Thursday, December 30, 2010

Four Communication Tips Job Seekers Can Borrow from TV Marketers

Job seekers would do well to use techniques that major advertisers do on TV to sell their products, according to Robert J. Gerberg Jr., CEO of SET. “These things have proven successful over time, which is why they continue to use them,” Robert J. Gerberg added. SET is a personal marketing firm working with executives, professionals and managers seeking $100,000 or more. Here are four things Gerberg advises you borrow:

  1. Start with a “communication strategy.” Know ahead of time the overall way you want to present yourself, the key phrases that describe your strengths and themes you will use to emphasize how much you can contribute. Savvy marketers start this way.

  1. Know your “selling proposition.” Whether it’s beer, perfume, soap or soda, all advertisers will have one basic “selling proposition” they know they need to get across, like “tastes great, less filling.” In your case, if you had to state it in a sentence, what is the reason an employer should hire you? What benefits do you bring them? How will you contribute? Once you have a short answer, make sure everything else you say reinforces that basic message.

  1. Prepare a “30-second commercial.” When you’re asked up front in an interview to talk about yourself or explain why you’d be a good addition, don’t go on at length. Have a 30-second statement prepared that emphasizes your best achievements and the skills and strengths you can bring to the table. Then ask for feedback as to whether that comes close to what they are looking for.

  1. Have stories ready. Many commercials on TV use a simple story to make their point, whether it’s a burglar foiled by their alarm system or a woman who falls “out of love” with her old mop after using theirs. People forget lists of strengths, but they remember stories about how you used your strengths. So prepare half a dozen action-oriented stories that tell of the challenges you faced, the actions you took to get past them and the results. They build your credibility, and interviewers will remember them long after the interview ends.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Dead Language: What Words and Terms You Shouldn't Be Using on Your Resume

Team player. Exceeds expectations. Goal oriented. Yawn.

We've seen, read and heard about all these terms a thousand times before, and we'll probably hear all of them a thousand times again. And for employers viewing hundreds of resumes day in and day out, it's a sobering thought to think how often they see certain terms over and over again.

The crew over at Lifehacker (a fantastically resourceful site with stuff about technology, everyday fixes to problems and more) recently compiled a list of words to avoid so it doesn't look like everyone else's.

The words listed were:
  • Results-oriented professional
  • Cross-functional teams
  • More than [x] years of progressively responsible experience
  • Superior (or excellent) communication skills
  • Strong work ethic
  • Met or exceeded expectations
  • Proven track record of success
  • Works well with all levels of staff
  • Team player
  • Bottom-line orientation
 Reading the list you might immediately phrases you've heard and probably use. It might be time to give your resume another once over because with more than 30 million resumes in circulation, according to job expert Bob J. Gerberg, you can't afford to be lost in the shuffle.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Get the Gift of Temporary Employment This Holiday Season

With the economy both difficult and picking up, a lot of people are looking for some extra work to make it through this holiday season. The Los Angeles Times recently reported that this season employers could pick up extra temporary workers by as much as 30 percent. Good news for those looking.

In keeping with that, why not share some good tips for those looking for work this time of year.

Make an Impression
It doesn't matter if you're day job is chief executive officer; if you're interested in moonlighting for a coffee shop or a cafe, dress for success and make sure you look and act professional.

You Know What They Say About the Early Bird...
It's never too early to start your search, so the sooner the better. If you haven't started already, do it now. Not tomorrow, not next week. Start right now. It only increases your odds of landing a job.

Location, Location, Location
Look around you, and consider whether or not there's any businesses near your current job or house that would be a good fit for you. It'll make working there even more convenient for you, and it enables you to have a little bit more in terms of hours.

Do What You Know
You'll have a much better chance of getting in the door if you find something related to your experience, interests or even hobbies. While it doesn't have to be exactly what you do for the rest of the 40 hours a week or the same industry, it'll help if you can bring some ideas to the table. And if you're interested in the work you're doing, it'll make working there go from unbearable to unbeatable.

Bring a Resume
OK, so you're resume might show that you're maybe a little overqualified. But temp work isn't about that. Bringing a resume and pointing to your experience and abilities only shows that you really do want the job and have credentials and stability to back it up.

In the End, It All Comes Down to Attitude
Never act like you're doing them a favor working for them or that you're looking for holiday work just because you have to. Always be enthusiastic and positive. Smile a lot. They're looking for someone to perk up the holidays, not the Grinch.