Category: Employment

TCE “Tough Love”: Overqualified/Under-qualified – Think Again!

“The reason I can’t get hired is because I am overqualified for the jobs down here!” (Career Seeker in Virginia).   Have you ever heard or used this statement before?  Have you felt or thought that you are NOT getting anywhere because you bring either  “to much” or “to little” to the table?   No doubt…the 21st century job market is a challenge, but not impossible. We have a saying in TCE Land, “In order to increase your employability, you have to reduce your competition.”  It’s this simple and/or complicated formula that can make ALL the difference in winning your next amazing Monday morning opportunity.

So…with that being said, have you really MAXIMIZED your career brand to it’s BEST potential?  Are you in the right marketplace for the value that YOU bring? Have you done, EVERYTHING you can to ensure your are IN-DEMAND versus DEMANDING a job? After all of these questions, do you STILL think  or FEEL that you are being passed up and ignored in the market aka” overqualified/under qualified?”  Well, never fear…The Career Engineer is here to share “her “tough love” on the overqualified/under qualified dilemma (note to self…it’s a myth!)

Here are some TCE tips to bust this myth in your job search:

  • NOT IN THE RIGHT MARKET:  Researching and defining YOUR market is the name of the game!   A successful career brand should produce meetings in the markets that fit your knowledge, skills or abilities. If you believe you are not hired because you are OVERQUALIFIED or UNDER QUALIFIED, review your career marketing plan, make some changes and get some help!
  • TRANSITIONING – MAXIMIZE TRANSFERABLE SKILLS:  Still using the same “blah, blah” words?  Here are some examples to get your juices flowing: fiscal accountability, project management, vendor management, business development, technology aptitude, public speaking, training, administration, etc.
  • A SLOW JOB SEARCH IS (30) MONTHLY CONTACTS: Two (2) contacts a week is NOT a job search, IT’S A PRETEND SEARCH!  Develop a targeted and strategic market between 30 – 100 employers and get your quality/performance brand…out there!  No this is NOT impossible to do (yes, I heard you!)
  • TCE NETWORKING 101: “It’s NOT Who You KNOW, It’s Who KNOWS YOU!” Diversify your networking circles and increase your brand power.  Even in this day of super technology, there is NOTHING like the human-to-human connection. Want to be a REALationship networker, check out the TCE Career & Business Network Today.
  • TCE JOB SEARCH TIP:  Use the  TCEJobStop as part of your sourcing strategy:   (Fresh Jobs shared daily here and across the USA)

“Don’t Get Anxious – Get Prepared” The Career Engineer: http://TCEnow.com Email: info@TCEnow.com 757-745-4TCE (4823), Twitter @CareerEngineer, Like Us on Facebook.com/dontgetanxious

Graduating but STILL Under-employed or Unemployed?

college

Don’t Get Anxious – Get Prepared!  Let’s get you HIRED! The Career Engineer is here to share some TCE career hunt boosters (for the college student or graduate) so that YOU can land the job of your dreams or at least get a paycheck!  At the time of this post, our national unemployment rate is a low 5.5% with 8M people looking for employment (March 2015, Source DOL ).  Keeping politics aside, these numbers are significantly lower than when President Obama started his first term.  So keep your head up, things are looking pretty good for our college students and future graduates.  Remember, those student loans that have your “John or Jane Hancock”…will be ready for your first payment six months after you graduate.  So, let’s shift gears and get to work.

Some TCE Quick Boosters for You:

  • REALationships:   IMPORTANT, this is ONE of the most important skills in this 21st economy (Don’t Blow People Off)
  • Package: Career Portfolio MUST Deliver Ambition, Academic Accomplishments, Leadership & Experience.
  • Branding: Your VALUE & Image MUST Be Consistent (High Tech & High Touch).
  • Networking: Fraternity, sororities, industry organizations, faith community, sports, LinkedIn etc.
  • Agency: Partner with Career Services Office (Lifetime Services as Alumni)
  • Interviews/Meetings: Talk in performance sound bites, give RELEVANT examples & WATCH your body language.
  • Social Networking:  LinkedIn is a MUST for professional branding…and it’s NOT Facebook!  Read My LinkedIn Post to get the “Do’s and Don’ts.”

Tip: Bookmark the TCEJobStop: (Fresh Jobs shared daily here and across the USA) & MyTCEnow.com (Join the TCE Network)

TCE Radio Chats w/Chaz Pitts-Kyser, Author of Careeranista, Are You Ready To Get Hired?

