Salary negotiations are always tricky. The worst part is that while this is going on you almost have the new job but not quite. You have to get through this sticky situation to be hired. When the economy is poor that makes salary negotiation even more difficult; there may be several great candidates vying for the position. You know what you are worth, but the company may not be willing or able to pay it. Breathe easy– there is a medium ground to this problem.
The way around this problem is to be open and honest by simply telling the hiring manager that you had hoped for more money but you are willing to accept their offer in exchange for a performance review within six months of taking the job. I think this is a pretty reasonable request and most hiring managers will be happy to accept the deal. This can seal your offer in more ways than one.
Not only is the company getting you at a premium, and believe me they know what you are worth, they also have an employee that is ambitious, realistic and willing to prove himself right from the start. Being reviewed within six months also gives you a head start on any bonuses that your company may be giving out because you will have just been reviewed.
By the simple and reasonable request to review your job performance a bit earlier than they might otherwise, you are showing yourself to be a strong and decisive employee that is someone who can be worked with and is results oriented.
The year 2012 will have a diverse mix of jobs available as the year progresses. Of course, things don’t always go according to plan. However, there should be something for every one on the job market this year.
The top three industries are Health Care, Technology and Science. Health care will always be top because we need health care no matter what, and it doesn’t matter if you have insurance. Everyone has to go to the doctor some time or another.
Information technology is growing by leaps and bounds, partly due to the internet. Degreed positions in this field are commanding a higher starting wage than some of the other fields. Everything from computers, cell phones to data storage require more and more positions.
Science is growing as they are building on the molecular level creating robots, micro-organisms and other areas.
At the same time, blue collar jobs will have a lot of openings as baby boomers begin to retire. Machinists, welders, truck drivers, construction workers are still needed in spite of the technology that abounds.
A good thing about blue collar positions is that many of those do not require a college degree. They may need a certificate or license, but it is still easy to get into a good paying job in these fields.
Now is a good time to dust off your resume and update it with all new information. Make sure that all information is current and that you have a good list of job skills listed.
There are many job search resources available on the internet so that you can decide which area of expertise you wish to pursue.
There are layoffs happening at your company. Are your skills going to be able to weather the storm? How secure is your position within the company? There are some things you can do to ensure your place with the company.
It all comes down to profitability for the company. Is the department you work in having problems or struggling? It is often not the fault of the employee when they are laid off. No matter how long a person has been with a company, when headquarters sends the word to downsize, the company has no other choice. If a company is operating at a profit, you may have nothing to worry about. If the company has lost money over the last few months, be careful. Be wary of the company whose financials are down from the previous year. If a company has been in business for quite a while, you probably don’t have anything to worry about.
When a corporation is trying to decide whom they can afford to layoff, they do not do it at random. They have to layoff those who are no longer an asset to the company. When a company is struggling, they will first downsize or get rid of certain departments first. It will be those that will not be necessary for the success of the company. For example, company consultants will probably be some of the first to go. The marketing department would also suffer losses in the company’s cost cutting efforts.
When a company is no longer as successful as it has been, they do not see advertising as important as it was. The accounting department is usually stable since you can’t run a business without the financial aspect of it. Salespeople are also in a fairly safe spot. For the company to continue, they will still have to have salespeople. If there is no sales team, there is no revenue.
You should never be so secure in your career that you don’t keep your resume updated. Even before you begin to fear that your job is in jeopardy, revamp your resume. Take a look around the job market and see what positions seem to have the lowest percentages of layoffs. Then, see how your skills and interests can fit into these positions. Find out what skills are in high demand and cater your resume to demonstrate how you would be a perfect fit for a position.
Always be aware of the stability of the company you work for and do what is necessary to keep that position. If you can’t, then look for other positions that are more stable in today’s job market.
Everyone starts their career in an entry level position. A basic resume is great for entry level positions but will not work for executive positions as your experience grows.
And, experience does grow. There is a young lady who started out as a cashier in a motorcycle accessory store. She did not have a college education and so she didn’t make much money. But she stayed there, went above and beyond the scope of her job and got raises and more responsibility.
After a couple of years, she moved on. This time, it was still a customer service job, but it paid more and it gave her the freedom to go to school to get a degree.
She has since gotten her degree after 3 years and in this current position she just got a promotion to manage two of the stores. It can be done. Many people work hard to climb this ladder of success. But you then have to change your resume to reflect you now, not the you from several years ago.
It’s important to keep your entry level resume up to date. As you progress in the job field, keep adding new skills, new responsibilities, etc. You will also need to adjust your career outlook so that it reflects your work ethic and beliefs and how you can better a company with your experience.
As your resume turns into an executive resume, you will be able to recognize more things you can add to the resume so that it is tailored correctly, tastefully and will encompass everything you know. After all, if a resume is a reflection of you, don’t you want to be presented in the best possible light?
