Some common mistakes older job seekers make

Comments or questions? larry@larrylitwin.com

Kate Lopaze of thejobnetwork recognizes challenges facing some older job seekers.

  • Not having a digital presence
  • Holding on to dated tech
  • No leveraging your network enough
  • Writing a “kitchen-sink”or obsolete-looking resume
  • Taking job descriptions literally
  • Waiting for the perfect job.

Comments or questions? larry@larrylitwin.com

So, you want to stay in the workforce after ‘retirement’

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As Kate Lopaze writes for thejobnetwork.com the average retirement age is 65 for men and 63 for women. Almost half are still working or looking for work. Here are some jobs retirees should explore:

  • Bookkeeper/accounting clerk
  • Project-based consultant
  • Adjunct professor
  • Crossing guard
  • Real estate agent

Comments or questions? larry@larrylitwin.com

Basic rules for your next interview

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Way back when, thejobnetwork’s Kate Lopaze wrote, “It’s easy to see how job interviews have changed over time: more email, less formality, pre-interviews with chatbots, Skype interviews, etc. What is not so easy is determining which interview principles are just as valid and necessary as ever, even as you prepare to job hunt in a modern world.”

As Kate says, “Let’s look at some of the evergreen tips that are just as helpful now as they were when your parents and grandparents were interviewing for jobs.”

  • Wear a suit or you interview best
  • Print your resume
  • Send a thank you note

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The 5 types of people you should have as a reference

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From Kate Lopaze of thejobnetwork comes this advice:

Handing over a list of references to a potential new employer can feel like tricky business.

If you do not have a job offer in hand, you might be worried about your job search getting back to your current employer. If you are just starting out, you may worry that you don’t yet have a go-to list of professional refernces.

No matter what stage you are in, these five types of people make great references for any job search.

  • Past bosses
  • Past supervisors
  • Colleagues
  • Professional friends from your network
  • Professors or academic contacts                                                                                      [Questions? larry@larrylitwin.com]

Exit interviews when leaving a job

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Suggestions from Eric Titner on thejobnetwork.com. Check him out online.

  • Be constructive (Mention some positives)
  • Don’t brush off the experience
  • Do be honest
  • Do not be angry

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6 Questions Recruiters Ask — And How to Answer Them

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Kate Lupaze of thejobnetwork writes in The Courier-Post the following:

  1. Tell me about yourself
  2. Tell me about your current (or most recent job)
  3. What is your highest achievement?
  4. What is your biggest weakness?
  5. What is your next step?
  6. Are you working with other recruiters?

For questions: larry@larrylitwin.com

Strong Cover Letters

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Do not hesitate to read Chapter 5 in The Public Relations Practitioner’s Playbook for (all) Strategic Communicators by Litwin. He stresses the opening paragraph that must be a hood — a hand that comes up out of the page and grabs the reader by the neck or some place else (usually the heart and soul will follow) and pulls her/him in. In addition, comes this advice from Kate Lopaze from thejobnetwork:

  • The opening: Avoid cliches (but follow Litwin’s advice on an opening graph that sets you apart from everyone else.
  • The pitch: Talk about yourself.
  • The closing: Finish strong and as Litwin advises, let the recipient know you will follow up via a phone call. That way, when the gatekeeper asks, “Is the person you are calling expecting your call,” you can honestly say yes, because you have alerted she or he that you will be following up.
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Importance of Staying Current

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From Kate Lopaze TheJobNetwork comes this advice for aging workers and Boomers.

  • Be open to change
  • Embrace your experience and edit as you progress
  • Always be open to learning
  • Be confident in who you are and the experience you have.

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Job Network’s 3 old-school relevant interview rules

thejobnetwork’s Kate Lopeze offers these suggestions. Questions? larry@larrylitwin.com

It’s easy to see how job interviews have changed over time: more email, less formality, pre-interviews with chatbots, Skype interviews, etc. What’s not so easy is determining which interview principles are just as valid and necessary as ever, even as you prepare to job hunt in a modern world. Let’s look at some of the evergreen tips that are just as helpful now as they were when your parents and grandparents were interviewing for jobs.

