Brainstorm

Brainstorm Career Options

The next step after self-assessment is brainstorming some options for consideration. Scanning resources that list a variety of career possibilities like the Occupational Outlook Handbook is one way to come up with a list of options worth investigating.

There are many free online personality and career quizzes you can take to get ideas on what career would be a good fit for someone with your interests and qualifications.

You can also review our page on Glassdoor that lists a variety of job titles in order to build a hit list of career possibilities. Once you have some general sectors in mind, you can review top jobs in those categories, or you can search online by keywords like “careers in health care,” for example, or whatever field you are interested in. Try to identify ten careers about which you are sufficiently curious to spend some time conducting further research.

Do your research

Research Your Top Career Choices

Once you have a tentative idea of some careers worth investigating, then you will need to research them in detail to further assess their suitability. Begin by reading about each of the fields on your brainstorm list. Look for information on our online career information resources.

Try Googling each field like this: “Career Information Sales Accountant.” You will find that professional groups provide excellent sources of career information. Review the requirements for entering the field and make sure that you are prepared to complete any training, certificate programs or educational degrees which are required.

For your remaining options, the next step should be to conduct informational interviews with professionals in those fields. Reach out to college alumni, contacts in your personal and social networks, as well as local professionals to schedule in-person or telephone consultations. Here’s how to get started with career networking.

Keep notes regarding what you have learned during your research and match it up against the list of interests, skills, and values which you generated during your self-assessment phase. Make a list of options which are still worth considering.

As always consider having a conversation with the recruiter’s at CareerPaths NW, we are always available to chat with you about your career options.

Developing an Elevator Pitch

Have you ever been in a situation where you had the opportunity to talk with a highly important person? Let’s say for example they’re employed in a company that you really want to work for, and one of the first things they say is tell me about yourself. Would you know how to respond?

You need an elevator pitch.

An elevator pitch is based on a premise where if you had only had 2-3 minutes to have a substantial conversation with someone, would you be able to? Here are some things that will help you build a great elevator pitch:

  • Create a positive first impression
  • Give a powerful and unique personal statement
  • Leave a positive lasting impression

Remember this is not an interview, you only have a few minutes, make sure you give the highlights that are of value to the person you are talking to.

Searching for a Job in Seattle

Is your job search off to a slow start or getting stuck? Here are some quick time-saving job search tips that will help your hunt for a new job go smoothly.

Be Prepared. Have a voice mail system in place and sign-up for a professional sounding email address. Consider getting a separate email account to use for your job search, so you can stay organized. Put your cell phone number on your resume so you can follow up in a timely manner.

Be More Than Prepared. Always have an up-to-date resume ready to send – even if you are not currently looking for work. You never know when an opportunity that is too good to pass up might come along. If you’re not on LinkedIn yet, create a LinkedIn Profile and start making connections who can help you job search.

Don’t Wait. If you are laid-off, file for unemployment benefits right away. You will most likely be able to file online or by phone. Waiting could delay your benefits check.

Get Help. Utilize free or inexpensive services that provide career counseling and job search assistance such as college career offices, state Department of Labor offices or your local public library.

Many libraries provide workshops, programs, classes, computers and printers you can use, and other resources to help you with your job search. Here’s more on getting job search help at the library.

Create Your Own Templates. Have copies of your resume and cover letter ready to edit. That way you can change the content to match the requirements of the job you’re applying for, but, the contact information and your opening and closing paragraphs won’t need to be changed.

Microsoft Word users can download free templates for resumes, cover letters and email messages which can be personalized for your own correspondence.

Review Samples. It’s always a good idea to look at sample letters and resumes to get ideas for your own job search materials. Take a look at our collection of resume, cv, and letter samples.

Use Job Search Engines. Search the job search engines. Use the job search engine sites to search the major job boards, company sites, associations, and other sites with job postings for you – fast. You will be able to search all the jobs posted online in one step.

Jobs by Email. Let the jobs come to you. Use job alerts to sign up and receive job listings by email. All the major job sites have search agents and some websites and apps specialize in sending announcements.

References Ready. Have a list of three references including name, job title, company, phone number and email address ready to give to interviewers. Print a copy of your reference list and bring it with you to interviews. Here’s how to create a list of references.

Use Your Network. Be cognizant of the fact that many, if not most, job openings aren’t advertised. Tell everyone you know that you are looking for work. Ask if they can help.

Get Social. Social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter can be a good way to get job listings before they are listed elsewhere. Plus, you can promote your candidacy using the social media tools that are readily available for free for job seekers and companies are increasingly using social media for recruiting. Here’s how to get started with social networking.

 

Tips for a Job Search during the Corona Recession

The Corona Virus has put everyone on the back-foot, if you are already unemployed or have lost your hours and feel like your job is in trouble you will can follow the following tips to kickstart your Job Search.

Pick and Choose Your Targets

It’s important to put your time and energy into opportunities that you’re the most interested in and that have the best chance of coming to fruition. Pick a few companies you’re interested in and pursue them, whether they have current openings or not.

