Get Moving. Summer Is Over and Hiring Is Ramping Up

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Companies generally ramp up hiring after Labor Day. The holiday signals the end of summer and the close of the heaviest vacation season. During summer, there tends to be a slack off of both hiring and job searching, but “game on” when summer is in the rear view mirror and year-end goals are looming ahead.

This is the time to prioritize your job search efforts so you can ring in the new year with a new job. If you already have a job, it’s easy to put your job search on the back burner and limp along in your existing role. Stop procrastinating. Move your job search up on your to-do list. It will energize you to take action. And if you do it now while recruiters and hiring managers are just as eager to get positions filled, you’ll increase your chances of reaching your goal.

Rev up your networking
Reach out online and in person at events where you are bound to run into both old and new connections. Many networking and organizations slow activities in the summer months, too. Chances are, they will be kicking off post Labor Day with a new line up of meetings and networking opportunities.

Revive your resume and cover letters
If you’ve been conducting a search with the same resume and cover letters and nothing is happening, it may be time for a refresh. Ask a mentor to review them and provide honest feedback, or hire a career coach or resume writer to help.

Resist wasting time online
You do need to search for jobs and submit resumes. Yes, networking is a big help in finding your next adventure, but to think that it is the only way is poppycock. You need to search, apply, and network to be most effective and not miss all the possible opportunities available to you. But what you don’t have to do is all the work online yourself.

Check out how Fridayd can make a difference and reduce your online time to 30 minutes or less per week, giving you more time for networking while upping your chances of finding jobs that are most relevant for you.

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No Matter How You Slice It, Here Is the Most Important Piece of the Job Search Pie

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A job search is made up of multiple processes, and some can really soak up more time than they should. What are the most important job search activities and how much time should you spend on each for the most streamlined and effective job search?

Surprisingly, many job seekers have the time allocations backwards and spend a significant amount of time online in their quest for the right job opportunities, with considerably more time apportioned to completing and submitting applications. Those are, unequivocally, the most time-consuming activities, and they have to be done; however, no more than 10 percent of job search time should be spent on them.

Yikes! Where should one allot the remaining 90 percent of time?

Take a look:

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Today’s savvy job seekers know that the majority of their time – at least 60 percent – should be spent networking: reaching out to existing contacts, making new ones and uncovering personnel at hiring companies of interest in order to stand out from other applicants and get a foot in the door.

Those on a quest for new employment should spend about 20 percent of their time researching and preparing for interviews and another 10 percent on actual interviews.

The truth is, most job seekers struggle with whittling down their online activities to a manageable degree in order to fit in the more differentiating actions. Why? Because even if you use job search boards with alerts to bring attention to new postings, job search boards don’t catch all of the opportunities and there are a lot of irrelevant postings to sift through to find the needle in the haystack. Job seekers will still find themselves frequently visiting multiple job search boards and company websites to find ideal opportunities, plus allotting more time for filling out applications. Wash. Rinse. Repeat. It’s exhausting.

As more and more job seekers are learning about the extreme benefits of upping their networking game, they are seeking new and better ways to cut online activity. Fridayd was founded for the sole purpose of freeing job seekers from tedious online activities so they can focus on what matters most and what will give them the most advantages in their search. And it works! Using Fridayd, job seekers can cut online processes to 30 minutes or less a week and save on average 40 hours per month.

That’s a tasty time-cutting treat worth trying!

Dig in and check it out.

Yep, You Should Still Complete a Job Application

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Over half a decade ago, it was predicted that résumés were dead and applying for jobs would be a waste of time. Instead, networking would win you a new job and social media profiles were the new résumés.

Today, résumés are still requested by most companies and the majority of those companies still require that job seekers complete an application, primarily online. Where was the forecasting miss?

Many hiring companies do enable applicants to apply and populate online application fields by applying with a LinkedIn profile. That has made the process easier in some respects, but it also means that applicants have to have a glowing LinkedIn profile that is complete and details work history and accomplishments. The assumption was that every professional would have a LinkedIn profile leading to the death of résumés. As it turns out, five years later, that is not the case.

According to LinkedIn at the time of this writing, a high number of professionals have a LinkedIn profile, but many profiles are still incomplete and lack summaries. That in itself makes it challenging to rely on LinkedIn solely as a résumé replacement.

