Archive for the ‘Job Search Made Easy’ category

How should I spend my time during my job search? (Video by Career Expert, Pete Leibman)

November 8, 2011

Not sure how to spend your time during your job search?

If so, this 2-minute video will help you be more productive on a daily and weekly basis:

Thanks for checking out my blog!

P.S. Please comment below and let me know if you liked this video, and make sure you sign-up for my FREE e-newsletter at www.PeteLeibman.com so that you get future articles and videos from me on how to get your dream job and create your ideal career.

-Pete Leibman

-Author of “I Got My Dream Job And So Can You! 7 Steps To Creating Your Ideal Career After College” (due out through AMACOM in early 2012)

-Founder of Dream Job Academy

-Keynote Speaker for The Dream Job College Tour

-Creator of The Washington Wizards’ Sports Careers Day

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Is Your Email Inbox Destroying Your Productivity? (written by Career Expert, Pete Leibman)

March 2, 2011

Email was designed to increase productivity.  However, most people have lost all control of their inboxes and allowed email to destroy their productivity.  Here are 5 easy steps you can take to regain control of your inbox, so that you can be more productive at work:

  1. Pick up the phone.  If you find yourself spending more than 5 minutes writing an email, that’s a sign you should be making a phone call instead.  Email should only be used for administrative matters, not for anything open to interpretation.
  2. Save templates.  Create a folder in your email system for “email templates” or “common emails” and save copies of any emails that you send frequently.  Then, rather than having to re-write the same email 100 times, you can simply copy and paste the template and update whatever changes are necessary.  I have templates for emails sent to new networking contacts, templates sent to prospects after initial sales calls, templates for people signing up for my e-newsletter, and so on.  Saves me a TON of time.  Just make sure you personalize each email template before sending!
  3. Create email folders and USE them.  Create folders for different categories of messages.  For example, you could classify emails by client, by project, and so on.  Rather than keeping all emails in your “inbox,” this makes it much more manageable to find emails later on, and it prevents your inbox from looking full.  I also have an email folder entitled “read later.”  Whenever I receive an e-newsletter or a message from one of my LinkedIn groups, I move it to my “read later” folder, which I only check on Fridays or weekends.
  4. Use the “delete” button.  Save the last message in an email thread and delete all prior emails.  Clean out your inbox weekly and delete any messages not worth saving; over 90% all emails fall into this category.     
  5. Keep email CLOSED most of the day.  Do NOT keep your email system open all day.  I used to do this, and I’d drop whatever I was doing every time an email popped up.  My clients and colleagues loved the fact that I often replied in less than 30 seconds, but I’d constantly get interrupted.  Even worse, if/when people did not hear back from me within 15 minutes, they would call me to see why I had not responded yet.  I had conditioned everyone around me to expect rapid responses.  Keep your email CLOSED most of the day, and check it every hour, or a few times each day.  If people really need to reach you, they should pick up the phone and call you!  Otherwise, they should be prepared to wait up to 24 hours for a reply.

Take control of your inbox, and your stress will decrease, and your productivity will go through the roof! 

P.S. Please comment below if you like this article, or if you have another idea on how to use your email inbox to be more productive!  To learn more about my speaking availability for The 2011 Dream Job College Tour, please visit www.IdealizeNow.com or send an email to Pete@IdealizeNow.com.

-Pete Leibman

-President of Idealize Enterprises

-Creator of The Dream Job College Tour

Creator of The Washington Wizards’ Sports Careers Day

Pete@IdealizeNow.com

www.IdealizeNow.com

www.linkedin.com/in/peteleibman

Blog: http://CareerMuscles.Wordpress.com

Twitter: @peteleibman

6 Ways to Look More Professional and Impressive Online (written by Career Expert, Pete Leibman)

November 23, 2010

Have you “googled” yourself lately?  If not, why not?!  

Potential employers, clients, and business partners will definitely “google” you before deciding whether to hire you or work with you.  If that is not motivation enough, you better believe that potential romantic partners will also look you up online to check you out! 

After you “google” yourself, you might find that you do not seem to exist on the Internet (i.e. nothing comes up for your name), or you might not like what you find. 

