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How to Research Jobs

The Secret Keywords for Your Job Search: Unveiled!

Have you spent hours searching job boards for position listings?

Do you know what you want but get too many search results when you look for it? 2159980025_4e6b965217

Did you know employers and hiring managers are very sophisticated when they look for candidates, and know just the right key words to use?

Here are a few examples of how recruiters scout candidates 

C++ java -jobs -samples intitle:resume OR inurl:resume AND Cleveland
this is an example of a Google Search for software candidates in Cleveland

("business analyst" OR "systems analyst" or Analyst or BA) and (Retail or POS or "point of sales") and (ecommerce or e-commerce or web or internet) and (inventory or SCM or "supply chain") and ("crystal report*)
this is a search string from a recruiter challenged to find candidates for Business Analyst positions with experience in Crystal Reports. This search string is one that can be used inside job boards.

Today, we're going to help you level the playing field.

I'm working with the recruiting industry insiders who built the products used by 70% of the Fortune 500 to find candidates. We are going to give you a customized string for your job search.

After years of helping companies identify candidates to find jobs, my friends Chris Forman and Tim McKegney founded StartWire, a private social networking platform, to help job seekers find the right jobs.

If you join StartWire by Monday and complete a profile that share your interests--ideal job title, industry sectors of interest and location, Chris and Tim will provide you with your own custom Boolean search string you can use to save time.

Registering on StartWire takes less than five minutes, and you'll get your search string within 48 hours--at the latest. Sound good?

To your success,


(P.S. StartWire will help you find keywords to search for the right job, if you need help finding keywords for your resume, check out this post I wrote on how to find the best keywords through a tag cloud.)

Cross-posted on Secrets of the Job Hunt. Photo by Cayusa.


The Six Reasons You'll Get the Job (Learn 'Em in NYC 10/14)

My friend and former colleague Elisabeth Harney Sanders-Park has just co-written her second book, the 6 Reasons Why You'll Get the Job (Penguin). I am pleased to announce that the NYC Job Seekers 6 ReasonsGroup, the grassroots job search group that I host in Manhattan, will be offering a special four hour workshop with Elisabeth and her co-author, Debra Angel MacDougall, the morning of October 14, 2010.

There is no cost to sign up. For additional details--including hours and location of the event--please sign up for the MeetUp group and RSVP.

Hope to see you there!

Note to Recent Grads: Advice Worth Ignoring

I worked on college campuses for over a decade before starting my own business, and I've seen a lot of Pomp and Circumstance come and go. I've watched graduates saunter out into great jobs in a strong economy, and I've watched more than a few turn around and go straight back to school in a down economy. But regardless of whether you graduate this year, next year or you graduated five years ago, here are three statements that you can expect to hear--and which I think you should ignore.Hne

1. This is the worse job market in ___ years. You will never get a job. (Assume this is right and don't apply for jobs, you can guarantee you won't get one.)

A CEO I once worked with loved to tell the story of a man who was angry with God because he hadn't won the lottery. He shook his fists and shouted at the sky, "Why haven't I won? I deserve it. I'm a good man, I've worked hard. Why won't you help me?"

The clouds parted, a loud voice spoke. "My son, buy a ticket."

Moral: You have to apply for jobs in order to be in the game.

2. You need a stimulus package to get a job. A recent Op/Ed in the New York Times pleaded for a stimulus package to incentivize employers to offer new grads entry-level jobs. While a stimulus package may very well help, it's important to remember that people are getting jobs--with regularity.

According to the Department of Labor, nonfarm payroll employment has expanded by 573,000 since December. The number of unemployed is under 10% nationally. It's true that there are more unemployed recent graduates now than there were two years ago, but it doesn't mean that you don't have a chance of landing a job. You just need to pay attention to where the jobs are--both in terms of industry sector and in terms of location.

Action step: Take a look at Indeed's job postings per capita or industry employment trends. Consider refining your search based on what you find!

