How to Really Stand Out in a Sea of New Graduates

High schools and colleges soon will be holding Commencement exercise for the Class of 2018 and thousands upon thousands of graduating seniors will be looking for work.

If you will be one of them, here’s a question: with so many graduates flooding the market at the same time, how are you going to make sure you catch the attention of employers?

Here are some strategies you can try. Take a look below.

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  1. Don’t take some time off; look for work NOW.

If you don’t already have a job lined up, understand that this isn’t really your summer vacation: you’re an adult now and it’s time to do adult things, such as finding gainful employment.

Many high school and college seniors have jobs lined up already. If you don’t, you need to get your hustle on. Now! Because the longer you wait, the less attractive you become to an employer (“So you’ve been sitting on the beach all summer? Nice tan! Do anything productive? No? Not a lot of initiative on your part. Next!”)

  1. Start talking to people.

That’s right. Start finding people who can help you find work and go out there and let them know you’re looking! Yes, you can browse the job boards and apply there, but if all you do is hit send on applications, you’re not hustling: you’re sitting at the smartphone/tablet/computer and hitting send (it’s as if you’re playing a really boring video game).

  1. Don’t be afraid to approach the companies at which you want to work, even if they’re “not hiring” right now.

Yes, going to an employer or hiring manager and saying (basically) “Here I am. You should hire me for such and such because I have this skill and that skill and another skill.” Seriously: doing so shows drive and boldness.

Besides, you’re young. You’ll look assertive in a good way. (And if they reject you because of this? Believe us; you don’t want to work for a person/company that thinks being assertive is a bad thing!)

Actually, you don’t have to approach a hiring manager and ask for work. You could approach her and ask for information. As in “I’m interested in the XYZ industry as a career. I just graduated high school/college and I have these skills and this experience. Could I take 30 minutes of your time so that I can learn more about what people in your position look for in job candidates?

Hint: People with a few career years under their belt LOVE to help people just getting started. They do! Who doesn’t like to look smart and successful and give advice to ears eager to hear Every. Word. You. Say? Nobody, that’s who! So long as you’re polite and respectful of the person’s time, chances are great that she will be happy to talk to you.

(Another tip: make sure to approach people who actually could hire you; don’t go to the human resources department because the folks there screen applicants and they don’t actually make hiring decisions.)

Once your meeting is over, ask if there’s anyone the person recommends you should approach next. And while it won’t happen every time, the person may say there’s a job opening right now. NOW!!! And do you have a resume you could send her?

  1. Speaking of your resume, tweak it for EVERY job for which you apply.

“Ugh,” we can hear you saying. “EVERY job? That’s a lot of work!” That’s right, it is. But no two jobs are alike. They may have the same title and be in the same industry, but each hiring manager’s needs will be slightly different so you should change the resume for each job description, highlighting the things in your background (skills, education, experience) that speak to those needs (without lying about your skills, education, experience).

Your post-college/high school life lies before you. Go out there and get it!

Helpmates can help you. Take a look at our current job opportunities to see if one or more of our temporary, temp-to-hire and direct-hire openings look interesting and, if so, apply as instructed. If you’d like to make an appointment for an interview, contact the Helpmates branch location nearest you.

Why Preparation is 80 Percent of Career Success

You’ve no doubt heard the saying that 80 percent of your accomplishments comes from 20 percent of your efforts. This is known as the Pareto Principle (which actually states that 80 percent of effects come from 20 percent of causes).

(You also may have noticed that 20 percent of your colleagues do 80 percent of the work, but that’s a topic for another blog post. Career tip: you want to be among that 20 percent!)

Yet when it comes to career success, it’s a bit flip-flopped: Your success is due to about 80 percent preparation and 20 percent work.

Let us explain:

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Let’s say you want to paint a room. You see yourself taking a paint roller to a large wall. But what comes before you grab a roller? Prep work! As in cleaning the wall (if necessary). Maybe even sanding it. Certainly putting painters’ tape along the edges to protect the trim and/or carpet. And don’t forget to place drop cloths on the floor, move the furniture away from the wall, and take off pictures, mirrors and light fixtures.

