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Career-Life Times, Issue #37--The Hottest Job Markets
May 21, 2007
Ready to GET HIRED, GET NOTICED, and GET AHEAD? Read on...
Having trouble finding job opportunities in your area? Perhaps it's time to broaden your search. If you aren't opposed to relocating, your chances of finding a great new job may increase dramatically--especially if you know where the hottest job markets are.
According to Business 2.0 magazine, these are the best bets for job seekers right now:
Companies hiring: Electronic Arts, Lockheed Martin, Starwood Vacation Ownership.
Hottest jobs: Senior mechanical engineer, physician's assistant, IT project manager, construction project manager, electrical engineer.
2. Las Vegas.
Companies hiring: Boyd Gaming, InfoGenesis, MGM Mirage, Station Casinos, Zappos.
Hottest hobs: Construction project manager, IT project manager, construction superintendent, civil engineer, executive chef.
Companies hiring: Cisco, Credit Suisse Group, Fidelity Investments, Network Appliance.
Hottest jobs: Senior software developer, software project manager, senior network engineer, IT project manager, pharmaceuticals project manager, biotech research scientist.
Companies hiring: Bank of America, Wachovia.
Hottest jobs: IT project manager, senior software developer, regional sales manager, senior financial analyst, construction project manager.
Companies hiring: ASU, Banner Health.
Hottest jobs: Senior software developer, IT project manager, semiconductor process engineer, construction project manager.
The Business 2.0 article lists five additional locations. You can read the entire article by going to this website page: http://money.cnn.com/magazines/business2/jobs/2007.
Even if your career field isn't listed among the hottest jobs, these locations are definitely worth checking out. Those areas are growing economies, so jobs are available in many different fields.
When you receive a rejection letter (if you haven't already, you will), your first reaction will likely be disappointment, followed by frustration or anger at not being selected for the job. Then you’ll have a burning desire to know why you weren't chosen... especially if you were well prepared for the interview and the job seemed like a perfect fit.
In most cases, you'll never know why someone else was chosen over you. Rejection letters are usually vague, telling you only that another candidate was selected. But in rare instances, a rejection letter gives you real information you can use to your advantage.
Here is an email exchange I had with a client recently that demonstrates what I mean:
"Hi Bonnie, I received the following letter. Do you have any suggestions?
"Thank you again for your interest in [company name] and for interviewing with us. Unfortunately, you were not the candidate selected for the position.
"We were all extremely impressed with you. You have a great outlook, and honestly, you were one of the most prepared candidates I have ever interviewed. We were really impressed that you have taken the initiative to get training that will help you in the field - like the Erosion and Sediment Control course.
"Ultimately, the candidate we selected has experience with site inspections and daily use of GIS.
"Thanks again. It was so nice to meet you."
Here's my response to the client who sent that to me:
"That's one of the nicest reject letters I've seen. I know that may not make you feel any better about not getting the job, but perhaps it should.
"Most companies would've used the first two sentences only, and concluded with a thank you for interviewing. It's worth noting that they took the time to say more to you... especially that they were all extremely impressed with you. Another bonus is that they told you why--specifically--they chose another candidate.
"By saying they were impressed with your initiative to get training, and then also telling you exactly which areas enabled the other candidate to get the job, it seems that they are telling you what to do next. If there's a chance that a similar job might be available in the future, I think you'd have a good shot at it. You already know they like you, you know your strong points... and now your weak points. If there are any training opportunities for you related to site inspections and GIS, you should consider taking advantage of them.
"In the meantime, I think you should send a nice thank-you letter in response. This isn't normally done... but such a nice rejection letter isn't normally done, either. While they have apparently closed the door on this particular position, they definitely have not locked it, and it seems to me they are inviting you to keep knocking.
"So stay in touch, starting with a thank-you letter to the writer for being so forthcoming about why they ultimately chose another candidate over you. Tell her how much you enjoyed the opportunity to interview with the company and that you, too, were impressed with what you found out during the process. If you ARE intending to pursue training opportunities, be sure to mention that.
"Of course, you should also continue your job search with other companies as well."
Why did I share this email exchange with all of you? Because the truth is that most of the time you will not get the job. There are simply too many candidates for too few positions. You must not let a rejection letter throw you off your game. Instead, use it to your advantage. If the letter is exceptional and does give you insights into why you were not chosen, as this example did, you can certainly use that knowledge to improve yourself or your performance at your next interview.
But even if you receive a more typical letter that tells you nothing useful, why not do something that's NOT typical and send the company a thank-you letter in response? Less than 1% of job candidates will do this, so you'll certainly make an impression. And who knows... perhaps another position with the company will open soon, and this will help you to be "top of mind" with them.
