Job Tips For the Class of 2020

Get ready grads. This will be a challenge. Here are the rules to follow. Learn them well and you will get your reward – a new job.

Job search tips for the class of 2020

Grads’ Guide to Finding a Job

Congratulations! If you are reading this then you probably just graduated in one of the weirdest climates in modern history.

Also during this time, you’ve probably gotten hundreds of emails, seen dozens of social media posts and heard loads of people say that these are “uncertain times.”

Well… yeah, these are uncertain times.

It’s too soon to guess what some of the prolonged effects of the pandemic will be, and it’s hard to determine when everything will get back to normal. As you plan for the future and your career, this uncertainty can weigh heavily on your mind. Allow us to put some of those fears at ease.

Sure, nobody quite knows what the future will hold, but if you follow these tips you can rest assured that you will be prepared for anything.

1. If You Can, Get on Unemployment Soon

If you are out of work, consider filing for unemployment if you can. First off, getting on unemployment can be an arduous and a time-consuming tasks, so the sooner you start, the sooner you will start collecting.

It’s hard to say when you will land your dream job, so make sure that you are financially safe and sound in the meantime.

2. Hire a Professional Resume Writer

To be frank, many employers won’t even see your resume if you don’t have it professionally done. Many companies use software that filters out resumes that lack the qualifications and keywords they are looking to see, and will even filter out poorly formatted resumes. Professional resume writers know this which is why they make sure that the resumes they build will get through the filter and into the hands of an employer.

If you want to speak with a professional resume writer, talk to us for a free consultation! Check out our online schedule, and get a free consultation to meet with a resume-writing professional! All services can be rendered virtually with no in-office meetings.

3. Network Your Butt Off

Even though you are no longer a college student, you are still part of an illustrious network of alumni. Connect with some of your former classmates, professors and faculty advisors on LinkedIn. Once you’ve built a solid following of connections, search through their connections for people that you would love to work with or work for one day. From there, ask your friend if they’d be willing to make an introduction for you.

That’s right, you’re networking with industry professionals all from the safety of your laptop/smartphone.

If you have an industry professional whose brain you’d love to pick, consider scheduling an informational interview with them! Informational interviews are great way to get expert job advice, and build a lifelong connection with an industry professional!

While on LinkedIn, share articles, comment on your connections’ posts and apply for jobs!

4. Prepare For the Virtual World

Although the pandemic has put many things on hiatus, the job world still continues to spin. In order to keep work flowing while maintaining social distancing, many companies are conducting their work virtually, and have no plans of changing this in the future. With that being said, you need to prepare to conduct job interviews virtually, and to work from home effectively.

For virtual interviews, you still need to dress up nice, and you need to prepare a professional backdrop for your interview. You don’t want the interviewer to see a bunch of Pink Floyd posters in your background or your dad walking around in his undies in the background.

5. Remember, Looking For a Job is a Full-Time Job

If you want to land your dream job, you need to treat your job search like a 40+-hour per week job. You need to use your creativity and your proactivity to look for work. This means reading articles about your industry, talking with career professionals, growing as a professional and, of course, actually applying for jobs.

Be creative with how you apply and hunt for jobs to help you stand out above the competition. Make sure you broaden your horizons so that you are allowing yourself to find all of the jobs you are capable of performing.

6. Stay Positive

It is so easy to fall into the pit of despair while looking for a job. Remember, you’re not going to get an offer from every job you apply to. Heck, you might not even hear back from every job. However, you WILL eventually find a job that you will be proud to have.

Keep your chin up, and keep moving forward.

Why is it Important to Have a Positive Social Media Presence?

Maintaining a professional presence on social media is becoming more and more important. Follow these tips and tricks on how to keep your online presence clean while still having an outlet to vent.

“Big Brother” is Always Watching You on Social Media

It goes without saying that having a presence on social media has become more of a necessity than a luxury at this point.

