Jeff Lipschultz’s Blog

I Think, Therefore I Blog

The "Pre-Interview": Informational Interviews

Most know the value of professional networking.  Whether you need a new job now or later, continually building your network with decision-makers and leaders can only help your career in the long run.  I’ve talked with countless colleagues, friends, and job seekers who have told me stories about finding a job (or a job finding them) through a contact they connected with months to years ago.

One of the key ways to establish a strong network and learn about career opportunities (present and future) is to have face-to-face meetings with hiring managers, company owners, or well-connected professionals.  There is a bit of etiquette and approach to doing this.  My latest article for Job-Hunt.org walks you through the process.

Article:  The Hidden Value of Informational Interviews

February 27, 2017 Posted by | Careers, Job Search, Job-Hunt.org article, Personal Branding | Leave a comment

Job Search in 2017

As has become tradition on my blog, I’m sharing a great annual collection of job search articles put together by a colleague.  From interviews, to resumes, to LinkedIn profiles, to personal branding.  Take a look at these if you’re going to be searching for a new job in 2017.

Article:  The Top Job Search Articles of 2016

December 15, 2016 Posted by | Interviewing 101, Job Search, Personal Branding, Resume Writing, Social Media, Working with Recruiters | Leave a comment

Career Planning & Adult Development Journal

The latest edition of this journal was guest edited by the Editor of job-hunt.org, Susan Joyce.  So naturally, she asked me to be a contributor, along with a large slate of experts in job search.  Access to the Journal is free to you below.  Enjoy.

Journal:  Volume 32, Number 2 Social Recruiting, Personal SEO, and Personal Online Reputation Management

September 29, 2016 Posted by | Careers, Job Search, Job-Hunt.org article, Personal Branding, Recruiting Industry, Social Media, Working with Recruiters | Leave a comment

Tips to Land a Job in 2014

One of my colleagues asked six experts and prolific bloggers in the career resource/recruiting industry a simple question:

“What are your top 3 useful tips that a job seeker would need in 2014 to land a job?”

Here’s what he collected:

Article: Career Expert Roundup: 3 Tips To Land A Job in 2014

February 18, 2014 Posted by | Careers, Interview with Jeff, Job Search, Personal Branding, Resume Writing, Social Media, Working with Recruiters | 1 Comment

Are You a Scary Candidate?

When conducting a job search, your #1 Goal is to present yourself as an ideal candidate for as many job openings as possible.  You always should present yourself in a positive way.  Common sense, I know.  So it is a bit shocking at times to see how many job seekers can do the opposite.  Often they are not even aware it is happening and they may never find out.  In my latest article for Job-Hunt.org (who just revamped their Web site by the way), I discuss several ways you can unintentionally scare off recruiters (and hiring managers/HR personnel) including:

  • A Horrible Resume
  • Job Hopping
  • Ambivalence
  • Bad Social Media Image
  • Lack of Professionalism
  • Personal Agendas
  • Ignoring Advice or Not Following Directions
  • Dishonesty

Article:  How to Scare Recruiters Away

June 24, 2013 Posted by | General Musings, Interviewing 101, Job Search, Job-Hunt.org article, Personal Branding, Resume Writing, Social Media, Working with Recruiters | Leave a comment

Networking Starts in Grade School

Every smart job seeker knows the value of networking to help the process along.  Not every job seeker realizes their network has a life of its own.  It can be what cinches the deal or sends you packing, too.  My latest article for job-hunt.org has a story to illustrate this, and also pointers on “cleansing your network reputation.”  As always, if you have thoughts on the subject, share them within this post.

Article:  Networking Since Grade School? Yes!

August 15, 2012 Posted by | General Musings, Job Search, Job-Hunt.org article, Personal Branding, Social Media | Leave a comment

Common Misconceptions about Working with Agency Recruiters

In this article written for Job-Hunt.org, I cover five popular misconceptions about working with agency recruiters.  The article also references several links that may be helpful in understanding how this process works and what to expect.  These misconceptions include:

  • Recruiters will find me a job.
  • All recruiters are the same.
  • Recruiters are career counselors.
  • Apply for all the jobs the recruiter has listed.
  • All I need is a simple LinkedIn profile and the recruiters will be banging on my door.

If you’ve never worked with a recruiter before, this article is a “must read.”

Article: Working with Agency Recruiters

January 17, 2012 Posted by | General Musings, Job-Hunt.org article, Personal Branding, Recruiting Industry, Working with Recruiters | 2 Comments

Compassionate HR podcast with Margo Rose

MargoToday I had the opportunity to be a part of Margo Rose’s Compassionate HR program.  She has periodic podcasts focused on helping job seekers, business owners, and recruiters.  The recorded episode is available on her BlogTalkRadio channel–click this link and scroll to the 12/8/2011 timeframe in the index to find my podcast.

We covered topics such as:

  • How I got into recruiting.
  • How the economy has effected the industry.
  • What job seekers can learn from recruiters.
  • What is the most appropriate way for job seekers to market themselves to recruiters in their industry.
  • Anticipated accomplishments in 2012, both professionally and personally (Margo is a cyclist and couldn’t help asking me about my cycling goals)

If you have a question stemming from the podcast, leave a comment on this blog, and I’ll do my best to answer it.

