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The Riley Guide

The Riley Guide: How to Job Search

Job Search Advice


We also have information on The International Job Search, Working with Search Firms and The Internet as a Job Reference.

Great Gurus and One-Stop Advice Shops

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When I have a question, I start here because it's more than a job, it's a career. These sites offer you advice beyond just the best ways to find work.

Joyce Lain Kennedy's Careers Now
...if you don't know Joyce, where have you been? She's been writing her syndicated career column for over 30 years (it appears in more than 100 newspapers). Joyce has also written many books on careers and job search which have influenced the way thousands of us think of this process. A large number of her columns are archived here, and a few more sit on the Tribune Media Service website.
JobHuntersBible.com from Richard Bolles
...the newest addition to the many guides from the author of What Color Is Your Parachute? This incorporates his Net Guide (meta-list of job resource online) plus many of the self-assessment exercises from Parachute. You'll love it.
Ask the Headhunter
...Nick Corcodilos is a headhunter and management consultant helping you with his own style of advice. Several good articles for you to read. While you are here, take a look at his new book, How to Work with Headhunters, and his excellent blog
The Job Lounge
...a blog for job seekers and career changers from Susan Ireland, a professional job search coach and resume writer, and a good friend. She posts something helpful almost every weekday, and will try to answer questions that you submit.
The Career Activist
Mark Swartz, a Toronto-based career coach, author, and self-proclaimed Career Activist, offers you very good advice on job searching along with selected quality links to additional articles and resources. His focus is on serving his fellow Canadians, but all job seekers will appreciate his advice and find most of the links to be useful.
Casting the Net, a blog by Terrence Seamon
This blog is for anyone involved in job search or career transition. Terrence is a leadership and organizational development consultant who has also been working as a career and transition coach for many years. He is author of To Your Success: The Job Seekers Guide to Success in 2012. I think you'll enjoy his articles, which are written for recent college graduates as well as more experienced persons who seek new opportunities.
Knock 'em Dead Online
...hosted by Martin Yate, the best-selling author of the Knock 'em Dead series of job search books, this site gives you fast access to much of his great advice. Yes, you will find information on his books here, but you'll also get new articles, list of resources, and access to his blog with questions from other users and answers from the man himself.
The 21st Century Job Search Guide For The Perplexed, Mary Elizabeth Bradford (TheCareerArtisan.com)
Short, sweet, and terrific guide to the "new" job search (which isn't new, it is just continually evolving). Bradford's short ebook (in PDF format, so no Nook or Kindle necessary) explains what you need to do and how to improve your job search quickly. Only 30 pages, and fully understandable by those who are not so Internet savvy. Also great for college students. And right now you can download your copy for free! Quick, get yours before she comes to her senses. And tell all your friends! You will recognize Mary Elizabeth's name from links to articles she has written further down this page.
Keppie Careers
...this site offers numerous helpful and upbeat articles designed to encourage and assist you in your career, whether you are seeking a new job, a new direction, or just a new attitude about it all. Miriam Salpeter, founder of Keppie Careers, has been working in the career advising field for over 10 years and formerly headed Career Action Center at the Rollins School of Public Health of Emory University, one of the first college career centers to really move and shake it online.
Marty Nemko's Career and Education Ideas
You may have heard of Marty Nemko, but just in case you haven't, he is a highly regarded expert in careers. Marty is a career coach based in San Francisco who hosts his own radio show, he is co-author of "Cool Careers for Dummies", he's career advisor for Monster.com, and much more. His web site includes several articles he has written on careers, worklife, and education issues and over 200 of his "Fast Fixes," tips for improving your worklife or education. He's done so much, which is why he is so knowledgeable about what you can do to help yourself, and his website is a gold mine of free information.
Career Solvers Blog
Career Solvers is Barbara Safani, noted career expert. Her blog is a wonderful free source of advice on numerous topics (you can do a keyword search up on the top right).