Sure, Facebook is still the place where you go to see your friends obnoxiously post pictures of their kids; Instagram is still the place where you post pictures of your food and look at memes; and Twitter is still the place where you learn what celebrities and influencers are up to. However, your own presence on all of these platforms reflect who you are to not just your friends and family, but also potential employers.

According to an article from CareerBuilder, about 70% of employers snoop through the social media profiles of their job candidates. With that being said, are you comfortable with potential employers seeing everything on your social media accounts?

If the answer to that is “no,” fear not! There are several things that you can do to help clean up your social media presence, and how to keep some things private.

Google yourself

A good way to start off this exercise is by Googling your name and seeing what comes up. If you have a relatively common name, maybe through your hometown or state after your name to help narrow down your results.

Once you find results related to you, take a close look at them. Ask yourself if these are the results you would want to see if you were hiring yourself. Articles about your achievements, examples of your work, and links to your social media profiles are all great things.

I Google myself regularly to make sure I maintain a positive image online. While looking one time, I tracked down an old blogging profile I made back when I was in middle school. It was full of typos, cringe-worthy things only a dumb pre-teen would say, and absolutely nothing of benefit to myself albeit a few laughs. I was able to have it taken down in a matter of minutes, but if that would have been the only thing a potential employer had to gain information about me, I would have been in trouble.

If you find anything negative, you can typically get it taken down relatively quickly. You might need to remember some old log-in information, or send a few emails, but it should be simple. Once you’ve done that, you can ensure that only positive things pop up when you are Googled. Trust us, not Googling yourself can be one of your biggest mistakes in your job search!

Why Not Just Go Completely Off the Grid?

Your first thought might be, “Why not just shut down all of my social media accounts so they can’t see anything?”

Sure, if you delete your social media presence entirely then potential employers won’t have anything of yours to see. However, that is not necessarily a good thing.

If you do not have any social media presence, it means you are not networking online, which can turn off a lot of employers. Many jobs require that you send them a link to your LinkedIn profile when you apply, and not having one can get your resume tossed in the bin before you even get a chance to interview. At the minimum, you should at least have a LinkedIn profile for employers to see.

If you are looking for a job in media, you should have accounts across the board: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn. Not only do you want to show that you can network on these platforms, but also that you know how to use these platforms as that may be part of your job!

What Should I Post and Avoid Posting

When it comes to what you can post, ask yourself if what you are posting will be jarring or alienating to others before you post it. Major updates in your life, pictures from vacations and events, and check-ins at your usual hangouts are all absolutely fine. Problems typically come into play when you start posting opinions on social media that shake the proverbial hive.

None of this means that you aren’t allowed to keep posting and sharing your thoughts and feelings on social media; it just means that you should be more sensitive of other thoughts and feelings on social media before posting.

For example, you can show support to causes and candidates that mean a great deal to you, but you should avoid personally posting about most things that are political and religious. Political posts and religious posts can be problematic for employers even if they agree with your stances. Once hired, you will be a representative of their company, and they don’t want your posts to alienate clientele with opposing viewpoints.

Keeping Accounts Private

If posting your in-depth thoughts on subjects like politics or religion on social media is important to you, there is a way to still make it happen. You can make another account with no affiliation with yourself. Don’t attach your name or any of your contact information to the account, and use it to offer your opinions to your audience.

Many people have an Instagram or Twitter account that is only used for posting memes, getting political, or for promoting their side hustles. None of these things need to flood your personal profile, so keeping these separately is a great way to keep your professional image untarnished while still allowing you to have an outlet.

Posting on LinkedIn is Different From Posting Elsewhere

LinkedIn is for business and for updates in your professional life. Your vacation to Cancun, your nephew’s Bar Mitzvah and your thoughts on the newest Toy Story movie do not need to be on LinkedIn.

The main things you will be doing on your LinkedIn are making connections, keeping your page up to date, and exploring work opportunities. However, there are opportunities to post on LinkedIn. Articles related to business, professional growth or your industry can and should be shared. post the article with your own thoughts on what is being discussed. By doing so, you’re inviting others to join the discussion. Once others start to comment, their connections will begin to see your post, and your network will then continue to grow!

