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How Small Business Owner Can Get Back to Job Market

Business-Owners

When the economy goes south, one of the first sectors that get hurt are small businesses. Many are underfunded, rely on larger companies for a portion of their business or are in the competitive retail and service sectors. So when the larger companies move, consolidate or go broke or the consumer stops buying; the smaller single proprietorships have a hard time and many go broke and are forced to close.

Not only do the people working for the small company become unemployed but the owners are forced to become job hunters. It may have been years since the small business owner engaged in a job search so it’s a new experience with a whole new set of challenges.

Address specific needs

As a small business owner you were forced to wear many hats. Marketing manager, financial officer, HR manager, customer service manager, and floor cleaner were all in your job description. In writing your resume, it’s more productive to narrow the scope of the jobs and companies you are targeting. Write a separate resume for each position you uncover, addressing the needs of the employer.

Make use of your network

Another productive avenue in job hunting is to contact your network of people you know and inform them that you are looking for a job. Vendors, business associates in the local Chamber of Commerce, friends from school, customers, neighbors, and associates in service organizations are all fair game to be contacted. As you work through your list, ask for referrals of the names of others who might be able to help you uncover an open position.

The interview

Now comes the difficult part of the job search. You have your first job interview scheduled. And you know you are going to be asked questions about the time you ran your business and worked for yourself and why it closed.

First, before we get to developing strategies to deal with the questions about your business you need to properly prepare for all the other questions you may be asked in the job interview.

Do your research about the prospective employer. Of all the information learned come up with 3-4 questions not covered in your research material. At the appropriate times in the job interview they can be asked. Develop and practice a strong closing argument as to why you are the best candidate for the job and the benefits you bring to the position.

In the job interview, the interviewer will not be trying to question your judgments or uncover possible mistakes you made in running your business. Overall they are looking to assure themselves that you have the appropriate skills to fulfill the job requirements.

When asked why the business closed or why you sold it; stick to the facts. A good answer is that you planned for certain things to happen and when the economy took a turn for the worse, or your biggest customer moved, or the city tore up the street in front of you store for six months, or a vendor raised prices and you couldn’t pass the price to your customers, or a well-financed larger competitor moved across the street all and more are valid reason for closing a business.

In the last half of the answer tell the interviewer what you learned from the experience. Keep the answer positive, concise, and smile. It is not the time to blame anyone, or complain about the outcome. It is what it is, your focus is to move forward and not worry about the past.

Now comes the second “no longer running a business,” question. The interviewer asks, “How do we know that when you see another opportunity you won’t quit us and start another business?”

Tell the interviewer, you have no intention of starting another business, that phase of your life is over and you learned any number of valuable lessons running your own business. Your only goal is to bring those lessons to the job you applied for and generate benefits for your new employer. Period, end of story.

Let professionals do the job

Most people think that writing resume is an easy job. However, more often than not, they are wrong. They end up submitting a messy and unimpressive resume which is quickly thrown into the trash bin.

Don’t let your resume get treated like that! At Style Resumes, we know what we’re doing. We’ve helped thousands of job seekers get their dream job by giving them an impressive resume and cover letter that made employers feel in love with them. Get in touch with us and let’s craft that perfect resume!

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Body Language during Interview

job-interview

If you aren’t a little nervous on entering a job interview then it might be worth questioning how much you really want it. Nerves show that the opportunity means a lot to you and that you want to get it right, something many employers will be fully aware of (however much they let you squirm). But it’s still important to make sure these nerves don’t conceal the true passion you have for the job – or worse, distract from it.

During interviews, it’s not only your mouth that does the talking; your body language will speak volumes before you’ve even had the chance to sit down. So, whilst you’re focusing hard on how your words are being perceived, be careful what else is being communicated.

Smile

No matter what the job, however worried you are or how formally they choose to approach you, everybody wants an employee-friendly environment to work in. You’re pleased to be here remember? All that time memorising the company history, wording and rewording cover letters and trawling blindly through repetitive job sites… make sure they know that. At the very least you want to avoid having to go through this trauma all over again. Whether it’s your dream job or a small step in the right direction, a smile will immediately break the tension and stimulate friendlier relations. Avoiding eye contact will also imply you have something to hide or aren’t great with people. Keep it friendly, conversational, but not constant – just because you’re feeling a little intimidated doesn’t mean you want to return the favour.

Confident handshake

A firm hand clasp with direct eye contact and a smile is traditional procedure and has been scientifically proven to communicate everything from strength of mind, level of intellect to how open you are to new experiences. You might not be able to control the sweaty palms (although it’s worth giving them a quick wipe before you go in), but a floppy wrist says more dead fish than professional business mind. At the same time it’s not an arm wrestle. You don’t need to crush their fingers to get the message across: aggressive, intimidating and forceful, as opposed to ambitious, strong-minded and purposeful? You do the maths…

Good posture

So you’ve got the formalities out of the way, now it’s time to settle into the hot seat. It doesn’t take a genius to know that slouching back isn’t going to give a great impression. This will bring you across as either over-confident and arrogant, immature with an attitude problem or simply that you don’t care about the job. Understandably interview behaviours can be a bit alien to many, but at the other end of the scale, sitting uncomfortably with a poker straight back can be equally as damaging.  This might imply you aren’t comfortable around new people, that you might buckle under pressure and in general makes the whole situation more awkward. What happens if you’re asked to sit with clients in a similar scenario? Sitting comfortably but attentive will release both tension and a more professional vibe.