Today on TCE Radio we featured author Chaz Pitts-Kyser on our show as she talked about her new book “Careeranista:  The Woman’s Guide to Success After College”:

ABOUT OUR GUEST!

Ms. Pitts-Kyser is the founder of Careeranista, a company created to inspire, support, and educate women in their quest to lead more fulfilling lives; and a writer and speaker with a passion for empowering college students and young professionals to achieve personal and career success. As a keynote speaker and workshop facilitator, she is known for inspiring, educating, and entertaining her audience through her interactive presentation style, and she has spoken at universities and conferences throughout the United States.

Find Additional Jobs Podcasts with The Career Engineer on BlogTalkRadio

TCE Top 5 Networking Disasters a “TCE Tough Love” Segment

Your Career Engineer was on TV today sharing some Networking blunders that can keep ALL OF US, in the “I have no money and I am broke” line.  You know that I don’t want that to happen, so here is the segment from today’s show that  describes those “Networking Disaster Personas.”   Make sure that YOU are not one of…THEM!  I also have a YouTube video, How to Network Like a Rock Star, check it out that shares a bit more of this TCE style.  Plus in my youtube video I look directly into the camera…I am not a fan of profile views…YUK!

  • The STALKER:  You want THAT Connection & think you are ENTITLED too it…BUT stop “following” the “A Gamers” around…It’s very irritating and does more HARM than good!   TCE Tip: Stop it!
  • The BUSTER:  You see a conversation and just BUST into it without a tasteful and tactful entrance!  You are now…toast!  TCE Tip:  It’s called impulse control!
  • THE KIDNAPPER:  Stop holding one-person hostage all night, they are there to meet OTHER people!  Monopoly is a board game you play with your family…does not work at networking events. .  TCE Tip:  It’s OK to Let them Go…
  • The FAKER:  Stop using champagne words with an orange juice brand!   Who are you trying to impress…the AIR?   Pretending to be a PERFORMER is a dangerous move.  TCE Tip:  There is a true value…. in being REAL!  
  • LIFE STORY TELLER: Not interested in your activities since birth (Over share warning).  Find your 60-second introduction, followed by an up to 5 min performance/tactful chat.  If you don’t have one…Go home or…get coached by TCE!

 

TCE Career Super Bowl 2014: Are You In It to Win It?

The Big Game this year showcases a showdown between extreme experience (Old Lion – Manning) versus a fresh new perspective (New Lion – Wilson).  Both candidates’ aka NFL teams want the job (the Super Bowl Ring); but the REAL question is…who has what it takes to win it!  What has more value …experience or performance (or are both equally important?)  

The same can be true in our careers, at the end of the day, the Super Bowl and Your Job Search will always comes down to who wants it more…and who SELLS it BEST. So The Career Engineer says to the TEAM that wants to win…Let’s Go Get It!   (PushUp to TCE VA Member “Ms. Lady V” who helped me…with this SuperBowl content!)

 Here’s How You Win The 2014 Big Career Game…TCE Style! 

  • Decide That You are Playing to WIN!  Positive mindset is essential (Think and Act like a Winner). “As a Job Seeker Thinks…so He/She is”
  • Block & Tackle:  Have REAL answers for the TOUGH questions. (Know Your Barriers to Employment or do you have FEAR of Success).
  • Don’t Fumble:  Practice & Plan (You’ MUST have a Game Plan…always; even if the response is NO!)
  • When Someone Throws You the Ball…Catch It!  Focused Action, Focused A-Game, and a Powerful Follow-up …  can WIN the game!
  • Ready to FIND another Team?    Use the TCEJobStop (One of the BEST Career Search Niche Boards!)

 

 

 

 

TCE in Review, 2013 Best & Worse Job/Biz Hunt Practices

“Will your 2014 Career or Biz Search fair…BETTER or WORSE than your 2013?”  This year brought some significant challenges to the American workforce and marketplace.  Do you remember the sequestration, the historic Government Shutdown in October or the possible repeat of the same this January?  Ready to change your came for Monday mornings in 2014?  Never fear,   The Career Engineer  is here…to share  our take on some of the Best Practices and the Worse Practices we’ve noticed  in the 2013.  So try the TCE Best Practices tips and leave the “other stuff” to your competition.

