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Resource: Career Advice
How to Use Email to Get a Job
Thursday, March 01, 2012

Spam emails are so rampant on the web that many people tend to ignore most of what's in their inboxes. This may be a big mistake, however, as you might be deleting an major opportunity hidden among the spam.


Email is far from being obsolete, you can't do everything is done via instant messaging or through social networks. Emails offer a form of communication that other platforms can't simply replace which is why companies still use them as a means of notification. Use your email to its fullest potential and take as much advantage of it as you can. Here are some tips to optimize your email usage in your job search:


1) Your Email Address
Nothing says unprofessional more than an email address that is informal or a nickname. You're email address should include your name and some numbers. But if you've only been using "foxylady123" all these years, you will have to create something more appropriate for a professional and corporate setting. Nothing hits a recruiter's funny bone more than a silly email address. Getting other people to talk you seriously starts with taking yourself seriously.


2) Cover Letters
Cover letters go into the body of an email when you send out a resume. They're extremely crucial to the job search process because they tell the reader more about you than what you put in the email. It's your chance to introduce yourself and add a backstory to your resume. People often just send resumes without a word, another big mistake. Your ability to communicate and represent yourself well through a cover letter lets the reader know that you are personally speaking to them and genuinely interested in getting the position.


3) Follow Up
It's much easier to follow up through email than via message not to mention it's also more genuine. Things that take time require more thought and the more thought you put into something the more the receiver can appreciate your effort. Email is the perfect balance between new school and old school. It has the same traditional feel of a written letter only it's through a digital medium.


When you follow up with someone you want to begin a correspondence that will create a valuable contact in your network. When you meet people make sure you find out about their interests so when you email them later to stay in touch (and to referesh their memories) you want to strike up a meaningful conversation whether it be career-related or not.


4) Job Alerts
Job alerts are a crucial email resource that should not be wasted. When looking through online job boards you always want to opt-in for email job alerts that notify you of jobs that you're interested in. This will also help do some of the filtering for you as you pursue your search elsewhere. Make sure to change your email settings accordingly so that they don't go unseen into your spambox. If you're signing up with many different sites, it might be helpful to create labeled folders for alerts from each site to go into so you know where to look for which one.


5) Proofreading
When you think you're done with your email read over, then read it over again. But before you hit send, leave it alone for 5 minutes then come back to it with a fresh mind. Even if you think you caught all your mistakes the first or second time you'll probably be surprised to see some left over. Writing is always a work in progress so you won't be completely satisfied every time you have to change something in your email, but don't spend all day trying to make it absolutely perfect. It doesn't have to read like an award-winning novel, it just has to be error free and make sense and when it is that means it's time to send it.


Don't let the use of your emails go to waste. They're still around for a reason. Job alerts, correspondance, network building...emails are a great way of making contacts with people in the industry along with the help of social media. They add a personal touch and allow you to talk more in-depth with people as opposed to a brief message. Even though the use of networking informally through social networking is becoming more commonplace in professional industries, you can't substitute what you're able to say in an email with an instant message or profile message.

The Best Times to Apply
Friday, February 24, 2012

The job search should be a continual, ongoing process, but like most things the job-seeking process has peaks and lows throughout the year. If you've been applying in spurts and haven't yet had any success in your attempts, this may be because you were hiring at the least opportune time.
Employers might always be taking applications, but that doesn't mean that they're also hiring. Some companies limit their hiring to certain times of the year when things are busier. Here are some factors you should consider before sending your resumes and filling out applications.


Industry or profession
Depending on where you are applying and for what position can play a factor in when a company hires. If it's a company that offers professional services then they might only hire when its services are in demand. Take tax season for example. Tax firms might hire new employees at the end of the calendar year in preparation for the oncoming business. Many industries' operations are dictated by the changes in demand so doing some research into this for your desired career will give you an upper hand.


