle and resolve conflicts. Status updates such as “Bored at work,” or “Been checking sports scores all night at work – is it time to go home yet?” likewise aren’t going to score you many points with an HR rep.
2.) Remove or untag yourself from incriminating, suggestive, and embarrassing photographs.
Any picture in which you are engaging in an illegal activity should be the first to go. Also cut any sexually suggestive poses and pictures in which you’re making obscene gestures. If you’re worried you might upset friends by untagging yourself, send them a quick message to explain the situation prior to banishing the spicy material from your profile.
3.) “Unlike” things that could raise eyebrows.
Giving a thumbs-up to your favorite blogs, local attractions, sports teams, and restaurants is just fine; having a “like list” composed mainly of dirty humor websites, alcohol and tobacco products, and bars or clubs may not be as well received by a hiring manager looking for a mature and reliable employee.
4.) Adjust your privacy settings.
Log into your account. Click the down arrow next to “Home” in the upper-right corner of the screen. A dropdown menu should appear. Click “Privacy Settings.” Adjust the various settings to the most limiting levels you can. The “How You Connect” section controls who can look up your profile and “who can see Wall posts by others on your profile.” The “Limit the Audience for Past Posts” section gives you the option to make privacy changes to all your past posts, rather than having to sort through and modify them one at a time. Before making a new post, be sure to click the “Custom” icon on the post window and review the settings “to manage who can see and comment on posts you share.”
5.) Review applications and website access selections.
Understand that by adding applications to your Facebook account, you are allowing those applications to access and potentially share (intentionally or not) your personal information. Go to “Privacy Settings” as listed above, and then go to the “Apps and Websites” section. Click the “Edit Settings” button for “Apps You Use,” and then click the “edit” link for each app. When given the option, adjust permissions to help limit access. Remove any apps you don’t use any more, as those apps are still using your information and data while you are getting nothing in return. Also in the “Apps and Websites” section, click the “Edit Settings” button for “Public Search”; if you don’t want people to be able to see some of your profile information by searching for you using a search engine, make sure the “Enable public search” box is NOT checked.
By taking these quick actions, you can help lessen the risk that a hiring company will uncover something on your Facebook account that would cause them to remove you from consideration. Photo Credit: crossfirecw
Handbook Preview: Does Your Resume Have FLAVOR?
By Susan Guerneri, Career Assessment Goddess, http://blog.careergoddess.com
Do you have a bland, ho-hum résumé? You may not be sure. But if you are not landing job interviews, your résumé may be the culprit. We are in the most competitive job market in history. Consequently, you cannot afford a lackluster résumé. Employers and recruiters have high standards, and do look for résumés (and applicants) that stand out. Here are six elements that can give your résumé big
FLAVOR: F – FOCUS ==> Is it obvious to the employer or recruiter what job (job title) you are seeking? Have you led the résumé by selectively emphasizing your best assets and value that support that Focus? OR ==> Do you have a generic, no-focus résumé that you use for every job posting to which you respond?
L – LEVERAGE ==> Does your résumé showcase your personal branding and what makes you unique and more valuable than other applicants? OR ==> Are you unknowingly marketing yourself in your résumé as a commodity, comparable to many other commodities (job seekers)?
A – ACCOMPLISHMENTS ==> Does the majority of your résumé highlight the results (accomplishments) of your jobs, particularly in the past 10 years? OR ==> Have you simply listed your job duties and responsibilities for each job, in bullet format, much like a grocery shopping list?
V – VALUE….
Download the Handbook for the Recently Unemployed for FREE to get the last 3 tips by Susan about how to give your resume FLA-VOR!
Photo Credit: elisabethp
A Dozen Things You MUST Take to Your Next Networking Event
Planning to attend a networking event in the near future? Be sure to take along the items on the following checklist to make sure you arrive highly prepared.
- A thin, professional folio or folder
A folio or folder is the best way to keep copies of your resume and other important papers crisp while on the go. Only take along documents that are relevant to the event (regularly clean out and organize your folio). If your current folio features psychedelic unicorns or cartoon characters on the front, it’s high time for an upgrade to a more distinguished design. A folio with several small compartments is also a great way to discreetly stash many of the remaining checklist items.
- All the event specifics
Make sure you have the physical address of the venue, the name and location of the room or hall within the venue, and any instructions regarding parking, entering the building, or event registration. If a floor plan of the venue is available online, bookmark it on your wireless device or print it out and carry a copy in your folio just in case the event gets moved elsewhere in the building and you can’t locate a directory or staff member on-site.
- Phone number for one of the event coordinators
Modestly-sized events sometimes get supplanted by larger events, often with little notice. Scan through the promotional materials for the event and make sure you’ve stored a contact’s phone number. If you show up at the designated time and place and something’s amiss, touch base with the contact so he or she can fill you in on the latest and greatest details regarding any unexpected changes.
