Tell Me Something Good

monday-morning-inspiration-quotes-e1442491467149Tell Me Something Good is a simple challenge that prompts bloggers to share a nugget of positive news or wisdom and it’s started by the creator of A Momma’s View.

  • Tomorrow I have a job interview at a good library so wish me luck.
  • It’s been a weekend of birthdays. Yesterday we had my mother’s birthday and celebrated here with a barbecue and today I went to my cousin’s to celebrate his daughter’s birthday.
  • We’ve gotten a lot of rain, but we really needed it.
  • I’m enjoying C.S. Lewis’ sci fi book Out of the Silent Planet. I’m not a big sci fi fan, but Lewis sure can write.

So for all of you who would like to play along and stick to the rules, here they are:

It’s easy:

Mention something that you consider being good in the comments

• Or write a post about it on your blog (please don’t forget the pingback if you do so I don’t miss out and also share the link to it in the comments below). Something good that happened to you recently, or something good you will experience in a little while, or something good you know will happen soon. Something that makes you feel good.

• Share this post and invite your followers as well.

For Job Hunters

One thing that’s rather new when it comes to job hunting is that computers scan and sort applicants’ resumes. How do you know how to make it past the software?

I got some tips on this topic at a job hunting session given by the state at a local library.

To ace this step in the job hunting process:

  • Remove any text in the header because the program won’t read it.
  • Upload your resume without any bolding or formatting and save it as a text file. Upload the ugly file on the company sites directly and also upload your pretty resume or give some to the people whom you meet at an interview.
  • Don’t format your resume as a table or with tabs since this messes up how your resume will be read. The software that’s reading your resume reads from top to bottom, not across. I had used tabs and the dates were on the right side of the entry.
  • Use an online tool that compares your resume to the job description. The organization you’re applying to input keywords that they want the program to look for. You can’t know with certainty what they are but the best hint you’ve got is the job description.

One such tool is Jobscan. You upload your resume and the job description, press scan and voila, you see how well you match the job.

Screen Shot 2018-08-29 at 5.55.41 PM

Sample Jobscan results

The man leading this program suggested using a word cloud generator like Wordle.com to make a similar comparison. If the keywords in both the resume and job search are approximately the same size, you can figure you’re chances are good that you’ll get called.

Virtual Vocations

I just got a notice from a job board and clicked through to find out about an interesting Instructional Design position. I came to a website for Virtual Vocations and stopped when I saw that you had to pay to find out about this job.

It wasn’t what I called cheap either given that most jobs postings are free. I was curious about the A+ rating on the Better Business Bureau. I looked at bbb.org and saw that yes, they have an A+ ratings but as of today they have 6 positive ratings, 1 neutral rating and 6 negative ratings. How is that not a C or worse?

I read the negative reviews and people had a hard time getting the “guaranteed refunds” and finding suitable opportunities that were worth the monthly fees.

I’m not signing up since it’s common practice that the job hunter doesn’t pay employment agencies and there are plenty of job boards.

Thought I’d let the buyer or job hunter beware.

Attitude Helper for Job Hunting

Yesterday I was lucky to meet with the Dean of a prominent university near me. I was blown away when I checked out her resume to prepare for this meeting. It was beyond impressive.

I was a bit nervous about meeting her, however, she was so helpful and approachable. At one point she advised me to remember that when looking at someone’s resume or c.v. to keep in mind that while it shows say three director positions at top workplaces, it doesn’t show the 15 other director positions that the person did not get.

That’s a helpful reminder that everyone gets turned down for jobs or falters in an interview.

Social Media Gaffs Cost Jobs

This was in my textbook on Project Management:

Ninety-three percent of employers check social media profiles of prospective hires. According to Money magazine here are the 10 most common reasons a candidate’s blunders on social media cost the person a job:

  1. Posting something embarrassing on the corporate Twitter feed.
  2. Sexual oversharing
  3. Revealing company secrets
  4. Blowing your own cover*
  5. Talking “smack” about a job you haven’t accepted yet
  6. Making fun of clients or donors
  7. Making fun of your boss or team
  8. Posting while you should be working
  9. Complaining about your job
  10. Drinking in a photo — even if you’re over 21

So you’ve been warned. I’m sure the sexual oversharing is not going to help anyone in the post-Harvey Weinstein-era, and it shouldn’t.

*Unless you work for the CIA, I’m not sure what’s meant by “Blowing your own cover.” Comment below if you do.

References

Poppick, S. (Sept. 5, 2014). “10 Social Media Blunders that Cost a Millennial a Job–or Worse. Money Magazine. Quoted in Information Technology Project Management by Kathy Schwalbe, Cengage Learning, 2015.

Baseball Trainer?

I just got an email from Ziprecruiter suggesting I apply for a job their algorithm thinks lines up with my background. I click and get to a job posting for a Baseball Trainer. I can’t remember the last time I played baseball. Maybe that was when I was in my early 20s and played softball. If softball doesn’t count, I haven’t played since high school.

Woe is me.

Ziprecruiter is not alone. It’s given my email information to numerous websites, like Indeed, Handshake or SmartHire, who bombard me with jobs teaching physics, chemistry, special ed or accounting among other fields I have no expertise in. Some refinement is needed.

My first choice for a job is a librarian position. Yesterday I had a good long talk with my mother’s friend whose husband was the head of Northwestern’s library. After the holidays, she’s going to introduce me to some people there. Fingers crossed.

My fingers are also crossed for a job as a librarian who coordinates the ESL/Literacy program at a public library in the northwest suburbs.

Of course, I’m also hopeful for a writing opportunity.

Job Hunting

Since I always try to keep my eyes open for new opportunities, I don’t feel like it’s been ages since I’ve looked for a job, but this fall it sure feels like I’ve entered a new era.

When looking for jobs teaching English I rely on my network and two websites, tesol.org and chroniclevitae.com. These two sites have the better jobs. Dave’s ESL Café tends to have poor search filters and worse yet any fly-by-night English school can and does place ads there. I found the dreadful job at KNUE in Miho, South Korea on Dave’s.

This time around I’m branching out. I’m looking for jobs on library websites, which has been straightforward and I’m also using new services like Ziprecruiter.com. So far Ziprecruiter has been the best of the new internet services. Once you set up an account, you get suggested jobs that align with your skills, interests, education and experience. It’s quite tailored and several jobs have “One-Click” applications. Once you’ve applied, you receive emails about when the employer looks at your application and if they look two or three times. Each time the email tells you something like “only 17% of resumes are looked at three times,” which is encouraging.

I’m also testing out Handshake, which University of Illinois offers. Those jobs are relevant to my degree in Library Science. Handshake offers posts on other professions too.

Some other sites like Localwise.com clog your email with lots of unrelated jobs. For example I’ve gotten jobs connected to engineering or physics, areas I have no expertise in at all. Even worse, they sell your email address to anyone so I’ve gotten emails about “opportunities” to sell life insurance. So you have to be leery unless you want to spend your days unsubscribing to spam.