Get Tips From a Professional Resume Writer!

If you really want to stand out above the competition, you should look into hiring a professional resume writer. Along with crafting you a professional resume, they will also give you tips on interviewing, and maintaining professionalism. Click here to schedule a free consultation. Remember, all services can be done virtually, so you do not have to come in and risk your safety during the COVID-19 pandemic!

How to Follow Up on an Interview

You just aced a job interview!

You leave the office feeling so good about the interview, and you cannot wait to hear back. You know that you should follow up, but how should you do it and what should you say?

You know you need to say something, but you don’t want to come off as too cocksure or disinterested. It’s like having a great date. You want to see the person again, but you don’t know when to reach out or what to say!

In this article, we will discuss some methods of how to follow up with an interview, so that you can start your new job!

The purpose of the follow up

The reason you are following up with the company is to thank them, and to get more information. What is this information you may ask? You are looking to see if there are any updates in the interview/hiring process, and you are looking to see if they want to schedule a follow up interview with you. If in your previous interview you were told that you may speak with another person at the company before a final decision is made, see if you can get that interviewed in the calendar!

When to send a follow up

In general, you should follow up within 24 hours of your interview. At this point, you are still fresh in their minds. However, at least wait until the following day to send them a follow up. If you send one from your car in the parking lot of the building where you were just interviewed, that’s way too soon.

Should I do an email or phone call

If you have been communicating with the company mainly through email, then you should send an email. If you have mainly been communicating via the phone, give them a call. However, make sure that you follow up with the person that interviewed; not necessarily your point point of contact.

For example, if you were mainly communicating with a talent acquisition company or a hiring coordinator, but you interviewed with a manager of a company, send your follow up to the manager. They are the one who is going to make the ultimate decision.

Prepare what you want to say in your follow up

It’s not a bad idea to have a notebook on hand with a few talking points nearby if you’re following up over the phone. If you have any questions about the job, additional comments about your experience, requests for another interview, or anything else you might need.

When you send an email to the recruiter, make certain to go over every word. You can tell the interviewer how much you enjoyed the interview, where additional information can be found, and if there is anything else you can tell them or send them. Quite often, job recruiters will ask for examples of your work or references after an interview.

During your follow-up interview

At this point in the process, you are probably starting to get very excited. When you get to the second interview, most people will tell you that this means you 100% got the job. This is not necessarily true, so you need to be sure you nail this interview.

You are going to behave very similarly to how you did during your first interview.

Often times, you will be interviewing with somebody other than who you interviewed with the first time. Make sure that you know your resume backwards and forwards as they will more than likely ask you specific questions about something on your resume.

Dress up to the same degree as you did in your first interview if not a little nicer. It is important for them to see that you can pull yourself together more than once.

At the end of the interview, ask for a timeline. Ask them when they are looking to make a final decision, and when that person will start. Ask them if you can have one of their business cards so that you can send them a thank you the following day.

Concluding the follow up

Remember, if they asked for a follow-up interview with you, it means that they are interested in you. You haven’t necessarily landed the job yet, but you are a bit closer.

Sending a thank you or a follow-up message after an interview is both good manners and also a best practice when it comes to searching for a job. Follow these steps, and you will impress employers and yourself!

Need help crafting your resume for your next job?

If you’re currently looking for a job, it is in your best interest to make sure that your resume stands out above the others. Employers look through hundreds of resumes, so you want to make sure yours has the “wow” factor. Learn about our job search and professional resume writing services by emailing your resume to resumes@razoredgeresumes.com or give us a call at 1-800-730-3244.


