Job Search Tips

When it comes to Job Search, we've been there, done that, now serving 41 tips in 11 categories ranging from Best Companies to Work For to The Unexpected Job Search.

Don't accept advice unquestioningly!

Chances are, everyone you know is going to have advice on what companies you should be looking at, industries you should be targeting, and people you should be talking with regarding your job search. Remember that each person has his or her own perspective shaped by a unique set of experiences. The value systems and perspectives of others may or may not correspond to your own.

ASK a lot of questions. LISTEN to the responses of others. Then proactively RESEARCH and EVALUATE the information you've gathered. Try to get a variety of insights from those within your field of choice. Attempt to make contact with a diverse group of people within an industry or organization to understand the "big picture."


General Mills

How does cross-country skiing over lunch sound? This is just one of the many unique opportunities that employees of General Mills have had at their headquarters in Minneapolis, Minnesota, as part of the company’s Fun Fitness Friday series. General Mills also provides a wide range of other on-site resources and flexibility options to help employees balance busy work and family lives. On-site perks include a grocery store, infant care center, full-service credit union, dry-cleaning, and a hair and nail salon.
Additionally, a 2007 company survey found that over 80% of General Mills employees volunteer either independently or company programs.
About General Mills

One of the world's leading food companies, General Mills operates in over 100 countries and markets more than 100 consumer brands, including Cheerios, Pillsbury, and Cascadian Farm. 2008 annual net sales came in at approximately $13.4 billion.
General Mills has made appearances on…
· Black Enterprise Magazine’s 2008 “40 Best Companies for Diversity” (July 2008 Issue)
· Working Mother Magazine’s “2009 Best Companies for Multicultural Women” (View their listing here)
· The 2009 editions of Fortune Magazine’s annual list of “100 Best Places to Work For” and their “50 Most Admired Companies
· DiversityInc Magazine’s “Top 50 Companies for Diversity” (2009 edition)
Black Enterprise Magazine Methodology: To select the top 40, Black Enterprise magazine surveyed CEOs and diversity executives of the top-grossing 1,000 publicly traded companies and the 50 leading global companies with significant U.S. operations. The survey focused on participation of African-Americans and other ethnic minority groups in four key areas: supplier diversity, senior management, board involvement and employee base.
Working Mother Magazine Methodology: To be considered for the Best Companies for Multicultural Women recognition, each company applied and supplied Working Mother with key data points. For the 2009 list, the most weight was given to questions involving representation, training, development and advancement of multicultural women. DFD Consulting, an independent survey research firm in Maplewood, N.J., tabulated the scores.
Fortune Magazine Methodology: To pick the “100 Best Companies to Work For,” FORTUNE works with Robert Levering and Milton Moskowitz of the Great Place to Work® Institute—a global research and consulting firm with offices in 30 countries—to conduct the most extensive employee survey in corporate America. For the “50 Most Admired Companies” - To create the 64 industry lists, executives, directors, and analysts were asked to rate companies in their own industry on nine criteria, including innovation, people management, use of corporate assets, social responsibility, quality of management, financial soundness, long-term investment, quality of products/services, and global competitiveness.
DiversityInc Magazine Methodology: DiversityInc, which operates both a Web site and a monthly business magazine, calculates the annual list from a survey of 200 questions measuring four components: CEO commitment, human capital, corporate and organizational communications, and supplier diversity. A total of 401 companies, up 14 percent from last year, vied for the honor this year, underscoring the increasing emphasis on diversity management among progressive companies.


Outlook for 2009-2010

The International Labour Organization predicts that 20 million jobs will disappear in 2009, mostly in the industries of construction, real estate, financial services, and the automotive sector. Reviewing data from previous recessions over the last three decades, we've seen that some industries have fared troubling times better than others. In general, these are: Healthcare, Education, Food and Beverage, Legal, Accounting, and Personal Care.

Career Expert Laurence Shatkin published a book in 2008 titled 150 Best Recession Proof Jobs. Shatkin developed a pool of 180 occupations that are resistant to economic downturn and then sorted them according to their economic rewards (defined as income, job opportunities, and job growth). Mr. Shatkin's website is tremendously helpful. Visit it today to gain a wealth of information to arm you in your job search.


Salary Negotiation from A to Z

First, Prepare your Case

Base it on facts which may include some or all of the below items:

  • Your Past Salary History

  • Another salary offer you've received (Be prepared to show proof)

  • Expenses to be incurred due to change in cost of living, relocation expenses, etc.

  • Current factual data from salary survies

  • Your own background and qualifications (be sure to mention unique certifications, training, etc.)

Second, Present your Case

Practice doing this aloud before your interaction with a potential employer. You don't want to stumble with your words or come across as anything but confident.

Remember to...

  • Approach your employer diplomatically, asking them if salary is open to negotiation

  • Convey to the employer that you are truly interested in the job; you're not just salary-shopping

  • Be prepared for the employer to convey the salary is not open to negotiation

Third, Close your Case

Be sure to...

  • Summarize your main points

  • Reiterate how you are going to be an asset to the organization, by increasing revenue, streamlining procedures, increasing publicity, landing grants or additional funding, etc.

  • Remember that in addition to salary, many other things may be open to negotiation, such as start date, relocation expenses being reimbursed, vacation days, administrative assistance, options for benefit plans, and geographic location


Researching Salaries Online

If you haven't yet been to then you've been missing out on some great information! Whether you are just getting started in your job search or about to prepare for your interview, try using their Salary Wizard to get a ballpark idea of common salaries based on job title and zip code.

Another site to try is Career Builder's where you can find national averages and also locally based information. In the art of salary negotiation, information equals power! Arm yourself with accurate salary information for your preferred position, industry, and location before you begin the interview process.


Reading Recommendations from Quintessential Careers

Quintessential Careers has over 4,000 pages of free online content and an extensive "Career Toolkit"

If you visit you'll get to their Reading Recommendations. It's a GREAT list and quite extensive. Recently they feature "I'm on LinkedIn - Now What??? A Guide to Getting the Most out of LinkedIn" by Jason Alba.

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Guru Spotlight
Kristle Jones