5 Tips for Your Job Search During the Holidays

  • Employers hire all year ‘round. In fact, most companies finalize the following year’s budget by early November, so many new positions are funded to start with a new budget year. Don’t put off your job search until January.
  • The holidays offer natural networking opportunities — say “Yes!” to invitations to company parties, social gatherings, and end-of-the-year professional association events. Don’t forget that these events offer as many opportunities for negative attention as positive exposure. Act as if you were at an interview! Smile, engage, be kind, and go easy on the eggnog.
  • Take the opportunity to re-connect with old friends and colleagues. Send a holiday card to previous co-workers and supervisors, people from high school and college, former neighbors. You never know where you next job opportunity may originate.
  • Volunteer! While this is a great idea year-round, there are many opportunities during the holidays to give your time to charities. Some of these opportunities might help you build your network, make new connections, and the experiences can be added to your resume.
  • Make sure you’re reachable during the holidays! Yes, many managers and HR representatives may be on vacation during this time of your, but you need to be prepared to respond at any time. Keep your phone on, and make sure you’re checking your email and voicemail regularly.

Jeff Metzger is a Certified Professional Resume Writer and Owner of Reflection Resumes, a whole new approach to resume writing and career services. You can visit Jeff online at www.reflectionresumes.com. He is standing by to help you reflect your best self in your job search.

5 Classic Rock & Roll Quotes to Help You Get Through You Job Search or Work Day

I was walking my dog, Brooklyn this morning.  It’s cold and rainy here in Connecticut…not quite snow, but really cold for rain.  I was thinking about the work day ahead, and set my intention for the day.  It’s a day for music.  I’m grateful to be working at home for clients I appreciate and respect, and I’m going to spend the day listening to music while I work. So I’m passing this intention along to you, in the form of some quotes that came to mind for my day’s play list. What songs do you love, what lyrics always bring a smile for you?  Comment below and add to my play list!

“Someday, everything is gonna be smooth like a rhapsody, When I paint my masterpiece” – Bob Dylan

“Don’t stop me now, I’m having such a good time, I’m having a ball” – Queen

“Nothin’ left to do is smile, smile, smile” – The Grateful Dead

“We can beat them, just for one day. We can be heroes, just for one day” – David Bowie

“Got to scrape that shit right off your shoes” – The Rolling Stones

Gratitude and Your Job Search

There’s the old proverb that says, “The more things change, the more they stay the same”. It’s pretty much a cliché these days. Change is constant. Uncertainly is constant. How we deal with change and uncertainly is a big determining factor in generating our own personal happiness and well-being.
The news is scary, the government appears unstable. Our jobs, even with traditional loyalty to our employers, rarely feel secure. So how do we navigate the daily grind? The speed bumps? The walls?

To oversimplify things…gratitude. Gratitude is the quality or feeling of being grateful or thankful.

Scientific research has proven that people who practice gratitude as part of their daily lives will sleep better, experience more positive emotions, express more empathy, feel more alive, and even develop stronger immune systems. Who doesn’t want that?

Here are some examples where gratitude might bring clarity to a particular work-life situation:

  • You hate your job – Be grateful that you have a job.
  • I can’t find a job – Be grateful that you’re reading this on a computer, so you have tools at your disposal to continue your search.
  • I’m not getting any calls from the resume I’ve posted on dozens job boards – Be grateful that there are countless resources online to help you improve your resumes. There are also resume writing professionals, standing by to assist you with your job search.

Yes, it sounds very simple, and almost hard to believe.

Gabriele Oettingen, a motivation psychologist and professor at New York University, calls this mental contrasting. Mental contrasting is a fancy name for positive thinking. You’ve heard of “the power of positive thinking” right? Well…I’m here to tell you. It works!

Your job search, your work life, and your life in general is hard. That’s okay! Don’t fight it, welcome it. Own the challenge, be grateful you have the opportunity to take it on, then go out and find success.

