Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Get in the Game!

"No (one) is an island..." John Donne

Job search is a team sport.

The first and biggest mistake most make when searching for a job is to go it alone.

And when you do connect with others, and you must do so right up front, you need to engage them as members of your job search team.

Approaching your network of contacts asking them to help you find a job without helping them understand how they can help you specifically guarantees you last place in the standings.

Get in the game by scouting, then recruiting, first and continually, your job search team.

Start with your existing network by asking for advice, direction and guidance regarding your job search. Share with them what you plan on doing, what you have been doing, to find a job. Those who want to be on your team will be helpful. And that is how you know who to keep on your team.

Expand your team by scouting for people who are working in the types of jobs and within the companies where you want to work.

Use resources like Indeed and LinkedIn to find the right people.

You are on your way to winning your next job once you go beyond just looking for leads and start looking for people in the places you want to be.

Set out to assemble a team of about twenty. Research has proven that around twenty connections are sufficient to start the network that can put you in contact with just about anyone. Also, you can manage to stay up close and personal with twenty.

Ask your core job search management team to help introduce you to those right people that you have identified in your research.

My next post will begin with your job search team's training camp.

"Players win games; teams win championships." Bill Taylor

JVS and I want to be on your team.

Visit www.jvsdet.org for job postings and upcoming events.

And contact me at wtarrow@jvsdet.org.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

The Secret to Getting Help

"Choose the life that is most useful, and habit will make it the most agreeable." Francis Bacon

If you want help in getting your next job, finding your next career, you need to be useful.

What does it mean to be useful?

Being useful means being of value to others. Regarding a job, it means being of use to your employer. Have you identified how, as specifically as possible, you are going to help your next employer? When you apply for a job, does your application and/or your resume clearly indicate, in as many of their words as possible, that you CAN do the job? Does your experience and education support your claim that you can do the job by showing you have done the job and know how to do the job?

Even if you are useful, if you do not handle problems or become a problem yourself, then your value is diminished. Being useful has a definite cost/benefit ratio. Your benefit to your co-workers, your boss, your company has to outweigh your cost. When you apply for a job, do you take the initiative to make it easier for the people reviewing your resume to see how you can be of help in that position? Do you behave in a useful, helpful manner when you make your follow up contacts? Are you involving other people in your network in the process and showing the potential employer how you work with others?

As you apply for jobs and follow up on your applications, you create opportunities to demonstrate how useful you can be in how you behave, how you handle situations, how you deal with others. If you are helpful to others, if you act in a helpful way by at least expressing your willingness to help them, you create a more positive, more appealing, impression.

Expressing in your cover letter, email, initial phone call and follow up contacts a desire to be helpful throughout the hiring process grows a more agreeable relationship. Also, respecting their time and effort by staying in touch without demanding they do the same is both agreeable and helpful.

There is a reason why every customer service contact begins "How may I help you?"

Are you helpful or are you demanding?

Who would you rather hire?

Let us at JVS help you be helpful to your next employer.

Visit us at www.jvsdet.org

And you can always reach me at wtarrow@jvsdet.org and meet me on LinkedIn.


Monday, October 31, 2011

Fear of Rejection

In the movie Alexander, he proclaimed "Conquer your fears and you conquer death."

Well, we need not be so melodramatic, although it is Halloween Day after all.

But successful job seekers do overcome their fears and do what needs to be done.

Repeatedly I have been told that rejection is the greatest fear when applying for jobs.

Do not make the mistake of premature rejection.

Are you not applying for jobs because you are afraid your application or resume will be rejected?

Have you repeatedly had no responses and assumed your resume, your cover letter, your application was not good enough -- that you were rejected because you were not good enough?


The truth, the reality, is that your application, your resume, is under water in the overwhelming tsunami of applications flooding employers every day.

The odds that some person has seen your application/resume even just to do a ten second quick screen is less than 2%.

This is the first myth of rejection. You have not been rejected because no one has seen your stuff.

