Questions and Answers with Career Expert Barbara Safani
Please note: On a somewhat infrequent basis, Quintessential Careers asks noted career experts five questions related to their expertise and publishes the interview in the current issue of QuintZine, our career e-newsletter. Those interviews are archived here for your convenience.
Barbara Safani is owner of Career Solvers
|ica” color=”black” size=”+4″>Q:||What’s the biggest mistake job-seekers make that your advice could correct or prevent?|
|ica” color=”black” size=”+4″>A:|| Most job-seekers spend too much time searching for leads online. They may spend a whole day searching online and pat themselves on the back at the end of the day and feel a strong sense of accomplishment for working so hard. They may be working hard, but they certainly aren’t working efficiently. Job-seekers need to look at the return on investment achieved by spending so much time on the boards. The boards are very seductive because so many jobs are listed. It’s a passive method of search that requires little work and little risk for job-seekers. It’s comfortable. Unfortunately, not many people are actually hired through the boards.
My advice is to look on the boards during the hours when you may not be able to meet with people in person. Maybe for an hour in the early morning or an hour in the evening. Reserve time during normal business hours to work your contacts, make new connections, and arrange for business meetings and informational interviews.
|ica” color=”black” size=”+4″>Q:||What are the newest, most cutting-edge techniques that job-seekers need to know about Internet job-hunting?|
|ica” color=”black” size=”+4″>A:||Sites like ZoomInfo, Naymz, Ziggs, and Claim ID are great for building identity and personal branding. They make it easier for people to be found which is crucial for a successful job search. LinkedIn, Xing, eCademy, and Ryze are excellent vehicles for business networking and sharing job leads, opportunities to partner on projects, and insights into a profession or industry. Facebook, Ning, and even MySpace combine elements of social and business networking. I enjoy these types of sites for having an online conversation, quickly seeing what my contacts are up to, and sharing photos, videos, and podcasts that disseminate valuable information and strengthen the quality of the relationships in the group and the community as a whole. Meetup combines the best of both online and traditional networking. Twitter provides the most immediate and constant updates on what people in your network are doing and I think this type of application will have enormous implications for how information is transmitted in the near future. Yahoo Groups and Google Groups offer discussion groups where members can post questions and join the conversation.|
|ica” color=”black” size=”+4″>Q:||To what extent and in what ways can job-seekers can enhance their success through online social networking?|
|ica” color=”black” size=”+4″>A:||Online social networking is simply an extension of traditional networking, but it builds in efficiencies that can accelerate the reach of your network. You can attend only so many professional and personal networking events and you can be at only one event at a time. But in cyberspace you can be part of multiple online communities and conversations 24/7, and your audience reach is global. Job-seekers may choose to expand their online presence to include online identity platforms, membership in virtual professional and social networking groups, online chats, and list-servs.|
|ica” color=”black” size=”+4″>Q:||What’s the best combination of methods for uncovering job leads and what percentage of a job-seeker’s time should be spent on each?|
|ica” color=”black” size=”+4″>A:|| There are four methods of job search and I encourage job-seekers to use all of them — but not dedicate an equal amount of time to each: When you are in search, looking for a job is your full-time job and you should plan to dedicate 35-40 hours per week in search — or a percentage of that if you are searching while employed.
|ica” color=”black” size=”+4″>Q:||What’s the biggest myth about job-hunting?|
|ica” color=”black” size=”+4″>A:|| Many people think that they don’t have any control over what happens during their job search … that they have to take what’s available … that they will have no control over the salary for a position or the responsibilities of the job. Many fall victim to this way of thinking and end up in jobs that make them miserable.
I believe that a job search can be enormously empowering. It’s like being an entrepreneur. You have something very marketable to sell to employers… you. You are the CEO, CFO, and CMO all at the same time. You decide on the way the product is packaged, marketed, and financed. You call the shots and you become passionate about what you are selling because you believe in the product and trust that others will see the value as well. If you take the time to create the best possible product and marketing plan, you can leverage your value to secure the position and compensation that you want.
Barbara Safani, owner of Career Solvers, has more than 12 years of experience in career management, recruiting, executive coaching, and organizational development. Safani partners with both Fortune 100 companies and individuals to deliver targeted programs focusing on resume development, job-search strategies, networking, interviewing, and salary-negotiation skills.
Check out all our interview with career experts in Quintessential Answers: Q&A’s with Career & College Experts.
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