Top 25 Tips For Finding a Better Job

Is a job change in order? Peruse the 25 most effective ways to job hunt. If it’s time for new beginnings, and if you’re searching for a job, it’s a good time to make sure your priorities are in check. Begin with some basic soul-searching, move to creative networking, and conclude with the foremost ways to investigate prospective companies. These are all sure strategies for getting a competitive edge in the job market. But finding a job means more than being competitive. In the bewildering new world of technology-online boards, career centers, and growing numbers of complex web sites-it also means knowing your way around. Here are 25 tips to learn how to maximize your time, your effectiveness, and your chances of success in your next career search!

  1. First and foremost-take a personal inventory. Job hunting gives you the opportunity to go back to “square one” and inventory all over again what you are all about, what skills and knowledge you have acquired, and what you want to do. Who are you? What do you want out of life? A job? A career? Where are you going? Do you know how to get there? Have you been happy in your work/career/profession? What would you like to change? An inventory such as this is the best job hunting method ever devised because it focuses your view of your skills and talents as well as your inner desires. You begin your job hunt by first identifying your transferable, functional, skills. In fact, you are identifying the basic building blocks of your work.
  2. Apply directly to an employer. Pick out the employers that interest you the most from any source available (web listings, yellow pages, newspaper ads, etc.), and obtain their address. Appear on their doorstep at your first opportunity with resume in hand. Even if you don’t know anyone there, this job hunting method works almost half the time, if you are diligent and continue your pursuit over several weeks or months.
  3. Ask relatives and friends about jobs where they work. Ask every relative and friend you have now or have ever had about vacancies they may know about where they work, or where anyone else works. It may take a village to raise a child, but it takes an entire network to find a new job! If you tell everyone you know or meet that you are job hunting and that you would appreciate their help, you more than quadruple your chances of success.
  4. Search hidden job markets. Networking is the “Hidden Job Market.” Because every time you make contact with a person who is in direct line with your career interest, you set up the possibility that he or she will lead you to more people, or to the job you are seeking. People are connected to one another by an infinite number of pathways. Many of these pathways are available to you, but you must activate them to make them work to your advantage. Most of the available jobs are in the hidden job market. They aren’t listed in the classifieds or placed with a headhunter. Find them through your network of contacts. This is your most valuable resource!
  5. Ask a professor or old teacher for job-leads. No one knows your capabilities, dedication, and discipline better than a teacher or professor who had the opportunity to work with you in school. Since more people find their work through direct referral by other people than by any other way, this is a target audience you don’t want to miss
  6. Spend more hours each week on your job hunt. Finding a job is a job! Treat your job hunting just as you would a normal job and work a normal number of hours per week, at least 35, preferably 40 in the process. This will cut down dramatically on the length of time it takes you to find work. Did you know that the average person in the job market only spends 5 hours or less per week looking for work? With that statistic, it isn’t surprising that it can be a long, tedious process. Improve your chances and demonstrate your discipline and determination. Devote Sundays to answering ads and planning your strategy for the next week. Don’t spend precious weekday hours behind a computer. You need to be out there researching leads, networking, and interviewing. Work smarter for yourself!
  7. Concentrate your job hunt on smaller companies. Most new jobs will come from smaller, growing companies, typically with fewer than 500 employees, not large, restructuring companies. Although larger employers are more visible, well known and aggressive in their search for employees, it is with the smaller companies that you may have the best chance of success in finding work. Pay particular attention to those companies that are expanding and on their way to prosperous growth…they are easier to approach, easier to contact important personnel, and less likely to screen you out.
  8. See more employers each week. If you only visit six or seven employers a month in your job search (which is the average, by the way), you will prolong your search and delay your successful outcome. This is one reason why job hunting takes so long. If you need to see 45 employers to find a job, it only makes sense to see as many employers a week as possible. Determine to see no fewer than two employers per week at a minimum! Do this for as many months as your job-hunt lasts. Keep going until you find the kind of employer who wants to hire you! Looking for a job is a numbers game. The more contacts you make, the more interviews you’ll get. The more interviews you have, the more offers you’ll get.
  9. Be prepared for phone interviews. Would you believe that over 50% of prospective candidates are disqualified after the first phone contact is made with them by an employer? In today’s world, employers don’t have time anymore to interview every possible applicant and are using phone calls as a less expensive, less time consuming way to weed out potentially unqualified candidates. The phone interview catches many people off guard. You might receive more than just one phone interview, and you have to pass them all. The interviewer usually makes up his or her mind within the first five minutes. The remainder of the time is spent just confirming first impressions.
  10. Create a support group. It is easy to get discouraged, depressed and despondent (the three D’s) in the job-hunt process. This can be one of the toughest and loneliest experiences in the world and the rejection you may have to face can be brutal, but it doesn’t have to be. The key is in understanding that you are not alone. There are literally hundreds of thousands of people looking for work, and you can team up with one if you choose. Many job-hunting groups already exist, such as the local Chambers of Commerce and online support groups through the Internet. Find a partner, or a larger group, and support and encourage each other. The path to success is literally a phone call away.