- Information on the VIPs
What company or organization is sponsoring the event? Do your research on the companies and the products they make or the services they provide. Are there going to be any featured VIP attendees? Study the bios of any people who are highlighted, as you just may end up interacting with them at the event (VIPs tend to “work the room”), and you won’t want to be caught unawares.
- A handkerchief, a paper towel, or some tissues
If you tend to have moist palms, tuck a handkerchief or paper towel inconspicuously in a pocket or handbag and sneak a wipe prior to handshakes. By toting along a small, travel pack of tissues, you can help diffuse a potentially awkward situation if someone else in a conversation suddenly requires a tissue.
- Breath mints
Combat garlicky and oniony appetizers with an easily dissolvable breath mint. Avoid chewing gum, as having a piece in your mouth throughout the event can interfere with your enunciation, looks unprofessional, and the disposal of a well-worn piece of gum can be rather cumbersome.
- A light snack
If the event is scheduled for (or has the potential to last) several hours and you’re not 100% certain that some form of nourishment will be supplied, pack a light snack like a cereal bar in a spare pocket. A grumbling tummy is distracting and embarrassing.
- Strand of dental floss or floss-pick
If your smile’s ambushed by a bothersome bit of bruschetta, retreat to the nearest restroom to give your grill a quick makeover.
- Travel-sized bottle of hand sanitizer
Arm yourself with some sanitizer should you come in contact with an unknown sticky substance, an atypically dusty surface, or a fellow attendee with a cold.
- Business cards
Even in this era of sleek technology, sometimes efficiently exchanging a business card is more convenient than fiddling with electronic devices, especially when interacting with more traditional attendees. If you’re not currently employed, you can still print basic cards with your name, phone number, and email address.
- Pen and paper
Test the pen before you leave. If you have room to carry a spare, do it. You don’t want to miss out on the opportunity to take important notes or take down a contact’s details due to a faulty writing instrument.
- The phone number for a local cab service
If you know alcoholic beverages are going to be served, always plan to drink in moderation (if at all). That being said, it’s always a great idea to have a backup plan in case something causes you to significantly deviate from your plan. By reviewing this survival checklist before you walk out the door, you can considerably boost your levels of confidence and preparedness heading into any network event. Photo Credit: Shashi Bellamkonda Like what you’re reading here? Get our “Handbook for the Recently Unemployed” for more in-depth advice and tips from job hunting industry professionals. It’s free!
How to use a Spreadsheet to Organize your Job Search
We’re on a mission to keep job hunters organized. While we built Huntsy to be the best job search organization tool possible so you don’t even need a spreadsheet, we recognize that it may not work best for everybody. If you haven’t yet, try Huntsy now! Whether or not you use Huntsy.com, we want you to be organized and diligent, staying focused and following up. If Huntsy.com isn’t right for you (or find yourself frequently without Internet) you can use this spreadsheet to manage your job search. We call it Huntsy Lite.
Fun fact: the first version of Huntsy was built as a spreadsheet, helping manage a member of our team’s job search before they came on board.Download it here: Job Search Organization Spreadsheet Spreadsheet tips: Each row of the spreadsheet is a job opportunity. Use the columns to fill in the appropriate data for each field to keep things clear. It should be self-explanatory; but, just in case, here are some tips to make your life even easier:
- Take notes. Data and information is useful some of the time, but keeping your thoughts and notes on each opportunity will provide you with some narrative when one of their representatives calls you for a surprise interview.
- Update your Last Communication with each opportunity. That way, you can stay on the recruiter, hiring manager, or employer. Anecdotally, those who follow-up are twice as likely to earn an interview. Our spreadsheet will automatically remind you to follow-up a week later.*
- Perform at least 10 actions a day. Find and add 10 jobs. Apply to 10 jobs. Do 10 things to help your job search every weekday and you’ll have found 50 opportunities every week.
- Use the sort features. Sort your opportunities by follow-up date to stay on top of your opportunities. In our sheet, that’s Column L.
