Thursday, July 17, 2014

Message to Microsoft Employees and Others Already in Career Transition

I really enjoyed and appreciate Bruce Kasanoff's 7/17/14 LinkedIn article, "The Human Side of Microsoft's Layoffs." Companies like Microsoft face such tough decisions as they struggle to remain viable and accountable to shareholders.  Businesses are just that. The human aspect is sadly and too often far less of a factor when such decisions are made.

My heart and thoughts go out to these employees and their families.   As a career coach and recruiter, I urge any of those affected to take a few days or a week or two to deal with their emotions, but as soon as they can reasonably get back on the horse, do the following:
1. Join laser-focused LinkedIn groups AND WORK THEM.  Get a "weekly digest" of jobs and Discussions.  Your chances are far better on these homogeneous groups to find, qualify for and land a suitable job.  You may also be able to "reply privately" to those who post jobs and other discussions.
2. Those in engineering and other professional or management capacities can call a Reference Librarian and see if they have a "Recruiters Redbook."  Pick 10-25 recruiters that service your job type and desired geography(ies), and send them your resume after warming up your email with a phone call introducing yourself.
3. If your library subscribes to "ReferenceUSA," a database of companies throughout the U.S., do a "custom search" and target companies by identifying their "SIC" code.  Once you have that, go after similar companies within a comfortable radius of where you live or wish to work.
4. If your library carries a "Book of Lists" for your desired city(ies), copy some pages to identify the top 25 or 50 companies within your target industries.  The Book of LIsts also compiles lists of top non-profits, top women-owned businesses, top minority-owned businesses, etc. (Some libraries also have a 2-volume set of the S& P Registry of Corporations and Executives.")
5. Grow your LinkedIn network by inviting those you know and/or those who have specifically asked you to LinkIn.  Give yourself weekly quotas (e.g., reach out to 25 people per week).
6. Attend "career transition" and professional events as soon as possible and network, network, network. (This is the very best way of landing a job, provided that you attend with a positive attitude, a crisp elevator pitch and a pay-it-forward spirit.)  Most studies cite networking success in landing jobs between 66-88%.
7. Feel free to reach out and LinkIn with me or access the many documents listed on my "Speaking /Other Events page: www.TheECC.com.  One such tool each job seeker should have in their arsenal that has an 86% success rate according to "What Color is My Parachute," is the one-page Profile and Target List (aka, a Marketing plan).  In general, the top portion is your resume and the lower portion are companies, industries, job titles and the geographies you are targeting.

After a job loss, it's understandable to feel lost and/or withdrawn and have diminished hope, especially given this tough job market, but there are many jobs out there and even more unpublished, so it's important to remain optimistic and vigilant. Someone will get these jobs, so why not you?  It is imperative to put structure in your days.  It will help give you a sense of purpose, help you make progress, and fend off depression.  Most of all, be kind to yourself.


For now, I’m sending positive thoughts and support out to all, and my sincere wishes for resilience, hope and faith that this is just a bump in the road that you will get past.

Sunday, March 31, 2013

FREE Career Advice for Job Seekers Through My LinkedIn Group


This is just a reminder that one of the advantages of being a member of the EMPLOYER & CANDIDATE CONNECTION LinkedIn group and its subgroup, STRIVE FOR FIVE is that you can ask job-related questions and get answers from me as the group owner, one of the two Group Managers or other members of the group (which include other recruiters and employers who are members of these groups)AT NO CHARGE.  What could be better than FREE, individualized career coaching? 

Please ask your questions THROUGH ONE OF THESE GROUPS so that others will benefit from your question and the answer. 

(Bear in mind that if your issue involves confidential information (e.g., salary negotiation questions, reason for being laid off, etc.), you can either make your question general in nature or, it may be beneficial for you to seek the services of a career coach.  There are numerous coaches right on this group, or, you can consult my public website where I have made the names of some coaches that have been referred to me available.  Please note that I do not endorse the services of any particular coach and strongly suggest that each person do their own due diligence and "interview" the coach(es) they are considering for compatibility.)
Mark wrote: 
“Hi Marissa,
I attended a coaching session with you at NCCC last month. At that time you mentioned a method for taking a list of key words (that describe my aspirations desires, skills abilities etc.) that could be plugged into a search engine that would bring up a list of Job Descriptions that may fit with the key words. It was a way of narrowing the job focus or bringing up other careers or industries where the skillset would be valued. Will you remind me of the procedure/process and were the web site is located to do the search? I appreciate you and your time. Please let me know if I can be helpful to you in some way.
Thank you again. You are a gifted presenter.”
MH

Answer: 
Mark.  I remember you, and am impressed that your notes are so detailed.
All materials I review are on www.meetup.com under the "NC3" meetup group.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

How to Optimize How You Use LinkedIn -- Whether you are Looking for Jobs, Candidates or Business Leads


