Focus Minded for Job Seekers

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This white paper by Daniel St.Pierre targets individuals who are seeking more focus in their job search endeavor. This compelling white paper provides a comprehensive list or steps certain to help you …

This white paper by Daniel St.Pierre targets individuals who are seeking more focus in their job search endeavor. This compelling white paper provides a comprehensive list or steps certain to help you reach or surpass your job seeking goals.

Daniel is the co-founder of the National Motivation Network and motivation expert since 1995. He has been featured in over 1,000 radio, television, newspaper and internet media outlets.

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  • 1. Focus Minded for Job Seekers By Daniel St.Pierre Focus Minded for Job Seekers By Daniel St.Pierre 01 The National Motivation Network Based in Tampa, FL PH: (727) 674-5681 www.nationalmotivationnetwork.com
  • 2. Focus Minded for Job Seekers By Daniel St.Pierre EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Now more than ever millions of Americans find themselves either unem- ployed or working a less than satisfactory job. While job seeking is no rocket science, it is a process by which method dictates the outcome. This white paper provides insight that will help you find that dream job or at least im- prove on your current work situation. Table of Contents 1. Focus - Get in the Right Mind Set 2. Method - Create an Engaging Resume A. Comply with employer’s resume requested format B. When no formats are specified, PDF is best C. Be colorful, use bold and large type D. Be creative, use a photo or logos E. Be outstanding, use testimonials, case studies or success stories F. Don’t lie, exaggerate or mislead G. Tell it like it is, with bells on H. Resume Comparison 3. Method - Write an Effective Cover Letter 4. Method - Properly Fill Out Job Applications 5. Method - Conduct Successful Interviews 6. Conclusion and Words of Encouragement 02 The National Motivation Network Based in Tampa, FL PH: (727) 674-5681 www.nationalmotivationnetwork.com
  • 3. Focus Minded for Job Seekers By Daniel St.Pierre Focus Minded for Job Seekers Reach or Surpass Your Employment Goals. According to surveys conducted by our marketing research partner, the Ponce Foun- dation 8 our of 10 Americans are either unemployed looking for work or, working and seeking better employment. If you are among the 80% described above, you should know less than 12% will reach their goal. In order for you to maximize your chances at finding that dream job you will need focus and method. Focus will allow you to manage your efforts while method will help you maximize from these efforts. 1. Focus - Get in the Right Mind Set The right mind set will allow you to successfully plan your job search. In order to achieve the right mind set you first need to complete a self assessment. The ultimate goal behind a self assessment involves confirming your qualifications. In plain Eng- lish you should only seek a job if you qualify for it. Though this is a simple concept it is too often ignored by job seekers which results in unsuccessful job searches. One of the foremost resource in self assessment can be found online at http://www.quintcareers.com where candidates of all ages or career levels can evaluate their worth according to various industries and markets. Once you know you qualify for a position and have an idea what you are worth you are ready to take the next step: Your resume. 03 The National Motivation Network Based in Tampa, FL PH: (727) 674-5681 www.nationalmotivationnetwork.com
  • 4. Focus Minded for Job Seekers 2. Method - Create an Engaging Resume By Daniel St.Pierre Resumes are essentially your calling card when it comes to applying for a job. Faux pas include generic template or plain text resumes which are not only a complete waste of time, they are gateways to disaster. As an employer since the mid 1990’s I have seem 1000’s of resumes, most of which generic, boring Word templates used by generic, boring candidates. On average over 99% of those resumes ended up in the trash, the occasional keeper was either accompanied by a captivating cover let- ter or a lucky recipient of my attention in a desperate time dictated by shortage in human resources. Trust me you do not want to be hired based on desperation which often leads to an early layoff. Resume Tips A. Comply with employer’s resume requested format B. When no formats are specified, PDF is best C. Be colorful, use bold and large type D. Be creative, use a photo or logos E. Use testimonials , case studies or success stories F. Don’t lie, exaggerate or mislead G. Tell it like it is, with bells on A. Comply with employer’s resume requested format When applying to a position candidates are often required to submit their resume in a specific format. In a digital age and in most cases Microsoft Word or Adobe PDF are the standard. While resumes are typically expected to be in black and white the re- cent evolution of human resources trend shows color resumes are now given priority over grey scale entries. What’s important is that resumes are submitted according to employer specification. B. When no formats are specified, PDF is best Unlike word processor documents PDF files are pre-formatted, print ready documents that convey a more professional approach. PDFs are not only considered as the cream of the crop, statistics show candidates using PDF resumes are 45% more likely to get an interview and 18% more likely to get hired vs applicants using other formats. 04 The National Motivation Network Based in Tampa, FL PH: (727) 674-5681 www.nationalmotivationnetwork.com
