YOUR JOB SEARCH BUBBLE
|Are you an out of work hermit? You probably
don't think so. But, if your job search consists solely
of online hunting and gathering without any cooperative
networking, welcome to Hermitville. It's a Cliché,
but a true one: the best jobs are not advertised - anywhere.
Don't keep your availability and job skills a secret.
Post your resume online with our site and other online
classified services. Also, talk to other parents at
the next PTA meeting and go to your next alumni cocktail
party. Chat about how you won first prize in chocolate
design at the state fair or your interest in creating
nutritional meals for athletes. Potential employers
use networking too. Your fraternity brother's wife
may know a lot of pastry chefs or your daughter's
gym teacher might play basketball with the local hockey
Be prepared to attend every industry-specific conference
or trade show. Get there early and stay late. Catch
your favorite cookbook author before her lecture,
and let her know how you used the techniques in her
last book to make a tasty alligator soup. Volunteer
to help your favorite television chef clean up after
his demonstration and ask for feedback on the design
your cousin did for his new Philadelphia restaurant.
If your search is stalling, look for help. Ask one
of StarChefs's online chefs to mentor you. Talk honestly
about your career goals, special skills, and job search
techniques. Ask them to tell you about their career
path, future trends in the industry, and any gaps
in your background. Request three recommendations
on how to proceed.
Stay open to all possibilities and remember that
very few hermits ever get a new job.
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YOUR FUTURE - SET GOALS TO SUCEED
|Do you feel like a caterpillar
when you really want to be a butterfly? Think your career
is heading toward a dead end? Now is the perfect time
to assess or reassess your personal goals.
This is not just a busy-work exercise. Take the process
seriously and be honest about what you expect to achieve.
You will be the only one evaluating the results, so
no one will be criticizing the goals and dreams that
you write down. Get out pen and paper, make sure there
are no distractions, and decide how you want to live
the rest of your life. Sounds hard? It's simpler than
First, record any dream or hope you have for the
future that comes to mind. Do you want to make enough
money to build your dream house? Do you want to write
cookbooks? Do you want to travel the world teaching
nutrition and basic cooking skills to mothers? No
matter how abstract or unobtainable the goal might
seem to be, write it down.
Second, put the list aside and reflect upon it for
a few days. When you're ready, prioritize the goals
and distill the list down to a handful of the ones
that you can't bear to remove, e.g. 1) Pay off college
loans 2) Make enough money to start a family 3) Become
an established chef 4) Learn to speak Italian 5) Write
a cookbook 6) Market own line of pickled foods. Use
the new rankings to evaluate future opportunities.
At the end of this process, you will have a better
idea about the career path that you want to take.
You may not achieve all your goals, but you can make
sure that it's not for a lack of planning.
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IS POWER - TRY INFORMATIONAL INTERVIEWING
|Don't leap without learning! Before changing
careers, it's a good idea to conduct informational interviews.
In an informational interview, you're in charge and
your goal is to collect as much information about your
potential new career as possible. Here are some techniques
to ensure your success.
- Know what information you want Profile your career
goals before beginning.
You should recognize what is important to you and
what you want.
- Compile a list of people you know
You want to find sources who can help you get interviews.
Network with everyone you know, from your butcher
to your waitress friends.
- Make the appointment
Set up a 15 to 30-minute interview with the person
whose career or specialty interests you. Be clear
about why you're calling and what you want to gain.
- Prepare an agenda
This is your meeting. Select questions that will
provide you with the most information. Don't assume
the person will volunteer data. Be efficient and
don't overstay your welcome.
- Act professionally
Dress appropriately and act as you would in a job
interview. Research the person and company thoroughly
before the interview so you can ask informed questions.
- Show interest.
A little flattery never hurts. You might say, "Henry
gave me your name and told me you're the best sommelier
in town. How did you get started?"
- Be ready to answer questions about yourself
Prepare a short personal statement with your background,
experience, and goals. Bring a resume, but don't
offer it unless requested. Keep in mind, this interview
is about obtaining information.
- Get names
Ask for other contacts with who you might speak.
If no names are suggested, be grateful for the information
or suggestions provided.
- Send thank you and follow-up letters
Thank the person before leaving, but don't forget
to also send a letter stating your gratitude for
the time given. Stay in touch by phone or email,
and let the person know how the information helped.
- Make the most of referrals
Contact every referral you receive. Every person
you speak with bring you closer to your new career.
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| An interview is all about expressing
yourself verbally. Employers want to learn who you are,
what you can do, and how you can help them. When you
create, practice, and present a verbal resume, you can
confidently answer the question, "Tell me a little about
yourself?" A verbal resume is simply a quick, concise,
oral summary of your experience and skills. Begin your
verbal resume by making two lists. What skills are sought
by the employer? What talents can you provide? Next,
compare the lists, prioritize the employer's needs,
and decide which talents you should highlight. You should
focus on the skills which are most likely to fulfill
the employer's top three needs and provide one or two
quantitative examples for each. Prepare to present your
verbal resume as you would a lecture or speech. You
might create note cards for each employer need with
bullet-points listing your related talents and measurable
achievements. It is vital that you repeatedly practice
your verbal resume with an audience. If you can not
present it smoothly to family and friends, how can you
expect to perform flawlessly during the stress of an
interview? Perform your verbal resume with confidence.
It will create a definitive picture of you in the interviewer's
mind. It will also demonstrate that you are well-prepared,
proactive not reactive, and secure with, not timid about
your skills. A verbal resume is an easy way to make
a great impression.
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