Jun 302012

The job search today is more complicated than it’s ever been before, with lots of information and tasks to manage. Being successful means managing all of these moving parts. In order to do this, you must put a plan in place to keep your energies focused on the most productive efforts.

Think of your job search on a timeline with different phases. Each of these job search activities will fit into one of two groups.

Periodic Job Search Activities

These are blocks of knowledge or tasks that occur during a certain phase of your job search. For example, in the beginning you are a novice and must spend some time learning basic information about your tasks in order to be successful such as:

  • What career path is best for you?
  • Who hires people in your career path?
  • Geographically speaking, where are the jobs you are looking for?
  • What resources exist that support your industry or profession you can learn from?
These activities are going to dominate your time early on and activities like networking and interviewing will be put on the back burner until you are ready. As you progress along this timeline, once you have mastered the knowledge in the early phases of the job search, the time commitments will flip. No longer will you spend several hours evaluating your resources or examining the types of positions best suited to your needs, you will have that information. You will now be focused on applying that knowledge.

Continual Job Search Activities

These activities will have a demand on your time throughout the duration of your job search. For example you will be researching and working with social media at all times. You will continually develop your resume, first building it and later customizing it to your specific situation. The tasks associated with these activities will change but you will always need to slot time to do work in these subject areas.

Make sure to check out Part 2 here.

Job Search Tip – 5 Job Posting Scams to Avoid and How to Spot Them

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Jun 262012

How to spot scam and avoid jobs that cost you time and money

In this day in age there are a lot of job vacancies and postings peppered throughout the internet that ultimately result in wasting time, energy, and even money. These notices can take many different shapes and it is important to be able to identify something as a “time waster” and move on to avoid straying from your future career. In this blog, we’re going to identify five of these leaches and show some of the language to look out for and how to identify a company’s legitimacy.

SCAM: Work from home:
Many companies in today’s world are taking a closer look telecommuting but moreover there are very few companies that are going to pay someone with few required skills a fulltime salary, benefits, and a healthy commission for sitting at home on their computer. This is not to say this job doesn’t exist, it’s just the reality is most jobs that look too good to be true almost always are. The worst of these scams ask for bank information, require you to pay for certifications, or they farm out personal information from your resume to potentially steal your identity.

How to spot it:

If the job vacancy includes language like “Be your own boss!” or “Work from home!” in title or first line then something is fishy. Look at the required experience, if there is almost nothing in the way of specific skills and most of what they’re looking for is ambiguous and vague then chances are you’ve found a scam.

SCAM: Get RICH quick
Did you know that you can make $2,500 every week forever while only working part-time?! Right that’s because you can’t. It’s rather unrealistic considering making those kind of numbers would put you on track to make $130,000 being a spammer for guestbooks, blogs, and other social media. For a job that is only explained as “internet marketing,” you have to really see the descriptions of work for what it is- a scam. The fast cash scams usually take a few different forms but they all have the same pay structure. They’re 100% commission and promise so much while delivering so very little.

How to spot it:

In most cases the wording here uses a lot of great adjectives like, “competitive, fun, great, interesting, awesome, etc.” There is nothing in the ad that actually tells you what you’ll really be doing. In many cases the company will avoid giving out its name or any information in regards to its services. These can be extremely dangerous just like the “work from home jobs” because they often ask for bank account information to transfer you money to you and they will clear you out before you know you’ve been duped.

SCAM: The paid recruiter
While there are legitimate recruiters and head hunters they will never ask you directly for money to represent you.  There are a select few companies that think they have an innovative new approach to recruiting by asking that you purchase a membership with them or pay a one-time upfront fee to do the job search for you. These companies seldom place people and often continue to ask for money.

How to spot it:

If a recruiting company is advertising a position and asks that you provide them with any sort of money prior to even meeting anyone, then you know you’ve found yourself a scam. Don’t ever give out credit card information over the phone much less if you have to be doing so to pay for someone to do the job search for you.

SCAM: Credit Report
The job posting in question will likely have very little prestige usually is something to the effect of a secret shopper, paid surveys, or even lead generation. When you’re in the application process after you’ve sent in a resume, you might receive and e-mail asking you to fill out an odd document that might ask for a credit check, background check, or direct deposit. All of this sensitive information is being asked for without you having even met anyone from the company yet.

How to spot it:

While it is very normal for a company to do a background check they generally do one prior to interviewing and won’t ask you for your social security number via e-mail. These companies often don’t lead you to an actual site that can be tracked and much of this scam will take place via e-mail. But there are also surveys and third party sites that are in business for nothing other than snatching up sensitive information.

SCAM: Entry Level Jobs
Of course there are entry level jobs that aren’t scams and everyone certainly needs to start somewhere. These ads often contain flashy text like “***IMMEDIATE HIRE***” or lofty promises such as “Work With PRO Sports! We Will Train! FRESH TALENT NEEDED – Entry Level Marketing. Start your Career in Sports and Entertainment Marketing!!!” All of this extra junk in a job description is designed to attract younger people and what they often turn into is a door to door coupon book selling business. Many times they will pull people out of smaller towns and bring them long distances from home and force them to work unreasonable hours. These things have a tendency to be dangerous and border the line of legal.

