Unique job search tips

I’m often asked about unique job search tips – ways to search for jobs other than the most popular job search sites. Whether someone is feeling overwhelmed by all of the options on popular sites, not feeling like their skills are being recognized with so many other applicants applying for the same job via the same search site, or they are looking for a way to find new open positions rather than scanning through a handful of search sites that have the same job postings.

My first suggestion is always to search for specific company sites. Find companies within your location or decide you want to focus on remote options and search the sites of companies you are interested in working for. Several companies only post job openings on their own site instead of using other searchable forums so you have a fresh group of opportunities to search and typically larger companies post new jobs almost daily so keep checking back for new postings (several openings are listed at the bottom of this post).

Other unique tips I suggest – check career openings for companies you see commercials for while watching your favorite TV series and check out your favorite magazine publisher for job opportunities. Any company that has a commercial most likely hires employees and large publishers usually have several magazines they produce and need a variety of employees to do that. And just like larger companies, they typically only post job opportunities on their web site so you will have another fresh group of jobs to search.

Some publishers or companies you see commercials for have openings in several states and/or remote opportunities and they post new jobs often. There are a lot of opportunities available when you expand your job focus and search. Research companies that have products or services you enjoy and search their web site for career opportunities. Typically, a product site or publisher will have a career or employment tab at the bottom of their site or they have that option under the menu tab and the About Us section.

When you treat a job search like a job you increase your chances of finding the best match.

  • I highly recommend dedicating time daily to research the most popular job search sites, but also make time to research specific companies you are interested in working for.
  • Explore creative options that might be available through the products and services you enjoy.
  • Spend time updating your resume for each position you apply for, making sure your skills and those in the job description match.
  • Create a unique cover letter for each opening as well. Mention something specific about the company you are applying for in the cover letter – it can be a core value you connect with or congratulating them on a recent accomplishment. This will let the hiring manager/committee know you are familiar with the company and invested time to learn about them. Also, include at one accomplishment that ties in with the requirement(s) of the prospective job.

Typically, two to four hours a day are needed to dedicate to job search this includes the actual search, resume updating, cover letter creation, application process (might be separate from submitting a resume and cover letter), and track who you have applied with, what position, date, submission process, and any other specific notes so you can easily refer to them when called for an interview.

Put in the dedicated time and it will pay off – typically, the more time you put into a job search, the better chance you have at finding a job you truly want with a company you are interested in working for. Putting hours into a job search gives you more choice and control. You have skills and competencies that you should be proud of and a company should be excited about working with you.

Below, are a few companies that sell products and have commercials on prime time (or late night) TV and magazine publishers with current job opportunities in several states including some remote and work from home options. I have checked the sites personally and although I do not have any affiliation with them, I’ve checked each site to ensure they are hiring (as of today all of them have openings) and to confirm the career section and application process, which is noted by each site/link.

Good luck in your career search. Please contact me if you have a specific career, resume, cover letter or other job-related questions. Also, I am currently reviewing resumes for free and providing suggestions via email. If you would like me to review your resume please email me at successencourager@gmail.com .

Inogen.com – Scroll to the bottom of the web page and click on careers. You can search by location and/or job title. Hiring for Brooklyn, OH, Goleta, CA and Richardson, TX. Opportunities include Billing manager, Buyer/Planner, and Operations Supervisor in TX and Accounts Payable Specialist and Senior Staff Accountant in CA and Quality Assurance Specialist in OH and several other openings.

Careers.firstam.com – First American. Can search by location, keyword, or department. Hiring in several states for many positions. Current openings include – Executive Assistant in Santa Ana, CA, Receptionist openings in Katy, TX, Oroville, CA, Yukon, OK, and Orlando, FL, Seasonal Office Assistant in Flint, MI and in Brighton, MI, Authorization Representative in Phoenix and Escrow Assistant in Salem, OR and several other openings.

Independence.edu – Independence University. All positions are remote. Click on the ‘more’ button/tab, then About Us, About UI, and scroll down to job openings button and click it..scroll to another job openings button and click on it. Currently, there are 90 openings. Admission Consultant (sales), Web Design Tutor, Career Services Advisor, Admissions Assistant, Administrative Assistant, and several Adjunct Instructor positions.

