Category Archives: The Hunt

Dress for Success – Not Just a Motto; It’s a Mission

DressForSuccessLogoYou know how it feels to psyche yourself up for the big interview. You button up your crisply ironed blouse, put on that sleek lightweight wool interview skirt and jacket fresh from the cleaners, don run-free stockings and slip your feet into polished and shined black pumps. Once you’ve slung a tailored handbag over your shoulder, you’re ready to face the hiring squad head on with confidence, poise and style. There’s no way you can lose!

In the midst of all our unemployment worry, we sometimes forget there are gals on the job hunt who don’t have a dime to their name…much less an appropriate interview ensemble that makes them feel like the superstar candidate they are.

Enter Dress for Success. Their mission says it all: “The professional clothing, employment retention programs and ongoing support that we provide our clients symbolize our faith in every woman’s ability to be self-sufficient and successful in her career.”

I love this group. They want women to not only look great but also to feel confident, allowing their true personalities and talents to shine through during the interview process. What an amazing feeling it must be to send all these incredible ladies out into the world looking sharp, feeling good and ready to nab their dream jobs.

If you’re seeking professional polish and don’t have the adequate resources you need, please visit your local Dress for Success affiliate. If you’re blessed enough to have everything you need for the interview circuit, consider donating something to this worthwhile organization…whether it’s a suit or your time. They love volunteers!

See below for Dress for Success affiliate needs:

  • Interview-appropriate suits and related separates (the greatest need is for items size 14 and up)
  • Solid color blouses
  • Shoes that are suitable for the workplace. Our clients receive brown, black or navy shoes most frequently. Please no heels higher than 3 inches and no open-toed shoes.
  • Unopened hosiery
  • Unused undergarments (Note: Not all locations accept such items; please check with the affiliate closest to you before making this type of donation.)
  • Black tote bags, attaché bags or briefcases
  • Basic professional accessories (including jewelry, scarves, belts and handbags)
  • Unopened cosmetics
  • Coats and outerwear (Note: Not all locations accept such items; please check with the affiliate closest to you before making this type of donation.)

For more questions, please visit: http://www.dressforsuccess.org/faqs_home.aspx#faq1

GUEST BLOGGER: Ken Herron Shares 5 Things You Should Be Doing Online to Find Your Next Job

I am a marketing geek, who, like many of you, is “actively seeking” my next job.  Job hunt experts consistently tell us the best way to find our next job is in-person networking.  What they don’t always mention, however, is that maximizing our online presence will also help us to find our next job faster.

Here are five things you should be doing to increase the likelihood of being “found” online by recruiters, HR professionals and hiring managers.  When you submit for jobs online, they also give people helpful information supporting your submission.

#1  Use the same version of your name — everywhere
You don’t need to understand the latest SEO (Search Engine Optimization) techniques to know that using multiple versions of your name in your resumes, online profiles and in real life makes you harder to find online. 

#2  Google, Yahoo!, and Bing yourself — weekly
Are you on the first page of search results?  Are you nowhere to be found?  Do photos and/or videos pop up showing you wearing nothing but a hat comprised of several different kinds of tropical fruit?  You should know exactly what comes up when your name is entered into the most popular search engines.

#3  Create a Google profile
I know of no other guaranteed, real-time way to get exactly the information you want about yourself — including text, photos, and links — on the bottom of the first page of Google search results for your name.  Didn’t even know Google had profiles?  Learn more at: http://www.slideshare.net/KenHerron/how-to-leverage-your-google-profile (full disclosure: this is a presentation I gave recently at a conference on the topic). 

#4  Really use your LinkedIn profile
Having a complete, up-to-date LinkedIn profile is not enough.  Actively use LinkedIn on a daily basis for online networking.  To start, update your status to network with your connections, join groups to make new connections, answer questions to demonstrate your expertise and review LinkedIn’s job postings.

#5  Cross link
Include the web links to your relevant online profiles, recommendations, portfolios, papers, presentations and videos on both your paper and online resumes.  Always include the links to the most relevant profiles (e.g., Google, LinkedIn, VisualCV, etc.) in your e-mail signature lines and cover letters.

The Internet has exploded our job search tools from a kid-size box of crayons to a warehouse club-size tub.  Take full advantage of all the different web “crayons” available, and you will dramatically shorten your job search!

An award-winning global marketer, Ken Herron (http://www.google.com/profiles/kenherron) lives in Boston as he networks, online and offline, to find his next job.

Thanks, Ken! Keep us posted on your progress!

I’m a Piss-Poor Runner, But At Least the Stress is Gone

woman_jogging“Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy. Happy people just don’t shoot their husbands, they just don’t.” — Elle Woods, “Legally Blonde”

I’ve been a ball of nerves lately. I can’t sleep. I don’t want to eat. The past few days I’ve found myself paralyzed, sitting at my desk with a queasy stomach, unable to force down my cinnamon raisin bagel and making do with my ever trusty Diet Coke. Yes, I know that makes nerves worse.

The truth is, uncertainty has taken over my life for the first time since I got my job. Granted, it’s mostly of a personal nature, and it will work its way out, but it just reminded me how tough uncertainty is when you’re finding a job.

You never know when the right contact will appear, when the right person will read your resume, when a job just for you might open. You just can never know. You can plan all you want, the pressure builds, you worry every night so much you can’t fall asleep no matter what boring SMC infomercial is on or sound machine is buzzing. You wake up every morning so full of anxiety you can’t move. 