  • 5. Focus Minded for Job Seekers By Daniel St.Pierre C. Be colorful, use bold and large type Unless you are applying for a job with a small company whose human resources representative’s experience is limited, your resume will need to STAND OUT. There is a fine line between outstanding and over kill. While appropriate use of bold and large type will get you noticed, too much text formatting will get you ignored. Good taste goes a long way when text formatting is concerned. D. Be creative, use a photo or logos Unless there is absolutely something awfully wrong with your physical image using a creative photograph will positively impact your resume’s success rate. Though snapshots are good, creative shots are better. The internet is crawling with neat ideas how to produce photographs that will significantly impact your job search. Photographs should portray you in a current, relaxed, joy filled work related environment. High paying jobs seekers should retain the services or a student or professional photographer to achieve results in tune with the position. E. Be outstanding, use testimonials, case studies or success stories If your past or current job produced testimonials your resume is the place where 2-3 of these testimonials should be creatively embedded. When tes- timonials are not available case studies and success stories can be used to enhance your areas of expertise, keeping in tune with your resume’s ultimate goal to present your skills and qualifications to a prospective employer in a user friendly format. When using testimonials make certain to use names and references that can be verified. F. Don’t lie, exaggerate or mislead Though resumes are not actual federally mandated job applications and therefore not considered by law as legal documents, applicants who lie on their resumes are not likely to face state or federal convictions. With this being said, anyone with such a despicably insignificant set of morals and ethic should know lying on a resume will likely result in termination and in some cases, legal action. Being honest on your resume is not an option, it is an essential step toward success. 05 The National Motivation Network Based in Tampa, FL PH: (727) 674-5681 www.nationalmotivationnetwork.com
  • 6. Focus Minded for Job Seekers By Daniel St.Pierre G. Tell it like it is, with bells on There are countless ways to briefly describe your work experience. A common faux pas involves obvious underselling yourself, another thing to avoid is obvious, over- selling. Below are examples of such occurrences: Undersold Job Description and Duties July 2000 - June 2002 Web Guy, Acme Design, Orlando, FL. • Worked on many web site and other projects for 2 years. Oversold Job Description and Duties July 2000 - June 2002 Internet Architect, Acme Design, Orlando, FL. • Developed over 100 web sites for clients all over the world. • Produced over 30 multimedia projects. • Worked on and mastered state of the art web technologies. • Superior quality of my work resulted in more sales for my clients. Alternatively the right job description and list of duties will have significant impact on the reader while conveying the proper information. Here is an example of a success- ful job description and list of duties: A Successful Job Description and Duties July 2000 - June 2002 Web Producer, Acme Design, Orlando, FL. • Involved in over 130 web design and multimedia authoring projects. • Implemented web technologies as they were introduced. • Played key role in increasing revenue stream for clientele. There is absolutely nothing wrong with dressing up a job description and duties performed. Since you never know who will be reading this information it is up to you to explain, in plain, educated English what it is you did and the duties your job entitled. 06 The National Motivation Network Based in Tampa, FL PH: (727) 674-5681 www.nationalmotivationnetwork.com
  • 7. Focus Minded for Job Seekers H. Resume Comparison By Daniel St.Pierre This visual display was used in a survey conducted by the Ponce Foundation for the U.S. Government’s Board of Education. At first glance which of the following 2 re- sumes do you find more appealing? Both resumes target the same Restaurant Assistant Manager position and feature exactly the same work experience and education copy. The difference is the resume on the left was produced by an amateur while the more striking resume on the right was designed by a pro at a cost of $50. The resume on the left is likely to be sent out 3-5 times more to produce the same number of interviews as the resume on the right. While an attention grabbing resume won’t get you the job, it will get you more interviews, it’s up to you to perform well during interviews. 07 The National Motivation Network Based in Tampa, FL PH: (727) 674-5681 www.nationalmotivationnetwork.com