Handbook Preview: What a Job Seeker’s Twitter Bio Should—And Shouldn’t—Look Like
By Marian Schembari, Brazen Life, http://blog.brazencareerist.comBrazenLife is a lifestyle and career blog for ambitious young professionals. Hosted by Brazen Careerist, we offer edgy and fun ideas for navigating the changing world of work — this isn’t your parents’ career-advice blog. Be Brazen. Marian Schembari is a blogger, traveler and all-around social media thug. She’s based in Auckland, New Zealand, hails from Connecticut and blogs at marianlibrarian.com. Most savvy job seekers nowadays know the benefits of using social media to hunt down a job. LinkedIn profiles, Facebook ads, blogging, Twitter… If you’re not taking advantage of the opportunities these networks provide, you’ve either made a conscious decision to avoid them or you’re just lazy. So I’m not going to sit here and talk at you about how the more people you know, the better for your career. Nor will I explain for the umpteenth time how learning social media is a hugely valuable skill for almost any job out there. What I am going to bitch to you about though is how to position yourself when you do take the plunge. Raise your virtual hand if you’ve seen someone on Twitter who’s bio looks like this:
Recent grad from Fancy College. ~*~*~ HIRE ME ~*~*~ #communications #marketing #healthOhmygodshootmenow. Let’s break down why this bio doesn’t work and what to do instead. No-no: “Recent grad from Fancy College” You have 140 characters on Twitter to show off your skills. Do you think anyone will care what college you went to? Maybe, but new graduates often put more emphasis on school than they need to. Your university can provide a great connection; if someone sees you graduated from their alma mater, that could open some doors. That’s why I added my Davidson affiliation when I was looking for work, not because our network is huge, but because Davidson grads are like a cult. They WILL help you out. But. Remember that very few of the people you meet on Twitter will have gone to your school. That means maybe your school shouldn’t be your No. 1 selling point. Instead: Give priority to your skills, experience and passion, and add your alma mater only if you have space. Potential employers will eventually figure out where you graduated from. A LOT of recent grads are looking for work. Do you really want to be yet another unemployed, over-educated kid looking for a job? Avoiding the traditional “Recent grad looking for work” trap will help you stand out. No-no: “HIRE ME” ————- Not sure why “HIRE ME” is a no-no? Download the Handbook for the Recently Unemployed for FREE and find out. You’ll also learn 3 other big common don’ts for your Twitter bio with suggestions on how to fix them!
Interviewing 101: 5 Questions NOT to Ask at an Interview
If you’ve made it to the interview stage, there’s a good chance you are on the short list of candidates to fill the position. Don’t sabotage your candidacy by asking one of these 5 questionable questions during an interview. DON’T ask, “What exactly does this company sell?” Do your research in advance and avoid asking any questions with answers that are easily available to the general public via the company’s website, the job posting itself, or the company’s promotional information and advertisements. Asking such questions will make you appear unprepared and not particularly interested in the opportunity. If you want more insight into the position and the business, consider asking a question like “How does this specific role help the company meet its overall objectives?” DON’T ask, “How much will this position pay?” Unless a member of the human resources team is present for the interview (which is not always the case), the hiring manager may not have precise information regarding what salary or hourly wage will be initially offered. Inquiring about pay during the interview may leave the impression that you are primarily concerned about money and are less concerned about challenging work, opportunities for advancement, or other aspects of the job over which the hiring manager has more control. If you were asked questions regarding salary requirements or expectations as part of the job application, it is likely the initial offer won’t be drastically different from what you answered; efficient companies won’t waste time interviewing candidates who significantly overpriced themselves or grossly misjudged the value of the position to the company. DON’T ask, “Can I work from home?” Working from home is typically a privilege that is earned after a period of successful, directly-monitored performance. Asking about remote work opportunities during the interview can indicate that you aren’t a team player, don’t have reliable transportation, have other commitments that may regularly interfere with job performance, or aren’t comfortable working under regular supervision. DON’T ask, “What hours will I need to work each day?” In most industries, work hours will vary depending on demand. For example, finance and business employees often work longer hours when closing the books on a fiscal quarter or year, and retail workers often put in more hours around the holiday season to better accommodate the higher volume of customers and sales. Inquiring about set hours implies inflexibility. Instead, request that the hiring manager describe a typical workday for a member of his or her team; the response should provide you some great insight into workgroup norms, day-to-day tasks, and the hiring manager’s expectations. DON’T ask, “When will you have your final decision made?” For many companies, the hiring process is quite rigorous and takes a considerable amount of time and energy to complete. Rather than pressing the interviewer for a firm deadline (which could make him or her uncomfortable), a question such as “When would be the most convenient time for me to follow up with you next week, and how would you prefer I contact you?” will show your continued interest in the job, will indicate your consideration of the interviewer’s schedule, and will give you a key bit of information regarding how the interviewer prefers to communicate. By not asking problematic questions like the ones listed above, you will better demonstrate to the hiring manager that you are ready and willing to do whatever it takes to become a superior employee. Photo Credit: alexanderdrachmann Like what you’re reading here? Get our “Handbook for the Recently Unemployed” for more in-depth advice and tips from job hunting industry professionals. It’s free!
Do You Have Skills?