That’s a lot of work! And you haven’t even started putting paint on the walls yet!

But if you don’t prepare well you’ll discover paint drops on the carpet/floor, furniture, on the wall where you don’t want it, and so on. Your paint job will be something of a failure. All because you rushed into it and just wanted to “get ‘er done!”

Career success is the same: Rush around slapdash, trying this and that without doing the prep work and it’s a sure path to…mediocrity

Let’s say you need to give a presentation. It’s in front of your colleagues and supervisor. People you know well. So you don’t prepare and decide to wing it.

You didn’t practice, so you get nervous and mumble. A colleague asks a question and you give the answer you thought was correct only to have someone else correct you.

How impressed is your boss going to be? Do you think she’s going to ask you to lead an initiative any time soon? Will she trust that you know what you’re doing when you suggest a certain tactic?

You know the answer. And all could have been avoided if you took the time – yes, the tedious, two-afternoons-consuming time-in-addition-to-ALL-the-OTHER-things-you-need-to-do – to prepare for your presentation.

In other words, a successful project or task often results from work you do before tackling the task. Work that’s often a LOT of preparation, and it’s often 80 percent of all the time you’re going to spend on the task. Actually doing the task itself takes about 20 percent of your time.

So keep this in mind: 80 percent of any success you’ll have in your career will be taken up with preparation work. Often not “fun” work either. The “glory” and the fun makes up just 20 percent.

Ready for a new opportunity in the Los Angeles/Orange County region? Helpmates is hiring! Then check out our job board and see if one or more positions listed there appeals to you.

How to Keep Learning When You Have No Time for an Education

Your life is….busy! Really busy: you work 40-plus hours a week, you have a spouse who also works full-time, you have two school-aged children (or maybe their teens and so you want to keep a close eye on them). You want to eat right and exercise. You’d like some semblance of a social life.

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And yet you read all the time about how absolutely critical lifelong learning is to success in a career today. Snooze – as in don’t keep learning new skills – and you’ll lose, big time.

But, then again, you are BUSY! Where will you find the time?

Here are some ideas (and they don’t involve “watch less TV/Hulu dramas and just see your calendar open up!”).

  1. In fact, fire up the laptop and get thee to YouTube!

With 300 hours of video loaded up to YouTube every hour, you’re sure to find videos that will help you learn “good stuff” applicable for your career. From learning Excel to learning quantum physics, there’s a YouTube video on it. Yes, there will be no certification awarded, but then there are not tests, either.

  1. Get your training during work hours.

Hello, work-related conferences, seminars and training sessions! Many employers send employees to seminars and conferences. Others bring trainers to the work site. You can even watch a training video during specified hours at work. (No need to worry about watching a video on your own time at all!) And, because it’s employer-sponsored, these types of continuous learning opportunities often take place during your regular working hours.

In other words, sign up for any and all educational conferences and seminars your employer will allow!

  1. Take a course while driving to work or working out at the gym.

Purchase audio books and/or audio courses. Don’t forget podcasts and even such spots as Apple Music. You’ll be amazed at the things you can learn in this way

  1. Take an online course.

Many colleges offer academic credits/certification for courses taken online. Yes, you’ll probably have to dig and “find the time” out of your already full schedule to do so. But you can do so while at home.  Meaning your kids probably will be there so you can keep an eye on them, you won’t have to drive to campus and then home after (saving time) and you could potentially do them on weekends (again, being at home with your family).

You also can sign up for online classes at such websites as Udemy.com. (All Udemy courses provide a certificate of completion once you successfully finish a course.)

Now is a terrific time to look for a new career opportunity with Helpmates. Our clients are hungry for great people for their temporary, temp-to-hire and direct-hire job opportunities. Check out our current job openings and if one or more piques your interest, follow the instructions to apply!

