Effective Ways to Transform Your Job Search

By William Cuva / April 13, 2017

How is your Las Vegas job search going for you? According to Department of Numbers, Las Vegas unemployment rate as of February 2017 was 5.1%.  Ok, that sounds great! But with the low unemployment rate does that mean that you’ll instantly find the job of your dreams?  Maybe, maybe not?  It all depends on what you are looking for and your skill level and what the prospective employer is looking for in an employee?

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If you are seasoned in the workforce, or you are just starting out, you have one thing in common with other job seekers in Las Vegas, and that is you need to work so that you can pay your bills.

You are probably wondering how do I find a job when all I am getting are "No's?" Don’t get discouraged by the "No’s" because they are part of the process when you are seeking employment in Vegas or anywhere else for that matter.  DON’T take the rejections personal! It is nothing against you!

According to Richard Bolles, author of What Color Is Your Parachute? 2017 states, “Employers have changed their behavior when hunting for employees, and we have not caught up with, nor adapted to employers new behavior."

You might receive 50 "No’s" before you receive that phone call from the hiring manager saying, "We would like to offer you a position with our company.”

Searching for employment opportunities in Las Vegas is a combination of many things such as your resume, cover letter, interview process, dress attire and skill level.

Is your resume impressive enough to hook that interview?  How do you prepare for your interviews?  Do you just wing your interviews?  How do you dress for your interviews?

These are all questions that you should ask yourself before you start your job hunt in Vegas.  In this post, I want to offer you some tips as you go about your Las Vegas job search. Here we go!

Have you ever been in this job interview scenario?

Interviewer: What is your greatest strength?

You: My greatest strength is that I have a strong work ethic.  I do whatever it takes to finish my work projects.

For example, we had a client change one aspect of the project that we were working on, and I pulled an all-nighter to make the changes to the project per the client's instructions because I knew that this project was time sensitive and our team depended on me completing the tasks at hand.

Interviewer: Why are you seeking a new position at this time?

You: I’m looking for a new challenge that will help me broaden my work experiences.  I’m looking for a position where I can grow and settle into a company that encourages and supports my professional development.

Interviewer: Why should I hire you?

You: I hope that I have been able to show you why I am qualified from a professional perspective.  I’ve learned how to be an effective communicator and to think quickly on my feet at my current position.

Also, I don’t get thrown off balance in a crisis.  I value great cohesion amongst team members.  I enjoy interacting with customers and knowing that I’ve made a difference in their lives.  I’m confident with these soft skills.  I would be a great addition to your team.

Interviewer: Do you have any questions for us?

You: Yes.  What are the biggest challenges that someone in this position would face?

You ask a few more questions...

Interviewer: Great, thank you for stopping by we’ll give you a call next week about the position

You: Thank you it was a pleasure meeting you and I look forward to your call.

You leave the interview thinking, “Whew that wasn’t as bad as I expected.”

Nevertheless, time goes by, and you never hear from the interviewer?  Why is that?  You might have thought that you didn't have the right skill set for the position and that is why the interviewer never called?  Who knows?  I can’t get inside the mind of the interviewer.

I do know that it is frustrating when hiring managers say that they are going to call and they never do! Oh well, move on! Remember, the "No's" are part of the process before you receive that one call of "You are hired."

Do you have these job skills in your arsenal?

Can you work cohesively with your co-workers?
Are you a problem solver?
How are your interpersonal skills?
Can you communicate effectively?

So what questions can you ask yourself to help assess your skill level?  What skills do you want to improve?  What are a few things that previous employers told you that you could work on to be more successful in your position?

According to Effective Communication Advice, "Learning to deliver an effective and powerful message may be just what you need to get ahead of your competitors, win new clients, negotiate with providers, encourage your employees or even get a promotion."

Vegas employers are seeking individuals with the skills mentioned above and candidates who can communicate effectively.  Employers hire people who can express their thoughts efficiently.

Keep a positive attitude during your job search

If you are fresh out of college and don’t see any real prospects in your field?  What are you going to do?  You might have to settle for a job that isn't related to your degree. What will your mindset be if you have to settle?

On the flip side, if you haven’t worked in a long time and you need to gain more experience what are you going to do?  What will your mindset be?  How will you keep yourself positive and motivated to search for work?

You have to find different ways to stay positive, productive and motivated during your unemployment phase.

A few motivational job search tips

Be realistic about searching for your next job. It takes time.
Believe in yourself and the skills that you have to offer as an employee. You are selling your skills to your next employer.
Use all interviews as practice sessions for that big job break.
Read books on successful people.
Make sure that you are eating healthy and exercising to keep your body and mind healthy.
Limit watching the news and expose yourself to media that inspires you.
Take one day off of your job search and take in a Las Vegas Show to rejuvenate your mind.

