Midwest Professional Woman's Group Blog

Dress for Success Midwest Professional Women's Group

Posts Tagged ‘Job Search’

Dress for Success Worldwide CEO Joi Gordon answers your questions and provides career tips.

Posted by Dress for Success Midwest Professional Women's Group on December 3, 2010

Question #1

Some jobseekers have a very clear vision of their ideal job. What do they need to do to turn that idea into a reality?

Response #1

I have learned that in some cases a job seeker’s “ideal job” might be different than the “right job.” The only way to know the difference is through research and tapping into the networks of the industry you are interested in. By joining like-minded associations, clubs and attending industry related events, one gets a genuine feel for what the culture and expectations in that industry really are. Consistent and targeted networking lands people jobs—make sure you have this kind of network.

Question #2

There are jobseekers who lost their dream jobs because of cutbacks. How can these jobseekers take what they loved about their old jobs and apply it to new positions?

Response #2

My guess is that these particular jobseekers always brought their best self to work – day in and day out. This should never get old, regardless of the position you’re in. Loving what you do is one thing, but when you bring your best self to work, it’s a recipe that allows you to do everything better. As you get acquainted in your new position, think about how you are accustomed to bringing your best self to work and continue to do so. And you never know—the “dream job” you had could very well turn into a hobby or something to be passionate about outside of work. Keeping a balance of work and other outside interests is key—your glass should be full!

Question #3

The job market is extremely competitive for recent grads. What can recent grads do to make themselves stand out?

Response #3

Presentation is key. It’s all about how you walk into that room—and how you’re dressed does matter. I always tell women that come to Dress for Success—on that interview, look like you have the job. Recent grads can erase the interviewer’s concern that you don’t have the experience necessary to be successful in the position by looking polished and professional. Enable the interviewer to easily visualize you working for that company.

Question #4

Do you have your dream job? How have your ideas about your dream job changed as you progressed through your career?

Response #4

My work at Dress for Success has never been a job—it’s been something I wake up every morning excited to do. If my journey didn’t include Dress for Success, I would still be making a difference because that is what I am committed to doing as a person and a professional. Why do we have to dream? Start doing it! Your moment to shine is right now. Identify the path, take the steps and prepare for incoming opportunities right now. I promise you’ll love what it is you’ve decided to do. And don’t forget to keep us at Trop50 and Dress for Success posted on your success.

Question #5

How can people get more involved with Dress for Success?

Response #5

You can easily help Dress for Success right now by sharing a fabulous free online gift with the Trop50 Facebook application. For every online gift shared through December 31st, 2010, Trop50 will donate $5 to Dress for Success (up to $25,000). Logon to Facebook today and help give goodness! Thanks all!

For more Trop50 career tips from Joi and E! News host Giuliana Rancic visit Trop50.com.

Interview provided by Tropicana


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Job Search Strategies & Online Resources

Posted by Dress for Success Midwest Professional Women's Group on October 22, 2010

In the beginning, there were two major online job search engines: Monster and Careerbuilder. Over time, many other job search engines were created. Jobseekers can be overwhelmed by the number and variety of online job search sites available. Another frustration often experienced is finding quality job postings. Some sites include very little information with their job postings. Often, applicants submit resumes only to find the job posting was no longer open or valid.

Here are a few tips to improve online job searches:

1. Research first. Narrow your search to those jobs or categories based on your skill set. Research companies and determine which type of company best meets your needs. What benefits matter to you? Are you looking for companies that provide flexible scheduling, onsite childcare, travel opportunities, etc? Once you know what you are looking for – you are ready to start an online search.

2. Online Resume Websites. Utilize online sites like Koda, Monster and VirtualCV to showcase your skills and conduct job searches. These sites are convenient because they let you post your resume and conduct job searches from one website.