Why Bragging Can Be a Very Good Thing for Your Career

Many of us – especially the many of us that are women – are told that bragging is rude and self-centered. It’s. Not. Something.  Polite. People. Do.

But if you want to get ahead in your career, your business, even your personal life, “strategic” braggadocio can be a very good thing. Here’s why.

  • Told as a statement of fact (“I just landed a $500,000 per year client for my employer”), it makes you look confident and a problem solver/go-getter.

When you do something awesome, what’s wrong with telling others about it? Nothing! In fact, if you don’t tell your boss about the great things you’re doing for him/her, who will? And how will you get that promotion you’ve had your eye on if your supervisor(s) don’t know about your accomplishments? Answer: you won’t!Cerritos employment

Bosses are busy people and they have their own challenges and goals on which they are focused. Sure, they might congratulate you on a job well done. (In fact, they better be, by golly, or they’ll soon find that their employees will be leaving for more appreciative employers.)

It’s a good idea to keep a list of your accomplishments so that when you discuss your performance with your supervisor, you bring them up. In fact, consider sending your boss a list of your accomplishments quarterly, so that he/she is kept apprised of your value.

  • Speaking up helps showcase you as a leader.

Seriously, how many great leaders do you know who don’t, from time to time, remind others of what they’ve accomplished?

U.S. Presidents formally do it once a year in their State of the Union address; CEOs do so as well. So why can’t you?

Remember, stating accomplishments should be said as a point of fact, not in a bragging tone. Stating your achievements in this way showcases you as someone with self- confidence and leaders have self-confidence.

  • The fact that you’re not afraid to speak well of yourself when warranted can help others speak up about their own legitimate successes.

Isn’t the fact that society frowns on our “bragging,” really a way of making sure we don’t realize our full potential? If we were to discuss and celebrate our accomplishments and what’s going well in our lives – particularly  if we also mention some of the risks we took to make those accomplishments – wouldn’t that then encourage others to take some risks and reap the rewards?

We think so. So with that in mind, here’s a bit of statement-of-fact speaking for ourselves: Helpmates once again won two of the top awards available in the staffing industry, Inavero’s “Best of Staffing.” And this is our ninth year being honored in this way!

So, tell us here: what are accomplishment are you most proud of? And if it has to do with something you did at work, and if you’re interested in finding new work, take a look at our current opportunities and apply!

You Don’t Need a College Degree to Have a Great Career

Do you think that those with “careers” (those types of professional occupations with high salaries and the prestige that can go with them) are just for those with a college degree? This is so untrue, it’s laughable!

Take a look below for the reasons why you don’t need a college degree (not even a two-year associate’s degree) to have a great career, as well a few types you may want to consider.

College is expensive. By 2012 the cost of going to college had risen 12 fold from 1978 (and has continued to increase in the last six years) while the average hourly wage had increased by just under 400 percent between 1978 and 2012 and consumer prices increased a bit more than 400 percent in that time frame.Los Angeles careers

The average college student graduated in 2016 with $37,172 in student debt, a six percent increase from 2015. And that’s just the average! Stories such as the woman with $152,000 in student debt (includes a bachelor’s and two master’s degrees) aren’t uncommon, either.

In addition, not everyone wants to go to college or would be a good fit for college.

If that’s you, there are terrific alternatives to college, alternatives that pay well and can bring you and your family a terrific way of life.

Self-employment/Business Ownership

Some people with “just” a high school diploma start businesses. Perhaps they take their mowing and yard work skills (honed by working summers for a landscaping company in high school and then later working for a landscaping firm in their 20s) and start their own landscaping business. (Which eventually allowed them to retire early.) Perhaps they take the money their parents saved for college tuition and open a bakery*.

The point is that entrepreneurship can be the ticket to financial and career success. In fact, “can be” isn’t enough: entrepreneurship is the ticket to a fine future for many non-college grads. (There are a few things you do need, however.)