Break down your search process into a series of goals

Apply to at least five qualified jobs each week or more.
In one month: Network with ten people face to face who can help you find work.
Within four months: Secure four job interviews
Within six months: Have six interviews and three callbacks.
Join a Job Search Group
Spend your time effectively by associating with employed friends.

Be proactive and cold call companies that don’t have ads posted.  You can find their contact details on the company website.  Contact individuals directly to see if they foresee any upcoming vacancies, and be sure to attach a copy of your resume to any emails you send. You can also ask for information about types of jobs, or what kind of skills or qualities the organization looks for in a candidate?

Go to a temp agency which can lead to a full-time position.  Moreover, temping allows you to get your foot in the door and provide you with useful contacts to help you out in the future.

Attend any career fairs you might find an open interview and your next job through this route.  Typically, you will know ahead of time a list of the organizations that will be present at the career fair.  Moreover, this allows you to research the companies that interest you, so you are prepared to sell your skills to these companies.  Remember to bring plenty of resumes.

Go to your local government website to see if they have any ongoing work skill development courses.

Attend events for graduates of your school or connect with professionals who work in your field.
Put yourself in better positions to gain more connections so that you can attain job referrals. Employers prefer to hire people that they already know or through referrals.

And even more job search tips

Applicants find many jobs through referrals, and many of these jobs have not been advertised.  You need to figure out how to network so that you can find those unadvertised positions.

Who do you know?  You can network via online or in person.  Who do you know on Facebook or Twitter?  Are you registered with LinkedIn?  LinkedIn allows you to network with other professionals and learn about possible job openings.

LinkedIn 30 Minutes by Angela Rose covers everything from account creation to profile enhancements, networking, interacting with groups, inMail and more topics.

According to Forbes Staff Member, Susan Adams, “But with ever-increasing numbers of hiring managers and recruiters using the site to hunt for job candidates and potential employers routinely checking LinkedIn before they make hiring decisions, it’s worth reviewing your profile to make sure it does you the most good.”

You can always apply to jobs through job search engines.  Job search engines are useful because they collect listings from employer websites to show you job listings.

Clicking on the link will take you to the job source.  You have a much quicker turnaround time, and you can search a larger number of jobs over a wide area.

Internships are an excellent choice for students who are graduating from college, and many schools' job placement services can connect students with opportunities. Volunteering can also be a useful method for gaining valuable industry contacts.

 

Do you have a resume?

What is the purpose of a resume? Believe it or not, some people do ask that question. Do you know that your resume acts as your point of entry for a prospective employer?

Now don’t say that you can skip this section because you can’t if you are expecting to receive a call for an interview.  You must put your best foot forward and create that impressive resume.

Your resume is your document used as a summary to demonstrate your education, work experience, skills, achievements, and accomplishments to potential employers.

Robert Meier, President of Job Market Experts, “98% of job seekers are eliminated at the initial resume screening and only the "Top 2%" of candidates make it to the interview.”  For this reason, you want to give hiring managers enough information to get them familiar with you but brief so that they are left wanting more and call you in for an interview.

Did you know that a lot of companies are using Applicant Tracking Systems, which is a method to filter resumes based on keywords, skills, former employers, years of experience and schools attended?

Melanie Pinola, a Lifehacker contributor, does a great job of explaining how to make sure your resume gets past the software and into the hands of hiring managers.

You have a matter of seconds to impress hiring managers according to Christopher Niesche, “The amount of time recruiters spend on each resume is about six seconds.”

Susan Mills, an Executive Recruitment Specialist states in her step by step resume guide that “Your resume is a tool to get you an interview, not to get you hired.”

So what are employers looking for in the Applicant Tracking System?  They want to see that you have the skills to do the job.  Resumes are nothing more than specific categories that outline who you are, what you’ve done and what you can do for the company.  You want to keep your resume out of the “No” pile by creating a resume that will impress the hiring manager.

So how do I get in the “Yes” pile?

All of the bullet points on your resume should demonstrate what you could do if you are offered a position.
Use Action Verbs: (Planned, Produced, Organized, Chartered, Created, etc.)
Remember that hiring managers do not have a lot of time to waste, and they are expecting you to make their job easier by having a great resume

Resume Building Block

Contact Details: In the header at the top of your resume include full name, street address, phone numbers and e-mail address.
Summary: A short statement of who you are, what skills and expertise you have to contribute to the company. What are the benefits that you offer as a professional?
Professional Experience: The body of the resume. List your past jobs, roles, responsibilities and accomplishments.
Education: List your schools, academic degrees, and the year that you earned your degree.  Please note that the longer that you’ve been out of school, the less this information is relevant to the hiring manager.
Related Experiences: Trade groups, professional societies, membership in associations and other work-related professional development activities.