Work Strong by Pete Weddle
This blog on career fitness and personal career management (not job search, although that is included) is authored by Pete Weddle, an early entrant into the Internet recruiting market backed by experience as a recuiter and CEO of 2 HR consulting companies. He knows recruiting, he know the job search, and he knows that Your Career Success is directly related to the value of You. As Pete puts it, "Whether you're looking for work or searching for talent, Work Strong takes the wimpy, wish-upon-a-star fairy tale out of the job market and tells you the truth about what it takes to succeed in the 21st Century world of work." This blog is guaranteed to make you stop and think for a moment about what you are doing today, right now, to make a healthy change in your career.
Ask A Manager, Alison Green
"I manage a medium-sized, successful organization. I hire, fire, promote, manage, all that. If you're not sure what the hell your manager is thinking, or how to ask for a raise, or whether you might be in danger of getting fired, or how to act in a second interview ... ask away." Created by Alison Green, a hiring manager, this is a marvelous blog allowing you the opportunity to ask those questions you'd like answered or just reading her answers to previous questions (there are lots on the topic of salary). You'll also find her in other locations, like USNews.com, which is where I found her.
Job Seeker Resources from Career Directors International
Full disclosure: I am a member of this group. But what I want you to see are all of the free resources they have prepared for you. Career Directors International (CDI) is an association of career professionals from all walks of life and experience, including professional resume writers, job developers, recruiters, career coaches, career counselors, assessment specialists, HR professionals, and more. The Job Seeker resources includes articles and guidance written for you by these folks along with a searchable member directory that you can use to help connect with the professional you need.
Career Articles by Resume to Referral
...a collection of articles on job searching, choosing a career path, negotiation, and many other job-search related topics. Resume to Referral is a resume preparation and career management firm operated by Teena Rose, CPRW, CEIP, CCM, and author.
New Higher's Higher Call
New Higher is a consulting firm dedicated to "improving the way the world works by helping professionals find and grow their talent. We offer high performance training, technology services, and help organizations recruit high performers." Every at 9 PM EST, they host a free conference call offering tools, techniques, and instruction to help you perform better personally and professionally. (Think "career management", not job search.) The calls are about 1 hour, half of which is an open question-and-answer period. The phone number is posted (no, it is not toll-free), but you should register in advance (free). All the information you need, including recordings of past calls and a schedule of upcoming seminars, can be found on the site.
Interview IQ
...a blog on job hunting intelligence (interview tips, resume tips, etc.) authored by Karalyn Brown, a careers journalist and former HR and recruitment consultant based in Australia. Great articles!
The Career Clinic
...a radio show talking about careers, job search, and much more. They are carried on over 40 stations around the US plus the Armed Forces Network, but even better is the fact they are providing today's broadcast over the Internet using RealPlayer (free software can be added to your computer.) Guests are as varied as the topics they cover, ranging from every day folks who love their jobs to experts like Dick Bolles and other riffraff like yours truly. Check their web site for the audios, the station list, a schedule of show topics, and links to related services to help you.
MyCornerOfficeConsultants: Your Personal Career Portal
Established by the recruiting firm Corner Office Consultants to aid job seekers who did not fit into their business focus (computing / IT), this free site offers advice along with a stream of job announcements sources from multiple sites, targeted to you. The free career advice and resources help guide you through an effective job search as well as help you improve your interpersonal skills and job search techniques. The Career Portal is not specific to any single profession, so all should feel free to try it out. And did I mention that it's free?
The Total Guide from Total Mortgage
This collection of guides to homebuying, green living, renovating your home, and even job search and academic pursuits is provided by this mortgage company because they understand that life is filled with choices, milestones and hurdles. Of course, I'm looking at the guides to cover letters, resumes, and interviewing, but all of the guides are good. Take a look.

