Job Hunting 101


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Sharon Stephan\'s presentation resumes, cover letters and interview etiquette. Stephan is an associate vice president of communications and marketing in the office of the vice president for university affairs at the University of Nebraska - Lincoln.

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Job Hunting 101

  1. 1. Job Hunting 101 March 2010
  2. 2. Agenda <ul><li>Today’s job market </li></ul><ul><li>Job hunting in the social network space </li></ul><ul><li>Cover letters </li></ul><ul><li>Resumes </li></ul><ul><li>Make yourself interview-ready </li></ul><ul><li>Interviews </li></ul><ul><li>Salary/other negotiations </li></ul>
  3. 3. Today’s job market <ul><li>10% unemployment </li></ul><ul><li>Outsourcing </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Top 25% IQ of India = greater than total US population </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><li>But … </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Nebraska is recovering faster than many places </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Midwestern work ethic is highly valued </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>University of Nebraska is well regarded </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Fortune Small Business: Omaha = #3, Lincoln #10 in best places to launch </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>CNN Monday: Papillion #3 in best places to live </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Forbes: Lincoln #5 in best places for business and careers </li></ul></ul>
  4. 4. Job hunting in the social network space <ul><li>Google yourself – personal Social Media Optimization strategy </li></ul><ul><li>Join LinkedIn </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Check company pages for jobs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Add APPs (blogs, photos, etc.) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Make sure your account is complete </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Blogs </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Publish your thinking </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Comment on relevant blogs </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. Job hunting in the social network space <ul><li>Twitter </li></ul><ul><ul><li>#jobs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Follow people in your desired industry </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Facebook </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Build your public profile </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Add relevant Apps </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Join relevant groups </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Slideshare </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Photos, presentations, content </li></ul></ul><ul><li>YouTube </li></ul><ul><ul><li>6 billion views per month </li></ul></ul>
  6. 7. What is a cover letter? <ul><li>First impression </li></ul><ul><li>Glimpse of your personality </li></ul><ul><li>Opportunity to succinctly sell yourself </li></ul><ul><li>Gateway to the interview </li></ul><ul><li>Demonstrates your level of commitment </li></ul><ul><li>Demonstrates your communications skills </li></ul>
  7. 8. Cover letters: advertised positions <ul><li>Personalized </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Call HR </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Do NOT write “Dear Sir” or “To Whom it May Concern” </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Specific to the job advertised </li></ul><ul><li>NOT a duplication of your resume </li></ul><ul><li>Identify qualities that make you right for this job </li></ul><ul><li>Ask for an interview </li></ul><ul><li>Do not ask them to call you, but provide contact information </li></ul>
  8. 9. Cover letters: cold calls <ul><li>Proactive approach </li></ul><ul><li>Personalized </li></ul><ul><li>NOT a duplication of your resume </li></ul><ul><li>Demonstrate company knowledge </li></ul><ul><li>Identify qualities that make you right for this company </li></ul><ul><li>Ask for an informational interview </li></ul><ul><li>Do not ask them to call you, but provide contact information </li></ul>
  9. 10. Cover letters: referral letter <ul><li>Proactive approach </li></ul><ul><li>Personalized </li></ul><ul><li>Prominently refers to someone they know </li></ul><ul><li>Demonstrate company knowledge </li></ul><ul><li>Identify qualities that make you right for this company </li></ul><ul><li>Ask for an informational interview </li></ul><ul><li>Do not ask them to call you, but provide contact information </li></ul>
  10. 11. Cover letters: structure <ul><li>Personalized salutation </li></ul><ul><li>Why I am writing </li></ul><ul><li>How I am qualified </li></ul><ul><li>Why I am right for this job – tailor this to ad </li></ul><ul><li>Next steps </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Ask for interview </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Provide contact information </li></ul></ul>To whom it may concern:
  11. 12. Sample opening: YES <ul><li>Dear Ms. Hudson, The knowledge and experience I have obtained as a business major at the University of Nebraska and in my work experience as a sales representative for the Daily Nebraskan make me an exceptional candidate for the sales manager position you have advertised in the Wall Street Journal. </li></ul>
  12. 13. Sample opening: NO <ul><li>Dear Ms. Ashlin: After reading your advertisement in the newspaper, I knew I had to contact you immediately. I am a highly motivated person who works hard to accomplish my vision for the future. The success of your company fits perfectly within my vision, and I think I would be a really good fit. Also, my family lives in Omaha and I would like to be closer to them. </li></ul>
  13. 14. Cover letters: content <ul><li>Stress relevant information from classes and internships </li></ul><ul><ul><li>While pursuing my degree, I have worked on many group projects related to marketing. The most extensive project was a collaboration among team members to implement a marketing strategy for merchandising Guess Jeans in Spain. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>My internship with Blue Cross-Blue Shield has given me the opportunity to develop and use my marketing skills in a nonprofit business environment. Most importantly, I have gained greater insight into the cause of the American Lung Association. </li></ul></ul>
  14. 15. Cover letters: content <ul><li>Stress highly marketable skills </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Writing and oral communication skills </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Web design </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>PR applications of social networking, blogs, new media </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Teamwork </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Personal initiative, work ethic, drive </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ability to multi-task </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ability to meet deadlines </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Research skills </li></ul></ul>
