God Blessed the Broken Road-Job Wise

c5da8d09731f5529d1b833dbe0701653I’ve been in the career field for many years, so much of my clientele comes from referrals.  Sometimes a job seeker needs a new position for a certain reason, but lament because their coworkers, set up, hours, customers, and supervisors were awesome. I next meet with one of these coworkers also needing something new. Unlike the first person, they are thrilled to leave and discuss the exact opposite—bad boss, coworkers, and all around set up. Both people have high work ethics and are warm and kind.

But personalities, interests, experiences and needs differ, so groups gel differently. What is fantastic for one person may be blah for another. It often has zilch to do with the people individually.

When job searching, remember: people are unique. If you failed to perform or fit in well at a former position or with previous coworkers often has no bearing on how far you can fly at a different job in circumstances better geared for your strengths—unless you let it. Be brave; look ahead. Don’t hold others’ personalities and strengths against them, and don’t focus on past failures. Think of them as learning experiences, leading you on a better path. Listen to “God Bless the Broken Road” by Rascall Flatts on YouTube or watch the movie of the same name. They aren’t about new jobs but pertain perfectly.

Good luck job seeking,

Beth Husom, GCDF

Successful Transplants

images (6)In the career world, a “successful transplant” doesn’t involve human organs or surgical procedures. It involves moving far away, getting in with a fabulous company, and thriving. After a big move, people may be concerned about fitting in. For as we know, even in the US, different states and areas of the country often have unique accents, expressions, events, and behaviors.

Successful transplants are thriving in every state. Sometimes people feel like they need to completely morph into a native to get in the door, but that’s not true. So don’t go into an interview trying to hide an accent or act a certain way. When job seeking in a different area, promote your background and use it to your advantage.

images (7)Diversity in a company is awesome, especially when the corporation has clients and vendors outside their area (like almost all do).  Hiring people from different states and countries often helps companies better reach out, communicate, and understand their customers. Go ahead: if you are from Minnesota living in Texas, be wild: call a Pepsi “pop.” Since you’re probably an expert, head an inservice on trendy layering if the weather gets unseasonably cool. Say “you guys” instead of “y’all”, and comment something is “spendy” when it has a large price tag. If your company has Northern clients, your coworkers will finally have someone to help decipher and translate our odd expressions, words and accents.

Good luck job hunting,

Elizabeth Husom, GCDF

Large or Small Company?

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I’ve been asked 100s of times: “Should I work for a large corporation or a small company?” My usual smart-alecky answer: “Yes.” Because of their media coverage and advertising, it seems everyone works in a high-rise office building or massive warehouse. But drive down any US street, and see all the plumbing companies, delis, neighborhood stores, dentists, churches, etc., and you’ll realize it makes sense that around half of US employees work for small businesses.

In a small company, employees’ duties are often widespread. The Front Desk worker may handle marketing, inventory, and bills. Employees at Fortune 500 companies are in departments with specific tasks. However; there are greater chances for growth, new products, brands,  and more. They often have better benefits, and more. It can be a little colder-people in an out, less personal influence or chance for ideas, etc.

If small business employee doesn’t like his/her coworkers, life can be tough. There’s nowhere to go. In a large corporation, they can potentially change departments. However, small businesses can be wonderful if you get along with the other employees.

For benefits combined with coziness, a local franchise may be an option—your neighborhood Fantastic Sam’s, Edward Jones, Thrivent, Holiday, Perkins-type places. They may have the monetary resources of a large corporation in a smaller setting. There are pros and cons to everything. RESEARCH, RESEARCH, RESEARCH!

In my home state of Minnesota, people ask me the corporation question a lot, as it’s home to companies such as: United Health Group, General Mills, 3M, Target, Polaris, BestBuy, US Bank, Medtronic, Regis, Travelers, Allina Health, Buffalo Wild Wings, Anytime Fitness, Valspar, Sleep Number…and a couple unfamiliars, such as: Coustic-Glo International Ceiling Maintenance (72,500 employees), Cargill (150,000 employees), and EcoLab (47,565 employees)—plus a bunch of other biggies. So when someone wants to know: MyPillow or local school? My answer-“yes.”

Good luck job hunting,

Elizabeth Husom, GCDF

Needed PTO before hire; do you tell?

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Should you apply for new jobs with known upcoming time off needs? When a person’s job ends, they may have family reunions, pre-booked vacations, tickets to a big game, healthcare procedures, weddings, etc., on the horizon. They ask—I need a new job but can’t miss this event. What do I do?

You can: #1-Wait to search. #2-Tell an employer during an interview or before accepting a position. #3-Apply for days off after hire. Number two is usually best. Never let something small hinder your long-term. If everyone waited until life is perfect until job searching, no one would look. There’s always “something”; kids’, health, move, event, etc. Potential employers have lives as well. Most understand.

Don’t start an interview by asking about the vacation policy or telling about your upcoming cruise or planned dental procedure. If you are excited about a company, towards the end, share your excitement about them and honestly say what’s upcoming. Indicate (if you are), that will be flexible regarding start date, vacation days, etc. Don’t wait until hire. You could seem untrustworthy or disrespectful. Additionally, companies often develop training plans, and may rearrange internal schedules or pay outside resources to help new hires.

I’ve had clients wait to start jobs, take the time as unpaid, or use PTO right away. Sometimes they’ll agree to pay back money if they leave before a certain time. Companies try to make good hires. However; this eliminates concern over the unknown.