Do you need additional help with your resume?

If you need online help crafting your resume, Novo Resume will guide you step by step through the process structuring your resume.

If you want your resume prepared by a Certified Professional Resume Writer, then head on over to A Better Way Resume in Las Vegas. You'll sit with an expert who will create your dynamic custom resume.

How do I construct a cover letter?

Do you know the guidelines for writing a cover letter?  Preparing a cover letter can help introduce you to the prospective employer. You can showcase your passion for the position and sell your skills, highlight relevant qualifications, and show interest to the hiring manager.

As stated before, you only have a few seconds to impress the hiring manager when they view your resume.  Go the extra mile by preparing your cover letter to add that extra kick to your resume. Your cover letter is your extra shot so go for the gold!

Oh, if the employer says don't send a cover letter in the posting then DON'T send a cover letter. If the job listing doesn't directly ask for a cover letter, then send a cover letter.

You should customize each cover letter so that each letter fits the particular job description. “You do want to make it clear that you respect the company and explain why you’re interested, but the focus should be on what you can do for them,” said Daniel Victor, Senior Staff Editor at The New York Times.

Please make sure to address one or two skills or qualifications that match the job description.  Moreover, provide a specific example where you demonstrated these skills or qualifications and how these skills will benefit the company that you are applying to and let them know that you have done some research into the organization.

Do note that in your cover letter you can explain in detail about an area in your resume where you need to talk about a career shift or account for a gap in your employment history.

Your cover letter should be short and to the point. In general, resumes and cover letters should be one page.  According to Higher Ed Jobs, “Cover letters should be one page long and divided into three to four paragraphs.”

Fundamental building block for your cover letter

Your Name:
Your Address:
Your City, State, Zip Code:
Your Phone Number:
Your Email:
Date:
Name:
Title:
Organization:
Address:
City, State, Zip Code:

Greeting: Please address your cover letter to the proper person

Opening and Introduction: Write a personable, inviting opening paragraph explaining who you are and the reason for writing.  Include how you found out about the job opportunity.  Highlight how your skills are perfect for the position. Express your energy, education and work experience that could contribute to the success of the company.

Body: Hook them in and highlight your past achievements, talents, and experience as they relate to the position.  Explain why you are an exact match for the job. “Use numbers and statistics to back up your claims,” suggests Alison Griswold, contributor at Business Insider.

Close: Briefly recap your strengths as a candidate.  Thank them for taking the time to read your letter.

How does the interview process work?

Do you like feeling nervous and unprepared?  Never under any circumstances should you go to an interview unprepared.

Make sure that you do your homework about the company and find the particular strengths and qualities this company is looking for in their employees?

What are the goals of the business?  You should find out why they are hiring?  It could be a quick fill or new role. Whichever one, emphasize that you are a quick learner.

Find out what problems are in this position and how you can solve them?  You have to sell yourself to the interviewer and let him/her know that you are the perfect candidate for the position.

Do your thinking beforehand, instead of on the spot. Therefore, the best way to get rid of your pre-jitter interview nerves is to have a mock interview.

Go through a list of interview questions and write your answers down and then have a friend conduct the mock interview.  Keep your answers short and to the point.  You should have a success story to back up every value the interviewer is seeking.

Bob Firestone, author of Ultimate Guide To Job Interview Answers states, “Give specific examples of how your last job allowed you to flex your skills and show your maturity.”

What can you contribute to this company?  Let the interviewer know the skills that you learned from your work experience and how those skills will benefit the company in the long term.  Focus on a couple of things that will help you in this new job.

Mention skills that are relevant to the position at hand.  Talk about your professional and personal skills that you've learned over your work career or school career.

You can steer the interview by describing a difficult work situation and how you overcame that situation.  Your story should include how you used your skills in your current or previous position.

Since you’ve done your research about the company, then continue to guide the interview by talking about your strengths that you know the company highly values.

Do you have a success story that you can throw into the mix in regards to your strengths? If so, go for it.  Don’t hold back!

If you are asked the “weakness” question, then let the interviewer know your work specific weaknesses and what you’ve done to work on these specific weaknesses.

You are human which means you are a work in progress.  Therefore, you have the ability to take the right steps to improve yourself.

Make sure that you are telling the interviewer work specific things and don’t go into your life history that is not what they want to hear.

The interviewer wants to hear what you can bring to the table and how you will help grow their company with your skills and talents.

Always have questions prepared to ask the interviewer

Most likely, the interviewer will ask if you have any questions at the end of the interview.

You have the perfect opportunity to find out if this is the right position by asking the interviewer questions. You are interviewing them just like they are interviewing you. You have to feel comfortable with the work environment and the company culture.