You need to be honest on your resume about any big gap in work history, but you can be creative in your explanation to present your history in the best light possible. If you have a gap of more than a few months in your work history, you can’t just skip over it on your resume and hope no one will notice. Even though you were not working during that time, you might have been doing something that would look good to an employer.
Having a big gap in work history should not negatively impact your chances of finding a job if you can make the gap look like it was not time wasted. If you had to leave work in order to take care of your ailing parents, or if you took two years off after the birth of your child, you can highlight the valuable experiences you gained during your time off.
If you took a year or two off from a “real” job and spent the time wandering around Europe, describe this period as a personal sabbatical for enhancing your education and understanding of the world.
List the time interval as though it was a period of employment, except that you didn’t get paid for it. If the other job descriptions on your resume take up six lines each, devote the same space to describing your “duties” during your time off.
It is better to be up front and honest with potential employers when describing your background. If you have one or more big gaps in employment that were due to circumstances that an employer might see as negative, it is better to explain those circumstances fully in your cover letter when applying for a job. If you spent time in prison or drug rehab, it is better for you to explain what valuable lessons you learned from the experience in your job application process, than it is to hide the truth and hope your potential employer doesn’t discover it in a background check.
Many employers will not view a gap in employment negatively. They recognize the value of continuing education, caring for others, and personal growth experiences. They will often seek out job candidates who have something unusual to offer. By explaining your big gap in work history in the proper light, you may show the boss that you are the exact type of creative and self-motivated individual the company needs for that job you have always dreamed of.
Job Searching the Hidden Market
In a climate like the one we are in, it’s easy to feel like we will never find the job we want, or that ‘no one is hiring’. However, you can increase your chances of landing multiple interviews if you can tap into the “hidden” job market, or, the one that hasn’t been advertising. Contacting the companies/contacts directly makes a much more powerful impact then random online resume posting.
How do you do this? Have a plan! This may take a little longer, but it’s the best way to control your job search, land quality interviews and increase your pay scale.
1) Get your online presence together. Chances are, if you are going to be Googling companies, they will Google you. Create a Google profile or a LinkedIn profile and put your brand out there for the employer to see. Show your stuff.
2) Make a list of your target information— industry choice, job position, company listings, etc.
3) Do a Google search on your industry and job titles. There may be quite a few, but you can weed through what you like and don’t like. You can also do a local business search with the same requirements and see what you come up with.
4) Send your resume directly to the hiring person. This is usually the person who is 2-4 levels above where you see yourself within the company. Make sure your cover letter is short and concise.
If this method makes you squirm a little, remember that you will see significantly higher results than you would normally. It’s also good to move beyond your comfort zone. Clients who’ve used it report more interviews, shorter interview cycles and less competition. This also works much better than blindly submitting your resume to lots of job search engines and reduces your anxiety of not knowing if the person who you want to see it really saw it or not.
In the end, it will give you greater job search confidence and renewed excitement about the job search process. Try it and see. Then let me know how it went.
The first thing I am going to tell you is this: DO NOT GIVE UP HOPE. COMPANIES ARE STILL HIRING EVERYDAY!
That said, dust off your portfolio and get out your resume and cover letter. When was the last time it was updated? Is all information current? Do you have a .txt version or ASCII version of your resume? You will need that version for your online job posting. Read over your cover letter, does it still say everything you want it to say? Does it reiterate your strong points and showcase some of your accomplishments? If not, you will need to add those things. If you are unsure, send me an email and I can look it over.
Your job search must be your full time job. Get up every morning, TURN OFF the news, and start returning emails. Set up a LinkedIn account and connect with old colleagues and friends. Let everyone know you are job searching. The number one way to get a job is through networking!
Keep looking locally even if everyone around you tells you no one is hiring (there is always SOME PLACE interesting that is hiring). Go to local business mixers and get to know folks in your area.
Stay positive and hopeful. Work on your job search every day. I guarantee you will find a job you love.
Until next time…
CareerBuilder.com released a new survey on Unusual (and Fun) Jobs A to Z. They asked 8,700 works and the following are the top entrants, A to Z:
A – Autopsy assistant
B – Bartender at the Liberace mansion
C – Cat nanny
D – Donkey trainer
E – Elf at Santa’s workshop
F – FBI fingerprint examiner
G – Grave digger
H – Hurricane hunter
I – Ice sculpture carver
J – Junk mail machine operator
K- Kitty litter box decorator
L – Laser tag referee
M – Magician’s assistant
N – Nuclear electrician on a submarine
O – Opera singer
P – Parachute tester
Q – Quality control/taster for chocolate factory
R – Romance specialist
S – Scratcher (scratched backs for patients)
T – Turkey wrangler
U – Undercover vice decoy
V – Video game tester
W – Wallpaper peeler
X – X-ray technician for zoo animals
Y – Yawn counter at a sleep clinic
Z – Zamboni driver