Money Monday: 5 Secrets To Help You Land The Job You Want

BY: - 23 Jul '12 | Home

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Finding a job in this economy can be a tall order. With so many applicants and so few jobs, employers are in the driver’s seat. As a result, they’ve developed some pretty clever ways to weed out prospective employees. Here are a few tips to improve your chances of landing the job you want.

Use the job announcement to craft your resume

Using the same resume over and over again is the kiss of death, especially when applying for a job online. Employers take advantage of software that screens applicant resumes for certain keywords. As many as 95% of the applications will be discarded, simply because they don’t contain the necessary keywords.

So how exactly do you know which keywords to include in your resume in order to avoid the dreaded rejection pile? They’re usually located right in the job announcement. Perhaps you’re looking for a sales position and the job announcement mentions the company is looking for someone to, “… develop and execute client cultivation strategies for local sales and marketing campaigns.”

Applying for this job you would want to modify your existing resume to include the terms “cultivation strategies” and “marketing campaigns” where appropriate in order to make sure your resume makes it past the keyword screening software.

Be prepared

I once was at a job interview where I was asked to provide a list of references, even though I had previously submitted one with my application.

One employer I know of uses a standard pen throughout the company that contains a company specific color ink. Any job application the hiring manager receives completed in this shade of ink is automatically thrown in the trash because it indicates the job-seeker did not have his own pen to complete the application.

It pays to be prepared. Always have extra copies of your resume and references handy. And remember to bring your own pen along with a notepad for taking notes.

Everything can be a test

Employers are looking for employees who can think on their feet. One employment specialist told me about a company which purposefully informs job-seekers who stop by that the company has no jobs available, even when they, might in fact, have job openings.

The hiring manager was looking to see how the job applicant would respond to the news. Those who asked if they could leave a resume anyway where considered for a position, while those who walked out the door automatically disqualified themselves.

Take advantage of industry specific job portals

Many employers are jettisoning large job sites like Monster.com and CareerBuilder.com. Instead they are opting to place their job announcements on industry specific job sites. As a result, using these websites can increase your chances of landing a job.

“If a manager is looking for a sales employee, for example, she knows she’s reaching out to the right audience when she posts on Sales Gravy, a networking community for sales professionals that includes a job board. Universities that want to hire faculty often post on HigherEdJobs. And companies that need to fill programming or other tech-heavy positions are smart to turn to CrunchBoard, a job board on TechCrunch, a website that focuses on technology and Internet news,” explains Alexis Grant writing for US News & World Report.

Remember it’s not about you

This may be the hardest thing to get over. During the job search it is never about you and your accomplishments. It’s always about how you and your accomplishments can help your prospective employer make a profit or achieve its goals.

What skills do you bring that will help the company improve sales, build a better product, or increase productivity? To answer these questions you must do your homework and thoroughly researching the company where you’re seeking employment. This is a crucial step many job-seekers overlook.

BMWK, what are some of the job hunting tips and strategies you have for landing a job?

About the author

Alonzo Peters wrote 296 articles on this blog.

Alonzo Peters is founder of MochaMoney.com, a personal finance website dedicated to helping Black America achieve financial independence.

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The Burdens of Caregiving Can Lead to Anxiety and Depression

BY: - 24 Jul '12 | Home

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Studies have shown that strokes affect African-Americans more than any other race. We are already at a disadvantage by being susceptible to these types of illnesses, but how do we cope with caring for our loved ones who have fallen victim to them?

A recent article from Psych Central describes how stroke caregivers are at an increased risk for depression, anxiety and chronic illness  stemming  from such pressure. Traci Pedersen’s piece highlights the burden on female caretakers specifically showing that they had increased levels of stress as well as a decrease in their quality of sleep.

Financial burdens, patient demands and home confinement are just a few of the hardships placed on a caregiver as they are forced to take care of another while struggling to make time to take care of themselves while they may be actively involved in full-time jobs, raising kids and the like.

“Stroke survivors can suffer significant and lasting disabilities that may require lifelong support from family and other caregivers,” said Karen Saban, PhD, RN, lead author and associate professor.

Read the complete article on Psych Central

Have you ever felt the effects of stress that comes with caring for a loved one or family member? How did you cope with it and how would you advise others?

About the author

Stacie Bailey wrote 160 articles on this blog.

Stacie Bailey is a graduate of Quinnipiac University with a master's degree in Interactive Communications. She has strong interests in youth, social media and an overall love for sharing knowledge and information.

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