Face it, sometimes work really can get on your nerves. We're only human, and we all have good and bad days. Don't impulsively give up on your job, chances are it is just a nagging case of job burnout. Overload is your brain's way of telling you to take a step back and weigh your options to conquer whatever is bothering you.
Figure out what is bothering you and work to solve the problem. Are you dissatisfied with the kind of work you do? Would you rather be doing something totally different with your life? Whatever the issue, it is your responsibility to yourself to analyze the situation and figure out an acceptable solution to whatever the problem is. It is your life and you are in charge. Do you want to spend your time and energy working in your current environment? What specifically do you need? Think about it carefully and write down your answers. The answer may just be a matter of calling a truce with a co-worker or going after a promotion. Be tenacious and work on the problem until it is solved, in whatever way you choose.
If the situation is a matter of job burnout, then pry your work-addicted self away for a week and do anything but think of the job as you relax. Do something stimulating and fun while vacation, it will rejuvenate your energy and mind. If you are unable to take time off from work, consider leaving early or taking a walk at lunchtime. Do something out of the ordinary, that is fun or energizing. When I used to work at a large corporation in-house, friends and I would walk the large parking lot to keep ourselves stimulated during the day. Now that I work from home for the company, I walk out to my lake and feed the ducks. Being around nature calms my soul and makes it easier to go back to work and finish my day with a better attitude.
It's all about attitude and habits. How you treat your body and mind determines your ability to handle stress well. Eating sugar, drinking too much coffee and having a negative attitude can weigh you down and make the day feel endless. So go easy on the junk food, try more nutritious meals like salads, fruit or baked chicken. Look at that tempting box of donuts in the lunchroom as a bunch of greasy "fat pills." That always works for me. Drink decaf coffee or soda. In short, be good to your body since it's the only one you have. To keep you energized it needs the right "fuel." Instead of chowing down at the sugar-filled snack machine, bring something from home that is more nutritious. Sure, we all like something sweet now and then, but not all the time. Too much sugar can make the mood plummet later on. Be conscious of what you eat during the day.
In general, do whatever it takes to keep your mood and motivation up, and negativity down. If your job is truly not to your liking, then consider a change, but only after researching the alternatives thoroughly. Don't make any rash decisions when upset, calm yourself then think it over. Remember, you are the boss of you. The boss at work controls you if you want him to. You choose to work the job. Or, you choose not to. It is all up to you. Be true to yourself. Live it to the fullest by pursuing whatever gives you passion and satisfaction. Anything else is just a filler job until the right one comes along. It is all up to you.
Carolyn McFann is a scientific and nature illustrator, who owns Two Purring Cats Design Studio, which can be seen at: http://www.cafepress.com/twopurringcats. Educated at the Rochester Institute of Technology in New York, Carolyn is a seasoned, well-traveled artist, writer and photographer. She has lived and worked in Cancun, Mexico, among other interesting professional assignments in other countries. Clients include nature parks, museums, scientists, corporations and private owners. She has been the subject of tv interviews, articles for newspapers and other popular media venues.
There's an excellent article at Quitcareers.com entitled "Avoid These 10 Resume Mistakes." You can find it at this link: http://www.quintcareers.com/resume_mistakes.html.
But there are other common mistakes that article doesn't mention, so I've compiled this list of four tips that will help you to avoid them:
1. Have a professional-looking email address. If your email address doesn't look professional because you got it when you were in a silly mood, get a new one. Good example: JSmith@domain.com. Bad example: SexyStudMuffin@domain.com. And don't use your work email address, either. A potential employer may frown upon the obvious use of company resources for your job search.
2. Stick to basic black ink on white (or off-white) paper. Do not try to make your resume stand out by using color ink or paper with designs. Some employers just won't appreciate purple printing on blue paper with a teddy bear border, no matter how much it stands out.
3. Do not try to be cute or funny on your resume or application. Defining your B.S. as a degree in Beer Science will not get you hired.
4. The Most Important Tip: Carefully proofread your resume. Do not rely on your spellchecker (it won't find errors such as "Deer Hiring Manger"). Have a friend proof it, too. Spelling mistakes are the number-one reason employers toss resumes into the garbage.
Write a thank-you letter as soon as you get home from the interview. You'll use it for several purposes:
(1) To say thank you. Express your appreciation for the interview. You really should be thankful. There may have been dozens (or even hundreds) of applicants for that position. Even though your qualifications are what got you the interview, be humble and appreciate the opportunity you were given to show them in person what a wonderful asset you will make to the company!
(2) To re-emphasize your qualifications and provide further explanation of something discussed at the interview. Tell them why you’d be the perfect person to help them achieve their goals. Be sure to include any important information about yourself that you may have omitted during the interview. If necessary, add a paragraph to correct any misunderstanding or misconception the interviewer might have about you. For example, during one of my interviews we’d talked about the many different places I’d lived and worked. I realized after the interview that these comments may have given the impression that I like to change jobs and might not be around long enough to make hiring me worthwhile. So I addressed this in my thank-you letter: “There is one thing I failed to mention during the interview – I’m putting down roots; my moving days are over. I want to assure you that I will not be leaving this area, and intend to stay with my next employer ‘for the duration.’” (I got the job; I’m still there.)
