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Posts Tagged ‘Networking’

How March Madness can help YOU land a job

March 24, 2010 1 comment


    My bracket is busted!  How often have you heard this?  The truth is, unless you have Utah State defeating San Diego State for the championship like one of my colleagues, it’s still anyone’s game (sorry David).  But even if you haven’t filled out a bracket, you can still learn some very important life lessons from the tournament, including tips you can use to land a job.


    What you did during the regular season doesn’t matter.  Analysts often refer to a team’s regular season performance as their résumé.  And if this is the case, then the tournament is the job interview.  It always boggles my mind when I hear people say that they won’t get a job because they’re not qualified enough.  This self-defeatist attitude is truly your biggest obstacle.  Similar to March Madness, your résumé is just to get you in…what happens after that is entirely up to you.


    The best team on paper doesn’t always win.  Every college basketball fan knows that any team can win under the right circumstances (hence the “Madness” in March Madness).  If your experience is good enough to get you the job interview, then you have the same opportunity to get the job.  Underdogs win all the time, and they use the following tactics to increase their odds.


    Preparation is paramount.  Teams prepare for their games by studying tapes of past games.  Think of the internet as your tapes – research the company and interviewer by reviewing the company’s website, searching news articles and press releases, and cyber-stalking them on LinkedIn.


    Develop a solid game plan.  Strategize by preparing questions to ask in a job interview.  Hiring managers want to see that you are knowledgeable about their company, but also that you are eager to learn more.  Know the company’s mission statement (find it in the “About Us” section of their website), and ask them about its significance…no hiring manager has gotten to where they are without being passionate about their company’s mission statement.


    Follow through to the finish.  How many times have you seen a team take a lead into the closing minutes, only to collapse at the last possible moment and lose the game?  This is because that team lacks follow-through: the ability to play with the same intensity for every second until the game is over.  You should demonstrate your follow-through by sending a thank-you letter soon after the interview.  I suggest mailing a hand-written note…it’s more personal and will really set you apart from the crowd.  Check out this helpful article for other thank-you letter tips.


    For other tips on landing a job, check out my past posts:


    What team do you think is going to win the whole thing?  Leave a comment below.  I personally have Ohio State winning the whole thing…but anything can happen.


    Kris Alban


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4 ways to get a job without even trying

March 12, 2010 7 comments

This is how my cat found a job.


    Do you ever wonder why some people seem to find a job without even trying?!  Meanwhile you’ve sent out close to 1,000 résumés and all you have to show for it is one interview for a Multi-Level Marketing job?  Well, that’s all about to change.  Now, I’m not saying give up your job search, sit back and watch American Idol, and a job will just fall in your lap.  But there are some things that you can do in addition to your job search, that are very productive and a lot more fun.


  • Volunteer. It’s fun, rewarding and no matter how much you slack off you can never get fired.  Check out Idealist.org…most of the time you can find volunteer opportunities that will actually give you experience in your field.  There are positions for Marketing, Web Design, even Tax Preparation.  Most of the time you will be working alongside others that are in your field and actively employed…instant networking!!


  • Paint Your Résumé on Your Car.  Here’s an article about a Loyola student who got job interviews just by driving around.  I have to to thank my sister Kelly in Maryland for telling me about this.  You don’t necessarily have to defile your car…the morale of the story is be creative.


  • Interview the Interviewer.  Sick of going on job interviews?  Then conduct some of your own.  Find some people in your field (or other fields you’re interested in) to interview.  An easy way to find and get in touch with them is through LinkedIn.  If you do not know how to do this, please take a second right now and watch this video showing how to network on LinkedIn.  The people that you interview will often be in a position to hire you or connect you to someone that can…either at their company or another.  Everyone loves giving interviews…it makes them feel important…especially when you tell them it’s for a report or for your blog.  What??  You don’t have a blog??


  • Start a Blog.  Make sure that your blog is relevant to your field.  Promote your blog on all social media outlets.  Once you get 1 million followers you can make enough money off your blog that you won’t have to work.  Okay, this may be a long-shot…but blogging will keep your creative juices flowing and will also give you material for a portfolio.  If you don’t have a portfolio than you really need to read my last post: 4 job-hunting tips that you HAVEN’T heard.


    • Do you have a good story about how you got a job without even trying?  Or any other tips?  Please share below if you do.


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  • Kris Alban

    iGrad – Resources for life after college



4 job-hunting tips that you HAVEN’T heard

March 8, 2010 3 comments

Yes, I know that this picture has absolutely nothing to do with this subject.

We’ve all heard the standard tips that everyone else is using…and that’s exactly why they don’t work…because everyone else is using them!  You have to make yourself stand out…be memorable (without offending anyone…that’s the tricky part).  I interviewed several recruiters and hiring managers to find out what is setting the chosen few apart.  Here are some of their answers:


  • Optimize your résumé for HTML.  Most companies use Applicant Tracking Systems which parse out and display resumes in an HTML format. Many Word résumés, though they look great in Word, do not display well in HTML based Applicant Tracking Systems.  A company called ResuWe has a free service on their website that will optimize your résumé to display well in Applicant Tracking Systems.


  • Keep it fresh. Wherever you have your résumé posted, make sure to update it once every month…even if you don’t really have anything to update.  Many résumé searches on popular job boards have the search defaulted to only pull up résumés that have been posted or updated in the last 30 days.


  • I only have eyes for you. Making yourself seem “in demand” by namedropping other companies that are interested does not work in this economy.  Treat every potential employer like they’re your soul mate.  Employers love hiring people that are excited to work there and have demonstrated interest in the company by doing their homework ahead of time.


  • Have a portfolio.  Maybe you have heard of this one, but most people think that portfolios don’t cater to the field that they’re in…WRONG!  It’s not about what’s in your portfolio as much as the fact that you went above and beyond 90 percent of all the other applicants.  If you really can’t think of anything to include, ask all of your friends to write a quick recommendation for you on Facebook and/or LinkedIn, then print those out.


    I’m not including this last tip in my list since you’ve heard it before, but it needs to be mentioned.  You MUST actively use LinkedIn!  Almost every recruiter that I spoke to said that they are using this more and more everyday and using the traditional job boards less.  Several of them added that their contacts at Monster and CareerBuilder are terrified that the LinkedIn model will replace traditional job boards.


    It’s not enough just to be on LinkedIn though – you should join some groups, get involved in the discussions, and do some networking!  Check out this video that shows you how to find a job using LinkedIn.


    Happy Hunting!




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