How to spot it:

Look for flashy font and lofty promises of travel for being young. Many times they won’t explain the work and will hide the name of their company. Just like the other ads, if it’s too good to be true, then it often is.

How do we avoid this junk?!
The easiest way to make sure you’re not getting taken advantage of is using the powers of a search engine and a little bit of intuition.

  • Do a quick search on the company
  • Do a quick search on the company and include the words “fake” or “scam”
  • Put the company name in Glassdoor.com, Jobitorial.com,  Careerleak.com, or Careerbliss.com
  • Find the company or individual you’re corresponding with about the job on LinkedIn then look for other people who also work there
  • If it sounds too good to be true it is

Job Search Tip – Plug Into Professional Videos

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Jun 252012

Did you know you can find job leads by watching videos on YouTube or other video driven websites? It’s true, the important thing is understanding how.

So you are on the job search and finding it difficult to discover opportunities, video can be the answer. Now we are not talking about the latest funny, gross or other viral video. We are talking about professional videos.

So what do we mean by professional videos?

These are videos that are created by people who are passionate about their industry. The enjoy the subject matter, are knowledgeable and are interested in teaching others, showing off how much they know…for what ever reason they have decided to create a video or many videos around a topic. These videos may be short or long but often they are full of powerful content.

The first step is to go find videos like this, professional caliber videos, around your skills or industry of choice. The next step is to look through the comments, if there are any, and notice who participates in the discussions. These people as well as the creator(s) of the video are all possible leads to a new job opportunity. Reach out to them, let them know you are looking to get their thoughts on the subject matter, industry trends and companies that are players in the space. These people may even be hiring managers.

Present yourself professionally, ask intelligent questions, contribute your knowledge and you may find yourself in a job without even trying…!

Job Search Tip – Odors – Hygiene is Important…duh!

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Jun 232012

So many people think, Of course you need good personal hygiene. You don’t need to tell me that.” You would be amazed how many people don’t understand that simple rule.

Personal hygiene is critically important to avoid offending a potential interviewer or someone at a networking event.

Ensure that you have bathed recently and are devoid of any body odor. Also, avoid heavy colognes or perfumes as the people you speak with may be chemically sensitive.

Are you a smoker? Have you brushed your teeth today? How are your flossing habits?

There is some bad breath in the world.

Ever try to have a conversation with a person who is sending some jacked up smell in your direction? Very difficult to focus on what anyone is saying when all you can do is smell their funky breath.

Be mindful of your breath and practice good dental hygiene. Use a mint or stick of gum 5 to 10 minutes before you begin your conversations. Don’t be that person! Be sure to get rid of the gum though…

Best of luck! Spread the word and lets rid the world of body funk!


Research in Motion – Mass Layoffs Begin affecting up to 6,000

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Jun 232012

The massive release of staff from Blackberry manufacturer is about to begin according to the Associated Press and Yahoo news. Up to 6,000 people, over a third of the corporate workforce, is slated to be released as part of an aggressive $1B cost saving measure.

For the article, click here.

Jobless Claims Continue to Rise in May 2012

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Jun 182012

In an article on Thursday, June 14, 2012 a report announced that new claims for US unemployment benefits rose last week, building on a worrying upward trend in the pace of layoffs, the government said Thursday.

The Labor Department reported 386,000 jobless claims were filed in the week ending June 9, an increase of 6,000 claims from the prior week’s upwardly revised number.

The four-week moving average of new claims, an indicator of the trend in layoffs, increased by 3,500 to 382,000.

Since hitting an April low at 368,000, new jobless claims have been tracking higher in fits and starts as businesses remain reluctant to add new jobs amid a sluggish economy. The unemployment rate was 8.2 percent in May and the United States added only 69,000 jobs, by far the smallest number of net new positions in a year.

Q&A with GigSpire – Writing a Book

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Jun 162012

In our continuing series of Q&A with the experts at GigSpire we address the topic of if being published and writing your own book helps in the job search. Enjoy the read!

We were asked:

“Does having a self-published book carry any weight for the job seeker?”

GigSpire: “Only if the book would be relevant to the employer or the company. Employers are interested in people who can solve their problems. Some management jobs might be a bit impressed due to the level of effort. Proposal writers, editing positions and other positions where the skill set would carry over would have a higher level of interest due to the skill set. Overall if the book’s subject matter and/or skill set fall into the sphere of concern of the potential employer, it can be viewed as a positive.

Is there a difference in value between entry-level vs executive-level job seekers?”

GigSpire: “In our opinion, a younger person being published would carry more weight based on the short tenure of his or her work life. Executives being published is a common occurrence so the quality of the content, strength of the experiences or foresight of his or her opinions would be a big factor in if the book would be impressive. As before though, much of the “impression factor” relates to the needs of the employer.”

“Does it matter if the book is related to their career focus, or is it just as impressive (or not) to have written a novel?”

GigSpire: “Career focus is a must unless we are discussing creatively driven positions. Writers, production personnel, and other creative professions appreciate a good tangent, inspiration often comes from those, but all things being equal a career focused writing is the most valuable.”

Be sure to check out our Job Search Tip on Being Published for more!