Emotional IQ and the Workplace

“Half the world is composed of people who have something to say and canʼt and the other half who have nothing to say and keep on saying it.” Robert Frost

“The most important thing in communication is hearing what isnʼt said.”Peter Drucker

“Wise men speak because they have something to say; Fools because they have to say something.”Plato

Building up your emotional IQ

I love quotes. Even the simplest thought can sometimes cause the most profound reflection. Since quotes are a form of communication, there is also a special double return about quotes on communication for me. It’s like getting both butter pecan and chocolate chip ice cream in one sugar cone.

Naturally, communication hits a very important sweet spot in the professional environment as well. While things like verbal, listening and writing skills are paramount, there are also four supportive communication skills that could also be essential to a successful job search. According to Martin Yate in his essential tome, “Knock ʻem Dead: The Ultimate Job Search Guide,” these skills include grooming and dress, social graces, body language and emotional IQ.

Granted, it is a bit easier to assess the more representational of these skills. If your clothes are pressed and your hair is neatly combed, you are bound to make a better impression than if you walk into an interview in your pajamas while sporting a serious case of bedhead. A confident stride, firm handshake and relaxed eye contact with your interviewer are also going to be a lot more effective than a halting shuffle and a downward cast in your demeanor. The more at ease and confident you are with yourself, the better you will represent yourself.

Emotional IQ skills

Emotional IQ seems a bit harder to categorize. Unlike general intelligence, there is really no way to test or scale emotional intelligence. Thus many psychologists and scholars tend to argue that Emotional IQ is not an actual thing, but merely a descriptor of interpersonal skills that go by other names. Those skills would include:

  • A. Emotional Awareness or the ability to be conscious of and give a name to how you are feeling in any particular moment.
  • B. Emotional Control or the ability to reign in any particular emotion and thus be able to apply it to oneʼs responsibilities and tasks.
  • C. Emotional Management or the ability to regulate your emotions and to help others to do the same.

Despite the fact that some studies have found no bridge between emotional intelligence and job performance, some employers have incorporated emotional intelligence tests into their employment processes in the belief that they help determine leadership qualities. Thus, it is probably helpful to at least be aware of those attributes.

Personal growth

As with anything, I believe that such awareness cannot only help with a job search, but with personal growth as well. As a creative person, I find I can occasionally act with tense and frustrated emotions when confronted with unknowns and stressful situations. To be conscious of that and to begin to be able to temper and control those feelings would be a great benefit in all situations for me.

I am sure that there are things that, upon reading the above list of traits, you feel that you could effectively adjust yourself to achieve more success. For as famed motivational speaker Brian Tracy says, “Personal development is a major time-saver. The better you become, the less time it takes you to achieve your goals.”

Need help crafting your resume for your next job?

If you’re currently looking for a job, it is in your best interest to make sure that your resume stands out above the others. Employers look through hundreds of resumes, so you want to make sure yours has the “wow” factor. Learn about our job search and professional resume writing services by emailing your resume to resumes@razoredgeresumes.com or give us a call at 1-800-730-3244.

Blockchain Engineer – The Most In-Demand Job

Have you heard of blockchain? – smart contracts? – crypto currency?

Like most people, you are probably confused by all of the buzz surrounding these new concepts. However, what began as a relatively obscure, yet hugely innovative, concept has consistently gained attention from major corporations. Far from its birth as a relatively esoteric internet development, blockchain has increasingly garnered significant attention from Fortune 500 corporations.

According to a recent article by TechCrunch, Blockchain Engineering is currently the most in-demand career. With an average of 14 job openings for every 1 Blockchain Engineer, the possibilities are endless. As the blockchain continues to gain traction and attention, you can be assured that this new skill set will only increase in its demand.

What does it take to become a Blockchain Engineer? As an emerging technology, this position requires a solid technical background in the software development and engineering skills necessary to understand the ins and outs of the blockchain.

As financial institutions and other corporations increasingly adopt blockchain technology, the demand for this skill set can only be expected to grow.


Interested in taking part of the next big revolutionary technology? Make sure you have a resume prepared for when your next opportunity presents itself. AAPSI Resume Service has been in business for more than 30 years, has an A+ BBB rating and provides full re-writing, layout, design and formatting of a new resume, cover letter and any additional documents you may need in your job search. Call 773-525-2450 to make an appointment for a free resume consultation today.