3. Leverage Professional Social Networks. LinkedIn and Plaxo are two of the largest online professional networking sites and should be used in your job search. LinkedIn has a robust job search engine. Once you find a job that interests you, LinkedIn shows who in your professional network is employed at or connected to that particular company. You can contact your LinkedIn connections for additional information about the job and/or the company. Plaxo is very similar to LinkedIn. It has a job search feature within its site. Again, you can leverage professional connections to get information on a particular job opening or company.

4. Industry Specific Job Search Engines. Sites like Dice.com (information technology jobs) or HigherEdjobs.com (education jobs) provide job postings specific to one industry. Other sites like Indeed.com and Linkup.com allow you to conduct searches in a particular field or industry. Linkup.com is accessible by visiting the website directly or linking it to your current Facebook account. Indeed.com takes job searching a step further by allowing you to save searches and have updates e-mailed to you.

Take the time to research and create a good job search strategy. These simple tips will save time and reduce frustration.

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Building a Positive Employer, Employee Relationship

Posted by Dress for Success Midwest Professional Women's Group on October 6, 2010

Other than your immediate family, the people that you interact with most frequently are your co-workers. If you are a supervisor, it is your obligation as an employer to maintain positive and supportive relationships in the workplace.

Some ways to continually build on your employer employee relationships include:

* Keeping the lines of communication open and make your expectations clear. Provide feedback on how your employees are doing.

* Always be open to suggestions and employee feedback; regardless of whether the feedback is positive or negative. Asking your employees for their opinion will make them feel involved and valued. As an added bonus, your employees’ feedback may help to revitalize your business by uncovering ideas that will increase efficiency, customer service, or save money. You’ll also uncover issues that likely would never have been brought to your attention until the issue mushroomed into a bigger problem.

* Avoid favoritism. Be consistent with how you manage your employees.

* Lead by example. With few exceptions, the rules in place for your employees should apply to you; particularly when it comes to company or departmental policies. Avoid creating a double standard in the workplace.

* Be respectful to your employees. Supervisory status is not a license to treat your employees unfairly.

* Don’t make decisions that either negatively or positively impacts your employee’s status at work solely on the basis of gender, age, race, or other arbitrary reasons. This is especially true when it comes to promoting or terminating an employee.

* Don’t tolerate mistakes on the job. Feedback and communication is key. Deal with issues in the workplace before those issues get out of hand.

* Acknowledge your strong performers. Share your concerns with poor performers in private and hold them accountable for improving their performance while providing support and guidance.

Dianne Shaddock is the Founder of Easy Small Business HR.com, a
website which provides “Employee Hiring and Managing Tips” for
supervisors or anyone interested in learning more about managing and
hiring.  Go to EasySmallBusinessHR.com for more tips on how to hire
and manage your staff more effectively.

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The Planning Stage: Creative Resume Writing

Posted by Dress for Success Midwest Professional Women's Group on October 4, 2010

Your resume is a document with a single goal: to win you an interview with a prospective employer. In order to accomplish this goal, it is critical to do some prewriting, some creative anticipation.

Before you actually start building a resume, you must have clarity on what attracts you to the work you’re applying for, what your prospective employer is looking for and what you have in your personal and professional repertoire that makes you the best candidate for the job.

We like to call this process “creative resume writing,” since you’re about to envision the end result of your resume writing process. By the end of this three-step process, you’ll have in your head (and on the screen in front of you), a clear sense of what your winning resume will contain.

Step 1: How you fit the position

Imagine yourself located in the kind of work environment you’re applying to join. What is it about this place that makes you want to work here? What are the people like? Open your word processor and write it out. Add details such as what the place looks like, whether it’s got an attractive smell, what sounds (or lack thereof) can be heard, etc. Your becoming aware of these details will give you confidence and energy as you communicate to your prospective employer that you would fit in well on the job.

Step 2: What your employer wants

Employers are seeking a person who represents a “match” for the position they are hiring for. So instead of thinking about getting the job, think about how you are the best match for this particular job.