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Love from Your Local Public Library

We want you to succeed, and we will do as much as we can to help you make it happen!

Job Help Blog, Toronto Public Library
I have read a lot of job and career blogs, but I think this is my favorite. The librarians from TPL cover relevant topics of interest, offering advice and resources to assist all users. Some of the entries even feature lists of books (you know, those paper things) with even more good advice. Yes, the references are targeted to residents of Canada but the advice is universal and many of the online resources are accessible to and useable by anyone online.

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Great Guidance from Government Sources

One of the nice things about these (other than the fact that they are free) is that they often come in several languages. They frequently cover topics that many more experienced and/or educated people don't think about, like Assessing Your Job Readiness.

CareerOneStop
"Welcome to the nation's publicly-funded resource for jobseekers and Businesses. Find jobs--from entry level to technical to professional to CEO. Identify job-ready workers with the right skills. Locate public workforce services in your area. Explore alternative career paths, compare salary data for different occupations, learn which careers are hot, get resume writing tips and job interview strategies, and much more!" This is the government's new single-point entrance to all of the online job search and employment/career services supported by the Department of Labor. From this single site, you can easily access America's Career Infonet, and America's Service Locator, and the training and education information provided by the former America's Learning Exchange. In addition, CareerOneStop also ties in other government resources and services to make this a true One Stop Center online. This entire project continues to be one of the best values for your tax dollars I have seen.
Job Search Publications, Massachusetts Executive Office of Workforce and Labor Development.
A nice collection of printable guides to the job search, almost all of which are available in English, Chinese, Portuguese, Haitian Creole, Spanish, and Vietnamese (look under Multi-Lingual Forms).
Publications from the Wisconsin Job Center
This collection of guides prepared by the job search professionals with the state of Wisconsin covers everything you really need to know about job searching and always wanted to find in an easy-to- read document. They cover Job Readiness (are you ready to search and are you ready to work), Job Search (networking, what employers look for, what if you are turned down), Resume and Applications (avoiding errors, transferable skills, resumes), and Interviewing (hidden elements, informational interviewing, telephone techniques). Many of these guides are available in Spanish, and all can be viewed online in HTML or viewed and printed in PDF format (requires Adobe's free reader.)

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The Collegiate Corner

Guidance from College Career Centers or guides for recent college grads.

From College to Career
Authored by Deborah Federico, a college career counselor in the Boston area, this blog offers college students inspiring but practical advice on how to market themselves into a great career. Many more experienced job seekers will also benefit from the advice offered here, including tips on working career fairs, preparing references for contact from employers, preparing your resume so it will actually be read, and much more.
Job Choices
This is the magazine of the National Association of Colleges and Employers. Intended for college students, it includes job search and career advice as well as advertising from potential employers. The print publication can be found in college career centers, but you can also review them online. There are 3 editions of "Job Choices" -- business/liberal arts, science/engineering/tech, and diversity -- but much of the content is replicated. However, still choose the edition that is relevant to your field of interest. Free and public.
PH.D and the Job Search
Scroll to the bottom of the page to view a marvelous FREE collection of short video workshops covering such topics as Creating a CV, Job Search, and Interviewing. These were created by the Department of Career Services at UConn and include advice from several faculty members in various fields (science and liberal arts) and some industry professionals talking about their own job search as well as what they look for in potential candidates. All grad students and Ph.D.s should take the time to review these as they prepare for their own job search. While you are here, take some to watch other videos, look over some of their tips and pointers, and explore as much as you can!
"How To Guides" from the Career Center at Colorado College
This is a marvelous collection of articles on job search, career exploration and planning, and much more. More experienced job seekers will learn as much from these as any undergraduates.
University of Virginia Career Services
Check out their many online documents covering interviewing, job search, and internships.

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Tips and Pointers

The Complete Job Search Guide -- How To Land A Job At A Great Company , Eric Shannon (Academy.JustJobs.com)
A guide to making your job search successful from someone who now operates several job boards (LatPro, JustJobs, etc.). Eric Shannon starts with his own job-search nightmare as a recent college grad but then progresses to the reality of the recruiting and hiring process and how you can get onto an employers radar.
Stand Out in Your Job Search by Giving Clues, Judi Perkins (careerrocketeer.com)
"... job seekers are too "me" focused when the buyer, which is the hiring company, wants to know what's in it for them. [...] Failing to consider the other person's side extends to following up on resumes." Advice on how to get someone to not only remember you but to actually notice you when you call or email to follow up on a resume. Her bottom line: "Pay attention. Think your communication through from the other person's viewpoint. Don't take it for granted that they know who you are." This also applies to LinkedIn and Facebook connection requests.
Top 10 Ways to Get a Better Job (LifeHacker.com)
"So your job sucks. You could resign yourself to a life of dull (or even miserable) days in the office or you could set aside some time and get a better job. Here are ten great tips to help you put together a great application, ace the interview, and ultimately work for a company you'll love rather than hate." I love #8 (Search unconventional and career-specific job sites) and #7 (Find a better job by searching for a great company rather than a position). Seems I've heard those tips before....
Why You Can't Get A Job -- Recruiting Explained By the Numbers, Dr. John Sullivan (ERE.net)
It turns out that 6 seconds is all you may have to get that next interview... this highly recommended article puts job seekers "in the shoes" of corporate recruiters to understand what they go through to find and hire candidates. From that understanding comes a series of helpful, practical tips for job seekers covering your resume, LinkedIn profiles, deciding which jobs to apply for, and overall job search approach.
New Year, New Job: 51 New Job-Search Tactics to Try, Charles Purdy (MonsterWorking.com)
"I've tried everything but can't find a good job." As Mr. Purdy, senior editor for Monster.com notes, it is tough out there, and that's the truth. But he also says there is always something else to try. Here's his list of suggestions.
Best Job Hunting Tips, Alison Doyle (About.com)
"These job hunting tips from leading career experts and top executives at leading job sites will help you focus your job hunt, get to contacts at companies, learn how to effectively follow up, get a promotion to a new job, and utilize the top job search strategies that will ensure your job hunt succeeds." Alison surveyed several career experts and shares their advice with you. Some of these ideas are really terrific. (Disclaimer -- I'm quoted.)
Holiday Hope!, Susan Joyce (job-hunt.org)
...The period between Thanksgiving and New Year is absolutely not the time to give up on your search. In fact, it may be the absolute best time to be job searching. Susan's article will tell you why and give you tips on how to possibly make this a very happy holiday season.

