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A Toast to Starbucks!

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Here is a testimony that sheer grit and determination can help you land the job you want.  Recently,  I was working with a job seeker who was over 50 with a multi-year gap in employment.  She had taken time off to serve as the primary caregiver for a an elderly parent followed by a paid stint as  a caregiver position through a home care agency.

At the time we met, she decided now was the time to conduct a job search in earnest.  With a fresh eye, I helped her tweak her resume to emphasize her strengths and weed out what was no longer relevant. We were talking about companies that might be interested in her skills and abilities when one day, she said, “How about Starbucks? I replied, Gee, it sounds like fun and so did she!

So, Ann (different name for privacy) applied for a position at Starbucks and lo and behold in no time, she had an interview lined up. Admittedly, I was a bit dubious about where this process was going to go. “This was not really happening – an older woman getting an interview at Starbucks? She’s got to be kidding!” She asked me for some advice about what to wear and what to say at that momentous occasion. I made my suggestions fearing that her fate could be in my hands if my opinion was apt to be all wrong. But, within a week, she landed the job!

Thank you Starbucks! You turned one person’s life around! They have a bargain as well – a hard worker and a conscientious one!

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A Better Way to Work a Job Search

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Recently, I was scanning some posts in some LinkedIn groups written by job seekers who were soliciting their availability or skills with the hope that someone might come forward with the perfect career opportunity.  Hypothetically, the posts could have been as follows:

  • “I am relocating to San Francisco and I’m looking for a marketing position…. Does anyone know about any such jobs.”  or
  •  “Please have a look at my resume or profile to see if you know a company who could use my skills and expertise.”

To me, it’s wishful thinking if you think this approach is going to work.  Don’t expect much to materialize when you wait for the jobs to come to you.

At some point, whether you’re applying for jobs that are listed on job boards,  being filled by recruiters, or beating the pavement on your own, you need to show that you can provide a valued service. See what Thomas Friedman, the respected journalist for the New York Times writes in his piece called, “How to Get a Job”.  The importance of providing adding value, cannot be said enough.

Just Say “No” to Job Boards: Say “Yes” to Social Networking

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A few weeks ago, while I was hanging out at an airport en route to Nicaragua for a cycling vacation, I happened to notice an interesting article about the importance of of networking when looking for a job (Unfortunately, I don’t recall the source).

Did you know that applying for jobs on Monster, CareerBuilder and the like could actually hurt your chances of landing a job?  Apparently, some corporate recruiters regard those job seekers who rely on online applicants as losers.  Yes, losers.

So, what does that mean? You have to rely on Linkedin, Twitter, etc. even more.  Go ahead and connect with people at companies where you would like to work.  Find out if you can have a few minutes of their time to find out key information and share what you have to offer.

Be sure to join groups to broaden your network to increase your odds of having Linkedin connections within your reach (2nd level).

Lastly, be visible online. Read the article How to Say ‘Look at Me!’ to an Online Recruiter which appeared in The New York Times by Phyllis Korkki.  Recruiters and employers are looking for candidates who are technologically “with-it.”