The skills section of your resume should summarize what you think are your most valuable and important qualifications. Sometimes I wish my resume could be more like an actor’s. They are encouraged to include skills that may be asked of them, such as “juggle” or “can do a British accent”, because you never know what a casting director may need. If only big corporations and human resources could be persuaded by your unusual skills as well. That the fact that you can play piano and ride a unicycle shouldbe a contributing factor in you getting the job. This is what mine would look like…
Proficient typist, strong customer service, Hula Hoop Champion 1997, Microsoft Office, basic HTML, a wealth of pop culture trivia, karaoke professional, Photoshop, InDesign, can do the dance from Thriller, really good gift wrapper, cash sales, attention to detail, managerial experience. I would also love to include photos or a list of my favorite movies, possibly even make it scented like El Woods in Legally Blonde. Part of me likes to think that a person working in HR would find this resume refreshing, if not for any other reason than it would definitely stick out and be rememberable. But the fact of the matter is your real work ability and experience should speak for itself. And you will have to know how to do data entry, speak to customers, and work in excel regardless that you’ve mastered the dance to “Single Ladies”.
A few tips:
You shouldn’t list every single computer program you’ve ever worked with. Stick to the ones that may be useful in the field you are applying to or that you have a strong working knowledge of and be honest with your skill level. Don’t go overboard with the number of skills you list – 10 to 15 should be enough to summarize your specific skills and experience range. Try to stay clear of cliches. Instead of writing “hard worker”, try committed and reliable. The skills section of your resume shouldn’t be overlooked, everything that you’ve learned from past jobs could find itself being useful for a new one. What are some skills you wish you could include on your resume? Photo Credit: dear_colleen
Handbook Preview: 9-to-5, Just One Way to Make A Living
Haven’t found that dream job yet? Well, take a step back from the typical 9-to-5 job search and read this excerpt from Chapter 4 of our Handbook for the Recently Unemployed: “9-to-5, Just One Way to Make A Living.” Margaret Kavanaugh lays out 4 options that “may get you back into the workplace faster than your comrades, even if it isn’t what you first had in mind.”
Chapter 4: 9-to-5, Just One Way to Make A LivingWell, we had hoped you could skip this chapter because you already reeled in a job with our awesome instructions. But, if you haven’t yet, maybe you’d better go back and re-read everything. Just in case you didn’t do it right. Go ahead… We’ll wait… No? Still no job? Hmmm. Okay then, there are some options we haven’t told you about yet that you should consider as long as you’re doing the whole job-search thing. After all, you are up against tons of other people looking for work. Up ‘til now, you’ve probably concentrated on finding a job pretty much like the one you just left. And if you were “let go” with a bunch of coworkers, they’re most likely doing the exact same thing you are, which means you’ve got stiff competition. Let’s take a look at some options that may get you back into the workplace faster than your comrades, even if it isn’t what you first had in mind.
It’s Only Temporary. Or is it?If you’re looking for full-time work, don’t turn your nose up at temporary positions. First of all, it’s a way to network and make contacts, second, it’s a way to make money, and third, it’s valuable experience. Plus, in most states, you can work a few days and collect unemployment for the remainder of the week. If you do part-time and/or temporary work, try to get it in your desired career field, or at least within a company in which you’d like to work. Often, a part-time gig can turn into a full-time job if you play your cards right.
Freelance Doesn’t Mean Free Work …You’ve got mad skillz, right? People need mad skillz. People need your mad skillz! If you know friends, family, acquaintances, or anyone looking for some help, offer yours for a reasonable price. Are you an expert in accounting? Help a small business get its books in order for the month. Experienced email marketer? Offer your services to your next-door-neighbor to advertise her dog-sitting services. Word travels fast, and these mini-jobs will net you money, experience, and more paid work. Be sure to claim these jobs with unemployment. (Don’t cheat the government. We’re just sayin’.)
… But Volunteering DoesThink of volunteering as a chance to up your goodness level. Find a cause and donate your time and skills. It will score you the same networking and experience as freelancing, but with a whole new group of people. (You can meet a lot of bigwigs in volunteer situations!) Plus, it makes you look extra nice, which can only help your job search.
Do Over! Do Over!As long as you are re-evaluating your job, you really should take the time to re-evaluate your career. Do you want a job just like the one you left? Or is it time to start something new in your life? We mean really new. There are a few more options to consider. Each comes with considerable risk, so think about the big picture, like money, living arrangements, education, and so on, before you jump in with both feet. Hey, we just want to give you every alternative:
- New path: Is now the time to change jobs from email marketing to web design? After all, you’ve always loved coding and graphic design. Check out free training options online and with your unemployment office.
- New education: Would you benefit from taking on an internship? They’re not just for teenagers anymore. Plus: contacts, contacts, contacts.
- New trade: Are you in a dying industry? (VCR repair just isn’t the money-maker it used to be.) Look to the future for something more recession-proof. Everyone needs healthcare, right? Also, hotdogs.