Sales

Sales professionals can make a terrific income: how does $150,000 a year sound? You don’t need anything beyond a high school diploma (and perhaps not even that). You do need to be able to approach and talk to people easily and, most importantly, listen to them closely. You also need the proverbial “thick skin,” as you’ll hear no far more than you’ll hear yes.

You also may want to take a few business/marketing classes and even sales trainings, -possibly through your employer (they often will pay for sales training).

Another great thing about working in sales: when companies need to lay people off, the sales folks usually are the last to go. After all, they are the ones that bring income to a company.

Real Estate

Sell homes and commercial buildings and you can make an extremely great living for yourself, so long as you work in the high end/luxury arm of the industry. Most full-time (working 60-plus hours a week) real estate agents made $87,000 (article written in 2014).

Yet it’s definitely possible to make $100,000-plus in a few years of persistent hustle. You will need to spend a few hundred dollars up front on certification and licensing, and you’ll also have to spend money on marketing your services before you ever see a commission check.

But so long as you continually study real estate, study your market, hone your people and sales skills, learn how to market yourself and properties like the extremely hard worker you are, there’s absolutely no need to worry about going to college.

Working in Staffing (Internal Staff Member)

While the staffing industry likes to see some post-secondary coursework in its recruiters and sales professionals, it’s not absolutely necessary.  Instead we prefer to see compassion, some talent in sales, an extremely high work ethic, the ability to juggle several job priorities at once, and the ability and desire to learn all there is to know about this exciting industry.

As you move up in management you may be encouraged to obtain a bachelor’s degree (at minimum), but it’s not necessary. For example, we know of at least one individual* who works for an international staffing firm as a vice president and she has had no formal college coursework at all! (She does have an exceptional natural business sense, however.)

Here’s an idea of the different salaries for staffing professionals in different staffing/recruiting companies and niches.

Helpmates is hiring internally! We’re always looking or terrific people who have an interest in helping our clients find great workers/candidates find great opportunities. If you’re at all interested in learning more about working in staffing with us, contact our corporate office and let us know why you think you’d be a great candidate.

*Personal friend.

How to Change Careers (Successfully)

Whether it’s due to dissatisfaction with your current career or possibly getting laid off from a job in a dying business sector, chances are great that you’re going to want to change careers (or may at least seriously contemplate doing so) at least one in your professional lifetime.

Many people do change careers. You hear often about people such as the person who left a career as a data analyst to that of freelance writer. Or the lawyer who left the profession to become an intern at a local television news station and who now covers the Supreme Court as a correspondent. Or how about this doozy of a change: going from a TV station control room to school bus driver and wedding officiant (both of which he LOVES)!

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But there also are many other people who change careers who find that the new career a) isn’t what they thought it would be or b) they struggle mightily to become successful within that career and/or make ends meet. We don’t hear as much about these people, but they’re out there, rueing the day they made the change.

And why do they regret the change? There usually are at least one – or more – of the following six reasons:

  1. They didn’t take the time to really think about what they wanted to do.
  2. They didn’t research the new career and went in blind.
  3. They quit their current job before researching the career and/or even having another job lined up.
  4. They didn’t get any training needed before quitting their current position and looking for a new job in a new field.
  5. They assumed they could get a job in the new career at the same level – and amount of salary — they had in in their old career (“Operations manager in retail to director in a marketing agency, here I come!”)
  6. Deciding to change careers because they hate their current boss/colleagues/company. (They forgot that a single job is not a career.)

Instead, here’s what successful career changers do.

  • They research and research – and research some more – the career(s) in which they are interested.

We may think that we know what it’s like working in a certain career, but that’s pretty much impossible unless we actually work in the career or at least talk to several people who work within it.

Since it would be very difficult to work in the field before, well, working in the field, your best bet is to talk to as many people as possible who do what you want to do. Ask them about the best and worst things about the career. Ask them how they got into the career. Ask them about salaries, skills and education requirements, etc. Ask them if they know of anyone else in the field you could talk to.

