6 Tips for Landing a New Job

Job searches can feel contradictory and confusing at times as you try to cover all the bases while simultaneously targeting a specific industry. In these tough economic times innovation is often necessary to land a job.  At the same time, you don’t want to be seen as too far removed from the mainstream when trying new approaches.  Balance is helpful in strategies and personal responses throughout the ups and downs of a challenging job search.

1.  Target Large and Small Companies

Don’t just pander to the Fortune 500 companies in your job search. As most economists note, small and mid-sized businesses do most of the hiring. Maintain a balance of the large companies and smaller regional businesses in your targeted job search.

2.  Consider a Temporary Position

Taking a temporary position doesn’t mean you will always be in a temporary slot.  The contacts may lead to full-time employment or another project with other businesses by further expanding your network.  Temporary positions can also lead to full-time positions, depending on your performance record and personal relationships while in the position.  Act like a full-timer in terms of big-picture planning and personal investment, and you’re likely to find yourself in that full-time position.

3.  Pursue an Internship

If you are interested in a career shift, consider an internship. These positions are no longer just for those finishing up college. Internships now accept established professionals who want to make a significant change in career direction. And an internship – at any stage in one’s career – serves the same purposes.  The internship will help you make contacts while you establish a skill set in a new industry.

4.  Follow up Judiciously

If you have posted your resume on a job site, be certain to follow up. Check email carefully for related job postings or additional leads. Cold call new prospects and conduct appropriate follow-ups. But remember the fine balance between being persistent and being a pest.  Anxiety or desperation about your job search can be conveyed in following up too frequently, appearing too eager or asking too many questions about the projected time-frame for interviews and hiring. Your best business suit is your confidence.

5.  Adjust Your Expectations

Balance your expectations with the reality of the job market. You may be ready to move into an upper management position, but find those jobs are unavailable. Look at the demographics of those currently in the job you desire. In many companies, those positions are held by folks who may have weathered the recent downturn and could be looking toward retirement over the next few years. Although it is hard to be patient and you may certainly feel you are over-qualified for a lower-level position, it can be important to simply get into the organization.  Once you have been accepted as part of the team, it is likely that you can move up quickly and perhaps that plum position will open up sooner than you anticipate. Moving into key positions is often more likely to occur from within the organization, so place yourself in a position to take advantage of eventual opportunity.

6.  Balance Traditional and Emerging Job Search Strategies

Networking is a tried and true method, but it doesn’t always have to be face-to-face.  Use social networking sites – appropriately – for your job search.  Professionally oriented sites such as LinkedIn provide a great place to start, but be sure to clean up questionable postings on Facebook to improve your chances in a competitive job market.

Dream big and balance your expectations with the economic reality. Maintaining a healthy combination in your approach and attitude will move you toward your ultimate career goals!  Balance is the key to your interactions, plans, and attitude in creating a successful search and landing that job!

Author: Alesia Benedict

Doostang News November 1: Time to Consider Those Transferable Skills!

Jr. Analyst, New York, NY
External Relations Manager, Los Angeles, CA
Investment Fund Operations Analyst, Philadelphia, PA
Engagement/Project Manager, Boston, MA
Jr. Traders, Chicago, IL

More recent jobs you might like…

Being able to identify and highlight your transferable skills is crucial in transitioning to another industry, or even to another job.  Not every job is the same, and hiring managers may not entirely relate to the tasks you list on your resume.  But if you can fit your talents into one of these five main categories, you’ll present a resume that is much more to the point:

Human Relations

This category relates to any sort of interpersonal skills you use to deal with people in the workplace.  Think listening, sensitivity, cooperation, empathy, or motivation.  Chances are that if you worked with people at any point during your last job, you’ll bring some of these skills to the table.

Communication

Communication is all about effectively conveying knowledge and ideas to others.  It also has a lot to do with how well you receive information from others.  Are you a great writer, speaker, or listener?  Can you negotiate, persuade others, pick up on nonverbal cues?  If so, then you are likely a great communicator.

