4 Steps to Secure Your New Job

 

Shifting the focus of your resume can make a more powerful impact on hiring managers. A positive new attitude can help open doors to a new job. Try the following few simple steps:

1.  Focus on Accomplishments

A strong resume highlights accomplishments.  It can be easy to forget achievements if you have not included them in past resumes or kept a separate file. Build your confidence by brainstorming positive results you achieved in past positions.

Give yourself time for this activity and think about what you can measure.  For example, what did you produce for your last employer? Not every industry will have sales numbers, but perhaps you managed the United Way Campaign more successfully than prior leaders. How many junior associates did you coach toward promotion?

You may need to “think outside the box” to identify tangible results of your skills and talents.  Once you have your list, add those accomplishments to your resume. Now tell potential employers how your skills will transfer to their environment and benefit the bottom line!

2.  Target your Industry

The target for your job search may be different from what you have done in the past. As a result, you may have a broad range of skills or a diverse professional background.  This can be a strength or a detriment, depending on how you present yourself.  Research basic skills expected for a candidate in the position in which you are interested. Then expand to the next level by identifying qualities that define an outstanding professional in your target field. Next begin matching your work history with the basic and expanded skills in the new industry.

Look for common skills in your background that will be an asset in the industry where you are currently targeting your efforts.  Broad experience may help if you are working with a diverse clientele, such as in sales or healthcare.  Re-frame your wide-ranging experience as strengths rather than a lack of focus or inconsistency in job history.  Finding that common thread will provide insight into your values, and believe it or not, employers are definitely interested in candidates who share their values in support of the corporate mission.

3.  Keywords

Keywords are critical in any job search today; not only for capturing the attention of hiring managers, but also in rising to the top of electronic searches. Translate your skills into just a few buzz words that are likely to get attention. Use powerful language in your resume by selecting descriptors that capture your strengths!

Research companies of interest to you. Most corporate websites will include a mission statement, and perhaps a description of their community involvement.  Not only can you mirror the language of the vision statement in your own resume and cover letter, but you may also discover opportunities to network informally with staffers and executives involved in community campaigns.

4.  Practice your Attitude

Job searches are challenging and can wear down the most positive of attitudes. Change is difficult, but don’t let it get you down. Pessimism never landed anyone a job!

Enlist family or friends to practice your elevator speech and interview skills.  The more you repeat these brief descriptions of your strongest skills and values, the more comfortable you will be in an interview or networking situation.  Don’t just save it for the interview. You never know who you may bump into in the corporate lobby or on the way to HR. Everyone in the corporate environment is a potential advocate for you in the hiring game!

Project enthusiasm into your networking and resume. A fresh year coupled with fresh perspective may give you just the boost you need to energize your search and re-organize your resume. Use your research skills to match your experience with the companies in which you are interested. Re-package your skills, rev up your job search, and then get ready to listen for opportunity’s knock!

 


Author: Alesia Benedict, Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW) and Job and Career Transition Coach (JCTC)

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Staying Motivated throughout the Job Search

Analyst, New York, NY
Media Sales Associate, Hong Kong, China
Investment Analyst, Oakland, CA
Business Intelligence Analyst, Boston, MA
Summer Analyst, New York, NY

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We all have those days when it’s difficult to stay motivated.  And if you’re looking for a job – a task that can drag on for weeks and weeks with no end in sight – it may become even more difficult to maintain your enthusiasm and stay positive as time goes by.  Obviously, getting discouraged is the last thing anyone wants while trying to get things moving and land the perfect position.  So here are a few tips to help keep you motivated:

Reward Yourself

While the ultimate reward is that great job you’ll eventually snag, it’s important to treat yourself along the way.  There are dozens of ways you can go about this.  Perhaps you reward a great week of job hunting with a Friday night movie or happy hour with friends.  If you need more encouragement along the way, unwinding with a favorite TV show or a bowl of ice cream can help get you through a long day of job applications.  Or maybe you’re the type of person who needs little incentives throughout the day, such as a quick stroll through the park or a flip through your favorite magazine.  It’s imperative to give yourself something to look forward to, if only to clear your head from all of the time and energy you spend looking for a job.  But also try to truly position these indulgences as rewards – things you can enjoy if you reach the goals you have set for yourself.  It’s great to go party with the guys at 5pm, but if you do it every single day regardless of whether or not you have been productive, it is less likely to be a huge motivator.

Find an Accountability Partner

When it comes to getting things done, it can be easy to blow your responsibilities off and procrastinate for a bit, but far more difficult to let someone else down.  So find someone you can trust – a person that you know will hold you to your work – and check in to update them on your progress.  Doing this also keeps things in perspective for you, and it forces you to take a look at your actual progress.  Sometimes it’s helpful to choose an accountability partner who is trying to achieve a goal of their own – a fellow job seeker, perhaps – so that you can build off of each others’ momentum and support each other.

