A Job Hunter’s Guide to Contacting Companies You Want to Work For

Searching for a job often means looking for who is hiring. You contact others in your network and browse through employment listings. However, you could also turn the process around and start looking at where you want to work regardless of any current vacancy.

Exploring these kinds of passive openings has advantages for you and your potential employer because you’re targeting opportunities where you would excel. Find out how to identify organizations where you want to work, and how to communicate with them, using these strategies.

Learning About Your Preferred Companies

  1. Browse online. Gather information from the company website and LinkedIn. Introduce yourself on social media and strike up conversations. Check out Glass Door to find out what current and former employees have to say.
  2. Read the news. Local press and industry publications can also be revealing. Maybe your potential employer sponsors community programs or lost half its sales revenue.
  3. Seek referrals. Ask around to see if you have contacts who know employees at the companies you’re researching. Personal introductions make it much easier to set up initial meetings.
  4. Attend events. Networking sessions and business conferences are an efficient way to access lots of information and individual perspectives. Check calendar listings for upcoming events.
  5. Volunteer your services. Do you want an inside look at the kind of work you’re contemplating? Maybe you can intern or volunteer at the organization or a similar operation.
  6. Identify decision makers. Find out who you need to talk with. Calling the CEO directly could be the best route for senior positions. Otherwise, you’ll probably start out with hiring managers and department heads.

 

Reaching Out to Your Preferred Companies

  1. Consider your contribution. Put the focus on what you can do for the company instead of talking about what you want. Talk about how you can add value and help them reach their goals. Be as specific as possible and hold off on sending your resume for now.
  2. Hone your pitch. You’ll need to capture their attention quickly once you make contact. Rehearse your pitch until you can deliver it in about 15 to 20 seconds.
  3. Send an email. Your first communication will usually be an email. Craft a subject line that will pique their interest. Say you want to talk about their marketing campaign or their accounting needs.
  4. Ask to meet. Follow up with a request for a brief meeting. It’s often easier to reach people if you call early in the morning or late in the day in the middle of the week. Be sure to leave no more than one or two voice mails so they won’t feel harassed.
  5. Build your qualifications. If you succeed at arranging a meeting, listen closely. Find out what would make you a more attractive candidate and work on those skills. Brush up on your high school Spanish or strengthen your social media presence.
  6. Stay in touch. Remember that you’re making progress even if your preferred company is unable to hire you immediately. Check in occasionally to let them know you’re still interested.
  7. Be patient. Landing your dream job can take time. If one prospect fails to respond, move on to other options. Cultivate a strong support network that will encourage you and give you constructive feedback. Believe in yourself and think positively about your future.

 

Finding a position you love will enhance your quality of life, and probably make your new employer glad you joined them. Make contacting companies you want to work for a central strategy in your job hunting.

Managing High Job Expectations

Do you have a boss who expects nothing less than perfection?  Managing high job expectations can be challenging, but it isn’t impossible.  You simply need to develop coping skills so your stress never gets the best of you.  In fact, you can learn how to deal with the stress of high job expectations in a way that allows you to become more effective at your job!

How to Manage Your High Job Expectation

There are many different tools that can help you deal with high job expectations.  The goal is to handle your job expectations more effectively so you can feel better and accomplish more in less time.  For those with a boss who always expects the best, this is a must!

  • Prepare for the stress. When you know you’re going to be stressed out or that expectations will be high, you can proactively prepare for it to take the debilitating properties out of the equation.  For example, if you’re worried about the uncertainties that can’t control, involve others to find out the answers. If it’s literally impossible to predict, then all you can do is accept the fact that you can’t control everything and make some contingency plans that will help you feel more confident and comfortable.

 

  • Rehearse for stressful situations. For instance, if you know that you will be making a presentation in front of an audience or that you have to present information to your boss, rehearse your presentation using the same materials you will use for the real deal. This will allow you to see your areas of opportunity so you can work on gaining the confidence you need.  When you rehearse, you take the unknown out of the equation so you can simply focus on doing your best without adding any additional anxiety.

 

  • Be aware of your thought processes. Many times, when there are high expectations placed upon us, we start thinking negatively.  For instance, when your boss is being demanding, you may think to yourself, “There is no way I can ever get that done! I’m incapable!”  This kind of self-defeating talk gets you nowhere. You need to replace the negative thought processes with thoughts like, “Stress challenges me to do more and be more.”  You will be able to excel when you disallow any negative attitudes and replace them with empowering thoughts.

 

  • Organize your work. When you create an action plan, you’ll find that it’s easier to deal with high expectations. Create a list of the things you need to get done, and prioritize them so if you start to feel distracted or stressed out, you can always defer to the plan.  When you have a plan, your performance will live up to your expectations and you will find that you are less likely to give in to stress and frustration.

 

As you can see, there are some simple, yet effective, ways to deal with high expectations. Remember: when people expect a lot from you, it really means that they believe you’re capable of great things.  It’s actually a compliment!

7 Social Media Mistakes That Can Harm Your Career

Many courts have upheld the right of employers to see everything in your social media accounts. Employers even study the social media accounts of prospective new employees before they’re hired! You can even be forced to log in and provide full access!

Avoid making social media mistakes that could result in the loss of your employment.