Additionally, employers need to collect more information than what a LinkedIn profile provides for EEOC compliance and non-discriminatory hiring practices, permissions for background and credit checks, and data for their human capital management systems once an employee is hired. Applicant tracking systems (ATS) are necessary to streamline and ensure consistency in recruitment and data capture. Having candidates complete application also means that every applicant is fairly asked the same questions.

So résumés haven’t gone away, nor have applications. In fact, new ATS solutions have continued to emerge on the market. Changes will occur, but those changes will primarily be enhancements to improve the user experience in completing applications and to make solutions more mobile. The ATS, however, is still the mainstay for organizing recruitment data.

The truth is that job seekers can’t abandon application completion as a part of their job search. It is true that more and more job deals are created and sealed through networking, but in reality a job search needs to be a three-pronged approach to make it really effective. That means efforts need to parsed out to searching for opportunities, completing applications and networking.

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To really increase your odds of getting the interview, still apply to a position online, but then devote a significant portion of time to discovering who the hiring manager is for a role plus other contacts who work for the company and can facilitate an introduction or serve as a referral. Then reach out. Get your application noticed so that it doesn’t fall through the cracks in the ATS’s or résumé bot’s automatic sorting and ranking. Sell yourself. Don’t depend on your application alone to get you noticed.

Wrap-It-Up Friday

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Everyone loves Fridays, closing out the week and heading into the weekend. It’s no surprise, then, that Fridays are considered one of the least productive days of the workweek.

You may not feel like jumping into a new project on Friday or powering on at full throttle, but Fridays are actually a great day to be super productive in another way and do all of the things that you don’t get to on the previous days of the week because you’re heads down or running from meeting to meeting.

Make Friday a wrap-up and strategic-planning day. Try to keep meetings to a minimum. Take stock of what you accomplished, what projects you moved along and what action steps you need to attack starting Monday morning. Write down and chart out your action items for the following week. This can make you feel good about what you tackled during your week as you wind down for the weekend and have you organized and ready to hit the ground running on Monday morning.

Manage your inbox on Fridays. Answer any emails you couldn’t address on other busier days. Follow up on any sent emails that you haven’t received responses to. Delete or file emails that are lingering in your inbox but don’t require action.

Fridays are a great day to nurture business relationships, which is also considered work. Schedule coffee or lunch with a business associate or team members. Most people are in great spirits at the end of the week, making Fridays more conducive for team building and bonding.

Make and return phone calls on Friday. Chances are that your end-of-the-week cheeriness will make business calls easier and more enjoyable.

Dream on Friday. That’s right. It might sound like doing nothing, but engage in creative and purposeful ideation. What can be done better? How can you do it? Pull other team members into your dream session for brainstorming new business ideas or improvements. Order in the bagels or lunch for your visioning jam. Everyone will be more relaxed and open.

Fridays don’t have to be a waste. Walk away from your desk feeling like Friday was just as productive as any other day of the week – just in a different way. It can be fun to switch gears on Friday, tie up any loose ends and engage more with coworkers or business associates.

 

 

Step Away from Your Computer in Your Job Search

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You shouldn’t sit at your computer for more than a couple of hours at a time when conducting a job search, according to Liz Ryan, founder of Human Workplace, Forbes contributor and author of Reinvention Roadmap.

As Ryan advises, there are more impactful and important job search tasks you should focus on to score a new job. Networking, searching LinkedIn for hiring managers at targeted companies, composing pain letters and creating human-voiced resumes is time well spent in your search.

Still, you have to uncover the right job postings and complete applications as part of your job search. Some career experts advise that a job search is a full-time job and that you can expect to spend 35 to 40 hours a week on your search. Job search demands are a challenge for someone unemployed, but even worse for those who already have a full-time job. Something has to give to fit the full range of differentiating activities into a schedule.

That’s where Fridayd comes in. Fridayd’s technology with live backend support functions like the job seeker’s concierge.

Imagine having someone not only conduct your job search for you, but also manage the complete application process and uncover networking connections, too. That’s the tiring, frustrating administrative side of a job search that no one likes. Offloading these time-draining tasks frees job seekers, giving them the ability to focus more on what matters most.

Searching for a new job more effectively while saving hours of time and stress makes good sense for any job seeker. Why work harder than you need to? Fridayd can rev up a job search while reducing stress and saving time.

No one likes searching for a new job. Hands down, it’s a drag. With Fridayd, job seekers can search smarter, not harder; save on average 40 hours per month; and have more time for networking, interview preparation, career development, and family or personal interests.