 Best Practice:

  • Career Entrepreneur:   (Think, Act & Produce…Like You are a Business). In order to KEEP your job you need to EARN your keep.  I know it sounds harsh, but some decisions in the workforce /marketplace does come down to dollars and sense (yes, businesses sense).  I mean if you were the CEO of a business and you had to make that “tough decision” would you keep a non-performer (value unknown) on the payroll?  Or would you keep the team that can bring the most value to your customers.  Be honest, what would you do?
  • A Self Aware Career/Business Professional: Powerful Commodity (Strengths & Your Limitations): Ah…the professionals who know, understand and implement “value/performance” are  powerful entities in the marketplace. Today’s businesses need this type of employee  or leader to keep their engines running…become that candidate. Here’s a sample of the critical skills these folks bring to the table…
    • recognizing strengths and limitations
    • smart decision-making and having a solid powerful vision
    • recognizing when to push and when to throttle back
    • Exceptional online and offline communication skills
  • Attendance & WorkmanshipShow Up & Step Up — Under Promise/Over Deliver (Big One!)  The career/biz professionals who maximizes this golden rule WILL GO FAR.  It boils down to demonstrated performance and value engineering.  At the end of the day, your retention in the today’s workforce/marketplace may depend on your demonstration of  this critical “Show Up & Step Up” principle.

Worse Practices: 

  • Career/Biz InsanityDoing the SAME Thing, Yet Expecting DIFFERENT Results.  This is an easy one!  This formula doesn’t work in any part of life…so why use it in your career? (Enough said)
  • Give Me SyndromeSense of Entitlement vs. EMPOWERMENT in your Career hunt.  The days of “I am entitled to a job and the employer  must give me one”…are over.  The 21st century marketplace is hyper-competitive and it’s up to the individual to sell their value, performance and sustainability to the marketplace.  So unless you want a repeat of 2013 in 2014, get with the program or remain in the unemployment line  for a very long time (yes it’s tight, but it’s right!)
  • NO SEED/ NO HARVESTYou Get Out of it, What You Put Into it.  There’s nothing like good, ole fashion wisdom. If you want more out of your workplace experience, then put some skin in the game.  Not sure what I mean my skin? Where have YOU invested either time, talent or treasure (or all three) in your brand? How have you invested in your space, to seal your value to the employer or business owner?  Here are some examples…
    • How much time/dollars are you investing in your professional development?
    • Pride in workmanship, do you care about what you produce?
    • Have you checked and re-checked your work product?
    • How efficient and effective are you…what are you doing to improve that skill?
    • Initiative and follow-up…is that a part of your daily routine?

Don’t Get Anxious – Get Prepared!  2014 is coming ,if you REALLY want to make it your best year ever…then start right now!

Five Keys to Getting the Job Your Deserve (Ask The Career Engineer)

According to the US Department of Labor, approximately 11 million Americans are still unemployed. Now the American worker is faced with finding the American Dream in the ultra-competitive, “employer choice” career market of today. How do you compete in this global marketplace? What is the career getting “formula” for today’s workforce? It’s simple, increase your employability and decrease your competition. This “formula” is necessary in order for you to increase your potentials and become the employee that companies want. The self-aware, performance-based employee, who uses action-oriented career strategies, will “reduce” their competition and increase employment opportunities. Not a performance employee…use the below strategies to improve your results.

1. Companies today are looking for that top 10 – 30% employee. Make sure you have what it takes to meet their needs. You must become “performers” and not just “presenters.” Companies want “employees” and not just “candidates.”

2. Expect performance based/behavioral interviewing. Nowadays, expect HR associates to “dig deeper” and ask questions regarding performance, achievements, initiative and leadership potential. Hiring managers and recruiters are aware that candidates can “shine” in a one-hour interview.

3. Be prepared to deliver salesmanship. You must make sure that your career search tools are sharing “what you have done with what you’ve got.” You must showcase your accomplishments, how you achieved them, and your next steps.

4. Accomplishments are mandatory. Be prepared to demonstrate your contributions, projects managed and how you “stepped out of the box” at various levels (individual, team and/or community). To have nothing… will not do.

5. Stability is very important today. If you have gaps, be prepared to explain. However, keep it business savvy and honest. Volunteering during an employment gap could actually work in your favor.