  11. Contact potential employers directly through professional associations. Professional associations provide excellent networks for your benefit. Almost all committed professionals are members of at least one or two professional networks. Usually membership includes a directory, which provides you with a direct networking resource for verbal contact and mail campaigns. Additionally, most professional associations hold regularly scheduled meetings, which provide further opportunities to mingle with your professional peers on an informal basis. Finally, professional associations all have newsletters that are a valuable resource for other trade publications, associations, and help wanted sections.
  12. Post your resume online. In today’s world there are numerous resume databases on the web. Job hunters can now tap into giant online databases when launching a search prior to interviewing. There are three primary ways to job search electronically or online: Joblines, Bulletin Board Systems (BBS), and the Internet. Many employers today have their employment opportunities accessible through a simple phone call. You can also use the advanced Resume Caster feature in ResumeMaker to post your resume to all of the top career centers on the web for thousands of hiring employers to review. You can also use the Job Finder feature to search from among more than 1 million online-listed job openings for a specific job title in the state you specify. The data is all there, waiting for you.
  13. Promote yourself in unique ways. Promotion is creating an audience of potential employers and making them aware of your qualifications. There are many nontraditional ways to accomplish this task. For example, use electronic resume services to broadcast your resume. List yourself in appropriate trade association newsletters. Prepare 3 x 5 Rolodex cards that contain your name, address, and phone number on the front and your objective and skills from your resume on the back. Leave them behind wherever you go and give them to anyone who has reason to contact you later about a job.
  14. Accept a temporary position or volunteer work. Be your own working advertisement by accepting a temporary position. This provides you with valuable experience, contacts, and references. Volunteer for organizations and activities with business sponsors and relationships that increases your visibility and personal contacts. Explore your possibilities and leave all options open. You never know which method may ultimately land you your ideal job.
  15. Make cold-calls. Next to face-to-face meetings, the telephone is the most effective method available to find a job. Every call you make is an opportunity to sell yourself to a prospective employer, to pursue a new job opening, or to obtain a referral. Your technique in the initial telephone call can have a categorical impact on your chances to obtain what you want from the call. Complete at least 15 calls per day. You will be astonished at the results. Always be agreeable, gentle, and positive. Smile when you speak; the listener will hear it. Prepare a brief outline for each call and rehearse it. Create brief statements that outline how you can help your prospective employer accomplish their goals. Always, always, always ask for referrals.
  16. Re-define your job hunt in terms of alternative possibilities. Successful job hunters always have alternative plans ready in the background and implement them at the first sign of difficulty. Prepare alternative ways of describing what you do, alternative avenues of job hunting, alternative leads and contact lists, alternative target organizations and employers to contact, alternative ways to approach prospective companies, and alternative plans to continue your job hunt through its successful completion. The jobs are out there-you just need to be sure you are using the right methods to look for them.
  17. Seek career counseling or job hunting help online. Many service providers, through the Internet, are offering career counseling services, job hunting advice, and reference tools that you can turn to in your job hunt. Some of the best of these services are free, and the number is growing astronomically each year. Your first approach would be to visit the online career centers integrated with ResumeMaker and visit each site to determine what services they have to offer. There is a virtual community just waiting to hear from you.
  18. Consider federal and local government sources. The federal government is a huge resource of potential job search information, available to you at little or no cost. Several Department of Labor publications, for example, can take you through your job search from beginning to end, and help with career counseling and industry research. Call your local employment office and take advantage of the services they offer.
  19. Make sure you can survive financially between jobs. Budget for the time you will be looking for a job. It is always helpful if you can get an overall view of how your money will carry you through any work search or training you may need to take on. You will have enough worries and issues to deal with and do not want to have to be concerned about your finances.
  20. Set and prioritize goals while job-hunting. You need to know what you want, or else you can’t ask for it. There are literally thousands of jobs open around you. Determine what it is that you want, set your goals for achieving this, and prioritize the steps that you will ultimately need to take. The more specific you are about your goal, the better your chances of getting the job you want.
  21. Zero in on a career position and research the market. Before you start meeting people, you need to know something about the industry or field you want to work in. The more you know, the better your conversations with prospective employers will be-and the more impressed they will be with you.
  22. Interview others for information. Interview people whose occupations interest you. You can always find someone who has done something that at least approximates what you want to do. Find the names of such persons, and go see, phone, or write them. You will learn a great deal that is relevant to your dream.
  23. Organize a job search campaign. Organize your job search campaign. Failing to do so is a common flaw in many people’s job search strategy. Make a plan for your job search. This entails: planning and organizing your job strategy, setting up a base or operations center for your job hunt, preparing materials, and carrying out job search tactics.
  24. Update your resume and be prepared. Update that resume! A resume is what nearly everyone you approach in your job search is going to ask for. Get your resume in top shape. Use a professional service or ResumeMaker to prepare a show-stopping resume!
  25. Keep yourself dedicated, strong, positioned, and consistent. Job-hunting can certainly be one of life’s most stressful experiences. You have more power to keep the pressures of job hunting under control, however, than you may think. The key is to focus your job search and stay strong, dedicated and consistent. One of the curious things about the human brain is that it focuses on only one thing at a time. So keep it focused on you-and finding a job!