Activstyle.com – Click menu, About, and scroll down to the bottom and Career Opportunities and click the list of current jobs. There are several locations and about 15 current job openings. Some positions include Outbound Call Center Rep in Reno, NV, Call Center Team Lead in Fresno, CA, Medical Call Center Rep in Minneapolis, MN and Medical Document Associate in Minneapolis, MN.

Jobs.cvshealth.com – CVS Pharmacy. Scroll about halfway and click on the search and apply red button. Several locations hiring including work from home opportunities.

meredith.com/careers – Meredith Corporation, publishes several magazines including Better Homes and Gardens, Parents, Food and Wine, Health, Wood and more. Currently, there are 245 openings in several states. Current openings include Account Executive in Nashville, TN, Sales Assistant in Los Angeles, Administrative Assistant in Des Moines, IA, Account Director in Chicago, SEO Content Strategist in NY and Production Designer in Shelburne, VT.

cricketmedia.com – Children’s magazine publisher (several magazines for different age groups). If you are interested in submitting a story for one of their publications you can click on submission guidelines. For other openings click on About and then Careers. Currently, one position open for a remote opportunity – US Based ESL/EFL teacher/tutor. Must have a Bachelor’s degree and experience as an ESL/EFL teacher.

Thank you for reading and following! Please contact me if you have a specific career, resume, cover letter or other job-related questions. Also, I am currently reviewing resumes for free and providing suggestions via email. If you would like me to review your resume please email me at successencourager@gmail.com .

Best to you on your job search journey! Thank you again for reading.

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Holiday helper – Business Idea Prompt (BIP)

Today’s BIP is encouraged by the holiday season, but could work for various events and/or other holidays. Keeping with the ‘BIP’ theme – it requires little start-up costs, is flexible, can be full or part time, and does not require extensive skills or experience to succeed. As usual with typical BIPs, most skills needed can be easily learned through practice or may already be known by most.

Please see the Business Idea page for detailed information about my Business Idea Prompt (BIP) posts! Also, if this not your area of interest please explore the other BIP posts including ‘garage sale’ professional, house call canning and teaching your talent!

I hope you enjoy this BIP and you are inspired to explore your own possibilities!

Business Idea Prompt (BIP) – Holiday “Extra Income” Ideas (that can be all year)

Details – I overheard a small group of women (various ages) talking the other day about trying to fit in all of their holiday ‘to-do list items’. One mentioned wrapping presents was not her favorite thing to do, another mentioned holiday lights and even putting up a Christmas tree. Other unfavorable ‘chores’ mentioned included shopping, baking, yard maintenance, and laundry in general. The group stated that of course their other responsibilities did not stop during the holiday; carpooling, housework, day jobs, etc. This reminded me of a few friends who have taken on ‘side jobs’ during holiday season and even other times of the year to help alleviate stress for customers (like the group of women talking about their long list of to dos).

Side jobs and full or part time businesses rely on finding customers willing to pay for their service(s). A major need, especially this time of year, is finding time for errands, chores, and other time demanding tasks while still balancing a regular life routine.

I encourage you to think of how you can help neighbors, friends, family, even strangers with some of their ‘to do list items’. I am going to focus on a few items which are based on conversations I have overheard recently and seem to be in demand!

Gift wrapping, holiday shopping, errands and baking are my top four suggestions. Each of these are typically ‘added’ tasks the average person needs to somehow fit into their schedule during certain times of the year. And they are willing to pay to have someone else do them.

Gift wrapping – You can offer to drive to their chosen location (work or home, etc.) or have them drop off the gifts to you and wrap them. Using nice wrapping paper, bows, labels, etc. Someone had told me they paid to have all their gifts wrapped one year and it was well worth the money. That person had moved and was not able to provide that service again or she would still be paying her. The ‘wrapper’ would come to her house, bring the wrapping paper, tape, scissors, etc. and wrap every single present for a start out rate of $20 per hour with a 2 hour minimum and mileage if more than 20 miles. Of course rates could be per package or bundle.

Errands and Holiday shopping – These two are similar and pretty self explanatory. People will pay for someone to run errands, pick up gifts, dry cleaning, decorations, deliver pre-made foods or even wine. Rates depend on travel time, distance, number of stops, but an average of $25 an hour plus cost of any items being picked up/purchased is a good starting place.