Search engine marketing is well outside of my marketing/business expertise, but I do know that social media web sites rank very high for google search results.  Here’s some proof.  When I “googled” myself yesterday, here were the first 4 results that appeared.  Notice that they are links to my LinkedIn profile, my “Career Muscles” blog, and my Facebook page.

Google results for "Pete Leibman"

Here are 6 easy ways you can take control of what someone sees when “googling” you:

  1. Buy the domain name for your name (i.e. johnsmith.com).  This is important for 2 reasons.  First of all, it prevents someone else with the same name as you from setting up their own page at this address.  Secondly, if you have web site design background, you can build a basic web site that positions you the way you want to be seen.  Note: if the domain name for your name is not available, consider getting a domain name that includes your middle initial or middle name.
  2. Clean up your Facebook page.  Facebook also ranks very high when someone searches for you online.  As I have written before, employers will definitely be checking you out on Facebook as well.  Keep your Facebook page set to private, and be sure that you remove any unprofessional pictures, quotes, comments, or wall posts.
  3. Use a vanity name for your LinkedIn page.  After you create a GREAT LinkedIn profile, you can modify the web link for your profile and create what is known as a “vanity URL” to make your LinkedIn profile more searchable for your name.  See below for a screen shot for my vanity URL, along with where you can edit your web link for your LinkedIn profile:

Use a "vanity URL" for your LinkedIn profile

4. Set up a blog at yourname.wordpress.com.  As I have written before, blogging is a phenomenal way to strengthen and demonstrate your written communication skills.  Potential employers and clients will be impressed IF you produce high-quality content.  If you incorporate your name into your blog, your blog will also be very likely to pop up in search results for your name, like it does for me.

 5. Create a Twitter account for twitter.com/yourname.  Twitter also ranks high when someone searches for you online.  Just make sure your tweets are professional and that they add value to people who follow you.  My Twitter account shows up for me on page 1 of search results for my name (see below), and many of my tweets show up on subsequent pages of my search results.  Since my tweets are high-value and since I have a great headline on my Twitter page, my online identity is enhanced yet again. 

A link to my Twitter account on page 1 of my google results

6. Upload a few video testimonials on You-Tube.  I saved the best tip for last.  Get a flip camera (a high-quality HD camera is only $100-$200 these days), and get several 30-second video testimonials from bosses, colleagues, or customers.  Then, post these videos on YouTube with titles like “Testimonial for John Smith from ABC Company.”  I recently posted a video from a student who attended a presentation I made last month at Stanford University.  Now, the following shows up on page 1 when someone “googles” my name:

A link to a video testimonial for me on page 1 of my google results

There are all sorts of additional ways you can take control of your online identity, but applying the 6 social media secrets above will significantly improve your “google juice” and make you look much more professional and impressive online.  Looks matter!  Take control of your online identity NOW!

-Pete Leibman

-Career Expert and Professional Speaker

-President of Idealize Enterprises

Pete@IdealizeNow.com

www.IdealizeNow.com

www.linkedin.com/in/peteleibman

Blog: http://CareerMuscles.Wordpress.com

Twitter: @peteleibman

P.S. I speak about career success to students and young professionals nationwide.  To learn more about my programs and speaking availability for The 2011 Dream Job College Tour, please send an email to Pete@IdealizeNow.com. 

13 Secrets for Success at a Career Fair (written by Career Expert, Pete Leibman)

November 22, 2010

While Career Fairs definitely have their drawbacks (i.e. intense competition), they should definitely be part of your job search strategy.  Here are 13 tips to maximize your chances of success at a Career Fair:

