career and job

Rabu, 11 Agustus 2010

The Savvy Networker Three Unnecessary Job-Search Worries

by Liz Ryan

There are plenty of reasonable things for a job seeker to stress about, from the availability of suitable jobs to the cost of COBRA. Even after a job offer is accepted, a job seeker may wonder, "Will I like my new boss and coworkers?" or "Will the commute kill me?"

Life is full of unknowns, and job hunters face more unknowns than their non-job-hunting peers.

But every day I talk with job seekers who are losing sleep needlessly by worrying about things that don't merit concern.

So here are three things you no longer have to worry about:

I'm missing one or two of the job ad's "required" qualifications. Should I even bother applying?
The standard job spec includes qualifications that no living person possesses. I wouldn't be the slightest bit surprised to open a job spec one day and see that it calls for someone who speaks ancient Greek, tap dances, and can walk through walls. If you're missing a couple of the listed job requirements (not a JD or an MD, of course--but, for example, familiarity with a certain software program or a few years of a specific type of experience), go ahead and apply for the job anyway.

Employers need smart and capable people; their must-have "wish lists" are often based more on pipe-dreamy thinking than on a realistic assessment of the talent marketplace.

I'm coming back from an employment gap. My resume shows that I haven't worked in over a year. Is that gap on my resume going to kill my chances for a job?
The key to handling an employment gap on your resume is to address it and pre-emptively answer the hiring manager's mental question: "What happened to this person between May 2009 and now?" In your resume's summary, include a sentence that says something like "Returning to the workforce after taking time off to care for an ailing relative, I'm excited to get a busy office in top shape as its Office Manager."

As long as the hiring manager understands why you stepped off the conveyor belt, an employment gap shouldn't give him or her pause.

My last salary was an insult. As soon as I type my last salary into an online application, I fear the employer is going to see me as unqualified because I worked for so little money.
Don't ever give out your last salary. In the spot on an employment application where you're asked to type in your salary for each past job, type in your current salary requirement instead. If that's $40K, then type "$40K" into the "Salary" line for every job you've ever held, going back to flipping burgers in high school. Then, in the first open comment box you see, type these words: "All salary figures reported in this form reflect my current salary target."

All an employer really needs to know is that your salary target is in the ballpark of what they're planning to pay. As long as you give them that information, you're good to go.

Don't let tiny job-search worries stress you out. Keep up your energy by remembering how you've helped your employers and their clients in the past, and get out there to do it again!

Liz Ryan is a 25-year HR veteran, a former Fortune 500 VP, and an internationally recognized expert on careers and the new-millennium workplace. Connect with her at The opinions expressed in this column are the author's.)

Job Info , Jobs Sources , Career Opportunity

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