Seasonal jobs
There are a lot of jobs that are purely seasonal like retail during the holidays, or recreational places during the summer. There are several different seasons that businesses take into account in their hiring process. These aren't as ideal for people who are looking for full-time jobs, instead they're better for someone who's looking for an income while looking for other employment opportunities. If this is something that you're going after make sure to do it well in advance of the season as companies will often hire staff early to leave enought time for training.


Low volume season
During low volume seasons, many companies will usually put hiring on hold. Even though this might seem like a bad time to apply, not all companies do this. When the high-volume seasons return, this is the time when employers have a lot of applicants to review. This can make it hard for you to stand out but if your application is done well, you could have a good chance of getting noticed.


Every company is different so while these might help you in some cases, it should never stop you from applying. Companies hire for different reasons so even though it might not be the season, you still have a chance of being hired.

Tips to Up Your Productivity Level
Monday, February 13, 2012

It's an epidemic. People lose motivation faster than they can muster out a subsequential yawn. But don't rely on being cracked out on coffee or 5-hour Energy's to get your productivity back up to speed. These are temporary fixes that can become all too easy as addictive resolutions.
Your productivity is directly related to your success; the more you do the more you'll advance in your career. If you're not getting things done, don't expect to get anywhere. But if you're noticing that your starting to get less done at work or are always putting things off for the next day you could probably use a boost in gain productivity.

Here are some tips to help you regain focus and keep your eyes on the prize:

Set daily goals for yourself and stick to them. You know that feeling you get after accomplishing something you set out to do? It's wonderful, isn't it? Try striving for that feeling on a daily basis, and more than once. It's a feeling that you're sure to crave more often and see good results come from earning it.

Socialize on your own time. Texting and interacting on social media websites are distracting and time consuming. You're wasting company time and resources so make sure you're not spending hours of the day chatting.

Stay at least two steps ahead. Always work toward being ahead in your work as getting behind can actually make you less productive. It's much easier to keep up a strong momentum rather than try to build on a stagnant pace. Trying to speed things up when you're behind can be more discouraging than motivating.

Don't take too many breaks. While taking breaks is good throughout the day as it allows you to take a breather and get back to things with a clear head, it can backfire if you're taking too many. Take breaks as needed or else you may get behind in your work.

Leave the dreaming for bedtime. Get your head in the game and keep it there. Whether you enjoy being at work or not, you're there for reason which doesn't include wishing you were somewhere else. Plus, daydreaming can make time go by slower. Keep on your duties and the minutes will fly by.

Grab the bull by the horns. Doing the hardest tasks first allows you ample time to get them done without rushing. This also gives you enough on your plate to keep you busy and stay motivated throughout the rest of the day.

Have your 3 p.m. pick me up. If you just can't get through the second half of your day without little help then by all means do so. But don't stop yourself if you're on a roll. An afternoon coffee or soda should help you get back on your feet, not to keep you there. Your work should be the biggest stimulant.

Get physical. Exercise does wonders for boosting your energy levels. Try to work in exercise in your daily routine. If you're really crunched for time throughout your day, make use of your lunch hour with a brisk walk.

Seek out advice. You're not the only in your office so you're not the only one who might need help keep productivity up. Ask your coworkers what they do to stay alert and productive. They might not have anything to offer but it doesn't hurt to ask.

Get R&R when you need to. We're all human and we need to re-energize ourselves after a certain point. There's no way you can ever stay productive if you're burnt out so make sure you take the time off you're allowed and supposed to. There's nothing like a great escape that can make you dive right back into things.

Have a positive attitude. Positivity and productivity go hand-in-hand. The better you feel about being at work and your contributions to the company, the likelier you are to enjoy doing it day to day. This is one of the best motivators as being happy and having pride in what you do will reflect in your work as well.

Raise your own bar. If you want to keep your productivity high you have to keep upping the ante. Raise the bar on yourself and your standards and you'll see that reaching them will produce great outcomes. Show yourself, your coworkers and most importantly your boss what potential lies within your capabilities.