  1. Do your homework ahead of time.  Before arriving at a Career Fair, you should have a list of all the employers you want to visit.  You should also do some research on each of these companies by visiting their web sites and by reading through the job descriptions they have provided to attendees of the Career Fair.
  2. Bring your ammo.  Bring multiple copies of your resume, letters of recommendation, and personalized cover letters for each employer you plan to visit. Keep your materials paper-clipped together by employer in a portfolio pad.  Backpacks are NOT allowed!
  3. Dress your best.  Looks matter during the hiring process, and you will be more confident if you feel good about how you look.  Err on the side of being overdressed.   
  4. Arrive early.  This shows enthusiasm and might get you some more time with a recruiter.
  5. Warm-up.  Speak to recruiters from 2-3 companies you are not interested in before moving on to those you came to see.  A few “practice” conversations will loosen you up.
  6. Make the most of your time in line.  When you find yourself waiting in line to speak to a recruiter, talk to other people also waiting in line (this helps loosen you up).  
  7. Build rapport before you sell yourself.  Effective salespeople understand that they must build rapport with prospects before trying to sell their products, and you must do the same with recruiters at career fairs if you want them to “buy” you.  The first goal for any conversation at a Career Fair is to get the recruiter to like you.  Keep reading to learn how to do that in a genuine way…
  8. Make a great first impression In addition to dressing your best, you must smile, give a firm handshake, and make strong eye contact when first meeting a recruiter.  This sets the tone for the rest of the interaction.  Do not hand the recruiter your resume upon first meeting them.  Wait until you are asked for it, or provide it at the end of your conversation.
  9. Make 2 pitches.  Do not introduce yourself to recruiters with your 30-second elevator pitch.  Instead, introduce yourself with a mini-pitch, such as “Hi, my name is Mary Smith.  I’ve been looking forward to speaking to you about positions with ABC Company.  Can I ask you a few quick questions?”  After you ask a few questions, the recruiter will inevitably ask you about yourself.  Then, and only then, should you throw out your 30-second elevator pitch.  In your 30-second pitch (which you should have prepared ahead of time), you should provide a few reasons why you want to work for the company and why they should hire you.
  10. Ask great questions.  Prepare several questions for each employer in advance.  Avoid meaningless questions about company culture, salary, or hours.  Focus on thought-provoking questions that demonstrate you have given some thought to working for the company.  Click here for some ideas.
  11. Identify a next step.  Before ending any conversation with a recruiter, you should ask what the next step is in the process, and you should get a business card so that you can send a thank you note after the Career Fair.
  12. Stop by again.  Consider visiting each recruiter a 2nd time before you leave the Career Fair.  You could do this to ask one more question you “forgot to ask when we spoke initially.”  Make sure this is an intelligent question.  This is a good trick to help the recruiter remember who you were.
  13. Follow-up.  As with every job search strategy, proper follow-up after the Career Fair is essential to success.  Send each recruiter a personalized email within 24 hours.  Thank them for their time, try to reference something specific from your conversation (this helps them remember you), and quickly reiterate why you want to work for their company and how you can help make their company better.  You can also attach a copy of your resume, a personalized cover letter, and a letter of recommendation(s) to this email.  You can also drop a short handwritten note in the mail within 24 hours of the Career Fair.

In summary, you must treat each conversation at a career fair like an abbreviated job interview.  By showing up well-prepared and by following up correctly after the Career Fair, you can significantly increase your chances of being called in for a more formal job interview. 

-Pete Leibman

-Career Expert and Professional Speaker

-President of Idealize Enterprises

Pete@IdealizeNow.com

www.IdealizeNow.com

www.linkedin.com/in/peteleibman

Blog: http://CareerMuscles.Wordpress.com

Twitter: @peteleibman

P.S. I speak about career success to students and young professionals nationwide.  To learn more about my programs and speaking availability for The 2011 Dream Job College Tour, please send an email to Pete@IdealizeNow.com. 

The Only 10 Questions to Ask in an Informational Interview (written by Career Expert, Pete Leibman)

November 10, 2010

One of the best ways to learn about a field (and to get advice on how you can break into it) is by conducting informational interviews with people who already work in your target industry.  This is not a new strategy.  However, when I look at college/university career center web sites or other resources offered by career experts, many of them provide lists of 25-50 questions (or more!) to ask in an informational interview.  One online resource even provided a list of 200 questions! 