Doing this not only helps you get a better idea of what the career actual entails day-to-day, it also helps you build a network of people who can help you find work if/when you decide to make a move.

  • They work hard to see how their current skills can transfer easily to the new career and they showcase this to potential employers.

Chances are great that unless you have the skills that transfer easily from one career to another (sales skills, for example), you may have to start a bit “from the bottom.”

Not always, but usually. And the people who do start at a level somewhat akin to their current position in their current career work hard to either gain the skills needed  for the new career or show potential employers how they transfer.

They realize that it’s not their new manager’s job to make their career dreams come true: they need to show value and how they can solve the new supervisor’s problems from the get go.

If they don’t have the skills that transfer easily, they graciously come to terms with it and accept that they may have to climb the ladder all over again.

Possibly the easiest career change to make is to one that’s related to a current career: advertising to marketing, law to finance, medicine to public health, for example. That doesn’t mean a change from interior design to finance (for example) isn’t unheard of, but anyone making such a drastic change needs to make it with eyes wide open.

Are you looking for a change? Helpmates may be able to help you, so long as you understand the limits of your current skills in regards to what the jobs in a new career require. Whether you’re looking for a new job or a whole new profession, take a look at our current opportunities and, if one or more pique your interest, follow the instructions on the posting.

When a Co-Worker Drives You Crazy

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Co-workers: they can make or break a job. You could be working in your dream career, even at your dream company doing work you absolutely love, but if even if there’s just one colleague who is annoying as all get out? Well, you may soon start looking for another employer, THAT’s how much a colleague who puts your teeth on edge can affect you.

What types of co-workers make the list of the most annoying? Take a look below:

Drama Queens. Male or female, these types of folks make a big thing out of Did another colleague look the drama queen a bit too long? Instead of thinking that perhaps the person was looking out in to space deep in thought, drama queens automatically assume the worst: the person hates them, is obsessed with them, is plotting against them, and so on.

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In other words, to drama queens, everything is about them. Oh, and life is one crises after another.These people Just. Can’t. Be. Bothered.

Want to ask if they can help you real quick on deadline? Don’t bother; it’s not their project. Are you on a work team together and you notice someone is doing the bare minimum (if that) and she always seems to work in slow motion? Oh, and does she often complain about her horrendous workload? Yup, a slacker.

The Braggart. Did someone just get a new Camry after just two years with the old one? You know about it because the braggart is letting everyone know about it. Did her boyfriend just give her a dozen roses and a nice necklace, just because? Does she talk about the new shoes she just purchased, how she got into a club no one can get into, and on and on about her fabulous life? There’s a braggart!

These aren’t the only types of crazy-making colleagues. There are bullies, perfectionists, gossips, suck-ups, shrinking violets, smiling backstabbers, Pollyannas, heroes, TMI sharers, and more.

But notice something here: chances are you at some point, sometime may have been one of these annoyances yourself? In other words, we’re all human, we all have our weaknesses and we all are annoying to someone else at some time.

We advocate understanding and forgiveness. So with that in mind, take a look below for some coping mechanisms you can use when the annoying ones make your life crazy at work.

When you find yourself annoyed by a co-worker, pause for a moment and dig into what you’re really feeling at the moment of annoyance. Are you angry, sad, disappointed, anxious? The simple act of naming your emotion can help alleviate it. At the same time, identify the exact thing/behavior your colleague does that annoys you. Instead of “he’s just an attention grabber,” it should be “I dislike it when he interrupts a speaker during meetings.”

Now ask yourself what your reaction can teach you about yourself. Chances are that another person’s actions irk you because you’re worried that you exhibit the same tendencies. Taking the above as example, if someone annoys you for interrupting and you think it’s because he needs to hog the spotlight, are you possibly concerned that you may sometimes come across as a limelight lover, too? Or are you worried that you’re too quiet and never speak up when you have a great idea?