Be aware of the nervous fidgets

Many people have nervous fidgets that they don’t even realise. If you haven’t already worked out what these are then keep potential pen clicks out of reach, tapping fingers and toes in check and take a sip of water to calm shaking hands. If an employer picks up on a habit and finds it more distracting than what you’re saying then it could be hugely detrimental to your progress. For this reason, asking for feedback after any rejection is hugely important as it will not only allow you address a particular approach you might be taking, but will equally build up your confidence for the next one. You might obliviously conclude that you lost out on merit, when actually they just couldn’t stand you twiddling your hair and fiddling with your bag buckle for twenty minutes.

Get interviewed for your dream job

Before worrying about how to behave on the interview, first you have to think how you could get the interview! One of the best ways to get a lot of interview calls from the right company is to submit an excellent resume, tailored to the position you are applying for. Sometimes, crafting a resume might be even harder than mastering the art of interview and negotiations, so why not leave it in the hands of professionals?

A creative resume could also help you during the interview. When you submit a creative resume, you have stolen the interviewer’s attention from the beginning. Then, the interviewer will be much more enthusiastic about your prospects at the company when he/she is interviewing you.

At Style Resumes, we are well-equipped with the skills to craft a perfect resume that will get you the right job. Get one step closer to your dream job by checking out our products now!

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How to Get Past the 10 Seconds Resume Scan

bad interview

You might have heard that hiring managers only spend less than 10 seconds to scan a resume and decide whether it is a yes or no. So, how do you get your resume to get past the quick resume scan? Check out these strategies.

Professional Formatting

When you’re reviewing 100 resumes a day, the ones that really stick out are the ones in which you can tell the person invested time into creating. The professional and executive resume formats that were well-organized, easy to read, and perfectly laid out really made reviewing the resume easier-and definitely caught my attention. When you’re comparing a professionally organized and strategically laid out resume to a messy, unprofessional, and disorganized one, the choice of which one to invest time into reading becomes a no-brainer. After all, why waste time searching through a document trying to find the info you need when someone else has clearly laid it out for you?

Easy-to-find requirements

A recruiter’s pet peeve is seeing people shot a resume that said absolutely nothing about the requirements that s/he had spent so much time writing to include in the job ad. Normally, you will see required qualifications and preferred qualifications. At the very least, to even be considered, the person had to possess the required qualifications. If you want your resume to catch recruiter’s attention, you should make it easy for them to see that you do indeed meet the requirements – either by listing them in the top or calling attention to them in a bold, underlined, or italicized font and placed throughout their resume. If you want to secure that interview, call attention to the fact that you also meet their preferred qualifications. Meeting the required and preferred qualifications – and calling attention to this fact in your resume – makes you a perfect candidate for the job.

Compelling, easy-to-read content

Long paragraphs on resumes serve one purpose… and that’s to lose the hiring manager’s attention. The truth is, hiring managers do not have time to wade through enormous amount of text density to find the information they need; so don’t waste your time for writing long paragraphs. Keep it concise, cut out the mundane, and highlight your accomplishments. Don’t go super crazy with the bold, underline, or italics, but use them when it fits, and use them to call attention to the most important information.

Final words

Just to review-here’s how to make it past the initial 5-second scan:

  1. Professional, polished, and well-organized format
  2. Make it easy for the hiring manager to find exactly what he or she needs – and to find it quickly.
  3. Keep the content concise, and highlight the critical information the hiring manager needs in order to make the decision to call for the interview.

Other strategies come into play when creating a compelling resume that will secure interviews, so if you’re not sure your resume has the right stuff – and if you haven’t heard of personal branding or incorporated it into your resume – it may be time to call a professional resume writer and get a resume checkup. If it means the difference between 3 interviews next week or 3 more months of job searching, you may want to consider speaking with a professional.

At Style Resumes, we know what we’re doing. We’ve helped thousands of job seekers get their dream job by giving them an impressive resume and cover letter that made employers feel in love with them. Get in touch with us and let’s craft that perfect resume!

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How to Get a Job through LinkedIn – Part 2

Linkedin-icon

LinkedIn brands itself as the social network for professionals and a lot of people do use it successfully for sharing information and news about their companies or discussing key issues in their industry. But what can LinkedIn do for the jobseeking professional? Many of us are not as clued in to all of LinkedIn’s different features as we might be. However, it’s worth getting to know this social network better as it has a surprising number of tools for helping your job search. Here are five of ten ways in which we can use LinkedIn in our pursuit for the right career.

Take part in the Q&A

Another function that helps you meet people and turn them into Connections is the Q&A. Here you can ask the whole LinkedIn community questions on almost anything, provided the topic loosely fits in with one of the designated categories. Again, asking questions is useful for getting information and advice on a particular job role, organisation or industry. It’s not the quantity of answers that you get but the quality. I’ve asked questions and only gotten one answer, but because that answer was useful to me, I went away happy. Just as important is answering questions. It’s another way of drawing people’s attention to you and your profile. And if you answer questions on your chosen specialties, potential employers get to see your knowledge and experience in action.

