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Archive for the ‘marketing yourself’ Category

seven preliminary steps for a successful job search

April 8th, 2011
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Embarking on a job search is a necessity of life but it can seem like a daunting task. If you take the time to do some prep work before you start your job search, you will be prepared to apply for any job position that arises.

1. Define Your Job Objective

Your first step towards a successful job search is to clearly define what kind of job you are seeking. Are you looking for a new position within the same industry or transitioning from one job sector to another? Are you looking to move to a higher level or transition laterally to another department, or company?

2. Revamp Your Resume

Regardless if you are actively job hunting or passively monitoring the job boards to see if anything piques your interest, your resume should be updated and ready to send just in case a suitable position arises. Be sure that your resume includes information on your most recent position and accurate contact information. You might also want to create a cover letter template that you can send along with your resume so that you don’t have to stress over it.

3. Research Your Industry

If you are looking to change jobs and employers, keep abreast of emerging trends and technology within your industry in which industry competitors may be utilizing but your current employer is not. If you are hoping to move around within your current employer, keeping on top of industry trends and technology and introducing them to the appropriate person may benefit your cause.

4. Update Your Training

If your present employer is lagging behind in the latest trends and technology, or you want to stay one step ahead of your competition, consider upgrading your skills and training through the industry governing association or your local college if they offer the necessary courses. The additional training will benefit you for years to come and keep you in demand.

5. Join Your Industry Related Organization

Become a member of any associations or organizations that pertain to your current job sector or the one in which you are transitioning to. Be an active participant in industry events and dialogue and establish yourself as a knowledgeable and enthusiastic ‘player’. The goal is to stay informed and be recognized as an industry professional.

6. Maintain an Industry Contact List

It is very important to maintain an industry contact list and keep in touch regularly through industry events, online industry forums, and networking. Remember that co-worker that you shared an office with 10 years ago; they may be in a position to offer you a new position within their organization. Never underestimate your efforts to stay connected with industry workers and leaders.

7. Protect Your Reputation

If you are active in various social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter, ensure that your profile does not contain any discriminating information and/or photos that will tarnish your reputation. Many prospective employers are searching social media sites for any information that they can find regarding prospective employers. If you don’t want the world to see it or read it, don’t post it online. If you have not done so already, create a profile on LinkedIn which is geared to the business world and enables individuals from varying backgrounds and industries to connect.

If you follow these seven steps before embarking on a job search, you will be ready when a new job opportunity comes your way.

how recruiters are making the most of linkedin

January 15th, 2011

LinkedIn is a professional networking website that has exploded in growth to over 85 million members in 200 countries by late 2010. The power of such a platform for networking is still being assessed by many of its members, but one community seems to have embraced the networking possibilities of the site and are making it work for them in a big way.

Having ready access to a working population networked in different ways has proved to be a huge bonus for the recruitment profession. All over the world, professional recruiters are embracing LinkedIn and finding that their ability to find people with niche skills and expertise has increased significantly. Many recruitment companies specialise in specific market sectors like engineering, life sciences or finance. Within these companies, some executives will specialise further within the sectors, for example, niche areas like aerospace engineering, microbiology or accountancy. Some of these areas can be very narrow and focused, giving recruiters limited visibility of potential candidates. A platform or database like LinkedIn gives recruitment professionals the ability to discover new, rich seams of talent that they may not have been aware of before in parts of the world they may not have considered before.

Since LinkedIn allows communication between people, even when they are not connected in the same network, recruitment companies can get a feel for the marketplace that will help them inform their clients. Entering into dialogue with people who have the expertise that the recruiters are looking for will help them understand the scarcity of certain skills and the market value of such skills and experience in terms of salaries for the jobs they are trying to fill.

Having the ability to tap into a broad knowledge base like this and to make contact with potential candidates almost immediately, gives recruiters the ability to perform their task more quickly and to ensure their client receives the best and fastest service possible.

If you are a member of LinkedIn, take a look through the connections of some of the members in your immediate network. There’s a good chance that you’ll find some recruitment specialists and headhunters in your network. These links give the recruiters visibility of broad areas of industry in terms of the people available and skillsets that exist. That’s why many recruiters will link up to people they have not yet done business with. Equally, a great many LinkedIn members see that recruitment executives are pivotal nodes in the overall LinkedIn network. They are junctions to parallel industries, other companies and potential seams of talent.

Recruitment professionals have been quick to see the benefit of LinkedIn and to capitalise upon it. As the site becomes the defacto network management tool of choice, recruiters will become even more savvy in their use of the system. It’s clear then that recruiters and candidates alike who are not yet LinkedIn could very well be missing out on significant opportunities.

how to write a cover letter that pops!

