How To Revive A Stalled Job Search With High-payoff Activities

I frequently talk to potential clients who tell me they have been conducting a job search for X months without any success, or that they have sent out X number of resumes with virtually no response. When I press for more details, I hear stories about resumes posted in online resume databases and resumes sent in response to ads found on online job boards.

What is wrong with these job search techniques? Well…nothing is fundamentally wrong with them. In fact, they play an important part – a small part – in most well-constructed job search plans. However, these are extremely low-payoff job search activities, and if these are the only techniques you are using, the chances are far greater than not that your job search will generate disappointing and slow results.

If you are unhappy with the results of your job search, it is time that you took an objective look at your job search techniques. Are you spending too much of your precious time and energy on low-payoff job search activities while you ignore those that will produce the positive results that you want and deserve?

While the more effective job search activities – such as networking -usually require people to step out of their comfort zones, the returns generated by your investment of your time and energy will almost always be worth it.

So, if you find yourself stuck in a stalled, ineffective search for your next job, here are some high-impact tips.

1) Take a hard look at your resume. Like it or not, your resume is your first introduction to most employers, and your only chance to make a good first impression. Effective resumes are focused marketing pieces that are strategically written and designed to sell YOU as THE best solution to a potential employer’s needs. Your resume should be written to illustrate your unique value proposition, with succinct “stories” that differentiate you from your competitors in the job market. Does your resume accomplish these goals? Is it focused effectively? Does it accurately present you in the way that you wish to be presented? If not, it is time to rewrite.

2) Now, take a hard look at your methods. Do the methods you are using in your job search convey professionalism at every step? Is your approach courteous and does it illustrate an understanding of common business protocol? For example, do you always send at least a brief letter of introduction when you send a new contact your resume? I can’t tell you how many times a prospective client tells me he isn’t getting calls on his resume, and when I quiz him he will tell me that he has been sending his resume as an attachment to emails, and then admits that he has not been including an introductory note. In this day and age, when everyone is concerned about viruses and spam, do you honestly believe that a recipient will open an attachment that arrives with a blank email? Of course not! Or…Does the message on your answering machine make you sound like a polished professional or a party animal? Is your email user name a professional-sounding one or a cutesy one? You have tough competition in the job market. Details matter! Courtesy and business protocol matters! Everything you do in your job search should convey an impeccably professional image. My best advice: Apply some basic common sense and remember your manners.

3) Ramp up your networking efforts. Of all of the possible job search methods, networking is the most effective by far, and yet it is the method that the fewest people use. I know that you don’t want to hear this, but no matter how uncomfortable it might be for you, networking is absolutely crucial and is the fastest way to your next position. Remember that when you are networking you are not asking people if they know of an opening or to give you a job, you are just asking for referrals or advice. Would you be upset if someone you knew contacted you to inform you of their job search and asked if you might be able to offer any advice or point her in the right direction? Of course you wouldn’t. In fact, you might even be flattered. This is the same reaction that your personal and professional networking contacts will have. If you don’t have frequent face-to-face contact with your network, the quickest way to jumpstart your search using networking is to send your resume and a brief letter to every single one of your contacts, and then follow up with a phone call a few days later. In most cases, people will be more than happy to help you out. But whether they are able to help you immediately or not, follow up with a brief handwritten thank you card. This is a gesture that will make a lasting positive impression.

4) Do your research; don’t just blindly and indiscriminately send out your resume. Research the geographic and industry areas that interest you and identify the companies and opportunities that seem most promising and intriguing to you. With the vast quantities of information available on the Internet, you really have no excuse not to research thoroughly. Identify the hiring decision-makers and learn all you can about them and their company, their competitors, their challenges, and their future potential. This is a great time to call on your professional network. Who do you know who knows someone who knows some else at the company you are interested in? Once you have an “in” through a referral, it is time to make sure you are absolutely clear on your value proposition. In what way do you feel you could add value to the company? How would hiring you be beneficial? What is the return on investment that the company could expect if they hired you? Once you have the answers to these questions clear in your mind, it is time to approach the targets.

5) Consider a targeted e-mailing of your resume to headhunter/recruiter firms. But don’t just use one of the cheap broadcast services that send your resume out to some unspecified list of 1000s of supposed recruiters. If you are going to do this, use a high-quality service that uses an up-to-date database of recruiting firms that they can break down and segment based on the firms’ specialties. Approaching the distribution of your resume to headhunter firms in this way ensures that the recipients of your resume are individuals who have a sincere interest in learning about you and your credentials. They will try to match you to their current searches, and if you are a fit, you will get a phone call right then. Otherwise, they tend to database your resume to search in relation to future recruitment assignments. Of all the suggestions, this is the most passive and the easiest for you to implement with the least amount of work. But, passive or not, if you are in a profession that is among those often handled by recruiting firms, you should definitely make this a part of your overall job search strategy.

Finally, I can’t stress enough how important it is for you to follow up. Be assertive and approach your job search as if it is a job in itself. Schedule your activities, keep track of the contacts you have made and the resumes you have sent, and follow up regularly and consistently.

Yes, there is no doubt that job searching can be a highly stressful time. But you do have choices about how you will spend your limited time and those choices can have a profound impact on the success of your search. Choose to focus on the high payoff activities and you will find yourself back to work, in the job you want, much faster than you thought was possible.

How To Find A Great Deal When Shopping Online

No matter where you shop, you want to get the best deal for your money. Online shoppers are no different. Here are some ways to find great deals when shopping online.

Shop for deals online after a major holiday occurs. The best time for shopping is after Thanksgiving. Retailers in stores and online are looking to maximize their profits with your shopping dollar. Most of your favorite outlet stores will be offering popular items on sale at a fraction of the cost to attract more customers.