To start doing so, put yourself into the prospective employer’s shoes, and anticipate the qualities this employer would seek for this particular position. They are certainly looking for someone who is dedicated, reliable and competent. What specific qualities do you think this employer needs in an employee? What specific skills and abilities would this job require? Write it out.

Step 3: What you have to offer

Ultimately, your resume should convey clearly and cheerfully that you are the best match for this position. Chances are that a human-resources professional will be looking at your resume among hundreds of others, spilling coffee over them as they fight to stay awake. Sell yourself well. Here’s how.

Let the prospective employer know, first of all, that you have outstanding personal and professional qualities to contribute to the company and work environment. Let them know you’ve got the skills it takes to do the job well. List all of these qualities, credentials, skills, and abilities in your word processor.

Step 4: What you’ve done

Once you’ve wowed the employer with these qualities, prove you’ve got them by writing a professional experience piece. List what you’ve done in your professional career that would be of interest to this employer. For each job, write down first the title of the position and the name of the company you worked for. Then, write what you did at each position: what your responsibilities were/are, what you contributed. Keep the language active (more on that on our resume writing format development page), demonstrating the power you had/have in that position. Write your list in your word processor.


By now you should have clarity on what will go into your actual resume document. Soon you’ll be arranging the information you’ve written in your word processor into a coherent, positive-sounding, winning resume. Your creative anticipation here has paid off as you’ve explored the power of creative resume writing. Now, it’s time to develop the resume’s actual format on our resume writing format development page.

If you’d like some prodding to help you gain clarity or get help on any part of the creation of your resume, you may wish to take advantage of our resume consulting services, offered by Israel’s best resume writers. Please peruse their profiles to find someone with whom you would like to work.


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Resume Writing Tips

Resume Writing Example – The Functional Resume

Cover Letter Resume Writing

Resume Writing Examples – The Chronological Resume

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Questions you might be asked in an Interview

Posted by Dress for Success Midwest Professional Women's Group on September 15, 2010

Why are you looking for a new position?

Before you go for a job interview it is important to understand why you are putting your name forward for a new position. Career growth, short or long term goals, personal aspiration? The company is going to want to know what you have to offer their organisation, it is suggested it be in line with your own personal goals.

Do not view the interview as an interrogation session; use the interview as an opportunity for you to demonstrate to the employer why you could be the best candidate for the position. If you have not already covered the below in your CV, there is a potential these questions might come up as discussion points.

Gaps in CVs

Don’t have gaps in time periods on your CV, even if you worked in a temporary position, point it out.

Reasons for leaving

Be positive about why you left a position. People move on for a better opportunity, if it was involuntary, state the reasons, keep it brief and be honest.

What is the employer looking for?

To put it simply, the employer wants to know the following
1) If you have the required skills and knowledge for the position
2) If you fit the organisational culture of the business
3) If your compensation is fair compared to the task at hand
4) Your career path is in line with the short and long term goals of the company

What is required of you?

You need to want this position, chasing something that is not in line with your own goals is going to land you in the same position of looking for a job sooner rather than later.

Demonstrate to the employer that you are right for the job. Have the answers to the following questions.

  • Do you know your strengths and weaknesses?
  • When you start a project will you be able to see it through till completion.
  • How do you handle pressure?
  • Are you easy to work with?
  • Why do you want to work for this organization?
  • Are you enthusiastic and easy to work with?
  • Can you manage your time effectively?
  • What type of structure do you require to perform at your peak for an organization?
  • Are you able to be solution orientated with challenges that arise?

They say luck favors the prepared! Good luck for the job interview.

Lianne du Toit

TalentFusion is a partnership fused together by the desire to develop a platform for businesses to find top talent and candidates to cement their career paths.

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Resume tips

Posted by Dress for Success Midwest Professional Women's Group on September 10, 2010

I spoke with three job seekers this past week who were all well qualified, but all three had the same lament: Nobody was calling them for job interviews. I looked at their resumes and was impressed with their educational background and experience. I also figured out why they weren’t getting calls.