Research and Planning

This is just what it sounds like – the ability to seek out information and to formulate new ideas for the future.  Any time you come up with new proposals, find an alternate solution, solve a problem, define a need, or set a goal, you are engaging in research and planning.

Organization, Management, and Leadership

This one is all about rallying your troops and leading them into battle.  A good leader will coordinate plans of action, initiate new tasks, delegate responsibilities, teach, and manage conflict.

Work Survival/Professionalism

This last category includes all of the day-to-day skills that get you through the workday and promote an effective working environment.  Skills such as showing up to work on time, meeting goals, paying attention to detail, and organizing fit into this category.

Even if you’re applying to a job from a field in which you have no experience, there’s always a way to pull from what you do know or have done on the past, and make it relevant to the unfamiliar.  So the next time you apply for a job or draft a resume, bear in mind these transferable skills and show them what you’ve got!

Until next time,

The Doostang Team

Doostang News October 4: Tips for Making an Industry Transition

Investment Banking Analyst, New York, NY
Consultant , Irvine, CA
Associate, SF Bay Area, CA
Product Development Analyst, Chicago, IL
Research Associate, Stamford, CT

More recent jobs you might like…

With the job market making a fresh recovery, it’s natural that you may be looking to make the switch to a new industry.  But we all know that it’s hard enough transitioning to a new position, so what’s the best way to make the move into an entirely new field?  Check out some of our tips:

Do Your Research

Spend your time researching as much as you can.  Pour over the latest literature of the industry, brushing up on trends, research reports, conference call transcripts, investor information – whatever you can get your hands on.  The more you know, the easier the change will be.  Try to get to know the ins and outs of your field, going beyond what is expected of your desired job; that way, you’ll be better equipped to face challenges that come your way.

Revise Your Resume

Update your resume to reflect the transferable skills from your previous work that will best suit the type of employment you’re looking to gain.  And if a previous position didn’t require any of these talents, then leave it off.  It’s tempting to list all of the substantive work experience from your past to demonstrate that you are a devoted worker, but employers will spend very little time looking at your resume before moving on to the next one.  Highlight what’s relevant, and if you still feel the need to include the less relevant job experience on your resume, make sure to downplay it.

Network

It’s also imperative that you get out there and get to know as many people in the industry as you can.  Use your existing network to get introductions to workers in the industry you are targeting. These new contacts will be the ones to vouch for you and get you jobs.  They’ll also be the ones that you’ll be doing business with if you land a new job, which will give you a huge leg up from day one.

Finding a new job is tricky, and navigating foreign territory is even trickier.  So make sure to prepare as thoroughly as possible so that you when the day finally comes, you’ll be ready to conquer!

Until next time,

The Doostang Team

Resume Strategies for Career Changers

By Alesia Benedict, CPRW, JCTC GetInterviews.com

Analyst, New York, NY
Marketing Director, Mid Atlantic States
Investment Banking / Private Equity Analyst, New York, NY
Manager – Strategy & Business Development, Washington, DC
Junior Analyst, West Conshohocken, PA

More jobs we think you’ll like…

Are you considering a change in direction in your career? If so, you are not alone. Economic downturns often result in consideration of new, more lucrative career directions. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average American will change jobs at least ten times over his/her lifetime and will make a complete career change three times. A thirty-year career with one or two companies is no longer the norm. People move, change jobs, change companies, and change their minds on a regular basis about what they want to do with their working life. Handling that change on the resume can pose a challenge to job seekers.

In the past couple of years, we’ve seen many people who have lost their careers due to the economic situation. Mortgage, real estate, and construction industries have dried up from underneath the professionals who worked in them. As a result, these individuals and professionals in other distressed industries are often seeking to return to a career field in which they previously worked, posing a resume challenge.