Can a Mentor Help in Your Job Search?

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Mentors are great. Everyone should have at least one. Even the best leaders surround themselves with great talent and advisors who can counsel them on specific areas of expertise. Although a CEO’s leadership team or a president’s cabinet may not be seen as a team of mentors, in many ways they are. They bring a level of experience or professional wisdom to the table that a leader can call upon when needed. They help guide executive decision-making.

You may not be able to build a team of experts around yourself to serve at your beck and call, but you can keep company with talented friends, colleagues and leaders who can all serve as mentors. Most people are complimented when you seek out their knowledge and wisdom, so don’t be fearful of asking for it. As long as you are not requesting serious time commitments for advise from a mentor, most wise sages will be happy to impart their knowledge and advice.

And don’t think of a mentor as someone older with more executive experience. A mentor can be far more junior but simply more proficient or knowledgeable in particular areas. Millennials with their technology and social media skills can be great mentors to older, less tech-savvy professionals. Plus age is not an indicator of maturity. Keep your mind and eyes open for mentors of every age. More importantly, think about what it is you are seeking from a mentor, then find the person with the right capabilities to fit the bill.

What about mentors when you are seeking a new career path? Can they help? Of course. Mentors can help us at any stage of our life or career. However, be sure to keep in mind what you want from a mentor. Every mentor, like every networking contact, can help keep an ear to the ground for open positions, but you may have mentors who can do more, such as review your resume, coach you through interview preparation, teach you how to negotiate compensation, direct you on how to learn a new professional skill or become a better leader.

How can you leverage your mentor relationships in your job search? Ask for help, but don’t expect a mentor to do work for you. While a mentor might be pleased to review your resume and provide feedback, few will turn cartwheels at a request to help you rewrite it. Seek advice and direction and be respectful of a mentor’s time.

This One Thing May Win You the Interview

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You do the job search grunt work: search for the right opportunities, submit your resume and complete all of the online applications – over and over again. It’s a numbers game, you think, and in part it’s true. You can’t put all of your eggs in one basket and hope that the one application you submitted will win you the dream job jackpot.

In reality, the average job seeker could apply to over 100 jobs before getting the interview that closes the deal. As few as 2% of applicants actually make the cut and advance to an interview. And, on average, it can take over seven months to land a new job.

But those are averages. Some job searches take even more time, depending on the desired job and the applicant’s approach and preparation. There is one step, however, that might get your foot in the door for the interview and shorten your job search time, and it’s easier than you think.

Ask for the interview – directly.

Career advisors tout the importance of networking, and it is a highly important aspect of today’s job search initiatives. Think of networking as direct contact with the hiring manager or recruiter too.

Reach out as soon as you submit your online application or even before. Explain what strengths you bring to the table to solve the problems expressed in the job posting requirements. Then ask if you can schedule a time for an introductory call. It will help you stand out from other applicants, show you take the initiative to get things done and start a conversation with the hiring company.

How do you find the right person to contact?

Some job postings include the name of the hiring manager or recruiter, but that is rare. More often than not you’ll need to do some digging to find the proper source. LinkedIn is a great resource to find those key insiders. You may also look to your own LinkedIn connections to see if they are connected to employees at the hiring company. They may be able to make an introduction to the recruiter or hiring manager. That search can take some time, so you may want to consider offloading that task along with your search and application processes.

Still, you are left with trying to determine the contact’s email address. You can attempt to send a message through LinkedIn, but many LinkedIn emails are ignored and viewed as SPAM. You’ll be less likely to get a reply. If you have a connection at the hiring company, you may ask them for the address. You may also use an email lookup service, such as RocketReach. You’ll have to pay for the service after your first initial lookups, but the cost may be offset by the value of getting you connected to the hiring decision maker.

Submitting an application isn’t the end game of your job search. It may be the start of your resume falling into a black hole where it doesn’t get noticed if your resume doesn’t show off your accomplishments that relate to position requirements, if your application isn’t completed thoroughly and accurately, and if you don’t follow up. Contacting the recruiter or hiring manager to personally introduce yourself is one thing you can do to with little effort – and one that may have a big payoff.

Fridayd helps job seekers uncover networking connections in addition to searching and applying to jobs on the job seeker’s behalf, saving the job seeker on average 40 hours per month.