Here is what I learned and how you can use the knowledge to make sure your resume stands out above the rest.

I realized they weren’t getting calls because their resumes didn’t portray them as the most qualified candidates. Could your resume be letting you down? Carefully study and improve your resume with these thoughts in mind:

1. Does your resume reflect how uniquely qualified you are for each job opening? Don’t be lazy or complacent! Diligently modify your cover letter and resume to convince each hiring company you are the best person for the job.

2. Does it include power words and quantifiable results? Don’t just state what you did, show why it mattered.

3. Does it use keywords that were mentioned in the job description? Remember, many recruiters run resumes through a keyword search program, so if you don’t have the right words on your resume, you will automatically be rejected.

4. Is it clearly written and easy to read? If it is filled with jargon or acronyms only people in your past company or industry use, revise the information to be meaningful and impressive for a more general audience.

5. Is it interesting and succinct? Recruiters wade through hundreds of resumes. If you bore or confuse them, they will simply move on to the next one.

6. Does it show that you are qualified for the open position? If your job history has not adequately prepared you for the job, prove you have the abilities through other means, such as by emphasizing your educational background, showing relevant volunteer or freelance experience, or by including examples to prove your expertise.

7. Does it list your qualifications in order of importance and relevance to the job you seek? This sounds like a no-brainer, but if you are an administrative assistant wanting to be a communicator, put your communications experience on top and minimize your admin experience.

8. Is it attractive? A well designed resume makes ample use of white space particularly around the margins and in between sections. Feature no more than two, easy-to-read, typefaces. Make sure type is not too large or too small. Use bullet points to cleanly organize information. Use boldface and italics to draw attention to important elements, but don’t use either excessively.

9. Is it error free? Is your past job history information up to date and correct? Use spell check to check your spelling and grammar, but also review it carefully to make sure spell check didn’t incorrectly “fix” a word. The funniest spell check “miss-fix” I’ve seen was when Microsoft Word fixed the word “position” on a resume to be “prostitution!” Don’t let such a mistake happen to you. Check your job application messages before you hit “send.”

In the coming weeks, I will talk about other ways that you can stand out above other applicants … in your cover letter, in your networking efforts, and in your online presence. In the meantime, radically improve your resume … after all, it can help you Get a Job!

The Get a Job! Tips blog is authored by Kathy Bernard, a corporate communications leader based in St. Louis, Missouri. She is also a blogger, career coach and workshop leader in support of job seekers. She wants to help you … Get a Job! Connect with Kathy on LinkedIn — http://www.linkedin.com/in/kathybernardcommunicator, follow her on Twitter — http://twitter.com/kathybernardmkt, or e-mail her at kathybernard.mktg@yahoo.com. Subscribe to the Get a Job! Tips blog at http://getajob-tips-for-getting-hired.blogspot.com.

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What To Do After a Layoff? Quick Tips

Posted by Dress for Success Midwest Professional Women's Group on September 6, 2010

You’ve just been laid off. What should you do next? What first steps should you take towards finding new employment? Here is some professional advice:

Put your profile on LinkedIn. LinkedIn is a valuable job search tool because thousands of recruiters regularly search this social networking site for candidates who meet their criteria. Put yourself in a position to be found by a recruiter by placing your profile on this site. An added benefit of LinkedIn is that you can search for jobs on that site and immediately see who you are connected to who works for the company that has the vacancy. This allows you to network your way into a company instead of simply applying for a job online and hoping to hear from them.

Distribute your resume to people in your network and tell them what you are looking for. Particularly for people who you may have a worked with a few years ago, you need to give them a resume so that they can see what you have done most recently. This is also critical for references so that they can speak knowledgeably on your behalf.