(I found a job in a recession post-college, when I decided to make a contrary move. I moved to DC instead of New York to seek out a job as an Editorial Assistant in book publishing. My job search took three weeks.)

3. You will enjoy living with your parents--forever. Every year, the percentage of recent graduates moving back home to live with their parents increases...While this may not be your plan "A," it may not be your parents either. Take a look at this New Yorker Shouts and Murmur's piece.

Not sure whether to laugh or cry? If your mom tells you they are moving to a new house so that there is less space to clean up, you may want to take this as a subtle hint. (This really happened to a friend of mine...he was finally told "we love you but we don't have anymore room.)

Bottom line: Ignore the naysayers, and the gloom and doom statistics.

Your job search isn't about numbers. It may be a numbers game to find positions, but in the end, people hire people--not resumes or online applications. Proof positive: All of the recent grads who were guest bloggers on this site last summer to discuss their "hire me" strategies have jobs. Full-time ones with benefits.

For the most part, the best way to get hired is the same as it was 15 years ago:

  • Know what you are good at
  • Learn what employers need
  • Target the market and research potential opportunities
  • Build a community/network
  • Apply
  • Articulate how you can meet employer needs

Yes, social media has complicated the process, but it's also shortened the distance between people and opportunities. (Earlier today, I reached out on Twitter to share a piece I wrote for Career Hub about Olympic Gold Medalist, Natalie Coughlin. She wrote back. How cool is that?)

What are you waiting for? Get out there! (Then let me know how I can help.)

Footprints and Associations: Job Search Tips for the Holidays.

This post is one in a series of posts by members of the “Career Collective,” a community of job search experts who provide different perspectives on a common theme each month. This month’s theme: the holiday job search!

December is traditionally thought of as the “sleeper season” for job search. Conventional wisdom seems to run that as the days grow shorter, so do the opportunities—and that the holidays postpone hiring plans until after the New Year.

In all actuality, December is a great time to recharge your job search and to strengthen and build connections across your network. Here are three ways to do it:

  1. Include your digital “career” footprint in your e-mail signature. Providing others with a link to your LinkedIn or Visual CV signature can lead a “gingerbread” trail back to the web version of your resume. (It’s much sweeter than sending out a resume in your e-mails; if you “tweet,” you can also include your Twitter handle.)

    Tip: To create your own customized LinkedInURL, edit your "Public Profile" settings and create your own customized shortcut. If your first and last name are already taken, consider adding location or profession - e.g. NancySpragueNYC or NancySpragueHRDir

  2. Consider joining a professional association by year’s end if you’ve been meaning to do it—and haven’t gotten around to it! It may be tax-deductible. A win-win, considering that local events and larger conferences can facilitate in-person connections and frequently provide job leads.

    Tip: You can find directories of Associations by area of interest through the American Society of Association Executives or Weddle's Association Directory

  3. Open up your ears at holiday parties. The more you learn about what other people need, the more you have an awareness of how you can help. And the more you demonstrate your willingness to help and take action when you can, the more likely you are to find it yourself the recipient of such leads when karma springs back again…

Use the following three approaches and you may find yourself under the job search mistletoe, take the additional advice from my colleagues in the Career Collective and I guarantee that you will!

@MartinBuckland, Elite Resumes, "Season's Greetings and your Job Search"

@GayleHoward, The Executive Brand, "It's Christmas: And a ho-ho-ho-hum?"

@KCCareerCoach, Career Chaos, "The Gift Every Laid Off Job Seeker Needs"

@resumeservice, Resume Writing Blog,"Holiday Resume Sparkle: Outshine the New Year Job-Search Mob"

@heathermundell, life@work, "Have a Holly Jolly Job Search"
@LaurieBerenson, Sterling Career Concepts, Three Resolutions to Take It Up a Notch

@KatCareerGal, Quintessential Resumes and Cover Letters Tips Blog, Avoiding the Holiday Blues in Your Job Search
@ValueIntoWords, Career Trend, Navigating the Mistle Toe of Job Search