Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Week of September 7 - Septemeber 13, 2010

We’ve had great experiences this summer, and also had an awesome time with friends and family this past weekend for Labor Day – however in response to the recovering economy, GEM wants to give you the tools you need to attain a new job or achieve a whole new career! This is a very exciting time for us, so please feel free to email us at, if you’d like to suggest special topics, or would like to share your own GEMs.

Do Your Research First
Don’t just look for a job --> focus on obtaining a CAREER which is different. Even if you do not have the educational requirements for the job you’d like – think of it as investing your commitment to your new career (even if you start off working as a receptionist for a real estate firm, you can eventually be an agent when you finish your schooling). The whole idea is that at least you’ll already be in your “chosen” career. So, tap the online resources to research companies you'd most like to work for and for positions that you're truly qualified to fill. Use the search engines to track information about a company and its employees. Make use of social media aggregators, such as Wink and PeekYou, once you have a contact for more information. Know the most important players in your field – reach to connect to them step by step by attending the same events they may attend, or finding “friends of friends” that can introduce you.

Don’t Treat Yourself Like a Freebie
Refrain from applying for more than one position at a given company. A company will not give you proper consideratio
n if your résumé appears uploaded for multiple opportunities, and also if several versions of your résumé are found within their company database because prospective employers may see you as unfocused, and desperate.

Tailor, Tailor, TAILOR!
Just because you're qualified doesn't mean yo
ur résumé will be viewed byskills, knowledge or experience listed in the ad, then tailor your résumé to include the keywords and phrases that were in the job description. This is the best way to “feed” the job board search engines with what they’ve been programmed to look for.

Introduce Yourself on Paper
When it comes to writing a cover letter (this is a must!), generic
introductions won't work. Tailor each letter to the open position, identifying your accomplishments and achievements. Anything you can quantify in terms of money, percentages or numbers will generally elevate your résumé above the rest, because it gives the employer perspective as to your future contributions with their firm. This is how you can establish your "value proposition"--what you'll do to make the company more money or save the company money – THIS in the end, is the bottom line.

Keep it Fresh
It's critical to upload your résumé with the job boards so that new search technologies (like semantic job matching engines – such as can highlight you as a prospective “labor investment”. HR professionals almost always search résumé databases as the first step in their recruitment strategy, even before posting the job description – this strategy is known as “assessing new inventory”. You’ll want to appear in these searches before any of your competition, so make sure that keywords in the job description are listed in your résumé. It's not repetitive or plagiarism; it's a mutual benefit to the hiring professional and yourself.

Polish Your Résumé Daily

Update your résumé every day, even if it's a tiny change, so that you'll stay at the top of searches conducted by hiring companies and recruiters. You’ll want to make this tiny change shortly after midnight each night. Post your non-confidential résumé on two or three major job boards if you are unemployed--but if you are employed, make it

Look at other résumés in your field by searching as if you were the hiring
professional. Notice if there is a pattern of certain words or phrases that you've left out. The goal is to polish your résumé and online profiles so that they look better than the pack. Give your posted résumé a relevant title or name, as most recruiters and hiring managers organize their results by this field. Though it sounds obvious, make sure your personal e-mail address is professional; do not use your email, as it will not please prospective employers.

Do Not Underestimate the Power of Social Media – Avoid Hiding
As mentioned above, you should avoid at all costs from being a “social wallflower”. To get out of your bubble - perhaps you can create a blog that hosts your résumé, personal interests and contact information. You should also use this blog space to share your thoughts about the
industry you are trying to break into – and follow other bloggers who share your same “associations” or may post insight that compliments your interests as well.

Maintain strong profiles on LinkedIn and ZoomInfo, two top sites recruiters,
human resource professionals and hiring managers refer to every day. Although some would say this has no affect on your competitive edge, having a complete LinkedIn profile, which includes a nice professional headshot (the same headshot can be used for all of social media profiles), can send the right message to an employer. Employer’s view profiles with clear and simple headshots to be evidence that the applicant is serious about their skills and expertise – classically, this also shows confidence in their personal accomplishments. At least three recommendations (two professional and one personal referral) are suggested for any LinkedIn profile.