Concentrate on Growth Industries

Focusing on growth industries and areas. And any job that alleviates pain is recession-proof. Similarly, the National Guard, Border Patrol, homeland security and the defense industry in general will continue to thrive as the next stage in the war on terror continues.

Work Your Network

Flip through your Rolodex or business social media contacts and let them know you’re looking.

Take a Temporary Position

Consider interim staffing to fill a temporary slot for work that needs to be done despite the economy, or temp with a company that interests you. Many of these options pay well and can carry the burden of bill-paying until a permanent position comes along.

Sweat the Small Stuff

Don’t forget the personal touches,  don’t use a template cover letter — make sure each letter addresses specific skills or qualities the company is looking for. And always send a thank-you note or email after the interview. Use this correspondence as an opportunity to revisit weak areas of your interview.

Stay Positive

The most important thing when searching for a job in these tough economic times is to retain a positive attitude, even in a job market with 10 percent unemployment, there’s 90 percent employment.

Struggling to find a great job in a bad economy can be a drag, but undertaking even a few of these tips will improve your chances of landing a gig.

December is the best time to look for a job in Seattle

Savvy job-seekers might know how to write resumes and cover letters, but few are aware of this surprising fact: Contrary to popular belief, December is actually the best time of year to look for work!

There are two compelling reasons why this is true–

#1 Competition levels drop dramatically. The majority of job-seekers figure that the holidays are a waste of time and make only marginal efforts to search for a new position. But their unfortunate mistake can turn into your big advantage because…

#2 Hiring takes off in the New Year. Although interviewing for full-time employees takes a dip in December, the months of January and February typically generate the strongest hiring period of the year. Organizations kick-off new projects and initiatives, budgets are put into place and additional staff is required to carry out the company’s plans.

Accordingly, if you take full advantage of the opportunities that the holidays have to offer, you may well find yourself as a sought after candidate–one who’s first in line to be interviewed in early January. To ensure you are making the most of this special time of year, here are three holiday practices you will want to adopt:

Practice the art of seasonal schmoozing. The holidays are filled with parties, gatherings, and community events. These are all prime opportunities to mix, mingle and share your story. Be certain, however, that you don’t dampen the festivities by trying too hard. Resist the temptation to deliver a rehearsed elevator speech unless you are attending a formal industry event where such introductions would be commonplace. Even then, make sure you judge the mood of the merrymakers before you come across as too stiff or businesslike.

At informal gatherings, a light touch is always best. When asked what you do, you can reply with a snappy one-liner that will pique your listeners’ interest. For example, a department store buyer used this playful response when asked about her career, “I shop with other people’s money.” (You can bet ears perked up with that one!) Once the buyer had the attention of her audience, she then continued with a lengthier description of her skills, experience and job search goals.

Reconnect with old contacts. Holiday cards and folksy letters are not only welcomed, they’re expected. Done correctly, they can be a great way of securing new leads and opportunities. After sharing the latest news about your family, you can mention your job search and add a few of the companies you are targeting. Then in a low-key manner, you can let your friends know that you’d appreciate any suggestions or contacts they might have.

You can also send holiday greetings to recruiters you’ve worked with in the past, reconnect and update them on your search. Recruiters are busy people and can easily forget candidates. So your greeting may well put you at the top of their minds in a favorable light. And, if you are very lucky, they might have the ideal job cross their desk just as your greeting appears in their inbox.

Network in new and innovative ways. Volunteering, seasonal hiring, and all sorts of opportunities present themselves for moving beyond your immediate circle of contacts. Pursue as many of these as you can that will comfortably allow you time for other holiday networking activities. You never know whom you might meet and where such opportunities may lead.

Most of all, remember that your goal is to take full advantage of the serendipity and good will that abounds in December. Join in the seasonal festivities, celebrate with your career goals in mind and anticipate that success may be only weeks away. You just might find yourself ringing in 2015 with a brand new job. And that’s a pretty great way to start off the New Year… with a big thanks to the holiday spirit!

Source: Mary Eileen Williams

Help your career during this quarantine

Brush up on your soft skills

Emotional intelligence is rooted in them, business leaders swear by them, and they remain in high demand. I’m speaking of soft skills, those frequently misunderstood and undervalued skills that power career success. Earlier this year, LinkedIn released its annual Global Talent Trends 2019 report, which explores the four big trends fueling the future of the workplace. Topping the list? Soft skills.

This finding underscores a fundamental truth: At its core, business is about relationships. No matter your job function or title, to succeed, you must interact with other people. And those who find a way to combine their hard skills with soft skills create environments that empower and ignite their teams, delight their customers, and fuel sustainable growth.

Master time-management

Your ability to prioritize and focus your attention on tackling work projects is crucial. How and with whom you spend your time, and your productivity while doing so, demonstrate your focus and commitment to what—and who—matters most. When you master time-management, you’ll learn to say no, do, decide, delegate or delete tasks, batch routine tasks, eliminate distractions, embrace mono-tasking, get to know—and work—your own rhythms, and build in breaks to recharge.