Join/become involved in a professional association. A professional association is the best place to find people who are already in your field who have connections to organizations that hire people in your field of expertise. You can raise your visibility in an association by taking on a leadership role. Virtually all associations are looking for people to volunteer to serve on committees. Taking on such a task gives you deeper connections with others in the association that go beyond merely passing out a business card at a monthly meeting. People have an opportunity to see your work ethic and will be more inclined to recommend you for openings that they know of.

Cheryl Palmer, M.Ed. is a career coach and a certified professional resume writer. She is the founder of Call to Career, a career coaching firm that assists people in finding their niche or calling in life.

Cheryl has been quoted regularly on CNN Money. She has also been quoted in other media outlets such as The Ladders, MarketWatch, Yahoo HotJobs, and the Salt Lake Tribune.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Cheryl_Palmer

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On Being Jobless

Posted by Dress for Success Midwest Professional Women's Group on September 3, 2010

With unemployment at a record high, many are finding themselves jobless, and they are wondering what to do with this unexpected gift of time. Here are some suggestions for using this time wisely:

Assess your marketability. Have your skills fallen behind? Are you on the cutting edge as far as your chosen profession is concerned? If you find that you are not as marketable as you would like to be, this period of joblessness can be put to good use to sharpen your skills so that you are attractive to a potential employer. Attending professional association meetings can bring you up to speed with what’s new and what’s hot in your field. If you don’t know the latest software packages, now is a good time to take a short course.

Use the time that you are unemployed to explore a new field or industry. Having worked in outplacement for a number of years, I know that often people who would have never considered doing anything different feel a certain sense of freedom to pursue other options once they lose their jobs. In many cases people find something that is much more fulfilling than they were doing before. For those job seekers who are fortunate enough to have severance packages that will tide them over for several months, this is an opportune time to do some exploration.

Expand your network. Most people find themselves too busy with work and family to devote much time to networking. But unemployed job seekers have time on their hands, and it is up to them to use it wisely. I suggest to my clients that they join professional associations and get involved on LinkedIn to expand their network beyond the people they knew on the job.

Enjoy your family. Use this gift of time to participate in activities with your family that you didn’t have time to do when you were working. It’s a worthwhile investment.

Cheryl Palmer, M.Ed. is a certified career coach and a professional resume writer. She has been a guest on a radio show entitled How to Find a Job Fast hosted by Chris Russell where she discussed tips for finding employment more quickly in this economic downturn. In addition, she was a guest on the radio show “Balance and Wisdom” where she discussed networking for your career with hosts Barbara Phillips and Joanie Winberg. She was also quoted in an article on CNN: “What Says to an Employer, ‘Hire Me!'”

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Cheryl_Palmer

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How to Write a Good Introduction (Cover) Letter

Posted by Dress for Success Midwest Professional Women's Group on August 18, 2010

A cover letter is your introduction, it’s the first thing the person who screens your resume looks at.  It’s your chance to make a good first impression.

A cover letter as with any other business letter  has letterhead or your contact information typed at the top. Your contact information is  your: name, street address, phone number, and email address.

Include the date you are writing the letter and keep track of where and when you apply for positional for your personal record.

In business letters you always include the company you are writing address, If you have a contact person use  his /her name, and their job title should go under the name of the company.


Name, Job title

Street address

City, State, zip code

The hello for a letter is the dear and since a cover letter is a formal introduction there should be a colon(:) after the person who the letter is addressed to name.  If  you don’t know the name of the contact person use some general title like sir/madam, hiring  manger or human resources.

The first paragraph of your letter should state your purpose.  The purpose of your cover  letter is to express your interest in the position and  get more information about a specific job by securing an interview. A focused  cover letter engages the reader and draws attention to key aspects of your resume.  Use this opportunity to show  your knowledge about the company and  it’s industry.

The focus of the second paragraph should contain the answer to the question “Why should I hire you?” Discuss your qualifications.  Promote yourself, write about your career highlights.  This section of the your letter gives you  a chance to explain work history issues such as: gaps in employment  and  lack of direct experience.

In the third paragraph let them know you want the interview, and are looking for a follow-up response from the company.

