Choosing your Recruiter

    When choosing which recruiter or recruiters you should use to assist you with your job search, it is important that you do your due diligence before committing. Finding the right recruiter to fit your personality should not be work, but if you do not choose wisely, your decision could have long term implications on your career. Like many things, there are good recruiters and bad recruiters out there. The question is: how do you tell the difference?
    In order to find a recruiter who is looking out for your best interests and not just for their next paycheck, there are a few things to consider. The first thing you want to look at is: does this recruiter specialize in my field? There are as many recruiters out there as there are jobs so it is important to find one who works in your particular field. If you are in the IT world, you would want someone who is tech savvy and knows the type of technology you are dealing with. Ask your recruiter what areas they specialize in and see if they line up with your skill set.
   The next thing to think about is: should I trust this person? Many recruiters will get so excited by a good resume that they will not dot their i’s and cross their t’s. You need to take them time to meet with your recruiter whenever possible, and be sure that your recruiter takes the time to get to know you and what you are looking for in your next position. If a recruiter simply wants to send your resume out without taking the time to understand what you want, chances are they are just looking to make a quick buck. Be sure to emphasize that you do not want your resume sent ANYWHERE without your permission. If your resume gets sent to an employer without your knowledge this can hurt you in the long run if you go to apply to that company later on your own or through a recruiter you do like.
   Once you have established that your recruiter is trustworthy and specializes in your field, see if that recruiter can provide recommendations. Now, I want to be clear, most recruiters would not appreciate it if you called them asking for a list of references. If instead you ask them where you can find recommendations on them I am sure they will be happy to direct you to their Linkedin profile or website where they should have at least one or more recommendations if they are any good.

I hope this helps you in your search to find a good recruiter.

Where do I even start?

Are you just starting your job search or are you confused about where to start? Not knowing how or where to look for a job is one of the biggest obstacles most job seekers face in their job search. So where do you begin?

There are a few things that you should do to get started with your job search:

1) Create a Wishlist of exactly what you are looking for in your next position. It is important to know what you want and what you are willing to accept so that when the right opportunity arises you will be able to recognize it. A Wishlist should be comprised of things such as: Salary, Benefits, Environment, Location, Company Culture, Hours, Title, etc…

2) Write a great resume that effectively presents the value you have to offer a company. I am not a huge fan of posting your resume on www.monster.com or www.careerbuilder.com, however that is up to you.

3) Get on www.indeed.com and set yourself up with email alerts for different positions in your area. If you are an executive assistant you might want to set up 3 or 4 searches that say things such as “executive secretary AND Los Angeles”, “executive assistant AND Los Angeles”, and “administrative assistant AND Los Angeles”.

4) Set yourself up with a profile on www.linkedin.com. You want to make sure you have a picture and at least one recommendation. In addition, you want to have a full profile including a summary, and all of your past positions listed. If you are unemployed, you might want to consider posting your full resume on Linkedin through their application Box.net. If you do choose to do this, please be sure to omit your address and only leave your phone number and email address on your resume. Linkedin is quickly becoming the go to tool for both recruiters and hiring managers. Hiring managers and recruiters will reach out to you directly regarding positions. If you are employed, it is perfectly acceptable to have a profile on Linkedin, and it is a great way to passively job hunt.

5) Find yourself a recruiter. If you are someone who specializes in a particular field, having a recruiter can be a great resource for you. You may want to meet with 3 or 4 recruiters to efficiently choose who you want to represent you. It is perfectly acceptable to have more than 1 recruiter working with you, however, it is important that you keep meticulous track of where you resume has been sent.

6) Begin submitting your resume to positions you see on websites such as www.craigslist.com, www.indeed.com, www.jobshouts.com, www.linkedin.com and any other places you may find a job. It is critical that you keep a running list of where your resume has been sent, by whom it was sent (ie. you or a recruiter), when it was sent, and what position it was sent for.

7) Attend networking events. Networking events are one of the best ways to find a new position. 80% of positions are filled through word of mouth. Of the 80% of positions that are filled by word of mouth, a majority are filled by acquaintances and not by close friends or colleagues. Work on your “Tell me about yourself” statement and get out there and start meeting people.

8) Brush up on your interviewing skills. Getting the interview is half the battle. The other half the battle is not talking yourself out of the position. Find a Career Coach or a friend who can help you prepare for your interviews.

I hope this helps and best of luck in your job search!

How do you reinvigorate a Stale Job?

I have spent the last year doing research on a book about what it takes for people to find a job they love and be successful in it. What is missing for most people when they get stuck in a rut is the fact that they have lost the passion for their job. Passion is one of the most critical elements that was mentioned in every interview I did for my book. If you are not passionate and excited about what you do, you will begin to feel stagnant and resentful towards your employer, however, often times it is not the employer’s fault. Sometimes, people just lose sight of their goals and what they are committed to in their lives.

Below is what I would recommend to reinvigorate a stale job:

1) Take inventory of your most valuable skills (communication, writing, selling, organizing etc…) and begin to look at what aspects of your job you most enjoy (traveling, planning, working with clients). You can do this by making a “Wishlist” of what your ideal job would look like. Your ideal job does not simply mean money and title, it also means things such as environment, job duties, travel etc… Look at both the tangible and intangible things.

2) Then begin to look at what is missing in your job, ie. money, challenge, more interaction with customers and so forth that would make a difference in your current career.

3) From there, go out and interview at least 5 people in your life and ask them questions about where you have surprised them, disappointed them, where they feel you could improve, etc…Doing this will help to give you a realistic idea of what you are good at and what you need to work on. You can interview co-workers, family members, or acquaintances. 

4) Once you have done the above steps, begin to formulate a 5 year strategy of where you see yourself and what sort of career path you need to get on. Perhaps your original position inspired you when you first started in it 6 years ago, but now you have lost sight of what your end goal was.

5) Finally, once you have created a 5 year strategy, work your way backwards year by year of how you got yourself to your 5 year goal. In doing this, many people will begin to feel re-inspired about their current career or perhaps realize that they need to start moving in a different direction.

The bottom line is, if you are not passionate about what you do, you will always find yourself dissatisfied with your job.