Here is another myth of rejection.

You did not get a response because you are too old, too young, too educated, not educated enough, bad attitude, too much information, not enough information, or you have bad hair.

Please pay attention to the first myth again. NO ONE HAS READ YOUR RESUME!

You do not get rejected by total strangers. You may be ignored, but that is not the same as rejection.

Rejection implies a yes or no choice. How can there be a choice when someone does not know about you?

If you think you have been rejected, most likely one or more of the following have occurred.

You are in contact with the wrong person.

They had a bad day.

Your timing was off.

They did not have a choice.

They have insufficient information about you.

They do not see clearly the value in moving forward with your application. And whose responsibility is it to help them see clearly?

Let us at JVS help you get more acceptance.

Visit us at www.jvsdet.org


Tuesday, October 11, 2011

The Lucky 13 -- Websites for Job Finders

Here is a quick list of helpful websites for job search and job acquisition. Actually, you really do not need to do much more on the Internet outside of these Lucky 13.

1. www.google.com – Search the Internet and much more

2. www.YouTube.com - the most widely used search engine where one video is worth a billion words

3. www.jvsdet.org – main website for JVS where you click on Find a Job to see what jobs we know about personally. Also, click on Seminars & Events to find and register for upcoming job seeker activities.

4. www.mitalent.org – Pure Michigan Talent Connect; the State of Michigan online job and resume banks; also explore the site to access much more career and job resources

5. www.careerinfonet.org – the CareerOneStop for the US; anything and everything related to jobs, careers, employment

6. www.indeed.com – a gatherer of job leads from other job boards and company websites. Gathers job leads and ideas for other companies to contact from just about everywhere on the Internet which frees you up from wasting countless hours online applying over and over and over again when you should be making those leads into personal contacts using resources like

7. www.linkedin.com – social media for business and jobs; create your online profile and more, connect with others in your target areas and with companies of interest, find the right people and, in turn, be found by them

8. www.facebook.com – the world’s largest online social community

9. www.twitter.com – texting the world, listening in on what other people and companies of interest to you are saying including available jobs

10. www.socialnomics.net – the wellspring of all things social media

11. www.wikipedia.org – encyclopedia of the Internet

12. www.jobhuntersbible.com – a relaxing place to learn about job search, resources, etc.; the website of Richard Bolles, author of What Color Is Your Parachute?

Lucky 13. Use your local library website to access ReferenceUSA to learn more about companies and find key people within. One way to find the website of your local library in Southeast Michigan is through The Library Network at www.tln.lib.mi.us.

Consider limiting your online hours to less than four per day.

Every online contact represents the potential for real life connections that need to be forged.

Get out there! Jobs have never gone door to door. You have to do that.

And we at JVS can help you get it done. Visit our websites listed above for more information and to connect.

And you can always contact me at wtarrow@jvsdet.org.

Let's get started!


Friday, September 23, 2011

Ten Smart Interviewing Tips

1. Prepare for the interview
Over two thirds of employers surveyed say that the number one reason a job applicant lost the interview was evident lack of preparation.

2. Dress appropriately for the special occasion that is an interview.
When you put your best foot forward, make sure your shoes are shined.

3. Listen to be heard.
If you are not listening, neither are they.

4. Wear a smile.
Never leave home without it.

5. Show interest to be interesting.
Lean in and reflect on, talk about, what they are saying.

6. Express enthusiasm and excitement.
Anxiety and nervousness leave when positive energy shows up.

7. Create a conversation with good questions.
An interrogation is one sided; an interview should be a win-win.

8. Lead and keep returning to your strengths.
Your assets, and how they can help the interviewer/company succeed, are all that matter.

9. Act as if...
Your behavior drowns out your words.

10. Take the responsibilty for follow up.
Show that you care by staying in touch.

Today, and every month, I conduct an interviewing seminar with these tips and many more plus a chance for you to practice interviewing. And come join me on September 28 I will be at the J Seekers group meeting, Oak Park JCC, 9:30am, sharing more interviewing tips and tricks.