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Prefer Video or Audio?

For those of you who prefer to learn by listening or watching, here are some great resources for you too.

Job Search Videos, University of Connecticut Career Services
Nice collection of instructive videos on different pieces of your job search.
Money & Careers from VideoJug
"Life Explained. On Film." VideoJug is a free online video library with a collection of over 43,000 short, professionally-produced videos cover numerous topics from cooking to do-it-yourself projects and more. I have linked directly to the Jobs & Careers section, which includes numerous short videos (3 to 5 minutes or so) on Office Life, Dream Careers, Starting a Business, Resume Preparation, and much more. The videos I watched were well done, well presented, and featured good information from real experts like Marty Nemko. Please note that others areas of this site cover other topics which some viewers may find uncomfortable. I watched some of these also and found all of the videos to be well presented and tasteful but you might disagree.

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Advice for the Mature Job Seeker

Over Age 50 is Not Over the Hill, Lawrence Alter (examiner.com)
"Although it is often more difficult to get a job after age 50, don't despair, there is hope. You should feel encouraged by your years of acquired knowledge and depth of experience." He offers several "myths" that are often associated with job seekers in this age group, and each is debunked with a truthful statement about your experience and abilities. Mr. Alter is an experienced outplacement and career coach based in Minneapolis. You can read more articles he has written for this column and learn more about his professional background and expertise through his website, EmploymentClinic.com.
Age 50 Plus Career Coach Blog
...great advice from Camille Grabowski, a career coach specialized in working with mature workers. You'll find even more articles and advice on her website, 50plusCareerCoach.com.
How to Make Age an Asset When Job Searching, Tory Johnson, Women for Hire (About.com)
Several suggestions for emphasizing your experience, not your age.
Job Search Tips for Older Workers, Alison Doyle (About.com)
"Strategies you can implement to help expedite your job search and to find gainful, and meaningful, employment."
Over 50 and Job Hunting?, Susan Joyce (job-hunt.org)
She focuses on networking as your best way to find a new opportunity, but also offers suggestions for sourcing jobs.
How Not To Act 'Too Old' When Job Hunting, Miriam Salpeter (jobs.aol.com)
Emphasizes the need to plan ahead for your boomer job search, including updating your resume, social media profile, education, company search, and even having your own business.

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Working a Job Fair

The Better Way to Work a Tradeshow
...nice short article on the best way to market yourself at a trade show without carrying a stack of resumes. From the "Take Charge of Your Career" blog authored by Maureen Nelson.
Job Fairs: How to Make Them Work for You
Prepared by the School of Management at the University of Buffalo, this is a great article on how to prepare for and then work a job fair! It includes a section on the elevator speech and how it applies here. Very good!
Job Fair Success
... a series of articles on working a job fair and coming out on top in your search for a new job from CollegeGrad.com. Topics include Understanding the Different Types of Job Fairs, Your Job Fair Portfolio, The Three Types of Job Fair Interviews, and The Lasting Impression Technique. Targeted to the recent college grad, these articles include good info for job seekers at all levels and in all fields.
Make Your First Professional Contacts at the Career Fair
Recruiters: "Student Preparedness Vital for Success at Career Fairs", by Kevin Gray
Both of these articles from the Online Recruiters Directory offer simple advice on how to behave and be noticed by the recruiters at career fairs. Ignore the fact that they may be targeted to college students because all of us can benefit from the thoughts offered.