Get creative

Creativity is the ability to perceive the world in new ways, to find hidden patterns, to make connections between seemingly disparate things, and to generate innovative solutions. When you’re creative, you’re able to turn new and imaginative ideas into reality. Business leaders agree that to cultivate your creativity, you should ask big questions, pay attention, be open-minded, set aside time to let your mind wander, and not be afraid to take risks.

Are you an Obvious Fit? Redmond Job Seeker

Make Yourself a “Smack-in-the-Forehead” Obvious Fit

When you apply for a job via an online application process, it’s very likely that your resume will first be screened by an applicant tracking system and then (assuming you make this first cut) move onto human eyeballs. The first human eyeballs that review your resume are often those of a lower level HR person or recruiter, who may or may not understand all of the nuances of that job for which you’re applying.

Thus, it behooves you to make it very simple for both the computer and the human to quickly connect their “Here’s what we’re looking for” to your “Here’s what you can walk through our doors and deliver.”

Tip

Study the job description and any available information you have on the position. Are you mirroring the words and phrases in the job description? Are you showcasing your strengths in the areas that seem to be of paramount importance to this role? Line it up. Line it up.

Seattle Job search techniques

Create your online career brand. The job market is slowly evolving from a paradigm of job-seekers and employers using job boards to find each other to one in which employers find job-seekers online — whether through LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, or the job-seeker’s personal Website. Building your brand simply means showcasing your expertise and passion online where employers searching the Web could find it — and removing any unsavory — digital dirt — you can find.

Get organized. Before you start applying for jobs, going to job fairs, or interviewing with employers, take a moment to develop a system that works for you in organizing your job-search. A simple spreadsheet works best for many — and some online sites can even help keep your job-search organized.

Build, cultivate, and utilize your network of contacts. For the vast majority of job-seekers, a large and strong network of contacts — of people who know you and want to help you uncover job leads — results in more job opportunities. Networking — in person and online — is essential to your job-search success. Continually seek out new people to add to your network.

Attempt to complete several job-related goals daily. It’s a bit of a cliche now, but in all cliches there is truth — and that truth is that it takes a great deal of time and effort to find a new job. In a long job-search, it’s easy to get discouraged and distracted, but by focusing on achieving daily goals you can motivate yourself while also building a foundation for success.

Develop anecdotes and stories that showcase your skills. People remember stories over bullet points, so your goal should be developing a set of anecdotes you can use in networking and interviewing situations that clearly demonstrate your skills, accomplishments, and passion for your work. Using stories may also help you feel more comfortable talking about yourself.

Excel in the job interview. Research the employer and interviewers, know your route for getting to the interview, dress appropriately, arrive about 10 minutes early (to compose yourself, observe your settings, complete any paperwork), greet everyone warmly (from receptionist to hiring manager), use positive body language (firm handshake, strong eye contact, attentive posture, and friendly smile), confidently respond to interview questions, show enthusiasm, ask questions of the interviewer(s), and close the interview with appreciation and a request for information about next steps in the process.

Write thank-you notes after interviews to all interviewers. A quick note (by email and/or postal mail) of thanks that emphasizes your interest and fit with the job and employer will not get you the job offer, but it will help make you stand out from the majority of job-seekers who do not bother with this simple act of courtesy.

Continue following up with hiring managers. Your work is not done once the interview is complete or the thank-you note sent. Following up with the hiring manager regularly shows your interest and enthusiasm for the job. The key is doing so in a way that is professional while not making you sound pesky or needy.

 

Upgrade your career during these tough times

Decide on your career goals and how you can achieve them

Decide on your long term career goals, where do you want to be in the next 1, 5 or 10 years? Determine how exactly you can achieve them, what do you need to do to reach your aim? You will most likely need to set small goals in order to create a path to your ultimate goal.

Write your goals down

A Harvard research study as mentioned above also showed that those who wrote down their goals were 3 times more likely to achieve them than those who didn’t. Write your goals down somewhere visible and tick them off when you achieve them.

Be proactive

If you have decided that a new role at a new company is the right route for you then you need to be proactive, start to use job boards and recruiters to help you find that new start.

If you use a recruiter that is specialised to your industry or skill set then they can give you the latest information on your job market. They will also be able to prepare you for upcoming interviews knowing what your potential employer is looking for and give valuable feedback.

At CareerPaths NW we specialize in helping people reach their true potential. Click here to access our latest job’s

Learn and develop as a professional

In order to attain that promotion or new job then you need to push yourself out of your comfort zone, this means being willing to develop or learn new skills. Most new roles will require some level of learning, whether that is learning how to be a Manager or studying a new technique. Be willing to push yourself out of your comfort zone.

Don’t limit yourself

Our recruiters say that it is essential to believe in yourself and don’t limit your abilities. Most employers can tell if someone really believes that they can be successful in a new role compared to those that are not. Confidence in your own abilities can help you get that promotion or new role.