Quick and Quintessential Career & Job Tips
Job-hunting tips from the September 15, 2003 issue of QuintZine.
Our special feature on volunteering in this issue talks about community service as a way to build skills. That strategy may be timely because DBM, a global human-resources consulting firm, has found that 94 percent of HR professionals polled in a recent survey feel their organizations have not adequately prepared younger generations to step into senior-leadership positions. The findings indicate that most North American organizations are not prepared for the exodus of the approximately 60 million baby boomers who will be leaving the workforce over the next 15 years, creating severe human-resource shortages and senior-leadership gaps. Read more about the study.
“The second best hiring period is mid-September through mid-October, “O’Connor says. “People get back to work and things begin to crank again.” Unfortunately, workers are also 25 percent more likely to lose a job after Labor Day than in the preceding eight months, according to the outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas. Employers are finalizing budgets and business plans for the coming year, and payroll levels are heavily impacted by both.
So, if you’re currently unemployed, now’s the time to crank your job search up a notch in anticipation of a good hiring season. Challenger, Gray & Christmas also note that the average job search fell from 4.2 months in the first three months of this year to 3.4 months in the second quarter. And if you’re working currently, be prepared in case the worst happens in the last months of the year.
Liz Hughes, vice president of OfficeTeam, suggests focusing on the following four areas to be more prepared:
- Your resume. Don’t stop at updating the content. Share the document with trusted friends and ask for their feedback. Is the document error-free? Does it speak to your greatest strengths? Is it compelling enough to cause a hiring manager to call for an interview? Keep working on it until you get a “yes” response to all three questions.
- Your references. Do you know whom you would tap for your reference list? Call these individuals now so you can update their contact information and gauge their interest. Tell them what type of opportunities you may be targeting. Give them a copy of your resume.
- Your network. It’s much easier to ask for advice when you keep in touch with your contacts. If you’ve dropped out of sight from professional organizations, volunteer groups, and social circles, make an effort to reconnect.
- Your skills. Is your skill set in strong demand right now? Check with your contacts and review current job postings to find out. You may discover that additional training in a certain area would boost your marketability.
Review all our Quick and Quintessential Career & Job Tips.