Don’t forget to close your letter, not closing is like hanging up the phone and not letting the other party know the conversation has ended. In  business correspondence closing word are : Sincerely, Thank you, Very truly yours.   Be sure and capitalize the first letter in the first word only and end with a coma.

Like homework when you were in school you don’t want to turn in your cover letter without your name on it. Type your name . Leave room to sign your name. There are always four spaces between the close and your signature line. If you print your cover letter and mail or fax it sign  it. If you are sending e-mail a signature is not required.

Don’t forget to proof read and spell check before send  snail mail ( postal service or electronically ( fax and email).

Reprinted from The People’s Employment Journal

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Top Social Networking Sites–Applications For Job Seekers

Posted by Dress for Success Midwest Professional Women's Group on August 16, 2010

If you’re looking to make the most of the Internet in your job search, make sure to check out the following websites and applications:


You can raise your visibility as a job seeker or expert in your field by using Twitter to participate in discussions on topics that you are well versed in. This will position you as a knowledgeable professional. Job seekers need to be on Twitter because recruiters are using it to source candidates by searching for keywords in their bios. I suggest that job seekers put a link to their LinkedIn profiles or web resumes so that recruiters can go to another site for more in-depth information since Twitter’s strength is its brevity.


You can expand your network by finding thought leaders and other professionals in your field using Twellow.com. Twellow has many different categories that you can search for people by. Since you don’t need anyone’s permission to follow them (unless their tweets are protected), you can follow anyone that you like, and most people will follow you back. You can also check to see who the people you are following are retweeting. Those people may be good for you to follow as well.


To find open positions I recommend that job seekers use tweetmyjobs.com. It is a service that provides instant notification of jobs to job seekers via text message, and it takes about eight seconds to apply for a position. Job seekers can subscribe to as many of the more than 7,500 channels as they like, specifying job titles and geographic locations. You can follow TweetMyJobs on Twitter at @TweetMyJOBS.


Many recruiters are searching social media sites for candidates instead of posting positions on job boards. They check out potential candidates’ profiles on LinkedIn before contacting them. In addition to creating a profile on LinkedIn, job seekers can raise their visibility on LinkedIn by participating in groups and answering questions on the Answers section on LinkedIn. Recruiters have a favorable view of candidates who earn Best Answer by providing thoughtful answers to questions posed on the Answers section.

Also, I recommend that job seekers use the Jobs section on LinkedIn to find open positions. LinkedIn will automatically notify you of any connections that you have to the company that has the job vacancy. This is a very useful feature since it’s always helpful to try to network your way in to a company.


You can join groups on Facebook that are based on topics that interest you as a job seeker. Once you are a member of a group you can then identify people in the group who you want to friend. Group members are likely to be very open to friending you because you already have the group in common. You might say something like, “I see that we are both members of the Accountants in Government group. I am very interested in connecting with other professionals in the field, and I would like for you to join my network.” This is a great way to grow your network and find out about job opportunities.

Easy CV

You can use this application on Facebook to post a mini version of your resume on your Facebook profile.

Brave New Talent

This is a social networking application that allows you to connect with employers directly and join employers’ online communities.

Cheryl Palmer is a certified executive career coach and a certified professional resume writer and is President of Call to Career, a career coaching and resume writing firm. She has been featured on the Wall Street Journal, CNN, MarketWatch, The Ladders, ExecuNet, and Yahoo HotJobs. Cheryl was also a guest on a radio show entitled How to Find a Job Fast hosted by Chris Russell of Secrets of the Job Hunt where she discussed tips for finding employment more quickly in this economic downturn. In addition, she was a guest on WMOV where she discussed networking for your career with host Greg Gack on the radio.

Cheryl has a social media program for executives to aid them with reducing the amount of time it takes to land a new position. She also conducts webinars on social networking. You can sign up for a free webinar at http://www.calltocareer.com.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Cheryl_Palmer

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