What is LinkedIn? 
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZVlUwwgOfKwhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U--Vijc2jbw

Linkedin for Dummies:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tV_7yAPnkFw

LinkedIn Job Seeker features: Open up to opportunities: (What is OpenLink?) Great for Job Seekers!!!)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r636M5WFQRw

LinkedIn Discount - Cheap LinkedIn Plan : Personal Plus - Secret way to get it! (1 yr. old: may not be available, but check for it as the monthly cost is very low)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wahk6lQkNCY

How to find a new job using LinkedIn? (www.explania.com):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1eTDnSnDMgE

ADVANCED:

How To Optimize You LinkedIn Profile [The Download]:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=APa4ngh934c

How to LinkedIn: Create Your LinkedIn Company Page:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7TGyZzCmU3c

LinkedIn Marketing: 5 Steps to Growing Your Business on LinkedIn:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FCKtfcAGUTE

Succeeding with LinkedIn.com: How Agency Recruiters Find Top Candidates
LinkedIn:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kcEpVyAxLmY

Best-Kept LinkedIn Invitation Secrets


Stacy Donovan Zapar is a recruiter and coach and as the most LinkedIn woman on LinkedIn, has more than 30,000 first connections.  

In a recent article that she authored, Stacy illuminates some of the finer points of LinkedIn's invitation functions, covering do's and don'ts, how to know if your account has been restricted and get it unrestricted, and much more.  

For advanced users who want to offer others a shortcut to their LinkedIn invitation page, Stacy even provides a fill-in-the-blank formula that links directly to your invitation page.  From there, you can go to www.TinyURL.com or a similar site, paste your unique LinkedIn invitation page link into the bar, and convert this link to a much shorter one.  You can then post it right on your LinkedIn home page under the "Contact Info" section by editing your profile, add it to your business card, public website, FaceBook page, etc.  See Stacy's Tip #12 (one-click invitation link). 

Take a look!

LinkedIn Invitations: Everything You Need to Know (and Then Some!)


Thursday, February 28, 2013

Effectively Target Lower-level Jobs and/or Handle the "You're Overqualified" Objection

Q:  (Dennis asked) I have owned 2 businesses and managed a $7 million company. I don't want big responsibility and wonder if some positions I apply for are viewed in a negative light of "why is this guy aiming lower?"


A:  Marissa Marsala • As I understand it, you recently relocated. In some ways, I believe that provides an edge as you are starting anew. Try to use that as an advantage when you are asked the question above. Also, consider doing a pre-emptive strike in your cover letter and indicating why the role is perfect, and weaving in that at this juncture in your career, what is most important is ... (fill in the blank), and that you are therefore focusing on opportunities that provide X, Y, and Z.

Many job seekers are doing a lot of soul searching as a result of being out of work and taking a "Life's too short" to be doing something that I don't enjoy or want to do, attitude. Also, as a consequence if this difficult economy and resulting self-reflection, many are aiming for jobs in new fields or want lower level jobs with less responsibility due to quality of life reasons. If nothing else, I think that all of this re-evaluation is a silver lining and will make more people not look back later on in life. Then again, I tend to be a glass half full person.

I suggest you take stock of the things you've done (you can use my verb list on my home page to trigger ideas) and then create this "inventory." From there, put a star next to what you would LIKE to continue doing. Then go on to Indeed.com or simplyhired.com and click on ADVANCED to do an advanced search. Type a few of your favorite things in the "at least these words" bar, and see what emerges. That may provide some degree of clarity.

My sense is that if you find a few target jobs that you are excited about, you will arrive at interviews excited/passionate, and be able to convince folks that you are their candidate. If they ask you why you would aim for a lower job, you can indicate that it is purely a quality of life decision. You should also reinforce that with the fact that you have financially planned well and are in a position to now take on a job that you love vs. one that in part, you've taken in the past due to financial needs. What interviewer wouldn't be envious and wish they were in your shoes?

I think you should attend the next CommNexus meeting. See the link to turningpointsearch.net on my www.TheECC.com website on the "Local Networking Groups" page which has this group listed on their site. You can try commnexus.org. I think there are many start-up companies (EvoNexus) that can use your expertise, but you can come and go as you wish or arrange a part-time schedule. For instance, many start-ups use interim or part-time CFOs until they are financially stable. Many of the EvoNexus and CommNexus companies here in San Diego are located at 4225 Executive Square in the UTC area, while others are a few blocks away. (THOSE OUTSIDE OF THE AREA SHOULD RESEARCH SIMILAR START-UP "INCUBATORS" OR SIMILAR ORGANIZATIONS THAT SUPPORT EMERGING COMPANIES.)

Call Resources Global Professional and talk to them about interim exec or other assignments (They are nationwide, pay W-2 wages to seasoned execs and offer health and other benefits).