Wear a suit or your interview best

Many workplaces are going full-on casual these days. All the same, this shouldn’t affect how you dress for the interview. Even if you’re 95% sure your interviewer will be wearing jeans and a hoodie, you should still plan to wear your interview suit—or at the very least, an above-average, impeccably clean and tailored outfit. If you get the job, there will be plenty of time to dress like your new colleagues. However, when you’re interviewing you still want to project the most professional and put-together image possible.

No one will think you’re a nerd for overdressing, I promise. But if you underdress, you run the risk of seeming unserious or unprepared. Better over than under, in this case.

Print your resume

This one may seem archaic—you likely emailed your resume to the company in the first place, so who needs paper copies? It’s still a good habit to keep. The old-school idea that you need to print your resume on the finest paper stock you can afford is no longer a must-do, but bringing copies shows you’re thoughtful and organized. Sure, the person interviewing you may be reading your resume on a screen or may already have their own printout, but if they don’t happen to have your resume right in front of them, it’s an immediate point in your favor that you came prepared. It’s also a subtle hint about the well-prepared employee you’d be—ready for everything.

This also applies if you’re doing an on-screen presentation. Always bring a few printouts (for every person you know will be there, plus a couple of extras just in case). Handouts help people follow along and also serve as a reminder all about you afterward as they’re evaluating how the interview/presentation went.

Send a thank-you note

Do you know what else never goes out of style? Polite thank you notes. (Your parents and grandparents were right about that, but you don’t have to tell them so.) An email or a follow-up text technically fits that bill in this fast-paced digital world, but sending a handwritten (or typed and hand-signed, since not all of us were blessed with great handwriting) note to your interviewers is an eternally classy move. Or you can do both if you’re worried about seeming like an ungrateful procrastinator: the quick email sent the same day, and the more traditional note following thereafter.

It’s a nice touch, and not only makes sure that you’re back on the interviewer’s radar after you’ve left the office but also shows that you’re thoughtful and appreciative of the opportunity—this doesn’t need to be a retroactive sales pitch. A brief, on-point note that thanks people for taking the time to talk to you is likely to get a response along the lines of, “I knew I liked that guy for a reason!” There’s literally no downside to following up with a simple thank you note.

The job interview has changed so much over the past decade alone, and will likely continue to shift as the workplace and hiring in general grow and evolve. Still, despite all the outward changes, the basics of good taste and solid organization never go out of fashion.

Questions? larry@larrylitwin.com

Have you crafted your Elevator Speech/Applicant Statement for your resume’?

[larry@larrylitwin.com] The following is just one of nearly 300 tips and tecniques from Litwin ABCs of Strategic Communication

The Applicant or Summary is similar to an elevator speech – A strategic message (about 30 seconds – 75 words) with two or three key message points – that can be delivered quickly – even during an elevator ride. 

The “elevator pitch”is a short description about your company that you can convey in the time it takes to ride an elevator.And not an elevator in a skyscraper,either.Your elevator pitch must be clear and concise and show that you understand the core aspects of your business. 
Because it must be short,you have to decide what facets of your company to leave out.Often,these can be the things you’re most excited about – a new technology,a great location,outstanding customer service,etc. 

But if they’re not central to the core or success of your business, they don’t belong in an elevator pitch. 

You should touch – very briefly – on the products or services you sell,what market you serve,and your competitive advantage. 
You must be brief and clear.Unless you’re in a highly technical field,your neighbor or grandmother should be able to understand your business well enough to describe it to someone else.After all, you want grandma marketing for you too,don’t you? People you meet need to quickly understand the nature of your business if you want them to send business your way.
Make sure your employees,investors,even vendors know your company’s elevator pitch.Have your employees practice your company’s elevator pitch so they’re able to network for you as well. 
It’s often a good idea to use an analogy,especially if you’re in a new or difficult-to-grasp field. “We’re the Google for car buyers”is a good shorthand way to say that you’re trying to create a search engine for people wanting to purchase an automobile. Think in these terms (sort of like a mission statement):
 • This is who we are; 

• What we think about ourselves;

 • What we want to do; 

• Why we deserve your support 

You’ll find you use your elevator pitch often – in e-mails to prospective customers and investors,to introduce yourself at organizational meetings or when running into an old friend at a ballgame.Who knows? You may even use it if you meet a potential customer in an elevator. 
So go out and find a three-story building with an elevator,ride up and down and practice your pitch.That way,you’ll be prepared the next time some one asks you,“What do you do?”

[larry@larrylitwin.com]