Caution to the wind…

Google and Bing yourself often to see what the search engines reveal about you. If you can't
delete negative information, bury it by posting positive content, such as answering questions on forums, commenting on blogs or creating your own blog and updating it regularly. Do whatever you can to control the search results.

USE Twitter.
Twitter is one of the most innovative tools that will help you learn “firsthand” about a job with a potential employer. Once you have signed up for Twitter, you will be able to follow people, job sites, and companies to get job leads and job
search advice. You may use sites like and Here, you'll be able to search for and get recommendations for whom to follow. If you can brave the information overload, you can start by following sites like and to get job listings that are specifically posted on Twitter.

More often than not, the people or groups that you follow will work in companies that may be of interest to you, and via the “TweetChat” service, you can speak with these experts in real time. Essentially, your extensive interactions with these industry professions will help prep you for the
interview process.

People don't mind being used. In fact, what they do mind is being “taken for granted”. With the upsurge of Social Media, it’s no longer “what” you know, but “who” you know. What better way to put a face and experience to this phrase – in these modern times, by networking “smartly” instead of “en-masse”. Some rules to abide by are:
  • Know your purpose for networking. Is it to increase your circle of influence, or are you seeking more involvement from this individual?
  • Don’t act desperate, and listen to the person you’re establishing a rapport with.
  • Respect your contact’s time, and ask permission to “friend” them.
  • Note that networking is a “two-way street”… It’s not only you that are seeking to gain here.
NetworkingEventFinders, and Meetup are good places to start if you wish to join upcoming events for your industry of choice.

Attending the Coveted Interview
Show up 10-15 minutes early for your scheduled interview. Always
add 30 minutes to your perceived commute for the location, and if you arrive too early, take a moment to relax and review your “list of expected questions” prior to checking in with the attendant.
Dress neatly, conservatively but not too “wound up”. Avoid trendy clothes or personal identity statements (like bedazzled nails, or a Disney tie) unless they are fitting to the job, for example; trendy is OK if the job is in a trendy clothing store.
  • Men should wear a two piece suit and tie. Avoid wearing shiny materials, or light colored suits. Navy works best for male interviewees.
  • Women should wear a pant suit if they feel more comfortable this way. The worst thing to see if when a woman who never wears skirts, dresses for an interview in a skirt suit, and is completely uncomfortable in the attire (during an interview, discomfort displays itself in your non-verbal cues). Dark grey suits work best for women, as black can look too stark and unapproachable.
  • White shirts are the most recommended – and women should stay away from trendy details, such as ruffles or bell sleeves.
  • Men should have proper length pants, and buffed shoes. Women should always opt for wearing stockings if they chose to wear a skirt suit.
Shake hands and remain standing until offered a seat. Confidently state your name and thank the interviewer for seeing you.

Whenever possible prepare your answers in advance. There are some standard interview questions you can expect. Examples of these types of questions can be:
  • So, tell me a little about yourself.
  • Why are you looking (or why did you leave you last job)?
  • What do you know about our company?
  • Why do you want to work at XYZ company?
  • If your previous co-workers were here, what would they say about you?
  • How do you deal with pressure and stressful situations? Give me an example.
  • What is your biggest weakness?
Regardless of where you may see yourself in terms of job search, or career considerations – start off by consulting the free resources on CareerPlanner, as you’ll find ways to organize your thoughts, wants and actions via the perfectly categorized tools offered to you. Additionally, if you’re considering a complete career switch, you’ll want to read Career Comeback: Repackage Yourself to Get the Job You Want, by Lisa Johnson Mandell. Most importantly, keep a positive outlook toward your efforts. Always remember that this time is crucial, and it’s meant to test your endurance – so show it who’s boss!




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