August 15th, 2010

When writing a cover letter, the ultimate goal is to grab the attention of your prospective employer and make you stand out over the other candidates.  To do this you will need to use an arsenal of techniques designed to market yourself to employers.  It can be easy to dismiss some of these techniques to save time, but doing so could hurt your chances of landing an interview.

White Space

Employers go through hundreds of resumes and cover letters while hiring.  If they receive a cover letter with little or no white space, their eyes will glaze over and your name will not catch their attention.  Nothing is more boring or dry than staring at a huge chunk of text.  White space is a marketing tactic.  It makes the body of writing easier to read.  You should utilize this marketing tactic when promoting yourself.  With the right amount of white space, your cover letter will look professionally crafted.

Bullet Points

The use of bullet points goes along with white space.  They make your cover letter easier to read.  Your job is to make your employer’s job as easy as possible.  You should use your bullet points to highlight your skills that specifically relate to the position you are applying for.  Most people’s eyes are naturally drawn to the bullet points.  If your bullet points basically sum up the employer’s job description, it will go a long way to landing you an interview.  On the other hand, if your bullet points are unrelated to the position, you will not be considered for your job.  Make sure to take your time when writing your bullet points to ensure you obtain the maximum effect.


It is important to research the company before you write your cover letter.  Doing so will allow you to pick up on company terms and technologies, which you can then incorporate into the body of your cover letter.  Nothing is more powerful than portraying yourself as someone who already invested in the company.


Using a standard professional format on your cover letter is necessary to present yourself as a professional.  If you stray from the format, you cover letter will stand out, but not in a good way.  It will be perceived that you don’t know what you are doing or cannot follow instructions.  Even the most qualified people can be passed over due to a poor format.


If you can find the name of the person who will be reading your cover letter, be sure to include it.  A simple “To Whom It May Concern” can work, but your letter will be much more powerful if you are able to find out the hiring manager’s name.  It will show that you did your research before submitting your cover letter.

Spelling and Grammar

The biggest mistake you can make when submitting a cover letter to a company is neglecting to proofread it.  One spelling mistake or grammar error will turn your cover letter that pops into a cover letter that flops.  Even if you think your grammar is perfect, double check a couple times before you submit it.

Show Enthusiasm

You will need to show that you are excited about this job opportunity, even if you are not.  Enthusiasm can be hard to convey in writing, so you will need to include little tidbits at the end like “I am looking forward to speaking with you” or “you can reach me at”.  Even though these statements might seem pushy, they let everyone know what your intentions are.

Writing a really good cover letter can be time consuming, but it can also be a doorway into a new career.  By crafting a well writing cover letter that pops, potential employers will be more likely to want to sit down and talk with you.  After that happens, it’s time to brush up on those interview skills.

three innovative ways to market yourself

April 1st, 2010

Social networking has become an effective way to get attention and job leads but few people use social networking to get a job. So stand out from the crowd and expand your online social network. Get on Facebook and Linked In and friend everyone you know or have ever met. Send personalized notes to all your networked friends mentioning you are looking for any kind of work in whatever fields you have experience in. Don’t ever ask directly for a job on your social network because that puts people on the spot; instead ask for referrals and job leads. Most people want to help people they know who ask nicely so you should be pleasantly surprised at the responses.

Volunteering is another effective way to get serious positive attention in a job search. To volunteer and get results, first make a list of the top five businesses you really want to work at. Next walk into each of these businesses and offer to work for free for a week or two. Make it clear that the company has no obligation to hire you. The only commitment you are asking for is an honest recommendation letter at the end. If you prove yourself on the job, most companies will go to great lengths to hire you permanently since you showed such initiative. You are unlikely to make it through the list of five businesses before getting a job with this plan.

Or consider following the lead of Robert Dubois. A fifty-something website and graphic designer living in the small lakeside town of Penticton, British Columbia, Robert spent four months sending out resumes with out getting a single interview. Believing that if you do the same things over and over you get the same results, Robert decided to try a new tactic.

Robert set up a booth in the local shopping mall with big signs promoting his experience and skills. One sign stated he is the “best employee in Penticton”. When the TV crew showed up to interview him for the evening news they found Robert spending his day talking to passersby about his job quest and making new friends. Between the mini-resumes Robert was handing out and the region wide TV exposure it seems quite unlikely that Dubois will be jobless much longer.

So get out and do something really innovative in your job search. Maybe your competition sitting at home will get to see you on TV getting the job you really want.