May 24, 2017

5 Keys for Job Search

 Now that you have matriculated it's time to search for a job.  It's a shame that when you graduate you don't receive your diploma with a document inside informing you of a job that is waiting for you. How cool would that be? Unfortunately for most grads, your diploma is just the first step on your journey of seeking a job.
   OK, let's get to the point of this article. What are some of the key success factors needed to secure a job.
1. Finding a job is a job!
Write this success factor down and tape it to your door or mirror. No web surfing, FBing, or hanging out with your buddies. You need to apply a lot of discipline and put in 8 to 10 hours of job search related work daily.
2. Develop a quick job search plan.
Think through and develop a short action plan. Answer the who, what, when, where and how questions that can be used to guide your job search. For example write down who you would like to work for, what jobs are you interested in, when are you available, and where you are willing to move or not move to if you secure a job. The output from this success factor should provide you with a list where you can start searching for job opening by industry or actual named companies.
3. Don't procrastinate by fine tuning your resume.
Find an open job position, read the job application twice and then work on your resume. You will need to fine tune your resume for each job application, it's a huge waste of time to create a killer generic resume.
4. Keep good records.
Make sure to keep good records about all the job applications that you filled out on-line. Keeping track of 2 job applications in your head is easy. Keeping track of 50 (or 100) applications in your head is all but impossible. Don't get caught when you do get a phone call from company z and think I don't remember what the job opening was in company z.
5. Don't give up.
Applying for a job is incredibly exciting for the first week or so. Not so much after a month and it's really boring after 8 weeks. Finding yourself a job is really hard work. Don't get discouraged, remember key success factor 1. If you find yourself getting discouraged and thinking that something is wrong with you, get some advice from the job search experts. Go to the library and find some books written by professionals on their tips and tricks on job searching.
   There is a plethora of information on the web focusing on where and how to find jobs. Some of it is excellent and some not so much. Remember success factor 3 and don't try to read everything before you start your job search. You can utilize sources like Reddit, , to read or join a conversation about finding a job. You can also search for job articles like The industries hiring the most collegegrads in 2017 which has some very good data points for those 2017 grads looking for jobs. Now quit reading my article and start working on the 5 key success factors!

April 29, 2017

Don't forget the Focused Job Boards

   It's that time again, the annual Spring college graduation job search. Online job sites will have thousands of fresh graduates scouring new job listings in an effort to locate that first job. But what many new grads don't know is that in addition to the large on-line general job sites that hold all category of jobs, there are also smaller on-line job sites that focus on only key job fields. These more focused job sites can be very helpful to the graduate who wants to save some time and effort by only hunting for job openings that are specific to their field of study.

   For example, Science Careers [] is a website that has an online job board focused on global scientific careers. You will not find History or Accounting job openings on this job board. Nice time saver.
   Sometimes a focused job site can assist the job hunter who has a very broad college major. This time let's look at a person who has a degree in Art. One website that focuses on the art world is called Americans for the ARTS Connecting the Creative Mind []. Only artistic type jobs are listed on this job board which may also give the new job searcher some ideas of the types of jobs that are currently on the open market. Both freelance and salaried jobs can be found on this job board.
   Think about it, whatever you studied in college, a website probably exists covering that field. Many of those websites have specific job boards. Become a job bandit and search them out, apply for openings, or leave your resume, who knows you may get a break and score a job.

March 23, 2017

Entry Level Job

   Do you think you know the meaning of an "entry level" job? The dictionary definition is pretty straightforward. Entry Level - at the lowest level in an employment hierarchy, suitable for a beginner or first-time user. Now that you know the definition all you have to do is plug-in the term "entry level" in a job search site and entry level jobs will magically appear, right? Not always!

   The definition that was used above is not always followed by recruiting job sites. Read each job opening carefully and many times you will see wording like this, "entry level with 3 to 6 months of experience required". Are you kidding?
   Entry level does not always mean what you think it means. The 3 to 6 months experience sometimes relates to whether you had a 3 to 6 month internship within a specific industry. Also some companies want to know if you have had any experience with some key job skills like showing up on time or getting your work assignments completed when they were due. Who would have thought.  
   So long story short, after you find some entry level job applications, read them top to bottom before you start to fill them out. Specifically, look for the "experience required" section. If you see the 3 to 6 months experience requirement, stop reading and move on to the next new job application. Don't waste your precious time filling out an application where you do not meet the job requirements. So now you know what "entry level"  means, it means anything that the hiring business wants it to mean

March 19, 2017

Paid Internships Apply Today

Most universities now require students to intern with a business that's in their field of study. While internships are a good idea, many students have a problem finding internships that offer pay. Fortunately there are ways to find, apply and get paid during your internship.