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Finding the Hidden Job Market

This is where you begin doing research.
Tapping the Hidden Job Market
...nice 3-part article on how to tap the "hidden job market" including links to online resources designed to help you. The approach? Push, Pull, and Maintain. "First you reach out to potential employers (PUSH), then you make yourself visible so that employers approach you (PULL), and finally you keep your network alive so that it's there the next time you need it (MAINTAIN)." From Susan Joyce at Job-Hunt.org.
The Hidden Job Market Defined, Mary Elizabeth Bradford (maryelizabethbradford.com)
What Exactly IS the Hidden Job Market and WHY Should I Care? Part II, Mary Elizabeth Bradford (maryelizabethbradford.com)
These 2 articles form a short series, and you really need to read both articles, which should take a total of 5 minutes. In the first article, Mary Elizabeth dispels a few myths about "the hidden job market". A statement I often hear is "isn't tapping into the hidden job market just networking?" In short, no. It's about going direct – and cutting out both "internal" and "external" middle men. Internal within the company (i.e. HR) and external outside of the company (i.e. recruiters). In part 2, she goes into specifics as to how to access unadvertised opportunities. There are three strategies to quickly get you started focusing on and finding great jobs that will never see a major job board. Excellent reading, and not just for executives!
The Hidden Job Market
"The best jobs are never advertised. Find out why and what to do about it." Great advice from Jobstar.org.

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The Online Job Search

How to Make the Most of Job Search Websites (Forbes.com)
Some good advice from a variety of unnamed experts. Check #5: "Try the 'advanced search' option on the aggregation sites, or use a simple search and plug in your particular certification, like 'CFA' if you are a Certified Financial Analyst." And I love #11: "Ignore listings that don't have company names. They are usually attempts by headhunters to find candidates to pad their offerings to employers, so they're not worth your time." Those are going into all of my presentations!
How To Make Them Respond When You Apply For A Job Online, Susan Adams (Forbes.com)
Yes, she talks to recruiters and coaches about ways to improve your online application results, and there is a short list of tips, but the bottom line (as she has stated before): "Spend a minimum of your time applying to online listings. Despite the explosion of online job boards and websites promising a quicker path to employment, most people still find jobs through people they know."
5 Things You Must Do After You Apply, Michelle St. Onge (messengerassociates.com)
Yes, now that you have sent your resume into the black hole of the Internet, you have more work to do. And the first thing she says is "review your network of contacts to determine anyone you already know can shepherd your application through the process. Company searches on LinkedIn are a great place to start." (Check our info on Networking: Social Media and Online Networking for tips!)
The Dirty Dozen Dangerous Online Job-Search Assumptions, Susan Joyce (job-hunt.org)
..."if it's on the Internet, it must be true!" Remember when everyone thought that? (I do!) Can you trust everyone out there? Nope. Read Susan's article for some advice on what the watch out for.
Riding the Net to Your Next Job: Job Seeker Information from the International Association of Employment Web Sites
...nice, short article on how to approach an online job search, what to look for in job-related websites, and some advice on job applications from the trade association for the global online employment industry.
Job-Board Journalism: Selling out the American Job Hunter (June 17, 2003)
Readers Speak Out about the Job Boards: It's a Jungle Out There! (July 22, 2003)
These 2 articles are from AskTheHeadhunter, a newsletter and job-search advice service provided by Nick Corcodilos, one of our Job Search Gurus. The first is a long essay on how the major job sites have made our job search situation worse, not better. "To summarize, employers appear to be making precious few hires from the job boards, whose success seems to be measured only by their revenues." The second is responses from readers who (mostly) agree with him and emphasize that their success in searching has been through networking, not net-surfing. Nick, a former headhunter, has been online and advising job seekers on the best ways to find new opportunities since 1995. Yes, he may seem a bit controversial at first look ("throw away your resume"), but when you really read what he is saying and think about it you see he is pointing you in the right direction.

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