 

 

Top 6 Biggest Mistakes You Are Making In Your Job Search

The Top 6 Job Search Myths

If you’re looking for job search assistance online, there’s no doubt you’ve read numerous conflicting articles pointing you in all sorts of different directions. Many online sources claim to have the “secret” that will help you land your dream job immediately. However, many of these secrets will only lead you into dead ends. Additionally, you have probably heard a lot of advice from your friends and families regarding how to conduct a job search. But what may have worked for one person will not necessarily work for everyone. In this article we will dispel the most common job search myths.

top five job search myths

1.) The Hidden Job Market

Ever been told that 90% of open positions go unadvertised? If that were the case, then how would they be getting filled? While it is true that some positions are never advertised publicly, the vast majority are indeed posted online, in newspapers and through other mediums. The “hidden job market” often refers to internal hiring practices. Oftentimes, these are not necessarily open positions, but rather new positions created solely for specific individuals. Besides, if so many of these job postings were hidden and out of reach, what would be the point in looking for them? Companies that are looking to hire top talent will advertise open positions in my different places in order to cast a wide net.

2.) You Need Experience to Get a Job

Do you ever feel intimidated with job postings requiring 3 to 5 years minimum experience in a specific field? Many job seekers, particularly new graduates, find themselves in the catch-22 where they cannot get an entry-level position because they do not have the required experience, and they cannot get the required experience because they are not qualified for entry-level positions. Don’t let these job requirements intimidate you. When hiring managers and HR personnel are writing job postings, they often write them based upon the individual who vacated the position they are trying to fill. However, no one comes into any job with 100% of the necessary experience. Don’t let experience requirements prevent you from applying to a position. First and foremost, employers are looking for someone ready to learn. If you can display that ability, you should have no problem landing an entry-level position. Remind yourself, everyone has to start somewhere.

3.) If I Leave My Job, I’ll Look Like a Job Hopper

In prior decades, it used to common for you to work for the same company your entire life. Oftentimes, it was the same company that your father worked for his entire life, and perhaps his father as well. However, as the economy becomes more and more dynamic, this trend no longer holds true. Many people are reluctant to look for something new because they believe they will be labeled as a job hopper — someone who keeps jumping from job to job without ever settling down. While this will look bad to your future employer if you can’t even hold down a single job for more than a few months, don’t be afraid to look for new opportunities after you have put in a few years in at your current company. Studies show that individuals who switch companies often end up with greater compensation in the long run than those individuals who remain with the same company. Additionally, the longer you stay with your current company, the more difficult it can be to switch. Today’s employers want to see a candidate that is adaptable, can thrive in difficult situations, is up to new challenges, and always looking to learn something new. Bringing diverse experience in numerous roles across different industries will help demonstrate these qualities.

4.) I Should Only Apply to Jobs I Really Want

While there is nothing wrong with a targeted job search, don’t be afraid to cast a large net. Too often job seekers apply only to specific companies or positions. However, this will severely limit the impact of your search. You may find yourself eventually landing your dream job, only to realize that you hate the company culture or that your responsibilities don’t match up with what you saw on the initial posting. Many of my clients have found themselves with wonderful jobs in roles that they never would have ever imagined doing just a few years back. You never know what might surprise you. Plus, casting a wide net will lead to more interviews. Even if you don’t think you actually want the job, I recommend going to the interview anyway. Not only will it give you interview practice, but you will also gain a better sense of what employers are looking for in candidates.

5.) It’s Best to be the Last Person Interviewed

The logic for this argument is, if you interview last, then you will remain fresh on the hiring manager’s mind, and they will be more likely to consider you over the person they interviewed weeks later. However, how will you ever be able to tell when is the best time to interview? Companies often leave job postings up long after they have already made up their minds. Once they find the right candidate who has accepted their offer, they stop interviewing all together. Why would they bother wasting their time on people they are never going to consider? When you see a job posting that interests you, apply right away. The more time you spend waiting, the more opportunities you are giving to other candidates.