I bet you already know the internship job search process, right? If not let's do a quick review. Let's see, first go to your university career center and select one of the posted internships in your field. Then apply for the opening and wait for the business to call you and offer you the internship. Piece of cake, right? If you believe this is how the process works then you probably believe that unicorns are alive and roaming the earth. Your university career center is a great place to start your search and it will have many resources to help in your paid internship search. I just wanted to get across the point that it is not an easy process to find a paid internship, it will take a lot of effort.  Think about that career center posting process for a moment. That internship posting will be seen not only by you but by hundreds of other university students who are in the hunt for a paid internship. There may only be one opening with tons of students applying for that single internship. Bummer, do you feel like your GPS just sent you on a virtual path into a lake? Many business do not list internship openings on normal on-line job search sites. Instead they quietly list their internship opening on the corporate home page that has job listings. Some corporations like Disney have designed multi-year internship programs that over a few summers, move you through a number of job positions. Pretty cool. An overlooked area for paid internships is the federal government. Now take a look at the USAJOBS PATHWAYS site. It's a blog designed for students and recent graduates looking for federal careers. The cool thing for you is this blog exists for federal internships that range across a spectrum of business and scientific fields.

Finally, don't wait to start looking for an internship, look and apply now. You may find a summer internship that won't interfere with your studies during the regular academic year. March and April are the ideal times to begin the application process for summer internships. Welcome to the real world of applying for employment. Now go to your university career center and start the search. 

March 02, 2017

How To Survive Job Search Rejection

No one ever likes getting rejected. Unfortunately rejection plays a big role in the job search process. This is especially true for new college graduates with no work track record in their new profession. Supply and demand along with not being in the right place at the right time contribute to the rejection phase in job searching. However if rejection is a given, then what can be done to combat this phase or even use it for your gain? A successful trick that knowledgeable job seekers use is to understand the rejection stages and to use counter-measures at each stage.  
Let's talk a little about the rejection phase and its corresponding stages.

 Stage 1: Denial. After spending time creating a perfect resume and submitting it for an open job position, a rejection email is received back from the organization to which you applied. During the early part of your job quest this may be the first or the first few rejection emails that you are beginning to receive. Your confidence is still pretty high and it is easy to rationalize and deny that there might be problems with your job application, resume or interview. Thoughts like, it was the organization that made the mistake or you are relieved that you didn't get the job since you didn't really like the job position all that much, are  common. This stage is all about denial.

Stage 2: Anger.  The pile of rejection emails has filled at least one waste basket. After few months of searching, finding, and applying for job openings the end result is no job. You have moved back in with your parents. Your confidence is starting to drop. Thoughts like, I went to a bad college or earned a non-marketable degree are common in this stage. It becomes harder to stay optimistic and fill out more job applications.

Stage 3: Hopelessness. Some of your friends have found jobs but you haven't. Your confidence is hitting a new low. Now you are having thoughts like, why me or I'm a loser. You are thinking about giving up looking for a job in your profession and will take just about any job you can find.
Successful job seekers understand the rejection phases listed above and take counter measures aimed at each stage. These individuals understand that applying for and receiving job offers is a numbers game. These folks know that depending on the market demand for their skills, they may be looking at a 2-5% non-rejection application rate or in other words, they expect 95 to 98 rejections for every 100 applications sent out. If this is your case, what can you do? You can break the rejection cycle by applying countermeasures [CM] for each stage. Now let's examine the CM stages.

CM Stage 1: Assessment. The early rejection notifications are arriving. Instead of going into the Denial stage begin your assessment of what went wrong. Did you fill out the application form correctly? Did you tailor your resume to map to the skills the job requested? Were you prepared for the interview if it got that far?

CM Stage 2: Apply Assessment Corrections. Don't wait for the rejection pile to get larger. Immediately begin to apply what was learned during your Assessment stage. Continue to seek advice from others who have been through this process recently and had success. Free sources of advice include but are not limited to; check out the Career Resources banner on Monster's home page. Another free resource is which has on its home page a Search Resources tab. The Search Resources will transport you to the Careerbuilder blog that has Advice & Resources. Sometimes job forums can be a good source of what's happening in the market place from those currently in the job quest. is a place where job search questions are asked and answered. A few more active job forums are , and .