Good luck job seeking,

Elizabeth Husom, GCDF

 

Shortening your resume

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It takes me a lot longer to write short pieces than long ones. I’m extremely familiar with  job seeking and write long blogs in minutes. However; these aren’t published. Instead, I edit. I attempt to say the same thing using half the words. They take longer to complete, and end up on Job Seeking Adventures. But why do this?

Readers (including HR reps), scan. It helps to cut extra info and be action-oriented. Clients often bring me long resumes without specifics. Or, they include the same duties under multiple jobs. Or, they share technology, equipment, and duties unrelated to jobs they are applying for. As I share with them, every word on a resume and cover letter should have a reason for being there. If you have similar jobs, set up a “Professional Experience” section to share once what you’ve completed at all positions. In your “Employment” section, list the jobs without general duties, but accomplishments and specifics unique to that position.

Only use past duties in the context of transferable skills. For instance; an RN going for a Customer Service position doesn’t need to share medical equipment and specific healthcare procedures, but should determine and share skills involved with patient care that will be invaluable to helping the company’s customers.

Again; remember more isn’t always better with resumes and cover letters. Say a ton in few words.

Good luck job hunting,

Beth Husom, GCDF

Me or You?

downloadScenario 1: “Dear Human Resources:  I have been a nurse for 10 years, and just got my Nurse Practitioner degree and certification. I saw you had an opening on Indeed, and I really would love to work at a clinic near my house. I have attached my resume, and would love an interview…”

Scenario 2: “Ddownload (1)ear Ms. Johnson: Thank you so much for speaking with me yesterday, and sharing that Allina Health Uptown is seeking a capable and patient-oriented Nurse Practitioner. I also believe in ‘For All the You that’s Possible,’ which is why I’ve served thousands over the last 10 years at Stellis Health in Albertville and North Memorial Health in Golden Valley. It’s also why I recently earned my Master’s and am now a Certified Nurse Practitioner. Please consider furthering our telephone conversation with an official interview and look to the attached resume. I hope both would give a glimpse as to how my background, skills, and personality could make me a fitting, caring addition to the 750 Allina Healthcare Providers who already make lives better for patients and families.”

Some say that just like the rotary phone, resumes and cover letters are obsolete. Don’t listen. They are as relevant as ever. BUT: selfish and generic don’t work. In Scenario 1, it’s all about the job seeker. SHE wants a job. SHE found an anonymous opening on Indeed. SHE wants to work near her house. SHE wants an interview. It’s not an HR rep’s responsibility to ensure you have a short commute time. Our 1st candidate does share she’s been a nurse for 10 years. BUT; we don’t know if she likes it, has worked anywhere, or is any good. Since she just GOT her NP degree, we don’t know if she found it on the sidewalk or in a cereal box….

My company is called Words Matter because what you say is vital. Also vital is personal communication. Enter Scenario 2:

This candidate spoke with someone directly. She used verbs (action words). She used THEIR motto as a reason she earned (not got) an NP degree. She shared specific experience. She gave numbers and referred to patients. She appealed to the HR rep by indicating THEY had started a relationship via their initial phone chat. She showed she researched THEM, and again showed it’s about THEM—not her. Instead, she would like to fit into THEIR clinics.download (2)

In a cover letter, try to eliminate I, MY, ME as much as possible, and instead use words like YOU, WE, YOUR, etc. Think of yourself as a puzzle piece, where a company will pick you up and you’ll perfectly fit.

Good luck job searching,

Beth Husom, GCDF

Job-flavored lemonade

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We’ve all heard the expression, “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.” This can be used in job-land too. Yesterday, I received a phone call supposedly from a local powder coating company. When I answered, it was an ESL speaker from a loud call center, trying to get personal information. Solicitors are sneaky!

I looked up the powder coating company. It seemed they were sold or merged with a tube bending company—very little knowledge of either industries. But upon viewing the website, it seems the facility is large, located in an industrial area of town. What I dub as a “Small Sign” company; businesses we drive by every day, don’t notice because they aren’t Target, Cub Foods, a bank, clinic, etc., but they can be quite successful, and can be gold mines for job seekers.

I called the powder coating/tube bending facility to say someone stole their name and was using it in a sneaky way. An Account Manager and I had a nice conversation and was thankful I called. I took a picture with my cell phone and emailed it. She also asked what I did for a living.

I saw the facility had many areas, potentials for non-manufacturing/production jobs, and had a couple of job openings posted. However; if I was looking for a new job, my conversation with her would have been a perfect time to ask questions, see if she liked working there, and more. If I learned anything positive, I could see if she knew additional openings and/or get transferred to a hiring manager.

They already were happy with my actions. We were off on a good foot. Remember: Factories don’t just need production workers, hospitals don’t just need doctors, stores don’t just need salespeople, and schools don’t just need teachers. Never assume you’d never fit before asking. In the Bible, God says He can take what’s meant for our harm and turn it into something good.  Use Him. Take a bad phone call, injury, car problem, lost cell phone, problem with a person, etc., and see if there’s a job or great contact in the middle of an annoying, uneasy, or even crisis situation. Many have found a fabulous positions due to a broken leg, cracked tooth,  lawsuit, broken furnace, or even when doing things like helping clean a hoarded house. The stories are cool and they just keep on coming.

Good luck job seeking,

Beth Husom, GCDF