December 8, 2011 Posted by | Audio, Careers, General Musings, Interview with Jeff, Job Search, Personal Branding, Recruiting Industry, Social Media, Working with Recruiters | 2 Comments

Confidence to the Edge of Cockiness

Time and time again, I remind job seekers that your attitude in the interview can make or break your chances of getting the job. Keep in mind though that, “attitude” covers a lot of ground. Job seekers are reminded to keep a positive demeanor on interviews.  Attitude also encompasses projecting an air of confidence during interviews.  However, there can be a danger if it borders on cockiness. On the opposite end of the spectrum, some are not comfortable with listing their accomplishments as it sounds like bragging.

Managing this gray area of an interview can be tricky. But if simple guidelines are followed, you don’t have to worry about taking it too far.

Article:  Interview Confidence to the Edge of Cockiness

February 16, 2011 Posted by | AOL article, Interviewing 101, Personal Branding | Leave a comment

The Age-Old Question: “Does Volunteer Work Count?”

No matter what the economy looks like, unemployed job seekers will always have to contend with addressing the “Why.”  Why employed.  Recently, I posted an article about dealing with the unemployed bias in your resume or during the interview. To address this bias, one must market themselves even more strategically and be proactive in dealing with the void of employment on the resume.  As mentioned in my article, one such way is volunteering. Only skimming the surface of what this entails, I was grateful when a friend of mine offered to dive deeper into this.  Sheree Van Vreede, a certified professional resume writer and career coach offers this advice on the subject.

 

sheree profile Since I began writing resumes 10 years ago, one of the most common questions I have received from job seekers has had to do with handling volunteer work on their resumes. In the past, this tended to not be a major issue, as the employment market was relatively strong. If the volunteer position had some relevancy to the market the job seeker was focusing on, we might play it up a bit, but generally, volunteer work was an “end-of-the-resume” thing, if it was even included at all.

In today’s job market, however, with the national unemployment rate hovering around 10% (and higher in some areas), and with many individuals finding themselves out of work for several months, we are taking a much longer and harder look at volunteer work.

Is Volunteer Work Valuable In a Resume?

Without a doubt, volunteer positions can be a valuable addition to your work history and to your resume. If you are currently unemployed, and would like to improve your marketability, volunteer work can do the following:

  • Show to a prospective employer that your skills are fresh, not stale, and that you have been willing to get out there and use those skills.
  • Help explain how you have spent your unemployment time.
  • Demonstrate that you are a true team player willing to do what it takes to succeed and willing to use your time to benefit someone else.

Sometimes job seekers feel uncomfortable about including volunteer info because they feel it takes away from the main premise, which was to help others. My personal view is that whether you include it or not, the people you served were still served and benefited from your support. As long as you aren’t presenting your role falsely or making more out of it than it was, you should be proud, as you would be with any other accomplishment (perhaps even more so!), that you participated in such an endeavour.

How Can You Make It Relevant?

The best option for creating a win–win situation when it comes to performing volunteer work during your unemployment requires a little consideration, however.

Think about the types of volunteer roles that would be relevant to the position or industry you are pursuing. For example, at our firm, we recently worked with a candidate that had specialized in vendor and project management for a major financial services firm but had been out of work for two years despite looking for a project management position. However, for the past year-and-a-half, he has been directing a project to develop, fund, and implement a special exhibit at a museum. The initiative included project coordination, research, business development, and content design. Therefore, we were able to effectively leverage his activities with leading the exhibit development and launch as part of his project management skill set.

What Is a Balanced Approach to Take?

You need to consider carefully how you will present volunteer experience on the resume. If you are using it to fill an employment gap, you want to develop it enough that it doesn’t come across as fluff (filler material), but not so much that you deceive the reader into thinking it was a paid position. The best approach is to mention that it was a volunteer role in the paragraph describing your duties or in a short description of the organization (if you have included a company description for your other positions). This eliminates the need to place the term “Volunteer” in the job title. In other words, let’s market the role honestly, but let’s also be strategic about it.

If you are using your volunteer roles to expand on your skill sets and you don’t have an employment gap, creating a separate section to develop your volunteer work can be the ideal approach. In a separate section, you can streamline the entry by listing just the organization name, location, “job” title, and a few bullets highlighting your activities and achievements.

An important caveat here is to be careful not to overplay or underplay your volunteer work. My experience is that job seekers tend to do one or the other. As valuable as it might have been to the people you served, in most employers’ eyes, it is not on par with an actual paid position. So you might not get the reaction you are hoping for if you sell it too hard. However, underselling it could also end up being a missed opportunity for you. Remember that understanding how far to take something, whether it is in regard to your resume, networking, or interviewing (or life in general) is a fine art.

Finally, no matter what, be careful that your volunteer work doesn’t infringe upon your job search time to the point where it is taking over business hours. And try not to pin too much hope on a volunteer position turning into a paid one. Yes, it does happen, but not as much as job seekers think (or hope) it does. Recognize it for what it is: An opportunity for you to serve and to use your time and skills productively.

 

In addition to being a certified resume writer and career coach with No Stone Unturned, Sheree Van Vreede is a co-founder of an online job seeker social network, NoddlePlace. To find out more about NoddlePlace or about the services offered by No Stone Unturned, go to http://www.NoddlePlace.com. You can also follow Sheree on Twitter as the @rezlady or through @noddleplace.

January 19, 2011 Posted by | Guest Post, Personal Branding, Resume Writing | 5 Comments