6.) You Can Write Your Own Resume

If you change your own oil, can make a pair of shoes or cut your own hair, you may stop reading here. Resume writers have experience preparing effective presentations for thousands of people. A job seeker may write a resume every 3 to 5 years and during that time the rules can be completely change. Think about your annual salary. Writing a your own resume is like walking into a casino and putting your annual salary on the roulette wheel. With a resume writer, your up front risk is only the cost of the resume. Choose a resume writer with a long history of success and you will literally gain access to a wealth of knowledge that would be impractical to obtain on your own.

A Better Resume Service has been in business 30 years and has an A+ BBB rating. Put your career in the hands of an expert. Schedule a free (no risk) consultation here or call 1-800-730-3244.

 

Top Five Plagues That Will Poison Your Job Search

Avoid these red flags when embarking on your job search!

 

Having trouble getting your resume noticed? New to the job market? Haven’t had to search for a job in decades? Avoid these top five red flags that will send your resume straight to the trash.

1.) Obsolete Software and Skills

Many people update their resume on a continual basis, adding new skills and job descriptions as they advance in their career. However, for people who have been in the workforce for 15 years or more, many of the skills and technologies they used in the past are no longer relevant to the positions they are applying for. And not only are they not relevant, they will seriously date you. There is no longer any reason to include in your resume that you are proficient in Lotus Notes or Windows 95. Keep your skills relevant and up to date, only include the ones that are going to be relevant to the positions you plan on applying for.

2.) Job Hopping

Have you had ten jobs in the past three years? Job hopping is a serious red flag. It indicates a lack of loyalty and seriousness regarding your career. From the employer’s perspective, they will ask what’s to stop you from leaving us to join a new company after six months or a year? Employers are looking for candidates that will stick around long enough to truly wrap their heads around the positions they are in and the company they work for. This process takes years, not months. A company with a revolving door of workers will be far less efficient than one that is able to successfully retain the bulk of the candidates they recruit. There are tactics to avoid this troublesome issue, including being selective as to which positions you list on your resume and how you date them.

3.) Old Dates

Do you still have listed that “Computer Operator” job from 1983 on your resume? Or that bachelor’s degree you received in 1976? Remember that a resume does not need to be a complete record of your entire background. The purpose of the resume is to advertise what traits, qualities and experience you possess that will translate effectively into a new role. You need to be selective in what you choose to include or not include. It is perfectly acceptable to leave off dates for listings such as educational accomplishments, since they will immediately provide the recruiter with an idea of your age. Unfortunately, age discrimination is a very real thing, and older job seekers need to do all they can to protect themselves from it.

4.) Employment Gaps

Many people experience difficult life events that require them to take an extended leave of absence from their career. On a resume, a two- or three-year gap looks very suspicious to a potential employer. It raises questions like, what was this person doing during that period of time that they don’t want to mention? – was this person virtually unemployable for that length of time? – why didn’t they have a job? You may have any number of valid reasons for why you took time off from working, but none of this will be clear to potential employers who only know you by your resume. There are numerous strategies to fill in these gaps on your resume, from including volunteer experience to turning what you were actually doing while technically unemployed into a position you can explain on your resume.

5.) Career Transitions

Did you go from being a software engineer to restaurant manager to administrative assistant? For the average person writing their own resume, these kinds of career transitions can be difficult to put together into a coherent narrative on paper. The most important thing to remember, is that a resume is not just a document explaining what you did in the past, but rather is a document explaining what you want to do in the future. The key is to bring out the transferable skills you have learned in previous positions that will effectively translate in your new position. For example, one person could have the same work experience, but three entirely different resumes targeted towards three different jobs.


Do you feel your work history has too many red flags? Speak with one of our professional resume writers today at 773-525-2450 and learn how we can help.