A Case for Volunteering: Find an organization that supports your life philosophy and offer some method of active contribution. Volunteering can also assist in your social networking, skill development and at times “personal” sense of worth. One of the best benefits of volunteering is that it helps with “gap” information and keeps you active. Plus, employers are impressed with sincere volunteers as it demonstrates your civic awareness and responsibilities. Check out Volunteermatch.org

A Case for Networking: Most employment resources will cite that networking accounts for 50 percent of all employment leads and subsequent hires. Networking is a skill that you must develop for life. Join professional associations that are in your industry, volunteer organizations, sports/recreational groups, faith groups or join a school’s PTA. Let your network know that you are in the employment market and don’t keep your career search a secret. Update your professional social media platform by joining networks such as www.facebook.com, www.linkedin.com or www.Twitter.com These are free professional networking sites and you can connect with professionals on a global scale.

Have a question for The Career Engineer ?  Then submit them to questions@TCEnow.com

All I Want for the Christmas is a Brand New Job!

Happy Thanksgiving!  Go From Seasonal  – Full time Worker…TCE Style

All I want for Christmas is a brand new Job!  Have you heard that the job hunt and connections REALLY slow down during the holidays? NOT!  In fact it’s a GREAT time to either PREPARE or MAKE critical connections.  The Career Engineer  is here…to share some “pre-turkey” Career Movement Tips during the holiday season.

TCE Holiday Career Winning Tips

  • Sustainable Businesses Create Sustainable Jobs (TCE Hint:  Seek out GREAT Businesses – They Need GREAT talent)
  • Seasonal help Ideas:   Logistics(Shipping), tax preparation services, Retail, Staffing/recruiting and   business Development (Sales).
  • Seasonal employees HAVE the Opportunity to Showcase Their Value/Performance (Make sure you Shine!)
  • Competition is EXTREME, BUT the seasonal worker has the advantage…USE IT!!
  • Major shipping companies such as FedEx, UPS and retailers have upgraded seasonal employers to FTE (not just support but in staff positions)!

Holiday Career & Biz Hunting Links:

“Don’t Get Anxious – Get Prepared”  The Career Engineerhttp://TCEnow.com  Email:  info@TCEnow.com  757-745-4TCE , Twitter @CareerEngineer

Ask The Career Engineer – TCE, Help My Resume…PLEASE!!!

I’ve Got the Resume Blues!  

 mmw-veterans-jobs-v2Q:       I have a 3 page resume which I feel really shows my work history and all my accomplishments.  A friend, who happens to be a supervisor, reviewed it for me.  He told me it’s too long and that no one will spend that much time reading my book as he called it.  He mentioned that I must cut it down to (1) page or stay unemployed for a long time.  Should my resume be only 1 page? I have been looking for a job now for about six months.  What should I do?  Paula, L. (Virginia)

A:        Dear Paula, your friend may have a point; however, he could have expressed it in a more gentle fashion.  In most cases a resume should not exceed 2 pages.  However, let me first clarify the purpose of a resume.

1.    Everyone repeat after me, a resume does not get you a job; its only purpose is to get you an interview. 

2.    If you are submitting your resume and are receiving calls from employers for interviews (in your correct market) , then your resume is effective.  Of course, the opposite is also true, if you are not getting any calls you may want to revisit your primary marketing tool aka “resume”.

3.    Style and visuals are your personal preference as long as your resume is providing enough “meat” and limited “fluff” showcasing what you can do for an organization.

4.    Resumes are very important, but also don’t discount the power of social media and it’s impact on your career brand.  We are discovering that some decision makers on sites such as LinkedIn are viewing your profile BEFORE they ever see your resume.  So make sure your online branding is powerful, error-free and consistent to showcase your value, knowledge, skills and abilities.

From my experience, most HR professionals have stated that they spend about 30 seconds on an initial resume screening to determine if your resume will go into the “call back” or “send the letter” pile.   You may want to find a format that will allow your “filet mignon” to reside on the top half of your resume followed by your “ground beef” portions positions near the end.

Power Pushup Note to Readers:  There are some recruiters and talent professionals that look at the BOTTOM of your resume first.  So again I say, make sure your design is selling how AWESOME, EFFECTIVE and VALUABLE you are… so that no matter where they start reading, you will shine!

 

If you have a question for “The Career Engineer” send an email to francina@TCEnow.com .  Author of the book, A Mind to Work:  The Life and Career Planning Guide for People Who Want. Need to Work!   For more information on The Career Engineer, call 757-745-4TCE or visit our website at www.TCEnow.com .

Meet the Career Engineer

Never Fear!  The Career Engineer is ….HERE!  Check Us Out! 

Providing Career & Business Consulting Services for Employees, Employers and Entrepreneurs!

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