A new position is almost comparable to getting married. You are making this company your family.  As Andrew Lacivita states in his book Interview Intervention “Success, as I see it, is securing the right job with the right company that keeps you happy for a sustained period."

Most importantly, you want to show that you are interested in learning more about the culture, ethics and show off your knowledge about the company.

Therefore, you do this by actively listening throughout your interview and having questions prepared to ask your interviewer.

Common Interview Questions to Practice

Why should we hire you?
What is your greatest strength?
What is your greatest weakness?
Why do you want to work for us?
How did you hear about the position?

What's your dream job?
Are you interviewing with other companies?
What type of work environment do you prefer?
How long will it take for you to make a significant contribution?
How would your boss and co-workers describe you?

Why was there a gap in your employment?
What did you like least about your last job?
What can you do for us that other candidates can't?
What was the last project you led, and what was its outcome?
How do you want to improve yourself in the next year?

What do you see yourself doing within the first 30 days of this job?
Was there a person in your career who made a difference?
What are three things your former manager would like you to improve?
Tell me about a time you made a mistake?
Who are our competitors?

How do you handle stress?
What is the name of our CEO?
Are you willing to relocate?
How would you feel about working for someone who knows less than you?
Are you willing to travel?

Typical questions to ask a job interviewer

What does a typical day look like for this position?
Can you show me examples of projects?
What attributes does someone need to have to be successful in this position?
What are the biggest challenges that someone in this position would face?
How will I be trained?

What are the biggest opportunities facing the company/department right now?
Are there opportunities for advancement or professional development?
Where have successful employees previously in this position progressed to?
What are the biggest challenges facing the company/department right now?
What are the most important things you’d like to see someone accomplish in the first 30, 60, and 90 days on the job?

How will my performance be evaluated?
What are the biggest rewards of the job and working for this company?
Has your role changed since you've been here?
Why did you come to this company?
What’s your favorite part about working here?

Is relocation a possibility?
What are the current goals of the company and how does this team work to support hitting those goals?
What are the biggest rewards of the job and working for this company?
Describe the company culture?
Where do you think the company is headed in the next five years?

Who do you consider your top competitor, and why?
When can I expect to hear from you?




Do you know your interview dress code?

The first impression that you make on a potential employer is crucial.  You should be presentable and dress like it is your first day on the job.  Dress for success.

In Kate Wendleton’s book, Mastering the Job Interview she says, “It’s true that employees in certain fields may wear jeans and sneakers, to work but that’s rarely a standard for interviews."

In Vegas, you will find that a lot of people have taken a downscale approach to dressing for their interviews. Don’t be one of those!

You always want to make a good impression even if you are applying at McDonald’s. Dress up!  If you dress up, then the interviewer knows that you can dress casually.

In general, most companies have different dress codes and what you wear at the job has very little to do with how you dress for the interview.

The night before the interview, please make sure that your clothes are ready to go so that you don’t have to spend time doing this the day of the interview.  You have other pressing issues such as what you are going to say during the interview?

Oh, please polish your shoes and bring breath mints to use before you meet with your interviewer.  Actually, before you enter the building.

Fundamental job interview attire for men

Dress in a suit: matching jacket and pants, dress shirt, tie, coordinating socks and dress shoes.  Avoid loud colors and flashy ties. Your suit should fit you comfortably.  Clothing should be neat, cleaned and pressedHair should be neat, cleaned and conservative

Shave, trim your beard or mustache.  Neatly trimmed nails.  Brush your teeth, shower, wear deodorant, avoid cologne (you don’t want to cause an allergic reaction)Portfolio, briefcase, pen, and extra copies of your resume.

Fundament job interview attire for women

You should wear a suit with skirt or pants.  Wear a comfortable blouse with your suit. Interview suit should be conservative and dark in color.  Your outfit should be comfortable and fit you well.  Keep your jewelry and hair accessories to a minimum.  Shoes should be conservative and fairly low-heeledYour pantyhose should be neutral.

Clothing should be neat, cleaned and pressed.  Brush your teeth, shower, wear deodorant, avoid perfume (you don’t want to cause an allergic reaction) Hair should be neat, cleaned and conservative.  Small to medium size purse/and or briefcase, along with portfolio, pen, and extra copies of your resume.

Conclusion

Searching for jobs in Las Vegas is just like searching in any other city.  Employers expect certain attributes and skills when hiring employees.

You expect to feel comfortable and receive fair compensation for your work since you will spend the majority of your time at your place of employment.

You want your employer to feel that you are trustworthy in this position.  Your employer is expecting you to perform the job to a given set of standards.

You have the skills, the knowledge and the confidence.  Go forth and show them that you were the right candidate for your new position.