How to Use QuickBooks For Job Costing – Understanding Job Cost Reports

QuickBooks offers a plethora of standard job costing reports designed to give you the information you need to manage your customer and jobs.  Some of these reports are only found in the Contractors and Accountants editions, but many are available in other versions of QuickBooks as well.

Jobs & Profitability Reports:

These reports can be found in Pro, Premier and Enterprise in Reports > Jobs, Time & Mileage.  

Job Profitability Summary – This report summarizes how much profit your company has made from each customer.

Job Profitability Detail – This report drills down to the detailed costs and revenues for each job phase you billed to the selected customer or job, so you can see which parts of the job were profitable and which parts were not.

Item Profitability – This report summarizes how much profit you have made from each item or job phase you sell.

Profit & Loss by Job – This report shows how much profit you are making or losing on each job.

Unbilled Costs by Job – This report lists the costs you assigned to a specific customer or job but have not yet billed as reimbursable expenses.

Job Estimates Reports:

These reports can be found in Pro, Premier and Enterprise in Reports > Jobs, Time & Mileage. 

Job Estimates vs. Actuals Summary – This report summarizes how accurately your company estimated job-related costs and revenues. The report summarizes estimated to actual costs and estimated to actual revenue for all customers.

Job Estimates vs. Actuals Detail – This report drills down to the detailed costs and revenues for the selected customer or job. It compares estimated to actual costs and estimated to actual revenue for each job phase you billed.  That way, you can see which parts of the job you estimated accurately and which parts you did not.

Job Progress Invoices vs. Estimates – This report compares each estimate with progress invoices based on the estimate. For each customer or job, this report shows whether or not the estimate is active, the estimate total, the total invoiced from the estimate on progress invoices, and the percentage of the estimate already invoiced on progress invoices.

Item Estimates vs. Actuals – This report summarizes how accurately your company estimated costs and revenues for the items and job phases you sell. The report summarizes estimated to actual cost and estimated to actual revenue for all your items.

Estimates by Job – This report lists all active estimates assigned to a customer or job.

Open Purchase Orders by Job – This report shows the remaining purchase order line items that have not been received and their expected delivery date for each customer or job.

Job Costs & Bills Reports:

These reports can only be found in the Contractors and Accountants editions of QuickBooks.  Some of them are also available in the Professional Services edition.  

Costs to Complete by Job Summary – Once you enter how far along each of your jobs are, this report summarizes the cost to complete each of your jobs that have active estimates. It also shows how far you are over or under your estimate.