  15. 16. Cover letters: content <ul><li>Quantify your accomplishments </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Use numbers (increased sales 27%, managed the budget for 100 sorority members) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Use superlatives (first, best, largest) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Focus on what YOU can do for the company </li></ul></ul>
  16. 17. Cover letters: content <ul><li>Other tips </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Be positive – don’t sell yourself short (“Although I do not have much experience …  ”) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Be genuine </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Be confident </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Instead of using a weak qualifier: </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>I believe my background provides me with unique qualifications </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Use a stronger approach: </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>My background provides me with unique qualifications </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Attribute positive statements about yourself to others </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>My professors can attest … </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Humor is easily mis-read or misunderstood </li></ul></ul>
  17. 18. Cover letters: content <ul><li>Other tips </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Do not use passive voice </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Use strong verbs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>I earned many awards (not I “received” several awards) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Don’t sound desperate – your job search/desire to relocate is your problem, not theirs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Don’t be dramatic </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Close strongly </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>My resume and cover letter can convey only a limited sense of my qualifications. I will be attending the Nikon Sales Seminar in Dallas, Texas, in June and would like to schedule an interview then. I will contact you by May 15 to arrange a meeting either at the seminar or at another time. Should you wish to contact me before then, my number is 510/555-7345. </li></ul></ul></ul>
  18. 19. Other tips <ul><li>Short paragraphs </li></ul><ul><li>Check your voicemail! </li></ul><ul><li>Set up new email account if needed </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t mention salary in your letter </li></ul><ul><li>PROOFREAD </li></ul>Dude, I’m at the bar … you know what to do …
  19. 20. Resumes <ul><li>Easy to read; no fancy fonts </li></ul><ul><li>Contact information up front </li></ul><ul><li>Tailor career goal to job </li></ul><ul><li>Work experience is most important </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Focus on accomplishments, not duties </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Reverse chronological order </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>You don’t have to list everything! </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Leave out personal pronouns </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Be selective with college activities </li></ul>
  20. 21. Resumes <ul><li>Use bullets not narrative </li></ul><ul><li>Use key words </li></ul><ul><li>Do not list references unless requested </li></ul><ul><li>Send resume as PDF to preserve formatting </li></ul><ul><li>Include URL and hyperlink for your blog, Facebook page, other relevant online information </li></ul><ul><li>Spell check. Twice. </li></ul><ul><li>E-portfolio or CD </li></ul>
  21. 22. Interviews <ul><li>Prepare, do your research on the company and the field </li></ul><ul><li>Telephone, Skype interviews </li></ul><ul><li>Research typical interview questions </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Tell us about a time … </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>How do you handle stress? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What do you think would be … </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Dress for the job </li></ul><ul><li>Firm handshake, eye contact </li></ul><ul><li>Talk about yourself! </li></ul><ul><li>Ask questions </li></ul>
  22. 26. Interviews <ul><li>Express enthusiasm for the job – ask for it! </li></ul><ul><li>Understand how important this process is to the interviewer </li></ul><ul><li>Is there anything else you’d like us to know? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>What is your unique selling proposition? Your personal elevator speech? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Thank you notes </li></ul>
  23. 27. Should you lobby for a job? <ul><li>“ Join my network on LinkedIn” </li></ul><ul><li>Be my friend on Facebook </li></ul><ul><li>Repeated phone calls or emails </li></ul><ul><li>Phone calls from “influential” people to hiring manager </li></ul>
  24. 28. Salary negotiations <ul><li>Do your homework: what is the job worth? </li></ul><ul><li>Delay the discussion as long as possible </li></ul><ul><ul><li>(they should bring it up, not you) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Ask about performance reviews, salary evaluations and salary progression </li></ul>
  25. 29. Salary negotiations <ul><li>“ What salary are you looking for?” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>I’m flexible – what is the range for this position? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>I expect to be paid at competitive rates for this industry … I am looking for something in the mid to high 30s. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>That depends somewhat on the benefits that are offered. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>That’s negotiable . </li></ul></ul>
  26. 30. Salary negotiations <ul><li>Should you take the first offer? </li></ul><ul><li>What else can you negotiate? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Moving expenses </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Vacation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Benefits: make sure you understand the costs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Flextime, telecommuting, laptop </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>First salary review in 3 or 6 months </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Overtime, comp time, paid time for community service activities </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Parking, employee stock plans, health club etc. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Tuition assistance </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Signing bonus, performance bonuses </li></ul></ul>
  27. 31. Salary negotiations <ul><li>Thank them for the offer; express enthusiasm for the job </li></ul><ul><li>Ask for time to consider </li></ul><ul><li>Talk it over … family, professors, friends </li></ul><ul><li>Prepare counter offer if appropriate </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t make demands – this is a negotiation; don’t think of it as “beating” the other person! </li></ul><ul><li>Accept with gratitude and enthusiasm </li></ul><ul><li> // </li></ul>
  28. 32. Questions?