Share updates

Yes, LinkedIn, like every other social network, has the dreaded status update feature. Use it to your advantage by keeping your Connections up to date with your voluntary work, skills building or networking activities. This lets employers know that you’re being active and creative in your job search-showing them your enthusiasm and commitment in targeting the right role.

Recommendations

People don’t just have to take your word for it, though. The Recommendations feature allows people who’ve worked together in an organisation or on a project to endorse one another. Each recommendation only has to be 2 or 3 lines: sometimes ‘Ms. Jobseeker is a very competent accountant and very easy to work with. She went out of her way to assist me’ is enough to help a potential employer or client build up their picture of you. How do you get Recommendations? Ask! On your profile page, click on the ‘Get Recommended’ link and fill in the form it takes you to. Again, don’t be shy-if the feature’s there, you might as well use it!

Find events to go to

As useful as social networking can be, you don’t have to deprive yourself of offline networking. In fact, LinkedIn can even help you find events to attend, as that’s yet another thing Members are able to post about. On the home page, roll your pointer over the More tab and select Events from the drop down menu. In Events Home, you can then see which events your Connections are attending or interested in and you can also view the most popular events on the whole of LinkedIn. Click on the ‘Find Events’ tab for a keyword search filtered by date, location and type. It’s a very handy way to quickly find local events connected to your specialities or chosen industry.

Explore the other applications

There are even more LinkedIn applications that could be of use to you. By getting to the Applications Directory through the ‘More’ drop down menu, you’ll see that you can connect your blog and Twitter updates to LinkedIn; share a personalised Amazon reading list; content and presentations; and create polls. Put simply, these are all ways to inform people about yourself and/or gather information for your job search.

Get the Professionals Do the Job

Writing a powerful LinkedIn profile can be tricky. It has to be very interesting, concise and professional at the same time. It’s your gateway to your dream job, so don’t waste the chance!

At Style Resumes, we know what we’re doing. We’ve helped thousands of job seekers get their dream job by giving them an impressive resume and LinkedIn profile that made employers feel in love with them. Get in touch with us and have that impressive LinkedIn profile!

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Why You are Not Getting Any Interview Calls

telephone

How long have you been in the job search? Anyone who has been in the job search hole for a certain amount of time must have experienced frustration in any sorts. So what can you do if you are not getting any interview calls? Here are some reasons and how to fix it.

Your campaign may not be intense enough

Remember that searching for a job is a full-time job. Increase your employer contacts by phone, fax, mail and email to 10-20 per week. Gather job leads from a greater variety of sources than you have been using, such as networking, newspaper ads and Internet sites. But most important of all, tap the hidden job market.

Getting interviews from resumes is in part a numbers game. Contact more employers to increase the odds in your favor.

Your resume may reveal that you do not possess the skills sets employers want

Get them! A tight economy means employers can command whatever skills, credentials and experience they want, so why argue with them? Volunteer, take a class or create a self-study program to learn what you need to learn. Or, take a lower-level position that will prepare you for advancement to the job you really want.

It’s up to you to qualify yourself for the job you want. Demonstrate your initiative and enroll in that class now, then be sure to claim your new skills on your resume.

You may not be contacting the employers who are buying the skills you’re selling

First, identify the three skills you possess that you most want to market to employers. Second, match those skills to three different kinds of positions that commonly use your preferred skills. Next, tie each of the positions you identify to specific local industries and employers who hire people with the skills you’re marketing. Then create different resume versions for each of the types of positions you intend to seek. Make sure each version highlights and documents your ability to do what you claim you can do.

Different employers need different things from their employees. Know what you have to sell and sell it to the companies that want it. At all costs, avoid generalizing your resume with clichés and vague statements.

Your resume may poorly communicate what you have to offer

If you have weaknesses in your employment chronology or if you are changing careers, you will need to take great care in structuring your résumé’s content to overcome any perceived deficiencies. Create a powerful career summary statement which emphasizes your primary skills, qualities, credentials, experience and goals. Group your most marketable skills into an achievements section and showcase those using numbers, concrete nouns and clear indications of the results you accomplished. Use company research and the employer’s job description to focus your revised resume on the company’s needs.

The person who decides whether or not to interview you will make that decision in a mere 15 to 25 seconds. Be clear, organized and achievement-focused to use those seconds to convince the employer to interview you.

Leave it to the professional

Now that you know what kind of mistakes you are making and how your resume is the most powerful tool you have, invest in a high quality resume that will open doors for you! Most people think that writing resume is an easy job. However, more often than not, they are wrong. They end up submitting a messy and unimpressive resume which is quickly thrown into the trash bin.

Don’t let your resume get treated like that! At Style Resumes, we know what we’re doing. We’ve helped thousands of job seekers get their dream job by giving them an impressive resume and cover letter that made employers feel in love with them. Get in touch with us and let’s craft that perfect resume!

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