All through my job search, running became my stress relief, my therapist, my comfort. Every time I tied my Asics, I grimaced and cursed. But, every time I returned, I was rejuvenated, sweaty, red-faced and smiling.

My stomach was fluttering all day AGAIN today, and it just occurred to me: Get off your ass and go run, Miss Pink Slip!

So tonight, I darted out around 8:30 p.m., an hour after eating a plateful of spaghetti and swaddling myself in a blanket on the couch to watch “How I Met Your Mother” re-runs. Even those episodes couldn’t rouse me from my depression. I had a nagging sense I needed to get out and move. I was gasping by mile one and doubled over from the pasta binge, but I kept going. I got home just as the sun set and took a long, hot bath. I feel like a new person.

I’m headed out of town tomorrow for a tough work week, and my tennis shoes are going with me. I know I’m going to need them.

What’s your sure-fire stress relief?

Think You’ve Exhausted Your Job Search? Get a New Perspective

My UPiC (Unemployed Partner-in-Crime) Shelley continues her search for work with her head held high and her goals in check. But after feeling like she’s exhausted every contact, every lead, every meet up and every friend- of-a-friend, she is working to freshen her job hunt with new strategies.

What’s her secret?

Get a new perspective!

Although a meeting planner by trade, Shelley met last night with a PR professional – someone completely outside her field – who was able to read her resume with a fresh eye, provide some new contacts and look into industries she may never have considered. She emerged feeling rejuvenated and is now ready to start today on a new path.

Fresh perspectives are critical. I have an old boss who insisted on interviewing people outside our industry because of their different experiences, likes and dislikes, hobbies, etc. So don’t just limit your contacts to people in your field. Seek people outside your job parameters who have different backgrounds and outlooks. 

For example, don’t turn down a meeting with someone in engineering if you’re in accounting. You never know what might transpire: There may be an opening in the accounting department in their firm, they may know someone in your field from their church, a client may have a position available, his dad could be hiring, you never know.

A different, fresh perspective can be your key to success.

Let me know if this works for you!

Let’s Unleash the Experts: LA Fashion and Image Consultant Shares 3 Tips for Improving Your Interview Appearance

You’ve heard it all before:mirror

  • “It’s what’s on the inside that counts.”
  • “Don’t judge a book by it’s cover.”
  • “Beauty is only skin deep.”

We’re told all the time that our smarts and personalities lead to success. And that’s certainly right! But, you’ve got to consider the whole package. When you’re searching for a new job, first impressions count and it’s often shallow nuances that can stick with the interviewer.

Burbank-based image and fashion consultant Lori Ann Robinson got in touch with me recently, and her perspective is that “your image is your personal visual message, and just as a corporate visual message is critical to the confidence and success of the organization, your personal image is a message that is critical to your personal confidence and success.”

Lori graciously offered three of her top tips for maximizing your image while interviewing:

  • Review, rethink and update your hair and make up to stay current. Remember, the higher you are on the food-chain of success, the more your image matters
  • Remember the importance of your face, since most of the time the interviewer will be focused on it. Be aware of everything from your make-up to your teeth. I suggest a trip to the “close up” mirror just to be sure all is ship shape
  • Look in three-way mirror to do a check. Remember the interviewer will see you coming and going. Yes, that stain on the back of your pants from the Mexican restaurant will be seen, and you cannot back out of the office now can you?

I think #3 is one of the most obvious, but most important things to remember. Your pants may look just fine in the front, but what about the rear view? Did you clip those extra threads in the back slit of your skirt? Is your jacket straining in the back? Is the leather on the back of your heels scuffed from cracks in the sidewalk? Sounds silly, but details count. If you look sloppy, they’ll think you probably perform sloppily.

I hope these helpful hints help you polish your look. But, don’t get so focused on your improved image that you forget your interview questions!

Check out more information from Lori:
http://www.larconsultants.com
http://www.larconsultantsimageandfashionblog.com

Easiest Way to Jump Start Your Job Search. Period.

Alarm_clock_at_7_AM_croppedI just posted this little bit of advice on Twitter (find me @mspinkslip_blog), but thought I’d share it with all of you.

While meeting someone for breakfast this morning on the Westside of Atlanta, I realized having an early morning appointment to get up for really is the key to jump starting the day. This especially applies for those seeking work and those who are taking time to explore other avenues to earn a living.

When I was searching for jobs, I found that my most productive days were when I had someone to meet, say, at Starbucks for coffee at 8:30 a.m. or breakfast at Highland Bakery at 8:00 a.m. I had a plan; I had a commitment to be somewhere. There was no lying around in bed until 10 a.m. watching Hoda and Kathie Lee while I mentally reviewed all the thicoffeengs I had to do and people I needed to contact. Too much time and too easy to procrastinate.

Getting up and engaging in early morning conversation is a terrific way to jog your brain, raise those endorphins and give you that little push you need to get out there and make things happen.

So, if you need a quick, easy way to get going, schedule your meetings in the mornings and get started early!

Pink Pinks: Layoff Support Network and FiredNetwork

Both Layoff Support Network and FiredNetwork are free networking sites. Layoff Support is much like Facebook in that you set up a profile, and it features 13 sections teeming with content, both useful and fun. It’s “one-stop shopping”.

FiredNetwork is geared to “change seekers” and “change facilitators”. It connects:

Change Seekers               ->           To       ->         Change Facilitators
Job Seekers                                                                Employers and Job Angels
Entrepreneurs and Company Buyers                              Investors and Company Sellers
Job Seekers                                                                Entrepreneurs so they can partner

Check these great sitesfiredout and support your brothers and sisters in unemployment!
layoff