Returning to a prior career field creates an organizational problem with the resume, especially if the most recent career field is not well-related to the earlier one. How can you show the employer you have good experience in business analysis, for instance, if the first thing they see on the resume is your experience in mortgage sales? The challenge faced is establishing the focus of the resume from the start. That means a powerful summary and core competencies section right at the top.

A summary is the most important part of the resume. It has to establish the focus of the job search, show how you are qualified for that focus, and engage the reader to read further into the resume. If the summary does not engage the interest of the reader, he/she will not give the rest of the resume the attention needed to clinch the call for an interview. In a career change situation, the summary is even more important because it has to do double duty – persuade the reader to continue reading and set the idea in the mind of the reader the job seeker has the right qualifications, even if they are not exemplified in the most recent employment experience.

The wording of a career-change resume is crucial. Most career fields have similar base functions – customer service, team work, project work, or business sense. Some have similar skills such as sales and customer service; business analysis and financial analysis; or operations and project management. Other career fields are very dissimilar or require licenses, certifications, or specialized training. Regardless whether where you are going is similar to where you are now, the wording of the resume in terms of similar functions, common duties, and supportive accomplishments can help you make that switch.

Additionally, selection of information can make a significant impact on the effectiveness of the career-change resume. Often, the most important factor in information selection is what is excluded from the resume. When making a career change, it is very tempting to “throw in every fact” in hope that it will have some kind of impact in the mind of the reader. Unfortunately, the result tends to be opposite. Too much information overwhelms important facts and the reader has trouble seeing the real qualifications in the “static”.  When constructing the career-change resume, consider information presented to the reader very carefully. You have a limited amount of space to make your argument and you don’t want to waste it with irrelevant information that does not support your goal.

It’s not just what you’ve done in your career; it’s what you’ve achieved. When making a career shift, showing good performance can help you make the jump, even if the performance is not in your new career field. Skills will take you only so far and then it’s more a matter of attitude, drive, and willingness to learn. You can show those traits by demonstrating how you’ve performed well in your career to-date. Employers are more likely to give an opportunity to someone who shows drive than someone who just shows skills on the resume.

Career-change resumes can be challenging to construct. Make sure you understand clearly what the requirements of your target job will be in terms of both hard skills and soft skills. Look at your experience clearly to identify what will transfer well. Identify points of achievement that demonstrate an attitude of ambition. Coalesce all this into a document that sells your performance while showing your transferable skills and you will have a winning career-change resume.

About the Author:

Alesia Benedict, Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW) and Job and Career Transition Coach (JCTC) is the President of GetInterviews.com, the country’s leading resume writing firm. They provide professionals with customized, branded resumes and career marketing documents. Her and her firm’s credentials include being cited by JIST Publications as one of the “best resume writers in North America,” quoted as a career expert in The Wall Street Journal, and published in a whopping 25+ career books. Established in 1994, the firm has aided more than 100,000 job seekers to date. All resume writers are certified writers. GetInterviews.com offers a free resume critique and their services come with a wonderful guarantee — interviews in 30 days or they’ll rewrite for free!

Five Best Bets for a Career Change Resume

By Alesia Benedict, CPRW, JCTC GetInterviews.com

Investment Banking Analyst, New York, NY
Associate Consultant, Boston, MA
Trading Analyst / Trader, Los Angeles, CA
Business Analyst, San Jose, CA
Financial Analyst, Chicago, IL

More jobs we think you’ll like…

With the economy soured, many industries have simply dried up in terms of growth. For example, construction, automotive, and mortgage services have taken big hits over the past two years. People in these industries have not only seen their own jobs disappear, but most of the other jobs in their industries have evaporated as well. As a result, they often face an unexpected requirement of a career change. But how do you take experience from one industry and translate it into another? Here are some career change resume best bets.

