The Career Fitness Workbook
Is the job market kicking sand in your face? Are you being pushed around by disrespectful employers?
If either is the case, you need The Career Fitness Workbook. It has a number of special features:
The Career Fitness Workbook is available at Amazon.com.
Don’t let the economy bully you. Get The Career Fitness Workbook today and learn how to stand up for yourself!
Active Reading for Job Search Success
Experts have long urged job seekers to practice active listening. It’s a critical habit to develop because it helps you understand, interpret and respond effectively to the questions posed in an interview. However, since most pre-interview communications now occur in writing and those interactions are the key to getting an interview, it’s now also important to learn the technique of “active reading.”
Active listening involves paying attention to the person with whom you’re speaking. While the term recognizes the role of your ears, it’s actually a two-sense technique. You make sure you hear exactly what the other person is saying, but you form your interpretation of their statement with their tone of voice and what you see in their body language as well as their words.
Active reading is also a two-sense technique. In fact, William Zinsser, the author of On Writing Well and the acknowledged guru of nonfiction writing, says “People read with their ears, whether they know it or not.” They see the written words, but listen to the author’s voice.
Active reading recognizes that truth so you accurately comprehend what a recruiter is saying in an email or Inmail. It involves three basic techniques:
Let’s look at each of these steps in a bit more detail.
Most of us are in a rush these days. If we’re in transition, we’re juggling applications and networking and meetings and research and dozens of other activities that all take time. In order to get everything done, we race through each of them.
Rapid reading, however, limits the time we give ourselves to understand what’s being said and that, of course, increases the odds of misunderstanding. It can cause you to answer a question incorrectly or reply in a way that diminishes your credibility. In either case, you undermine your positioning as a qualified candidate.
What’s the best way to slow yourself down? Read deeply. Force yourself to read each email or Inmail three times, taking two deep breaths between the first and second repetition and three deep breaths between the second and third. You’ll have to keep track of your breathing count of course, which will require that you concentrate on what you’re doing. And that concentration, together with the repetition of the message, will help ensure you pause long enough to “hear” what’s being said.
Read Out Loud
While reading deeply, also read out loud. Don’t whisper the words, but pronounce them in a normal speaking voice as if you’re engaged in a conversation with the recruiter. Yes, that means you probably shouldn’t check your email and Inmail at the local coffee house, but that too has its benefits. Doing your reading in private will help you avoid distractions and pay closer attention.
Equally as important, reading out loud enhances your understanding of a communication in at least two ways. First, you’re adding another sense to your interpretative arsenal. Words or phrases that might have been rushed through or gone unnoticed in silence can suddenly seem more emphatic and important when heard out loud.
And second, reading out loud takes more time. Simply pronouncing the words correctly and string them together in a coherent sentence forces you to slow down, and as with reading deeply, that will improve your prospects of accurately “hearing” a recruiter’s message.
Recruiters aren’t cubicle Hemingways so it’s important to recognize that they may not communicate clearly or precisely. And, as Lynne Truss points out in her classic guide to grammar, Eats, Shoot & Leaves, even the simple omission of a comma can cause a sentence to be completely misunderstood.
So, it’s also important to read inquisitively. If you don’t understand what a recruiter is saying in a message, craft a reply which respectfully asks for clarification. You might, for example, say “Just to be sure I understand what you’re asking, do you want me to provide additional information on …?”
Reading inquisitively will tell the recruiter that you’re giving their message the attention it deserves and enable you to start a conversation with them. That back-and-forth dialogue will separate you from others who simply reply to the recruiter’s message and lay the foundation for building a stronger connection with them.
Studies have shown that half of all written communications on the Web are misunderstood, so careful reading is absolutely essential to success in today’s job market. Practice the three techniques of active reading, and you’ll ensure your communications enable recruiters to get an accurate read on who and your qualifications.
Thanks for reading,
Visit me at Weddles.com
WEDDLE’s Job Alert
For over 15 years, Weddle has published the leading guidebook to job boards and career portals. WEDDLE’s Guide to Employment Sites on the Internet is considered the Gold Standard for job seekers and career activists. In fact, no less an authority than Dick Bolles, author of What Color is Your Parachute?, rated the Guide “Highly recommended!”
Now, you can sign up for WEDDLE’s Job Alert and get your very own, private connection to some of the best career advancement opportunities on the Web.
This no-cost resource scours the job postings at leading job boards and career portals and connects you with those that match your capabilities and aspirations. It’s the easiest way possible to find your Dream Job.
You Pick the Winners
Even the best of employers can no longer afford to provide a 30-year career ladder and a gold watch. So, where can you go to find the support and resources you need to guide your career effectively?
A growing number of working people are turning to job boards. Many of these sites have transformed themselves from a simple classified advertising platform into a fully featured “careerstead” or homestead for your career.
Every year, we at WEDDLE’s try to help folks find the best of these sites by holding the User’s Choice Awards. They are the only awards in the online employment services industry in which actual users – job seekers, career activists, employers and recruiters – get to pick the winners.
So, let your voice be heard. The ballot necessarily lists only a small subset of the 100,000+ job boards and careersteads now operating on the Web. You can pick some of them and/or nominate others … but the choice is yours.
Please click here and cast your vote today.
Invest in Yourself
There’s plenty of free job search and career advice on the Web. But, if that’s all it takes to be successful, we wouldn’t still have so many Americans out-of-work.
The reality is that too much of what you find online is incomplete (a short article here, a blog post there), out-of-date (posted before the Great Recession changed everything) or just plain wrong. So, if you’re looking for strategies and tips, tactics and techniques that will actually work in today’s tough economy, make an investment in yourself. Get one or more of the books below:
A Multitude of Hope: A Novel About Rediscovering the American Dream. This modern-day epic traces the journeys of three out-of-work professionals searching for answers in today’s seemingly nonsensical job market. Along the way, they discover the secret to “career security” and the pathway to real and lasting success.
The Career Fitness Workbook. This book introduces a complete regimen of activities that will help you successfully compete for and hang onto the job of your dreams. Think of it as “the habits of highly effective career activists.”
The Career Activist Republic. This blockbuster of a book provides a provocative yet positive assessment of the changing world of work in the American economy and describes an innovative strategy that will enable you to avoid the pitfalls and capture the opportunities in this new environment.
The Success Matrix: Wisdom from the Web on How to Get Hired and Not Be Fired. This anthology collects the best of Peter Weddle’s columns on job search and career success. It is the only book you’ll find that provides a candid and totally up-to-date look at how to get and stay ahead in today’s workplace.
Recognizing Richard Rabbit. This fable for adults will entertain and delight you and help you out of the boxes that keep you from becoming the champion inside you. It is a novel and engaging way to recognize the talented person you are meant to be.
Job Nation: The 100 Best Employment Sites on the Web. This unique guide is drawn from other published WEDDLE’s research, which the American Staffing Association described as the “Zagat” of job search sites. It has all of the information you’ll need to be a smart shopper among the 100,000+ job boards and social media sites now operating online.