Use social media platforms wisely by avoiding these mistakes:

  1. Posting about controversial topics. Public comments regarding emotionally charged topics is always risky. You might not like the idea of same-sex marriage or have strong opinion about religion, but you never know whom you might offend with your stance. Proceed at your own risk.

 

2. Discussing work, interview opportunities, or job offers. Does it seem smart to post to the world that you just had a great job interview with another company? You might be excited about the opportunity down the street, but it would be prudent not to announce your enthusiasm in a public forum.

  • Until you’ve accepted an offer and submitted your resignation, be discrete.

 

  1. Failing to understand the concept of “zombie” content. While it may seem that you have the option of quickly deleting any inappropriate content, that’s rarely the case. Once it’s out on the web, it’s there forever. It can keep coming back to haunt your future like a zombie rising from the dead.
  • That inappropriate picture or post may show up at the most inappropriate time. Perhaps right before an important job interview or offer.
  • Avoid ever posting anything you wouldn’t want your boss or mother to see.

 

  1. Posting content while you claim to be sick or injured. There have been several instances of employees calling into work sick, only to post photos of themselves at ballgames, the beach, or a party.
  • All it takes is for your work nemesis to see it. You can be sure your boss will be informed quickly.

 

  1. Combining personal and business contacts unskillfully. It’s likely your personal contacts will be bored with your posts regarding work. It’s also likely that many of the posts your personal contacts would find interesting aren’t appropriate for a work audience.
  • Your old college buddies might be impressed that you can still stand on your head and drink from a keg. But your boss might wonder if you’re the right person to negotiate a contract with a European supplier.

 

  1. Adding content at the improper time. We all slow down a little at 3:00PM, but that doesn’t mean it’s a good time to post to your social media accounts. Your boss and coworkers think you should be working. At best, your boss will decide you need a little more work to do. At worst, your boss will suggest that you find another job with another company.
  • Posting too much can be nearly as bad as posting at the wrong time. What message are you sending if you post continuously on your time off? That’s not the type of person that’s given greater levels of responsibility in a professional capacity.

 

  1. Profanity, poor grammar, and nudity. While the use of colorful language can help to get your point across, reconsider. Poor grammar can also send the wrong message. Modesty is usually the best policy when it comes to clothing.

 

The various social media platforms provide an effective way to communicate others. Use these tools to your advantage! Unfortunately, social media also can also cause a lot of harm to your career. Be careful of the image you present to the world. Take control of your social media presence.

Job Hunters Guide to Overcoming Age Issues

There’s at least one thing job hunters at the beginning and end of their career have in common. Both groups find that age affects their career prospects, and how they need to present themselves to potential employers.

Job hunters over 40 and young adults seeking their first position face extra hurdles. Long term unemployment increases with age, and the retirement age keeps rising for seniors who can’t afford to leave the workforce. Recent graduates encounter entry level jobs that require previous experience, and offer low wages that make it difficult to pay off student loans.

There are solutions that can make the search smoother. Try these suggestions for developing a strategy that suits your stage of life.

Job Hunting Suggestions for Older Workers

  1. Be creative. Most labor experts agree that many employers are reluctant to hire anyone over 50 for full time positions with benefits. You can still earn money through freelancing, consulting, and other arrangements.
  2. Reduce your expenses. You may have to make some adjustments to be able to afford paying for your own payroll taxes and health insurance, or accepting a job with a lower salary. Housing and entertainment are two prime areas for lowering monthly bills.
  3. Revive your network. If you haven’t looked for a job in years, it’s time to mingle. Create a LinkedIn profile, and let others know what you’re looking for.
  4. Streamline your resume. Trim your resume down to 1 or 2 pages. Focus on the most recent and relevant experience.
  5. Stay up to date. Pay attention to keywords and trends in your industry. Research which technology skills are in demand.
  6. Consider boomeranging. If you still have a good relationship with a previous employer, explore opportunities to take up where you left off. Maybe there’s a staff opening or some contract work.
  7. Speak up. Employers may have age-related biases even if they don’t say them out loud. Instead of hoping no one will notice your age if you leave your graduation date off your resume, try addressing concerns directly by demonstrating your enthusiasm and technological savvy.

 

Job Hunting Suggestions for Younger Workers

  1. Gain experience. Acquiring experience while you’re still in school is a smart move. Work during the summers or part-time during school. Consider volunteering at a nonprofit or completing a paid or unpaid internship in your field.
  2. Go offline. While you’re using social media and browsing internet job boards, be sure to reach out to others face to face. Invite your contacts out for coffee, and ask for referrals for job leads and informational interviews.
  3. Focus on learning. Any job can be worthwhile if you use it to pick up knowledge and skills. Maybe you’ll find a mentor or be able to take software courses for free.
  4. Try things out. As a young adult, you may have more flexibility before you take on a mortgage and parenting. This could be your chance to teach English in a foreign country or take a risk joining a start-up company.
  5. Ask for help. Reach out to your peers, and to established professionals in your field. Other recent graduates can understand what you’re going through. Older colleagues will often find satisfaction in assisting someone who’s just starting out. Your campus career office is also a great starting point for advice and resources.

Job hunting requires patience and persistence, especially in the early and later portions of your career. Find inspiration in the success stories of others, and create your own good fortune by taking your age into account when you’re looking for your next position.