While thorough, that is completely unrealistic.  An informational interview will probably only last 15-20 minutes, so there is no way you will be able to ask more than 5-10 questions.  Here are the 10 best questions you can ask:

  1. How did you get started in this field, and what do you think has made you successful throughout your career? (This gets the other person talking about himself/herself and can provide you insights about how you can get started and achieve success of your own.)
  2. What are some ways that other people you know have gotten started in this field? (This will help you learn how most people get their start in the industry.)
  3. What are the pros and cons of working in this field?  (This cuts right to the chase about the good, the bad, and the ugly about an industry.)
  4. What traits, skills, or experiences do employers in your field look for in candidates?  (This will help you understand how you can enhance your candidacy and how you should position yourself to employers.)
  5. If you were me, what would you do to try to break into this field now?  (This will get the other person to tell you what you should be doing to find a job in the field at this time.)
  6. What publications, professional associations, or events should I check out for additional information on this field?  (This will direct you to other valuable resources about breaking into a field.)
  7. Do you know anyone else I can speak to for advice about breaking into this field?  (This builds your network even further and may lead to additional insights.)
  8. Can you take a quick glance at my resume and give me your feedback?  (This is a subtle way of reminding the other person that you want to find a job in the field, and this may also give you some ideas on how to improve your resume.)
  9. If I have additional questions in the future, can I reach out to you again?  (This keeps the door open for future advice.)
  10. Is there anything I can do to help you?  (Always look for ways to return the favor when someone helps you by offering their time and advice.)

 

In summary, these 10 questions will give you insights on how people get started in a certain field, what the pros and cons are for working in the industry, what employers in the field look for, how you can connect with other people in the field, and what you can do to get your foot in the door.  Good luck! 

-Pete Leibman

-Career Expert and Professional Speaker

-President of Idealize Enterprises

Pete@IdealizeNow.com

www.IdealizeNow.com

www.linkedin.com/in/peteleibman

Blog: http://CareerMuscles.Wordpress.com

@peteleibman

P.S. I speak about career success to students and young professionals nationwide.  To learn more about my programs and speaking availability, please send an email to Pete@IdealizeNow.com. 

7 Major Job Search Lies and Truths (written by Career Expert, Pete Leibman)

October 28, 2010

Despite being told it would be “impossible,” and despite having no work experience or personal connections in the industry I wanted to break into, I still managed to get my dream job to work for an NBA team when I was only 21 years old.  Through that process, and through my experience in the business world over the last 7+ years, I learned of a number of job search lies and truths.  Here are 7 of the biggest job search lies and truths:

Lie: All career advice is right.

Truth: Most career advice is wrong!  Everyone loves to give career advice, especially to younger job seekers.  Unfortunately, most of the people giving advice have no idea what they are talking about!  Seek career advice from people who have gotten their dream jobs, from people in the field you want to break into, and/or from people who have helped others get their dream jobs.  Even then, use your own judgment before accepting someone’s opinion as a fact.  I had people in the sports industry tell me I needed 5-10 years of sales and marketing experience before I could work in the industry.  If I had assumed that was true, I would have given up before landing my dream job to work for an NBA team despite having no experience.

Lie: In this economy, you should be willing to take any job you can get.

Truth: You can get your dream job in any economy, IF you are willing to do whatever it takes and if you know how/where to look.  Yes, the economy is tougher than it was a few years ago.  So what!  Stop whining about the economy, step up your game, and you can still get any job you want.

Lie: The secret to career success and happiness is to find a “hot” industry or a job with a huge starting salary.

Truth: The secret to career success and happiness is to do work that matters to YOU.  Chasing a “hot” field or a high-paying job is a recipe for disaster if the work is not aligned with your talents, passions, and values.  On a side-note, I quadrupled my starting base salary ($25,000) in less than 3 years because my job in the NBA was such a perfect fit for my talents, passions, and values.  Those results are definitely not typical, but they prove that the money can follow when you find the right job…

Lie: It’s easier to get hired if you are really flexible with what you are looking for.

Truth: It’s easier to get hired if you are selective and focused.  Lack of focus will make you overwhelmed and be a turn-off to potential employers!  You will also be less motivated because you will not have a clear vision of where you want to be.  Determine what your dream job is, and go after it with everything you have!  Never give up on getting your dream job, even if you have to accept another job in the short-term to pay your bills.

Lie: Youth will prevent you from getting your dream job.