1. Shift Your Paradigm.

Consider Joe. He’s been in construction all his life, moving from laborer all the way up to construction supervisor. He’s never considered a different career until now. Construction work in his area came to a screeching halt eighteen months ago. Nothing is happening in construction in his area and he’s unable to relocate due to family concerns. He knows he must make a career change but he doesn’t know what that change may be.

If you’ve been in the same career field for twenty years like Joe, your career field has become ingrained in your identity. Joe thinks of himself as a “construction guy”. He must start thinking of himself in a different light and translate that to his career marketing documents – his resume and cover letter. When Joe talks to people in his network, he cannot present himself as a construction professional looking to do something else. He must make that career transition mentally before he will make progress in his job search. That mental shift must also come before he constructs his career change resume. Joe found working with an employment specialist helpful because it gave him the necessary objectivity to see his career in a new light.

2. Know Where You’re Going.

Joe wasn’t sure what else he could do besides construction. As a result, he sought some career exploration assistance to help him find a new career direction. He wanted to pursue something that would offer him opportunities, interesting work, and financial reward (like a paycheck!). There were many resources available to Joe, many at no cost, which could direct him. Workforce development centers often offer counseling and job retraining options. Do a little research to see what is available in your area.

Once Joe determined where he wanted to go next in his career, his resume could be built to support that goal. The goal must come first, though. It is impossible to write an effective career change resume if the new goal is a mystery. A great resume is written with a goal in mind; the strategy of information selection and organization must support that goal throughout the entire resume.

Not only should a general goal be developed (such as home inspection for Joe) but details surrounding requirements of the new goal should be researched and understood. Will new training be required? What is the outlook for the new career field? Does it look favorable for the future? What skills are needed for the new job? Knowing all this information at the beginning will help you outline a plan for reaching your goal and give you a beginning strategy for creation of your career change resume. You will understand what skills you need to pull from your background and bring into your new resume.

3. Know Where You’ve Been.

If you’ve been in your job for a long time, it is likely you’ve not prepared a resume in years. You may not have thought about your experience and skills in terms of value to a different industry. When faced with a career change, it is very important to capture the scope of work you’ve done in the past and ways you have contributed, excelled, and succeeded.

A career change resume starts with an in-depth look at your past career history. The more information you or your resume writer has at hand, the better. Information selection will be important in constructing the career change resume. General information about job roles is not always helpful. For example, Joe noted he had experience working with zoning variances. That was pretty general. Upon questioning, Joe further explained he had to present project plans multiple times at municipal council meetings, meet with city engineers, and create PowerPoint slide shows to illustrate physical aspects of projects. Those details provided a lot more information about specific skills such as presentation, negotiation, and contract management which could be helpful in the career change resume.

4. Understand Your Assets.

Skills such as presentation and negotiation were not skills Joe fully realized he possessed until he started examining his background. He had simply thought of his experience as “zoning variance” knowledge. Breaking down his generalities with the help of his writer showed him specific skills he could take to his next career field. You can do the same thing. Think of what you do in general terms and then break that down into specific skills. Some of those skills will be transferrable and some won’t apply. First, you have to understand the skills you have and be fully cognizant of them. Only then can you start to construct a resume that will highlight those transferrable skills that make you qualified for the new career direction.

5. Establish a Clear Focus.

When a hiring manager reads your new resume, you don’t want him/her to be confused about your goal or qualifications. Many people make the mistake of producing a general resume when making a career change. They assume the hiring manager can connect the dots and understand their goals. That’s not the case. A career change resume needs to spell it out. It needs to establish the goal and then clearly show skills and experience from the past that support that goal. The resume must show how the needed skills exist, how they’ve been used to excel in the past, and make it clear the job seeker has “what it takes” to do the job.

Career changes can be scary, but in the long run most people say they were good change, offering opportunities to learn new things and meet new people. If you are facing a career change, look at your experience very critically. Get objective viewpoints on your plans. Understand you have value to industries outside your traditional career path. And finally, look at the career change as a new beginning, rather than an ending. A positive attitude will carry through into your resume and you will enjoy better job search success overall.