For a private interviewing session, email me at wtarrow@jvsdet.org.


Thursday, September 22, 2011

Choosing the Right Job or Career

Very often I am assisting job seekers who are having a difficult time deciding which career direction to take or which jobs to target. And most often the consequence of that struggle is inactivity, passivity and paralysis.

Without deciding upon a goal, an objective or just a direction, movement becomes more difficult, perhaps even close to impossible.

A job search has to be active and in motion most of all. Waiting and hoping for something to happen without taking action sows seeds of discouragement, disappointment and depression.

Not taking action because you have not yet come to the best decision about how to proceed can, and often does, lead you nowhere.

Taking steps, taking action, regardless of whether or not those steps are the best to take is far better than doing nothing.

To paraphrase George S. Patton, "A good plan today is better than a perfect plan tomorrow."

Inactivity leads nowhere. Activity of any kind at least has a chance of being productive. And as long as you are active, you are on the go. And you need to be going in order to get to where you want to be. You won't get there by waiting for something to happen.

JVS offers career counseling services to help you make career decisions. Armed with good information about yourself, and your options, will increase greatly your job and career success. However, exploration and implementation both require you take action in order to be successful.

Start by acting on, heading toward, one of your choices, without it having to be a sure bet. There are too many unknowns in the world of work and careers to be able to proceed with absolute certainty.

Once you have made a choice, once you are in motion, once you are active, it will become much easier to change course, to improve on the decisions you make. Your car can't turn if it isn't moving.

So start with making a choice, a good choice, but it does not have to be the best choice. It is not all about making the right choice to start, but it is all about making a move.

Once you are in motion, those who can help you, your navigators, will be able to help you much better. Navigators help you steer, but you are the pilot. And you need to help one another to reach your destination.

Let JVS help you make your career choices and navigate your way to job search success. Contact us at 248.559.5000 or www.jvsdet.org.

You can reach me at wtarrow@jvsdet.org.


Thursday, September 1, 2011

Staying Happy During Your Job Search

"Remember happiness doesn't depend on who you are or what you have; it depends solely upon what you think." Dale Carnegie

Colleen Oakley, www.colleenoakley.com, had a quiz, Sunny Side Up, in the July 31st issue of Parade magazine about being happy.

I would like to share her ten points, with an additional comment from me, which may be of help in keeping that happy face while you look for that dream job.

1. Cheerful people generally don't give happiness much thought. My thought is that happiness happens most when you are not looking for it. Remember the old axiom "ignorance is bliss."

2. Research shows that vacation-goers feel happiest a month before they take off for their destination. Nothing beats the fun of anticipation. Use the positive power of visualization to keep your spirits up.

3. How happy you are is 50% genetic, 40% influenced by how you think and act every day and only 10% influenced by life circumstances. Happy people tend to be happy even when life would seem ready to get them down.

4. To get the most enjoyment out of your work life, you should make friends with your coworkers. And to get the most productivity out of your job search, make friends with your fellow job seekers.

5. If you're sad, reading a novel is more likely to cheer you up than watching reruns of your favorite sitcom or tuning in to the news. Reading works your mind in a way that watching TV never can. An active mind is more likely to be a happy mind.

6. If you have a little free time, the activity which will bring you the most pleasure is spending time with nature outdoors. Physical activity outside has continually been shown to have positive effects, even biochemically.

7. Optimists are not necessarily happier than pessimists. Realistic expectations may prove to keep disappointment at bay.

8. Music, any kind of music, is an instant mood booster. Enough said...

9. Taking fish oil every day can actually help battle depression. Proper diet and daily exercise are essential basic steps toward success and well being.

10. Disney's Peter Pan was right in saying "think happy thoughts." And back to Dale at the top.

Share your tips for keeping positive with me at wtarrow@jvsdet.org and help us help you by visiting www.jvsdet.org and www.parnossahworksdetroit.org.