Some online retailers offer deals to customers that can’t be found in the stores. Special online deals allow people to shop from the comfort of their own home instead of standing in long lines outside the retail stores. They may offer free shipping for orders over a certain dollar amount.

Use coupons to shop at online stores. Check Sunday newspaper circulars. Some stores offer customers the option of using their coupons online. Since you have shipping and handling in addition to sales tax, online merchants will offer more money off with their coupons for online purchases.

Electronics are a popular item to purchase online. Check the comments made by other shoppers before purchasing. Their comments give you an idea of the quality and satisfaction you will receive from the product. Stores like Circuit City offer deals on their electronics which includes in-store pickup.

What they will ask you to do is to enter your address into the computer. They will give you the address of the closest store location and the availability of the product you seek. If the product is available, you have the option of paying online and picking it up in the store. You avoid shipping and handling and long lines in the store.

Sites like Overstock.com are always offering deals on all sorts of items. Some are new and some are refurbished. Be sure that the site you use is an authorized reseller of the selected product to avoid getting ripped off. Again, check comments from other shoppers that have used that site for shopping purchases.

Taking surveys can garner deals at shopping sites all across the Internet. Places like MyPoints.com offer shopping deals to their members through daily bonus e-mails just for trying products for a trial period. Members also earn points towards gift cards and services for trying these offers. There is no cost to become a member. Just sign up and create a profile.

Deals are available to online shoppers, but you must know when and where to look. Online shopping offers the convenience of browsing and buying without leaving your home computer.

Breakthrough Job Search Strategy Propels You To A Fast Job Offer!

Every one is looking for a breakthrough job search strategy — a way to get a leg up in the job search process. A breakthrough job search strategy can put you at the front of the pack.

The fact is, in today’s sophisticated job marketplace, you need something special to get ahead.

Maybe you think you need a particularly fancy resume. Or perhaps an uncle in high places. How about a recruiter friend. Wouldn’t it help to have a sister married to a prospective employer’s cousin?

All of those could be terrific assets to have. But they’re only remotely possible for most of us.

Yet, in fact, we are surrounded by the most precious assets of all. And they are available to us all the time. If we take proper advantage of them they become the breakthrough job search strategy of our dreams. They can dramatically speed up our job search and position us for the best opportunities.

I’m talking about people we already know. And I strongly recommend learning how to make them your CAREER PARTNERS. Did you know that “career partners” is the hottest job search secret of the decade!

Take minute and think of all the many useful ways the following people you know might have the capacity to help you out:

Neighbors, friends and relatives

Former school mates

Religious leaders

Teachers

Your banker, lawyer, doctor and dentist

People you do business with, hire, buy
from, sell to

Members of fraternal organizations, sororities, social service clubs

Church, synagogue or mosque fellow members

And on and on.

How can teaming up with such a variety of people we know be helpful?

Well, most important of all, they know other people who may have or know of a job opening. What’s more, they can introduce us to other folks who can assist us or even hire us.

They may have inside information about a company or decision-maker we’re interested in. They can review our resume and presentation skills to make sure we’re on target. They can advise us about career training directions and identify organizations that would be good for us.

If you want to get a leg up on your job campaign, use this amazing breakthrough job search strategy. Take the time to identify career partners. Prepare a script in which you ask them for their advice. And then represent yourself assertively to all of them. Use them wisely. They are your biggest asset!

Online Price Comparison And Product Reviews Handy And Useful Tools

The fastest flowing information current these days is the internet. You can do everything on the internet: research, work, date or shop. Most people prefer online shopping because it’s easier and even cheaper. For instance, think about all the time, car fuel and nerves you can save by simply clicking a few times. Having everything set at your disposal, in a user-friendly and interactive environment, with no dressing rooms or lines to wait at and no angry bored people around to give you a hard time, the purchasing experience is heavenly. Although everything might seem perfect, there is room for online improvement. Luckily for us, they’ve thought of that as well. Here’s how the internet can improve your shopping experience and give you satisfaction, as well as the chance to find better deals…

First of all, meet two of the most useful tools for the online shopper: online price comparison and product reviews. It all began in the late 90′s with the worldwide internet explosion. Small independent companies came up with the idea to centralize all their products along with the required information in an extensive database. This makes shopping easier for both the customer and for the company. It also created a greater deal of clientele and more worldwide publicity. Then enterprises such as the search engines Yahoo!, MSN and Google and other companies were established who could also benefit from online stores.

The sites had and still have a common characteristic: they offer visitors the chance to compare prices for the same products, but belonging to different companies: online price comparison. Having this option available for use, shoppers had the chance to see which products have the best price and the best characteristics. The various product reviews found within the numerous pages of specialized websites consist of information about the year the product was released, the recommended retailer price (with specifications about taxes) and stores in which it’s available.

The search process thus becomes quick and easy. You just need to log on http://www.plaza101.com for example. Since the pages are interactive and easily comprehendible, the online price comparison becomes a child’s game”. Besides online price comparison and product reviews, which always come together, many websites have come up with an even more user-friendly method. A complex web page script allows visitors to select the brand and all the other usual basics. This also includes the purpose or the environment in which the product will be used, your age and many other complex preferences that will eventually lead to the display of a list of exact products to suit your needs 100%, based on your answers to the website’s questions.

The most attractive online price comparison and product reviews sites are those built in an easy-to-read manner sites like Plaza101. You should look for these sites first. They are easier to comprehend, with information scattered throughout the whole content of the review (statistically, it has been proven that most people read only a third of the article as they scroll through it), easy noticeable headlights (colored, underlined and so on) and appointments to season sales or discounts that will give you a better deal.

Shopping has never been easier. Just a few clicks and there you go! You have practically a world of products and services at your feet. With the help of specialized websites and effective searching tools, you can be sure you’ll get the best deals out there!