Create a Working Environment Conducive to Your Work Style

Since you’re likely going to be sitting in one place for an extended period of time while you’re looking for a job, try to create a working environment that is conducive to work.  For some people, this means removing all distractions.  For others, it means creating a friendly space full of personal touches.  Some individuals may need to select one space and stick to it, so that they can train their minds to go into “work mode” whenever they enter this space.  Others may need to vary their setting in order to avoid becoming too antsy.  The best, most productive working environment is different for everyone, so figure out your style and play to your strengths.

Staying motivated is difficult – just don’t get disheartened when you’re not feeling completely jazzed about the job search.  It’s perfectly fine – and actually advisable – to take breaks every now and then. And while inspiration itself can be difficult, working on ways to inspire yourself is something that’s much easier to manage!

Until next time,

The Doostang Team

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How to Create a Healthier Work Environment

Equity Research Associate, New York, NY
Media Sales Associate, Hong Kong, China
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When you spend upwards of eight hours at a desk every day, it’s difficult to focus on your health.  But staying healthy at work is important, because not everybody has the ability to take ample time off to make a full recovery.  Moreover, your well-being affects how you do on the job.  Here are a few things you can do at work to ensure you are your best self, both physically and mentally.

Exercise During Your Lunch Break

It’s important to fit exercise into your routine, especially when you’re sedentary the entire day.  Remaining inactive is bad for your overall health and also leads to weight gain.  So instead of going to the fast food drive-through at lunch, strap on your running shoes and exercise at a nearby park or gym.  Then indulge in something healthy like fruit or a protein bar.

Work on Your Posture

Improving your posture can reduce pain in your shoulders and lower back, and minimize eyestrain.  Adjust your chair and monitor so that your eyes are level with your computer screen, and make sure to sit up straight and all the way back in your seat.  Your keyboard should be at a proper height that allows your wrists to lie straight.  Finally, it’s important to get up and walk around from time to time.

Bring Healthy Snacks to Work

Instead of relying on the vending machine in the break room to provide you with nourishment, bring your own healthy snacks to work.  Fruits, vegetables, whole-grains, and yogurts are all great ideas.  Snacking throughout the day will help you to resist the urge to overeat at lunch, and will also keep you alert.  It’s equally important to drink lots of water – bringing along a water bottle will prevent countless trips to the water cooler.  Although if you’re looking for an extra reason to get up and walk around, the water cooler isn’t a bad idea either.

Keep a Clean Working Space

When you get bogged down in clutter you often get stressed out.  Alleviate this by keeping a clean, organized desk.  Doing so will also reduce the amount of dust and food particles that build up over time, which can often draw pests to the scene.

Request Flexible Hours

Try to work with your boss on devising a schedule that works for both of you.  If you have kids, try to work around getting them to school and their various extracurricular activities.  If you aren’t able to function in the morning, find out if it’s possible to come in a bit later.  Working during hours that fit with your schedule is important for your stress levels and mental well-being.

Living a healthier life at the office is important because you spend so much time there.  Consider these helpful tips and improve your health both at work and outside of it.

Until next time,

The Doostang Team

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Doostang News January 3: Tips for Sticking to Your New Year’s Resolutions

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It’s one thing to contemplate what resolutions you’d like to pursue for the New Year. It’s another to put together a plan of action for achieving what you set out to do. We’re all notorious for promising to ourselves that we’ll do something and then letting our goals fall by the wayside. Oftentimes, this isn’t because of a lack of drive or tenacity, but rather, the lack of a viable plan of action. So consider these tips when putting together your game plan for 2011:

Be Specific

When setting goals, make sure to frame them specifically. What exactly do you want to achieve and how are you going to measure it? If you can’t say exactly what success looks like, you’re less likely to attain it and more likely to make excuses for yourself.

Put It in Writing

Make your goals official by putting them in writing. Once you do this, you’ve created a tangible document that you have to hold yourself to. Doing this will make reaching your goals seem like a more formal exercise, and will give you something to turn back to for a reminder of what you are trying to accomplish.

Document Your Journey

Similarly, it’s helpful to record your progress as you strive to reach your goals. Doing so keeps you on task and lets you know if you need to work harder. If you’re feeling disheartened, you can browse through the progress you’ve made to remind yourself that success is possible.

Identify Smaller Goals

Far easier than tackling one giant goal is taking on multiple smaller ones that lead up to that ultimate objective – think of this as taking baby steps. Figure out what your first step needs to be, and then plan out all the successive steps you will need to take in order to complete your larger plan.

Find an Accountability Partner

Resolutions are easier to tackle when someone else is doing so alongside you. Keep each other on task and talk through obstacles you encounter. If you also focus on being there for your friend, you are less likely to let yourself down.

Change Your Plan of Attack

If something isn’t working, take a step back and reevaluate what you are doing. Don’t be afraid to change your approach or to readjust your mini-goals.

Reward Yourself

The reward shouldn’t just come when you’ve reached your final goal. Make sure to celebrate your progress along the way. You’ll feel more enthusiastic about the journey, and reaching small milestones is something you should be proud of anyway. Identifying resolutions is admirable in its own right, and is a first step in and of itself. Follow the helpful tips above, and you should be better equipped to sustain your momentum!

Happy New Year,
The Doostang Team

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