  • 8. Focus Minded for Job Seekers By Daniel St.Pierre 3. Method - Write an Effective Cover Letter Cover letters are your first chance (and often BEST chance) at making an impression on your potential employer. A standard in most industries cover letters typically con- tain the following: • The position you are applying for • Your interest in filling this position • Your qualifications and skills related to the position • Coordinates where you can be contacted There are countless ways to express your interest in a position. For samples of ef- fective cover letters visit www.about.com where you will find samples resources to assist you in writing your cover letter. 4. Method - Properly Fill Out Job Applications Employment applications allow for human resource staff to collect and arrange appli- cant information in a standard method to be used in the selection process. When required job applications should be neatly filled out and contain all pertinent information you feel will maximize your chances of getting hired. Much like resumes, applications should be truthful, without exaggeration or misleading information. Job Application Tips: • Be prepared, armed with a good pen, a resume and possibly some references as many applications give you the opportunity to list references. • Read through the entire application before filling it out, this minimizes mistakes or surprises. • Use your best handwriting, your application should be neatly written and legible. • Tailor your answers to be relevant to the position. • Avoid leaving blank fields or writing negative information. • Proofread your application before submitting it. 08 The National Motivation Network Based in Tampa, FL PH: (727) 674-5681 www.nationalmotivationnetwork.com
  • 9. Focus Minded for Job Seekers By Daniel St.Pierre 5. Method - Conduct Successful Interviews It is a fact job interviews are among the most stressful experiences in one’s profes- sional life. Statistics show over 94% of all job seekers describe their interview skills as “average” or “below average”. This means only 6% of applicants consider them- selves as “above average”. What empowers such a small percentage of job seekers? The answer to this question is this: Knowledge! When is comes to interviewing knowledge is indeed king. Job Interview Tips: • Do your research so you are prepared to answer and pose questions about the company, the position and its challenges which you plan on overcoming. Research is a critical part of your preparation. • Dress the part, and ensure your first impression is a good one. You should ALWAYS wear business attire when applying for a job. • Bring your resume, note pad and pen just in case. Better safe than sorry! • Practice our interview skills with a partner and in front of the mirror. Sample Interview Questions To the unprepared interviews are stressful because they often feature surprises. The key in mastering interview skills is to minimize or even entirely eliminate the element of surprise by familiarizing yourself with the typical interview questions: • Tell me more about yourself and your experience. • If you could describe yourself with one word, what would it be? • Why do you want to work for this company? • Why are you leaving your current job? • Tell me about a challenge in your previous job and how you overcame the challenge. 09 The National Motivation Network Based in Tampa, FL PH: (727) 674-5681 www.nationalmotivationnetwork.com
  • 10. Focus Minded for Job Seekers By Daniel St.Pierre Sample Interview Questions To the unprepared interviews are stressful because they often feature surprises. The key in mastering interview skills is to minimize or even entirely eliminate the element of surprise by familiarizing yourself with the typical interview questions: • Tell me more about yourself and your experience. • If you could describe yourself with one word, what would it be? • If your co-workers could describe yourself with one word, what would it be? • Why do you want to work for this company? • Why are you leaving your current job? • What have you been doing since your last job? • What was your last salary and/or compensation? • Tell me about a challenge in your previous job and how you overcame the challenge. • Tell me about one of your biggest accomplishments. • Where do you see yourself in 5 years? • What is your goal with our company? • What are your strengths? • What are your weaknesses? • What sets you apart from other candidates? • What motivates you? • Do you prefer working independently or as part of a team? • When can you start? Things You should Ask Alternatively you should feel confident to ask questions of your own, interested, in- telligent candidates pose questions during interviews, for example: • When are you looking to fill the position? • When should I expect to hear back about the position? • What is the next step? 10 The National Motivation Network Based in Tampa, FL PH: (727) 674-5681 www.nationalmotivationnetwork.com
  • 11. Focus Minded for Job Seekers By Daniel St.Pierre 6. Conclusion and Words of Encouragement Looking for work is no rocket science however it can be quite a complex process. The key to a successful job search is preparation, focus and method. What you must remember is to have a plan and the energy required to implement this plan. Without a plan anyone looking for a job is bound for failure. Part of your plan should include an engaging resume, an effective cover letter and interview skills. Your plan should also include focus and a time table by which you must abide to maximize your chances at getting the dream job. Make certain to allocate time everyday toward your job search, use all available re- sources and whatever you do, DON’T QUIT!!! Remember winners are losers who got up and gave it one more try... Focus Minded for Job Seekers Produced by Daniel St.Pierre Daniel St.Pierre is the co-founder of the National Motivation Network with 15 years experience motivating clients in Canada, the United-States, Europe and Africa. All Contents ©2009 The National Motivation Network 11 The National Motivation Network Based in Tampa, FL PH: (727) 674-5681 www.nationalmotivationnetwork.com