Here are some easy steps to add gratitude to your daily life and job search:

  • Start your day by giving consideration to all the blessings and goodness we might take for granted.
  • Identify a negative that is concerning you for the day ahead, and resolve to switch it to positive or simply set it aside.
  • Commit to not complain, criticize or gossip for the day (or, start small…the next hour). This is going to give you back so much energy that you can use on positive thought.
  • When you think of something for which you’re grateful, write it down. Use a sticky note, or the memo app on your phone. Watch the blessings accumulate.

The buck stops with you, and it should. It’s easy to have a victim mentality when we’re unhappy, but the best way to suppress it is by practicing gratitude. You are in complete control of you. You can have a better resume, a more strategic job search, and ultimately the job you want. it’s all within your reach.
I’m a resume writer. I’m not a doctor, psychologist, or scientist. But I’m human and I face the same daily challenges as you. Six years ago, I hated my job in Corporate America. I dragged my butt from day to day. I was completely indifferent. Every day was a pity party for one. It wasn’t helping.

I retreated within. I was solitary. I felt sorry for myself. Then I learned about gratitude. Slowly, this old ship started turning. I found reasons to be grateful every day. I wrote them down. I had so much, but I was just starting to recognize it. Things started happening for me. My first client, my first speaking engagement, my first client who used a resume that I wrote to get a job. Gratitude begat happiness, and happiness begat success.

Now I get to share my experiences. I’m the proof. I didn’t buy in at first, then the results started happening. Think about it. Sit with it. What are you grateful for? How can practicing gratitude help you achieve your goals? Take a few moments every day to be grateful for what you have. Watch for subtle shifts in the world around you. They will come. You’ll be grateful. I’m humbled and grateful that you’ve allowed me to share these thoughts.

Jeff Metzger is a Certified Professional Resume Writer and Owner of Reflection Resumes, a whole new approach to resume writing and career services. You can visit Jeff online at www.reflectionresumes.com. He is standing by to help you reflect your best self in your job search.

Top to Bottom – 5 Very Quick and Easy Ways to Refresh Your Resume

This is a great time of year to update your resume. There’s never really a bad time, but why not cross this task off your list now. Some things get tossed, some things get dusted off and some things are kept and refreshed. Let’s take a look at your resume and give it a quick Autumn makeover

At the Top – Your Name and Contact Information

Toss: Labels – No need to spell out things like “cell”, “home” and “email”. It’s assumed.

Dust off: The old-fashioned Times New Roman font and replace with something professional but more interesting. Try Garamond or Cambria.

Refresh: Add the link to your LinkedIn profile.

Profile / Summary

Toss: Your objective. Just get rid of it.

Dust off: The language of your profile. Replace tired old buzz words like “energetic”, ‘goal-oriented”, and “self-motivated” and replace with words that truly describe your value proposition and differentiate you from other candidates.

Refresh: Your Professional Summary – Make it about your next employer. How will you meet their business need. What are your in-demand skills that they need right now. Make each word have meaning. No fluff here.

Professional Experience

Toss: Old, outdated experience. A good rule of thumb is to include no more than 12-15 years of experience. Your resume should not be an exhaustive dissertation of your career. Stick with concise highlights of your best accomplishments.

Dust off: Your accomplishments. Add numbers that support your success. Avoid at all costs, listing duties and responsibilities.

Refresh: Your action verbs. Start each bullet with a strong verb and avoid duplicating the same words at the start of different lines.

Education and Training

Toss: The dates of your degree if more than 7-10 years old. No need to date yourself. Also, eliminate any internal training that you attended that would not be meaningful to a prospective employer. i.e. training on internal policies and systems.

The Bottom of Your Resume

Toss: “References Available Upon Request”. It’s assumed. Remove it. Hobbies and Interests – No one cares.

Dust off: Your work in the community. Very often, listing community involvement can enhance your story, especially when you can display good use of leadership and/or administrative skills.

Refresh: Your technical skills. Make sure you’re listing only current skills in which you have decent proficiency. Eliminate old applications and systems like Windows XP and Lotus 1-2-3. Don’t list Access unless you can build a database.

About Jeff – Jeff Metzger is a Certified Professional Resume Writer and Owner of Resume Reflections He is standing by to help you document your greatness. Drop him a quick note at jeff@resumereflections.com or visit him at www.resumereflections.com