Either scenario could mean that you have some work to do on yourself: either work on giving others a chance to shine or start speaking up more when you have something to say.

Of course, some annoying colleagues are – frankly – truly toxic! If that’s the case and you can give concrete examples of how their toxicity affected you (a team member slacked so much the project missed a deadline, and you have the documentation to prove it), bring your concerns (and documentation) to your manager or human resources.

Finally, if you find that a colleague truly does make your workday miserable, it may be time to look for another employer. If that’s the case, consider contacting the recruiters at Helpmates. While we do offer temporary assignments, we also have a lot of direct-hire opportunities. Take a look at all of our current openings and follow the instructions on the listing if one appeals to you.

Why Soft Skills Still Matter

Have you noticed how companies, hiring managers and recruiters are screaming “Where are all the skilled workers!?” It seems everyone working to fill a position is looking for skills, as in skills in technology, engineering, digital, coding, nano-tech, accounting and so on.

But what if you don’t have those particular skills? What if you’re a great writer? You get along well with others and help alleviate conflicts among colleagues when things get testy? What if you work well alone as well as in a team? What if you’re good at training others in sales, or WordPress?

What about you? Are you sunk, lost, never to be noticed by an employer again!

Hardly! Yes, certain skills are highly valued by employers, but the best coder in the world isn’t going to be highly prized by his colleagues or his supervisor if he’s a loner who makes snide remarks when he’s interrupted.

Instead, as technical skills become more and more important, so are soft skills raising their profile among hiring managers because the more impersonal the workplace becomes, so grows employers’ need to hire people who have the skills necessary to answer yes when someone asks “Can’t we all just get along?”

This post discusses how you can showcase your soft skills to an employer. Take a look below.

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The Three Top Soft Skills.

As our workplaces become more automated and technical (and therefore impersonal), employers are going to be looking people who:

  • Have the ability to collaborate with others (also known as a knack for teamwork).
  • Can think critically.
  • Are able to communicate well.

“Hard” skills may get you an interview, but unless you have soft skills, you won’t get the job – and then promoted within it. Tech, accounting, coding, marketing skills, etc. are what employers specify in job descriptions, but you will need to let your soft skills shine by being personable in your job interview, communicating well, asking questions, sending sincere thank you notes, negotiating salary, and so on in order to receive an offer

In addition, once you’re on the job, your people skills, your positive attitude, a strong work ethic, emotional intelligence, etc. will help you move up the ladder. They are, in fact, crucial skills to have if you want to succeed in any capacity.

To showcase your soft skills in a job interview, follow these tips:

  • Give specific examples of the times you went “above and beyond” for an employer and how doing so benefited the project on which you worked. (Soft skill: work ethic.)
  • Bring examples of written work you created to showcase your communication skills. In addition, tell the hiring manager/interviewer how you helped diffuse a tense situation, how you were able to move a skeptical prospect into a buyer, and so on.
  • Explain how you prioritize your to-do list, how you delegate to others and/or speak to managers when too many of their competing must-dos need to be coordinated among them. (Soft skill: time management.)
  • Dress appropriately for the job interview. Look the interviewer directly in the eye. Give her a firm handshake before and after the interview. Keep fidgeting to a minimum. Ask questions that show you’ve researched different aspects of the company and how the job opening fits into helping the company meet its goals. (Soft skill: self-confidence.) Practice these skills with a trusted friend or family member, if possible.

If looking for work in Southern California, bring your much-needed soft skills to Helpmates. We can help you find terrific job and career opportunities with many of the region’s top employers. It’s a candidates’ market today and our clients need you! Contact us today.

The Quick-Start Job Search Guide

Even though this definitely is a candidate-driven market (and it should continue to be so at least through all of 2018) and employers are practically on bended knee “proposing” to talent, Los Angeles-area workers could see themselves suddenly without a job: layoffs STILL occur!