Costs to Complete by Job Detail – This report drills down to the detailed estimated cost by phase to complete the selected customer or job, and how far you are over or under your estimate.

Job Costs by Vendor and Job Summary - This report lists the job-related expenses you have incurred for each job, subtotaled by vendor.

Job Costs by Vendor and Detail – This report shows a detailed list of all the job-related expenses you have incurred for each vendor, subtotaled by job.

Job Costs Job and Vendor Summary - This report lists the job-related expenses you have incurred for each vendor, subtotaled by job.

Job Costs Job and Vendor Detail – This report shows a detailed list of all the job-related expenses you have incurred for each vendor, subtotaled by job.

Job Costs Detail - This report lists the expenses you have incurred for each job. This report is useful if you need to break out all material supplier purchases, all subcontractors bills, and all the labor costs for each job.

Unpaid Bills by Job – This report lists the bills you have not yet paid, sorted by customers and jobs. It lists only bills with an associated customer or job. This report is useful if you wait to pay vendor bills for a specific job when you receive a payment from the customer.

Unpaid Job Bills by Vendor – This report shows all bills you have not yet paid, sorted by vendor or subcontractor, and lists any customer or job associated with each item on the bill.

Expenses Not Assigned to Jobs – This report lists expenses that you have not assigned to a customer or job, totaled by vendor. Use this report to help identify costs that you may have forgotten to pass along to your customers.

Job Status – This report lists information for each active customer and job.

Customizing Reports:

One of the wonderful things about QuickBooks is how easy it is to customize reports and then memorize them for future use.  At the top of each report is a Modify Report button.  Here, you can change the way it looks as well as move, sort and subtotal the data in it.  

An even more powerful feature is report filtering.  Each filter represents a specific way you can restrict the scope of the report. When you select a filter, QuickBooks displays fields for you to fill in. The fields ask for information that QuickBooks needs to know to apply the filter to the report.

Once you have a particular report customized just the way you want, you can easily memorize it for future use by clicking the Memorize button.

If you need additional assistance, please call our QuickBooks technical support line at 888-351-5285.  We are here to help you get the most out of QuickBooks!

Employed in One Job Application?

I often get asked by job seekers, is it possible to get employed in just one job application? Of course the answer is yes, but it is difficult to make that positive and hence employed result consistent.

However, it is possible to become employed in far fewer job applications than 200 made over four months, the current statistics for the average job seeker. There are far better and more effective job application techniques which can easily get you employed in less than 30 days.

Job Interview = Dating

As an experienced recruiter or employer knows, the predictability of job search is impossible when it comes down to predicting the outcome of a job interview. Like many recruiters and HR professionals, I see this stage more like a dating exercise than a predictable or controllable set of outcomes. Much as though I may think that candidate A may be better, the employer hiring manager may like the equally good candidate B better – it’s just human chemistry!

So while interview technique and briefing each party may well allow good recruiters to achieve a 65% or slightly higher mix and prediction ratio, I have rarely seen many get consistently better results.

The interview stage is hence the biggest risk in trying to get employed in one job application, and it all comes down to human chemistry. That’s not controllable, but it is predictable.

Telephone Interview

Much like placing any job application, it is easily possible to pass a Telephone Interview, if you have read the job advert and have the required competencies – a Human Resources term for skills, qualifications and experiences (SQE).

The difference between a job application and telephone interview is quite simple: format of the communication. The information actually sought by the employer is not any different or often more extensive than that required in the job application. The only additional test is that what you claimed in the job application can actually be backed up with confidence in the telephone interview.

Job requirements?

I have always said, and wholly believe, that every essential requirement of the desired suitable job applicant can be found in the job advert. Yes, you can wholly improve your chances of gaining employment if you research and read around and about your potential employer – by as much as 200%, as you then read the wider interests of the organisation. But everything you need to known that the ideal job applicant should have is in the job advert.

Yet, time and time again, job applicants fail to read job adverts. I had considered that this was because job applicants couldn’t read, and it was but a poor reflection on our nations education system. But as it affects all categories of job application, I conclude in part this problem is derived from a candidates own drive, giving them what could be termed beer goggles!

Simply, the desire to be employed and get that dream job obviates and replaces an individuals ability to read a job advert. They read the title, look at the pay, and with jobs boards making it so simple, they just click to apply.

