Dr. CK's Corner
- Get Your Name Out There ©
- Using Tact With a Rude Interviewer ©
- 5 Ways to Land a Job This Holiday Season ©
- Get Your Job Search on Track ©
- Dr. CK's Handouts
Dr. Carla-Krystin Andrade, the author of Kick Start Your Job Search, Now!, is a Course Instructor at San Francisco State University and an Associate Clinical Professor at the University of California–San Francisco in the Graduate Program in Physical Therapy.
Since 1989, she has helped people in North and South America, Europe, and Asia achieve their goals and change their lives through her presentations and books on careers, wellness, and health. Join Dr. CK for seminars at the SF State Career Center.
- To access contact information for Dr. CK at UCSF, click here.
- To view dates for Dr. CK's Beat the Stress of Job Hunting © Workshop, click here.
Graduation and the summer job hunting season will be here before you know it. So, it's time to start building your network of contacts. Why bother networking? Job hunters find over 70 percent of jobs through networking. In addition, a referral from someone inside a company can generate up to 80 percent more of a response from a hiring manager than a cold call. Your network can support your job search in countless ways such as suggesting job leads, giving you an internal referral within a company, providing a reference, or giving you guidance about what is happening within your field. In other words, the larger your network, the more successful your job search can be.
You can build a solid network whether you are quiet and reserved or an outgoing 'people person.' The secret is to find networking strategies that fit your personality and being willing to step out of your comfort zone from time-to-time. Here are some simple ways to get started with building your job search network.
Networking business cards
Project a professional image when you introduce yourself to people by giving them your business card. You can order free or low cost business cards online or through office supply stores. Keep them simple: your name, your contact information, and your field of study or the field in which you are looking for a job on a white, grey, or beige card stock.
Evaluate your job search goals
Pause for a moment before you begin your networking efforts and jot down your main goal for your current job search. For example: Is this a short-term summer job that you are hoping to use as a stepping-stone to a more relevant job in your field? Is this an entry-level position in your field after you graduate? Once you have a clearer picture of your goal, think about the people who may be able to assist you in achieving your goal and where you might be able to connect with them.
Tell people that you are looking for a job
Contrary to popular beliefs about the dog-eat-dog, competitive job market, people like to help and may go to surprising lengths to assist you in your job search. Help them to support you by telling them what you need for your job search such as a reference, a job lead, a contact for an informational interview, or a referral to a company that is of interest to you. Be sure to thank them for their help with a handwritten thank you note, a phone call, an email, or an in-person thank you.
Write something for print or online publication
Get your name in print in a reputable print or online publication. Consider some of these options: a letter to the editor of a magazine or newspaper in response to an article or a community issue, a brief article for a campus or community publication, or a commentary or feedback on an online post in a blog that is relevant to your field. Use your imagination! Remember to choose your publication and your words wisely so that they enhance your professional image.
Organize your contacts
Transform the piles of business cards, emails in your inbox, contacts in your phone, and notes on bits of paper into an organized list of contacts. A simple system that you can update with ease is a table in Word or Excel with six columns: First Name, Last Name, Phone Number, Email Address, Source (where or how you met), and Notes on your last contact with that person. Having this information at your fingertips will make it easier for you to follow up with contacts. You can also review the Source of contacts to identify which of your networking efforts have been most successful.
Reach out to people in different circles
Be creative and think of new places where you can connect with people who share similar interests or who might be able to assist you in finding a job in your field. Here's a starter list: friends, relatives, LinkedIn (individual profile and groups), Yahoo groups, Facebook, alumni and student services, student groups (on campus and off campus), community groups, online communities, volunteer groups, religious communities, social or networking events for your profession, and job fairs.
Keep in touch with your network
Your job search network is as valuable as you make it, so follow up with the people after you make that first connection. Not sure how to go about doing this? People often give you clues about how best to follow up when you meet them. For example, they may ask you to give them a call, send them an email, arrange to meet for coffee, or send your resume. If you are not certain which approach they want, consider using a less intrusive method first such as a brief email in which you re-introduce yourself. Remember, that there is a fine line between being enthusiastic and becoming annoying; if you do not get a reply from someone after two or three attempts, stop contacting him or her.
Now you have a variety of actions you can take to get your network started. Select the one that will be the easiest for you to do and get out there and start networking!
Copyright Carla-Krystin Andrade 2011. All rights reserved.
"Be courteous" is a fundamental rule of interviewing. But what do you do when the interviewer's behavior is offensive? You want to ace the interview and leave with your self-respect intact. Here are some strategies for responding tactfully to a discourteous interviewer.
Do a Reality Check
Sometimes we read more into a remark than the interviewer intended because of the pressure and heightened emotions of an interview. Before you take action, ask yourself: "Was that really disrespectful?" Some issues are clear-cut, such as age, religion, ethnicity, gender, and sexual orientation. Others, unfortunately, are not. If the interviewer's behavior is clearly disrespectful, then respond with the strategies outlined below. If you're unsure, then put it aside and continue with your interview.
Decide Whether to Salvage It
You worked hard to land your interview. Your priority is to keep the interview focused on what you have to offer the company. Take a deep breath and briefly consider some reasons to make the best of this challenging situation.
- You can decide about the company after you complete the interview.
- The interviewer doesn't represent the entire company.
- The job may not involve working with the interviewer.
This behavior could be part of a "stress interview" in which they test your response to high-pressure situations.