If this has happened to you, you may decide to take a few days or weeks off to mourn your loss and even recharge. (“It’s a sort-of vacation!”) This can be a good idea, but we urge you to take only two or three weeks – at most – “off” before starting your job search in earnest.

Why? Because the very fact that you are unemployed – even if it wasn’t your fault – makes you much less desirable than someone who is still employed, even if you have highly sought after skills. Why? Because being unemployed makes you an “active” candidate. If you were still employed, you would be a “passive” candidate and employers prefer passive candidates because “we don’t have to worry about the circumstances surrounding their departure from their last job.” That’s right: get laid off for no reason other than because your employer decided it needed to cut back on its employee roster and you’re automatically (probably subconsciously) lumped in with ne’er do wells, thieves, folks who weren’t up to the task, “problem” employees, etc.

Is this fair? Of course not! But it is reality. So if you find yourself out of work, don’t sit around watching Hulu videos or finally getting around to painting your Huntington Beach condo. Start looking for work. Pronto!

Take a look below for 11 steps to take to get your job search started quickly. As in half a day!

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  1. Get organized.

Put on some comfortable clothes, find a quiet space in your home, get your previous resume and a cover letter handy, open up the laptop, and start contacting friends to see if they’d be willing to proofread your revised resume. Get some tea and/or coffee and settle down for the afternoon.

  1. Start thinking about where you’d like to work.

Have you always wanted to work at some particular company or companies? List them. Go to each of their websites and do some research. Jot notes about the companies’ products/services, their goals/challenges (check their blogs or news media sites for insight into these things). Look at your LinkedIn profile to see if you have any first, second or even third connections who either work at the companies or who may have connections at the companies. Check the companies’ job openings to see if there’s anything that fits your bill.

  1. Check job boards.

Don’t spend a lot of time on this. And don’t apply to any openings. Not yet. This is recon: you want to see what job opportunities currently are to be had for your background and skill set. Make notes (bookmarks, too) if anything you see particularly strikes you or piques your interest.

  1. Pick five favorite openings and/or companies.

Head back to LinkedIn and see if you know anyone with any connection. Ask them to set up an informational interview with them. (Here’s a networking email template that says it will “get you a meeting with anyone you ask.” Let us know if it works!)

Work to set up a minimum of three meetings. Set those three meetings up today.

  1. Write a cover letter and tailor it to EACH different opportunity.

Seriously: each cover letter needs to be different. You cannot use the same cover letter for each opening. You need to show how your skills, background, accomplishments, and possibly education will help the employer solve the problems the position is supposed to solve and/or reach the goals the position is supposed to reach.

  1. Beef up your resume.

Tweak/edit it so that it highlights your specific accomplishments: those problems you solved and goals you reached for your previous employers. Don’t be afraid to also tweak your resume for each position.

  1. Send the resume/cover letter to one or more friends for proofing/feedback.

You want absolutely no grammar or spelling mistakes. None!

  1. Apply for the three or so openings online.

Upload your docs and hit send.

  1. If you’ve heard back from your potential informational interviews, set up meeting times.

Mention that you’ve applied for openings at their company (if applicable). Approach friends, family members and current and/or former colleagues for coffee meetings. Let them know what type of work you’re looking for, your skills/background and make sure to ask them if they know of anyone else with whom you could meet. (Tip: don’t wait for your friend to make the intro: people are busy and may forget. instead ask your friend for his contact’s email or phone info and ask your buddy if it’s OK if you contact the person directly, saying that your friend suggested that you contact the individual.)

  1. Repeat each day until you accept a job offer.

The way to find a job quickly is look for work each day. Yes, the old saw is true: view searching for a job as your job.

  1. Consider signing up with a staffing service such as ours.

Helpmates has new temporary, temp-to-hire and even direct-hire job opportunities appearing every day. You can work with us on temporary assignments while you job hunt on your own or allow us to send you on interviews for more permanent positions.

Take a look at our job openings and apply online. Or contact the office nearest you.

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