About the Author:

Alesia Benedict, Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW) and Job and Career Transition Coach (JCTC) is the President of GetInterviews.com, the country’s leading resume writing firm. They provide professionals with customized, branded resumes and career marketing documents. Her and her firm’s credentials include being cited by JIST Publications as one of the “best resume writers in North America,” quoted as a career expert in The Wall Street Journal, and published in a whopping 25+ career books. Established in 1994, the firm has aided more than 75,000 job seekers to date. All resume writers are certified writers. GetInterviews.com offers a free resume critique and their services come with a wonderful guarantee — interviews in 30 days or they’ll rewrite for free!

Doostang News 3/27: Are you banking on the right industry?

Real Estate Analyst, New York, NY
Director, Product Management, San Francisco, CA
Associate, Private Equity, Hong Kong, China
Special Situations Analyst, Radnor, PA
Brand Marketing Intern, Chicago, IL

According to our numbers, about half of you are working in, or interested in, the finance industry. If you believe the news, that may not be the best place to be right now. We work hard to find the best opportunities in banking, private equity, hedge funds and beyond, but we’re also realistic.

This week, while gathering 374 new Premium jobs across 19 different industries, we spoke with one of our experienced members who has successfully transitioned from finance into corporate development at a Dow component company.

Our featured member’s resume:
- BSME 1991, Univ. of Florida
- Ops management with major consumer products company (5 years)
- MBA 1998, Harvard Business School
- SVP Investment Banking (M&A) for boutique investment banking firm (10 years)
- Director of Business Development for Dow Jones listed company (2 years)

What motivated your transition from investment banking into corporate development?

I felt like it was time for the next chapter in my career. I had accomplished everything I’d set out to do in banking and came to realize that I was no longer growing professionally.

How did you prepare yourself to make a successful transition? What was the biggest adjustment you had to make?

Accepting the fact that a geographic move was a requirement – this is very difficult with a family but necessary. There is no easy way to avoid this. I also had to accept the possibility of making a bad decision and potentially having to find yet another job sooner than anticipated.

Any advice for someone trying to make a similar transition in this job market? How can they effectively differentiate themselves?

Fortunately, I had operating experience prior to becoming an investment banker. I was able to weave the operating experience and finance experience into a compelling argument as to why I wanted to transition to a corporate role leading to GM responsibilities. Most of the corporate opportunities were looking for someone with some other type of experience in addition to banking.

Businessweek says internship hiring is down 21% and MBAs are not immune. Any advice for MBAs who still haven’t found a financial services internship for summer?

Unfortunately, I don’t see the traditional financial services opportunities out there now. However, there should be good opportunities in the restructuring industry these days. You may have to take the best all around offer you can get – it’s just a tough environment now.

What do you think of Jake DeSantis’ recent resignation letter in the NYT? Good call?

Jake DeSantis’ move was brilliant in my opinion. He answered the ill-defined uneasiness that many people had regarding the extreme public opinion on the bonuses. His resignation letter was an immediate expression of the other side of the story, delivered with credibility in actions. He also communicated his resume to millions in the process. I suspect that this won’t be the end of his career. However, I would not recommend this under normal circumstances.

Have you left finance and are willing to share your story? We’d love to hear about it.

Doostang welcomes Fuqua and Johnson


We’re proud and excited this week to welcome two new MBA partners, The Fuqua School at Duke and The Johnson School at Cornell. Both of these schools now enjoy special discounts on Premium Membership to access our one-of-a-kind opportunities for MBAs.

If you’re a Fuqua or Johnson MBA candidate, join your network on Doostang today to take advantage of this offer.

If you’re not from one of our partner schools, getting your school involved is easy. Send us an email to learn more.

May it be 5 o’clock in your somewhere.

Team Doostang