(3) To re-emphasize that you really want the job. This is assuming, of course, that you DO want the job. If after the interview you don't think it's the right job for you, don't bother sending a thank-you letter.
(4) To take another opportunity to make yourself shine in comparison to the other candidates. A thank-you letter can be written in less than 30 minutes, but only a small percentage of job seekers actually bother to do this. By sending this letter, you will create another favorable impression that sets you above the rest. Also, mention something specific in the letter that shows it’s not a “canned” form letter. For example, “I enjoyed hearing about your record-breaking sales campaign.”
If you're not sure who to address the letter to, call the Human Resources person who scheduled your interview. Get the names (and spelling) and mailing address of everyone who participated in the interview.
Your letter can be handwritten, but I'd only recommend this if you have wonderful handwriting. If in doubt, do it on a computer.
Unless the timing is an issue (for instance, if they’ll make a decision within a day or two), it's better to send your thank-you letter as a regular letter through snail-mail than to do it by email. People – especially busy executives – get so much email these days they may ignore yours. As email becomes more popular, real letters become rarer, and thus more special. A letter printed on nice paper with your signature on it will get their attention when an email message may not. But send your letter as soon as possible. You want it to arrive before they've made their decision.
Also – this is critical – make sure your thank-you letter is error-free. Use your spellchecker, but don’t totally rely on that; have someone else proof it for you, too. It must be perfect!
Blogs You Should Be Reading
Whether you're searching for a better job, a new career, or a more fulfilling work life, there's someone out there who can help you... and they have a blog. Here are seven blogs I recommend:
1. "Authentically Speaking--Create Your Own Path" -- tips and tools you can use to find out what you want to be when you grow up, and how to make it happen.
2. "Brazen Careerist" -- advice at the intersection of work and life.
3. "Career and Job Hunting Blog" -- career and job-search news, trends, and scoops for job-seekers.
4. "Career Hub" -- connects job seekers with the best minds in career counseling, resume writing, personal branding and recruiting.
5. "Career Ramblings" -- tips and strategies for professional development and a successful future.
6. "Monster Blog" -- all about careers and the pursuit of them.
7. "Secrets of the Job Hunt" -- tips, tricks and tactics for job search success.
VideoJug.com: This is a great site for viewing how-to videos on a wide variety of topics, including work and careers.
Job Interview Success System. This is my step-by-step system to help you ace your next job interview. It's helped hundreds of job seekers, and it can help you...guaranteed. For more info, go to Job Interview Success System.
More Articles. If you haven't visited my article directory in a while, you might want to check it out. I have more than 150 articles on a variety of career topics. See what's there by clicking here: Article Index.
Motivation determines what you do.
Attitude determines how well you do it”.
Responsible Job Applicant
Employer to applicant: "In this job we need someone who is responsible."
Applicant: "I'm definitely the one you want. In my last job, every time anything went wrong, they said I was responsible."
If only we were all wayward whales. Have you been following the story of the humpback whale mother and calf that took a wrong turn on their way north along the Pacific coast? They ended up in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, about 90 miles off course. They seemed destined to swim all the way up the river to the state capitol. Perhaps they wanted a word or two with Governor Schwarzenegger. But hoards of people descended on the Delta, determined to help the navigationally challenged whales find their way back to the ocean.
Eventually the whales turned around, and as I write this, are headed in the right direction. Hopefully they’ll overcome the remaining obstacles (like bridges and excited whale watchers) along their journey and reach the ocean soon. (I’ll actually drive over one of those bridges on my way home from work this afternoon. Maybe I’ll pull over and cause a major traffic jam to see if I can get a glimpse of the whales headed back out to sea!)
Wouldn’t it be great if every time we took a wrong turn in life, a flotilla of rescuers would appear and do all they could to get us back on the correct path? Like the whales, our instincts might tell us we’re headed in the right direction, and it might be a tremendous challenge to convince us otherwise. We don’t always trust advice from others, even if we know they have our best interests at heart. But if we’re very fortunate, the people around us will not give up easily when they see us making a big mistake—and we will accept their help, before it’s too late.
So, what did you think of this issue? Any suggestions? Topic ideas? Questions? I really appreciate your feedback. Please send me a note at Bonnie@Best-Interview-Strategies.com
Please forward this to your friends!
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P.S.S. I apologize for the glitches (especially in links) you may see if you receive this as straight text. If you can receive your email in HTML format, choose that and it'll look a lot better.
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