Get Back on Track
Sure, it's a challenge to stay polite when you're dealing with less-than-polite behavior. Yet, there's a lot you can do to get your interview back on track.
- Be open-minded. The interviewer may recognize the problem with her behavior and try to fix it.
- Ignore the disrespectful comment and talk about your skills.
- Ask the interviewer a question that will shift the focus to an area of interest to him.
- Keep your sense of humor and make a light remark.
- Ask for feedback or clarification if the interviewer repeatedly contradicts or interrupts you.
- Use "I" statements and be polite when you give the interviewer your opinion.
Know When to Exit
Sometimes a graceful exit is a necessary last resort when you've done everything you can to save the interview. Thank the interviewer for her time. Then, politely excuse yourself from the interview without commenting on her behavior. If you must say something, be courteous.
Learn from Your Experience
Before you put this encounter behind you, identify what you've learned about this potential coworker. Then use this experience to improve how you respond to difficult people.
The final step is to practice dealing with negative interview situations with someone who'll give you honest feedback. In this way, you'll be ready to act with composure if you ever encounter another disrespectful interviewer.
Copyright Carla-Krystin Andrade 2010.
Across North America, job hunters are making the career-limiting mistake of putting their job searches on hold during the holiday season. They do so because they do not realize that the holidays can be a great time to try to land the job of your dreams.
It’s a myth that the job market shuts down between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day. Companies continue to hire over the holiday season for several reasons, such as using the remaining funds in their hiring budgets and filling openings created by people who leave before the holidays. In addition, there is less competition for these positions because fewer people actively look for work during the holiday season.
Try Holiday Job Search Boosters
Here are five little-known secrets for keeping your job search in high gear and winning the opportunities that other job hunters miss over the holiday season.
1. Get out of the House
As simple as it may seem, it’s important to force yourself to leave your home during the holiday season, even if you don’t think that you’re in the mood for holiday social events. Working on job search tasks outside of your home will boost your morale and help you stay motivated with your job search. So, go to the library to surf the web for jobs or update your resume at the corner cafe – just get outside!
2. Network, network, network
People communicate more during the holidays and they can spread the word about your job search. Since many job leads come from informal contacts, let people know that you are looking for a job. Use holiday greeting cards to reconnect with previous contacts and network at holiday season events to make new ones.
3. Treat Job hunting as Your Job
Fight off the holiday blues and the stress of job hunting by getting to work on your job search. Make a list of job search tasks and goals for your holiday season job search. Then set a daily schedule that will help you accomplish them and stick to it.
4. Take a Seasonal or Volunteer Job
Get back into the workforce with a seasonal job. A seasonal or volunteer job can fill gaps in your resume, strengthen your confidence, and broaden your range of contacts for future jobs. If the timing is right, you may be able to negotiate a seasonal job into ongoing work.
5. Have Someone on Your Side
Be sure to have at least one person to talk to during the holidays. Seek out people whom you know will be accepting and positive. Avoid the people that bring you down with their criticism and negativity. Look beyond your friends, since counselors and support lines can also be a source of support.
6. Start Now!
Whether you choose to use one strategy or all five, it is time to take the first step. Get out pen and paper and write out one action that you are going to take today to jump start your holiday season job search.
Copyright Carla-Krystin Andrade 2010.
Congratulations on launching your job search! The beginning of the academic year is a great time to get your job search into high gear and make the most of the job opportunities that are out there. So, dust off your resume and use these four steps to get your job search off to a good start.
1. Clear Your Workspace
Before you embark on your job search, take a quick look around you. A clear workspace energizes you and makes it easier to concentrate. So clear enough space to be able to sit and compose your thoughts. If necessary, take yourself out to a clean, quiet spot, such as your local library or a job club.
2. Focus Your Job Search
If you know where you are headed, you can focus on getting there and spending your energy on productive activities. Use achievable goals to help you remember your priorities and stay on track throughout your job search. First set a long term goal for your job search. Then set smaller goals that you can work on each day to get to your job search goal. Include job search activities, such as working on your resume, networking, finding job leads, skill training, interviewing, and determining your career path. Remember that you’ve got a life outside of your job search. So, set goals in personal areas, such as personal growth, finances, health, and relationships.
Make sure that your goals are within your reach by asking yourself if they are:
- Specific and measurable
- Within your power to achieve
- Gratifying to you.
For example, ‘Email resumes to 15 companies by the end of the day’ is an achievable goal, based on these standards. On the other hand, ‘Stop blowing interview questions’ is not.
3. Choose a Starting Point
Now, where do you start? Take the first step in the right direction by selecting a single area of your job search as a starting point. Use your daily job search goals to guide your decision. Decide which area of your job search is the most important and select the goal you’ll tackle first. As you do so, keep in mind that it is more effective to start with smaller tasks that are stepping stones to larger tasks. Here are some examples:
- Make your resume come alive
- Look for jobs that you really love in a single area
- Make a list of people who would be glad to hear from you and would love to help
- Write out strong answers for interview questions
4. Get the Ball Rolling
Now is the time to take action -- any action. Build your sense of success by completing one daily goal every day. When you achieve a goal, check it off your list and reward yourself for this accomplishment. You’ll soon find that your motivation increases and your job search gains momentum. Before you know it, you’ll be on your way to job search success.
Copyright Carla-Krystin Andrade 2010.