CM Stage 3: Increase Job Application volume. This stage is in direct opposition to Stage 3's Hopelessness category. Instead of giving up on the job search you need to ramp up your application submission process. Longer hours may be necessary in order to double or triple your outgoing job submissions. Remember finding a job is numbers game and it's nothing personal, it's just the way it is.

Finding a job involves a great deal of work. It always did. Start applying well before you graduate from college. Begin filling out job applications until you feel like Ringo Starr on a take of "Helter Skelter" where he yells, " I got blisters on my fingers!"

February 24, 2017

A Local Author Fair Experience

Writing a book was hard but promoting a book seems to be much harder. There are many ways  that you can spend money on various book promotional channels, however I would like to share with you a FREE way to get some publicity and potential book sales.
Recently I participated in a Local Author Fair that was sponsored by my public library. Over the last few years the Carmel Clay Public Library plans and sponsors a book fair for local authors. The origin of this program grew over time as requests from individual authors to host book launching events increased. Then someone at the library had the idea that wouldn't it be better to consolidate all of the local authors in one place, at one time and then publicize the event. Next came the issue of picking a good month to hold this event. The library chose December, which as we know, is a good time to sell books as a Christmas gift for that special book lover. Nice.

The Author Fair was held in a large community room that was close to the main library entrance. Each local author had a table, name tag, and two chairs provided by the library. The library also ran advertisements in the local paper in the weeks prior to the event. The cost to the authors for all of this, FREE! How cool is that. The mechanics of entering were pretty simple. The author had to fill out a library form that had the book title, genre, synopsis, and proof that you lived in the district that the library serves. You also had to provide the library with a copy of  your book for them  to review. The book would be returned at the book fair
The event I attended hosted approximately 30 local authors. The fair lasted for three hours. There was a good mix of fiction and non-fiction books being showcased by their authors. During the event a steady flow of library patrons and book customers roamed the room.  I would guess about 200 to 250 people attended with a bigger crowd earlier in the day. I autographed my first book at this fair! That was pretty cool. I also had a laptop which had a kindle version of my book displayed in case someone wanted to purchase a digital copy. Besides the customer interaction, it was really nice to meet and greet other local authors.

If your library has a new author program make sure to participate. If the library does not have one, I would suggest that you have a discussion with the library board about sponsoring a local author fair in your area.  Everybody wins from a local author fair. It was a win for the local authors who were able to meet book loving customers at the library. It was a win for the library patrons who were able to chat and purchase autographed copies of books.  Finally it was a win for the library by providing a great service to the community.

I can't wait until the next Local Author Book Fair.

February 17, 2017


You’ve all but finished your degree, now it’s time to celebrate, right? Well, briefly.  Then it’s time to search for your job. Of course, there are exceptions like accepting a job before spring break or heading to graduate school straight after you receive that golden diploma. However, most college seniors should really be hitting the job quest at full speed during and after the university’s spring break.

Why you ask? Why indeed. You see most companies, during the spring break timeframe, are focused on selecting, interviewing and making job offers to new college graduates. Businesses are on a timeline with the goal of starting their new hires quickly after they graduate in the spring, usually with a June start date.

A second reason for starting the search early is that the job hunt process is very time consuming. There is more to the search process than just lining up a few interviews with the university career service center. Just for fun check out some of the online job databases that exist. Enter in the job you are looking for and see what info comes back from the search. Usually the pile of data to search through is massive, very time consuming and many times disappointing because the job applications may require 6 months of experience. Another reason to start your search process early is that it will give you time to  research the job market. By researching you can find out who is hiring, what states are hiring people in your career type, what the salaries look like for your job by state and more. To learn more about job research check out this article, Finding 2017 Job Openings .

What about updating your resume? Don't bother. Begin to work on your resume after you have found some open job positions. Crafting a resume before you have found a position is usually a waste of time. Why? Because every resume you use to apply for a job will need to be customized to the position being offered. If it is not, then the resume will have a high probability of being rejected. An added plus to waiting on refining your resume is it will be easier when you have the job requirements and can tailor your skill definitions to the wording on the requisition.

If you are still going on Spring Break there are a few things you can do on the beach. Invest some time in looking at job or employment blog sites for advice. Remember that you are not the first person to look for a job after graduating. Purchase some books and read them for tips and suggestions on how to land a job in today’s environment. I mean seriously, you have read how many hundreds of books and spent untold thousands of dollars on your education journey, don’t stop now. They may be just what you need to find your path toward landing the job you want.

OK, now you can slather on the sunscreen, turn on some Jimmy Buffet, adjust your sun glasses and begin the job quest.