Communication and Rapport

One of the areas that I have concentrated on in the last five years is the most effective process by which to get employed. But it was only recently in conversation with a professional coach friend of mine that the final piece of the explanation as to why this process worked in the jigsaw of communication, and hence successful job application, clicked into place.

I said to her that I was now convinced that I had tracked the most effective process for any job seeker to get employed, and told her about some of the key tactics and decision points. I said to her that I knew that this was creating a better communication and hence engagement with the potential employer and hiring manager, but wondered if there was another factor at play by which to explain what was happening?

As an engineer by training, I had concentrated on effectiveness of process. In summary the job seeking system gets the job seeker ahead of the competition and closer to the hiring manager, effectively what a good recruiter does to win recruitment business. But as an NLP trained coach, she immediately understood what the process was creating: both the right communication at the right time; but also as a result, the right rapport with the employer and hiring manager. Thus in communication terms, it’s not just about what you communicate, but when, resulting in a build up of the right rapport; and hence employment.

Employed in one job application

We were recently approached by a potential client who wanted us to write her a Cover Letter, a service which we no longer provide as a stand-alone option. After talking to her, the office staff asked if I could directly talk to her, where by as a long term job seeker she needed some considerable help.

This lady was, like many long term job seekers, looking at a poor set of statistics and long term unemployment over 90 days, when the average job seekers success ratio has fallen by two thirds. She had seen a job that she really wanted, was fully technically qualified for, and having written her CV, all she needed was the perfect Cover Letter. Could we help?

I talked the job through with her, and as she had the supporting evidence of both the job advert and the job description, I could have fully analysed the job with just this information. But after a bit of searching – OK, 5 minutes in total using some very easily learnt boolean search techniques around Google, LinkedIn and the employers website – I managed to find a biography profile for the hiring manager.

System of how to get employed

Using all three of these pieces of information – job advert, job description and hiring manager biography – I created an SQE priority sheet. Some of these were hard technical factors associated with the job description, while some were soft factors, mainly associated with the profile of the hiring manager. I then compiled the priority sheet, and checked it using a simple technique to assure myself that the match between employer requirements and job application was as perfect as it could be. I have used this later technique in some job markets where there are very few jobs or employers, and it works superbly in gaining better job application statistics.

From the checked sheet, I then compiled the required Cover Letter, and again checked the output using the check technique on both the Cover Letter and her draft CV. Both were then adjusted again. I then got the job applicant to check the priority list using a very simple technique which both follows the defined employers application process, as well as breaks it. This is in no way an immoral or risky technique, but it drives through the candidates advantage and confirms the priority sheet.

Hiring manager job application

Interestingly at this point, something happened which I didn’t expect and yet was not surprised by: the employer offered our job seeker customer an Informational Interview! At this point after such a long period of unemployment, I had to temper her enthusiasm: honest, it’s just an informational interview outside of the formal HR employment process, which you will still later have to go through. You can get as much information about the job at this stage, but also need to treat it as a formal interview.

I knew the Informational Interview had gone well, as she called me two hours after the designated time slot that she had been allocated. The first piece of news was that the formal interview process was to be held two days later, and the second piece of news was that they had asked to undertake a formal background check, and should she agree? I asked her to think for five minutes about key issues that she wanted addressed, and were there any open questions left on the Informational Interview table? We hence compiled a follow-up thank you letter, accepting the interview date and confirming the ability to start background checks. Seven days later she started her new job!

Employed in one job application: possible, but…

I don’t, as I said at the start of this piece, believe that there are a fixed set of outcomes which can be wholly controlled to get employed in one specific job. The job interview comes down to human chemistry, which means that the outcome is at best a 65% chance of success.

But I do believe that job application technique, when best learnt and applied against the most successful techniques, it is possible to get employed quickly and in a timely manner. The reason the average job seeker presently gets 1 telephone interview per 20 job applications, and spends four months job searching is poor technique. If any of them figured out that it’s costing them on average nearly £10,000 in both lost income and additional costs, they would quickly do something much better, much quicker.

Simply put, if you can find 50 suitable jobs for which you are skilled and qualified for, then there is no reason why you should be unemployed. It really is that simple if you know the right job application technique. Plus, if you know it well and have access to the right information, possible to get employed in one job application.

Good Luck!