Truth: Youth is your greatest advantage!  Older executives love to help and hire ambitious young professionals.

Lie: The smartest, most talented candidate always gets the job.

Truth: The candidate who is the best salesperson always gets the job.  If you “look great” on paper, do not assume your credentials will speak for themselves.  If you don’t “look great” on paper, just learn how to position yourself and sell yourself, and you can beat out other candidates with better credentials.

Lie: There are no jobs that would interest me.

Truth: You do not know what is out there!  Talk to as many people as possible in the industry that interests you, and you will be surprised to learn about all of the amazing jobs that are available.

-Pete Leibman

-Career Expert and Professional Speaker

-President of Idealize Enterprises

Pete@IdealizeNow.com

www.IdealizeNow.com

www.linkedin.com/in/peteleibman

Blog: http://CareerMuscles.Wordpress.com

@peteleibman

P.S. I speak about career success to students and young professionals nationwide.  To learn more about my programs and speaking availability, please send an email to Pete@IdealizeNow.com. 

11 Tips for Cover Letters That Lead to More Interviews! (written by Career Expert, Pete Leibman)

October 27, 2010

A great cover letter will help your resume stand out and significantly increase your chances of being called in for an interview.  Here are 11 cover letter tips that will increase your chances of getting an interview:

  1. Format correctly. Like your resume, the cover letter MUST be error-free and structured correctly.  Use 1 font throughout the document, keep it to 1 page, and print it on high-quality paper.
  2. Personalize.  The cover letter should be addressed to a specific person (not “to whom it may concern”), you should reference the position you want, and you should tailor each cover letter based on the job description for the position.
  3. Start strong.  Use an attention-grabbing first sentence that highlights why you are the best candidate for the job.
  4. Highlight.  Use examples to show how you have the skills, traits, and/or experience relevant for the job (i.e. shown in the job description).  In general, employers want to hire people with enthusiasm for the position and the company, people with strong character and work habits, people with strong people/communication skills, and people who get results.  Be specific, and sell yourself.
  5. Focus on results, not responsibilities.  Like your resume, your cover letter should not focus on what you have done.  Instead, you should focus on what has resulted from the work you have done.  You must explain how you have made other people or organizations better.
  6. Explain glaring weaknesses.  If you have a significant weakness in your resume, you can address it in the cover letter.  For instance, if you are a senior about to graduate from college and you have never had an internship position, you should reference what you did instead during your time off from school.  If you are a theater major applying for a position at an investment bank, that would also be worth explaining briefly.
  7. Build credibility through references.  If you were referred to the hiring person, you should definitely mention that in the cover letter.  If not, try to see if you can find a connection within the company or someone who knows the decision-maker (i.e. an alumnus from your college.)  You can also include a quote from a performance review or from a letter of recommendation.  For example, my boss at ABC Company referred to me as the “hardest working and most proactive intern the company has ever had.”
  8.  Answer the 2 key questions.  Your cover letter must demonstrate why you want the job and why you are the best candidate for the job.
  9. Let your personality shine.  The cover letter should remain professional, but it should show your personality and bring your resume to life.  For example, you could share a quick story that explains why you want the job so badly.  A great story will build intrigue and have a hiring person thinking you were destined for the job.
  10. Close with a call-to-action.  You should end your cover letter with something like, “I will call you next week to answer any questions you may have and to discuss how I can help _____ (insert company name) achieve ______ (insert the specific results the company mentioned in the job description).  You may also reach me at xxx-xxx-xxxx or firstname.lastname@gmail.com in the meantime.”
  11. Follow-up.  If the hiring person does not respond to you, you must follow-up when you said you would.

Do you want to improve your chances of being called in for an interview?  Then, include a personalized, well-written cover letter every time you apply for a job! 

-Pete Leibman

-Career Expert and Professional Speaker

-President of Idealize Enterprises

Pete@IdealizeNow.com

www.IdealizeNow.com

www.linkedin.com/in/peteleibman

Blog: http://CareerMuscles.Wordpress.com

@peteleibman

P.S. I speak about career success to students and young professionals nationwide.  To learn more about my programs and speaking availability, please send an email to Pete@IdealizeNow.com.