You might check is the Private Equity (PE) websites out there to see who has gotten funding. A good venture loop company is www.KPCB.com.

Also go onto the ReferenceUSA national database in the library and check for the non-profits within your zip code radius. Many will welcome as they cannot afford to pay the same rates as the public sector, and feel a huge win/win if they could get someone with your experience.

Check www.AARP which has a list of "mature friendly" companies seeking good talent, regardless of age and other issues that those of us over 40 and 50 may encounter.

Lastly, check the executive networking groups on my webpage (mentioned above). You can always opt for a scaled-down version of what you've done. You just need to confidently, succinctly and convincingly move past the objection question that you mentioned when asked. Collect your thoughts and come up with an answer. Then run it past some trusted colleagues to see how they think it sounds. Practice makes progress ... if not perfect! It will be worth your investment of time.                                                                            

Friday, February 15, 2013

How to Select the Most Highly Searched Keywords for Your Resume & LinkedIn Profile


Aside from using Wordle.com and similar sites, what can you to best ensure that you have the right keywords to attract recruiters and employers to your LinkedIn page and resume?

There are two ways that I know of to do this on LinkedIn: 

The first way is to simply go to the Skills & Expertise area (the section where people endorse you) and add a skill and note what suggestions pop up that may have higher appeal. 

The other is to go to the last tab across the top navigation ("More") and click on "Skills & Expertise."  After the page loads, type in some words that you are considering and watch the bar graph to the right populate!  Analyze whether it will help you to add that word or term and compare it against other words/terms that are suggested on the left side.  Pick the word/term that is being used the most to find folks with your skills.

Remember that aside from these tools, you can use Word Cloud technology (www.ToCloud.com and www.TagCrowd.com) in two ways:

1. Copy and paste 3-5 job postings into one word cloud window and see what the most frequently used words that employers are seeking and they will visually appear larger relative to other words that appear in those documents.  Then, copy and paste your resume in a second window and compare what words you are missing.

2. You can also analyze the keywords used in a SINGLE job posting and compare it to your resume to see if there is a 
match between your resume and the job to which you are applying. (For employers who use automated resume soring software, this exercise may help you to score high enough to remain in the "call back" pile.
You know what they say “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” and this applies to doing your homework to ensure that you are using all of the most marketable keywords you can  Comparing this beforehand may make all the difference between you getting a call to be interviewed or not. 

Happy keyword researching!

M2    


P.S.  For more LinkedIn and other tips to help you land a job more quickly, go to www.TheECC.com (Speaking/Other Events Page) and download the 50 LinkedIn & Other 

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Words of Inspiration for Jobs Seekers this New Year


I wrote this prayer/poem on the plane a few days ago, and shared it at NCCC, the Church event that I presented at on Monday night. It apparently struck some common chords with many in attendance who asked me for a copy of it, so I thought I would share it with others it may help. 


Feel free to share it with others if you'd like.


My Wish for Fellow Job Seekers This New Year...

My wish for fellow job seekers in this New Year,
Is to be focused, vigilant, positive, and persevere.
To take stock of your talents, and get crystal clear,
On how to market these strengths that you bring to bear.

To keep an open mind to any new idea,
Rather than dismiss it or otherwise not let yourself hear.
For if someone offers advice because they believe you need it,
Divine Providence may be 'at play,' so you should be sure to heed it.

My other wish for job seekers this year,
Is for an increased focus on others to show them we care.
For by paying-it-forward others benefit from what we do,
and doing so has a tendency to find its way be to you.

Share words of encouragement or any act of kindness,
For as a community, these are the ties that matter and bind us,
For those who need it most, no act is too small,
Offer a lead, a smile or willing ear … anything at all.

It can mean so much when others express care and concern,
It can transform our mood, lift our spirits, inspire us to learn.
It can open windows or doors … or cause other small miracles to be sent to us.
And often will lead to the job meant that is for us.

By expanding our minds, NEW possibilities can be born,
And from them new leads and new paths can take form.
Your kindness may have more impact than you might expect,
Like a pebble in a pond it creates a splash and ripple effect.

And can be that one key we needed to land that next opportunity,
For that’s the value of building a strong networking community.
To get a job in today’s market is a challenge, to be sure.
It takes fortitude, a good attitude, and guiding light from above to endure.

As we close the chapter to a year now completed,
Take stock in your skills; resist feeling defeated.
With the new year upon us, it is a time for reflection,
A time to recalibrate, to chart a course for a new direction.

And for those who have spent longer periods in transition,
Lean more on your higher power and God-given intuition.
Trust that there is a path, and invest time wisely to seek this path out,
For this is what true faith is about.

A new year is a blank canvas and invites us to move ahead.
So my wish for you -- with all these things now said ...
Is that you successfully FIND and LIVE your Dream
-- as early as possible in 2013.