Posts Tagged ‘lhh pittsburgh’

Job Search Primer

December 10, 2010

Are you new to Job Searching in Pittsburgh? Are you looking to recharge your job search effort? Then this post may help.

In the columns on the right,  this Careers in Motion site contains a fairly complete primer to help you get started in job search or to help you get momentum going again after the holidays or other lull. For example this site contains the following:

1. Job Search Essentials Checklist: a successful job search starts with a plan and this checklist is intended to get you thinking about the components of a job search plan. If you are just starting job search then you just need to do the things outlined on this list. They are a “go do”. Don’t tell yourself they don’t apply to you or debate the worthiness of each item – just do it. If you have been in job search for a while then take a look at this list and ask yourself “where can I do better? and then do it. Your job search should be a full-time job of at least 30 hours a week and when you are not interviewing or networking you should be honing your job search essentials skills and tools.

2. Pittsburgh Area Networking Groups: This is a list of links to numerous Pittsburgh area networking groups, some are online groups and some are face-to-face groups. Networking is the key to a successful job search. You have to get out there and meet people – not because you think they have a specific job for you but because they could be the next step in the process of finding a job. Networking is like a puzzle, every meeting is a piece of a puzzle in your job search and eventually it will all come together but you need to collect the pieces which means ‘meeting people’

3. Pittsburgh Area Job Boards: You don’t want to rely on job boards exclusively but they can be a source of real opportunities and they can be an indicator of what companies and what industries are hiring in the area. They can also be opportunities for finding new networking contacts through the recruiters and others that you contact. Prioritize these sites and see which ones are the most useful to you.

4. Pittsburgh Area Recruiters: Most of the local recruiter sites include job postings so finding out which of those are most useful to you is a good use of your time. Recruiters too, can be a great networking resource for many. It doesn’t hurt to reach out to them and/or get your resume in their database. They are busy and have to be selective with their time but you should try to meet with as many as you can.

5. Other Job Search Resources: These are some more general sites that are helpful to job seekers. Links to various search engines, links to contact card sites, research sites etc.  These links can be found at the bottom of the ‘networking and job boards’ page.

The tools and links on this site are a great primer. They are all pieces of the process that you absolutely need. At a minimum they should save you some google time but they should also include some links and ideas that you might not otherwise find or utilize.

Take advantage of these resources and incorporate them into your job search.

If you have any questions, feel free to drop me a note at

Good Luck!



Don’t Just Ping Away!

January 29, 2010

There was a scene in the movie The Hunt for Red October where a naval officer is talking to Jack Ryan regarding the Soviet fleet’s search for the renegade submarine. The exchange went something like this:

Davenport:   They’re pinging away with their active sonar like they’re looking for something, but nobody’s listening.

Jack Ryan:    What do you mean?

Davenport:   Well, they’re moving at almost forty knots. At that speed, they could run right over my daughter’s stereo and not hear it.


I think many in job search today could be in a similar situation. You are ‘pinging away’ but moving so fast that you are forgetting to focus on the details and make the most of every opportunity.  A successful job search is a process that depends on doing every step to the best of your ability. Some areas where you might want to slow down and check your execution might be:

Do you have a Written Plan?  Good things usually don’t happen by accident. You need to have a plan of action in your job search where you identify target industries, target companies, networking goals, salary research, etc.

Training:  Are you studying and learning about improving your job search skills and strategies? Are you moving your job search skills and knowledge from “Poor to Good to Great!”. If you are not, just know the competition is.

Are you Really Networking? A LinkedIN connection is not networking. You have to have a personal connection by phone or face-to-face to be networking. PLUS – if you don’t have a networking strategy and specific goals for each networking meeting then you are trailing your competition on that front as well.

Adequate Follow-Up:   If you feel you had a definite chemistry in the interview, what are you doing to follow-up after the thank you note? Even interviews that end in a rejection letter – are you following up to get feedback or additional networking contacts?

Are you Researching?  You are competing against candidates that can quote annual reports and press releases and offer valid strategic feedback on customer markets, marketing literature and positioning strategies.

Are you Making it Personal?  How are you making them remember YOU? I recently received an email from a job seeker telling me that an interviewer was so pleased with a handwritten note that he showed it around the office and called it “Old World Professionalism”. I’m liking that guy’s chance to make the next round.

Are you a Polished Interviewer?  Practice, Practice, Practice. If you can’t google ‘interview questions’ or pick up a book on interviewing and not be surprised by a question that you haven’t prepared for and rehearsed to perfection, you are lagging the top notch competition.

Your LOOK:  First Impressions matter. Your hair, your clothes, your glasses all tell your story before you open your mouth so make sure that story isn’t “Clueless” or “Out of Date”. Also, networking can happen ANYWHERE… in the store, at the ball park, at the ChuckECheese with your kids… when you are in job search – you should always dress professionally.

The difference between sucess and failure in anything is found in the details. Job search is no different. In this environment, you do need to step up the “quantity” aspects of your job search but you have to keep an eye on the “quality” aspects as well. You need to find that balance.  Your competition is.