Baking – of course there is some skill needed if you plan on baking cakes or other desserts or even main courses and delivering them. And certain local laws prohibit using a personal kitchen so check out your local city/county/state laws before offering these services. Note, you can use a local baker or chain bakery that is already established and simply place the order, work out the details, and deliver the finished baked good. Price is comparable to running errands if you are driving around.

Experience/Skill Needed – Different experience levels are needed for each of the above ideas. Most require a dependable car, customer service skills, basic and/or advance wrapping skills and possible baking skills. Generally, when working with people and providing services for such important events as family gatherings and holidays being flexible and a very good communicator are essential skills as well. For wrapping you would need wrapping paper, scissors, tape, bows, labels, etc. Offer something unique, like putting candy canes on each package or a small ornament or other unique ‘bonus’ you can offer. If you know calligraphy or have very nice handwriting you can hand write package labels, holiday cards, address envelopes, etc.

Marketing – Advertise with flyers and print up some reasonably priced business cards. Handing them out to pretty much anyone you know. You can create a web site, share your services via social media and even advertise via a sign on your vehicle and/or yard signs. Your web page should include price range, contact information and customer reviews (as you get them). Even free sites and a unique business email are great resources to help your business grow professionally.

Additional advertising ideas include – Posting signs in your own yard (and ask friends if you can post in their yards) and in the surrounding neighborhood(s) with your service offered, phone number and web site. For a reasonable price you can place sale ads in local papers or online and encourage all customers to contact you for future events and share your info with their friends (offer a discount or incentive) and offer wrapping services and/or errand running for other parties; ladies night out, baby showers, weddings, family reunions, etc. Leave business cards and flyers at libraries, post offices and on other community boards. Include your website on the cards and flyers and place a magnet decal on your vehicle with contact information. Wear shirts and/or hats with website or other helpful advertising information. Be open to taking requests from customers; year long errands, chores, etc.

Research – The only research that may be needed is to find an average price for services and to see how many competitors are out there. Read reviews of other wrapping and errand services to see what is working and what is not and focus on creating a customer friendly business.

Even if this is not your type of business, it sure sounds fun and in demand as well. If you aren’t interested in this topic, please read over it and brainstorm your own skills and interests. Ask yourself would someone pay money for this skill? Then turn that thought into action!

I know this was a long post, but thank you for reading and please share any tips or questions you have!

As with any business please check local and state guidelines to see what licenses, name registering, and other requirements may be needed before starting your business.

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To be trustworthy or not to be trustworthy

Of course it’s important to be trustworthy. BUT don’t use that term on a resume.

There are many personality traits we all value and obviously have, but you must choose your words wisely when writing your resume. Including the obvious can actually hinder your chances of a thorough review of your resume. Especially, more recently with numerous resumes being received for open positions employers can be more and more selective when handpicking their top choices. One way they narrow down the count is by ignoring ‘the obvious’. You have a short window (usually just a quick scan by the employer, of your resume in 30 seconds or less) to stand out and find yourself on the interview call list.

Don’t use that limited time frame with obvious generic words, instead define why you are unique…brag about actual accomplishments, be specific…use examples of how you are trustworthy (show don’t tell), instead of telling a prospective employer you are.  Let your resume reflect your actions…your accomplishments…by sharing results. For example instead of ‘team-player’ you could write a short blurb about how you led a team and solved a problem, finished a project before the due date, coordinated a committee, etc.

Below are a few words and phrases to avoid on your resume:

  • Go-to person
  • Results driven
  • Team player
  • Hard worker
  • Strategic thinker
  • Dynamic
  • Self-motivated
  • Self-starter
  • Detail-oriented
  • Highly qualified
  • Trustworthy
  • Results focused
  • Energetic
  • Think outside of the box
  • Confident
  • Professional
  • Successful
  • People Person
  • Familiar with
  • Reliable
  • Problem Solver

Keywords/phrases to include on your resume:

  • Achieved
  • Improved
  • Completed
  • Developed
  • Analyzed
  • Justified
  • Counseled
  • Facilitated
  • Implemented
  • Trained
  • Mentored
  • Managed
  • Created
  • Resolved
  • Volunteered
  • Increased/Decreased
  • Negotiated
  • Generated
  • Revenue/Profits
  • Under budget

Do you have any tips, past experience, keywords to use or avoid? Please share them!

Questions? Please ask them!!!

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