10 Critical Things To Do When Changing Jobs!

Before you move on……there are 10 Critical Things You Need to Do When Changing Jobs!

moving-up-16814834Congratulations are in order! You are on your way to a new job. Your great resume and  your strong interviewing skills paid off! Exciting times ahead!!

But before you turn in your office keys, however, there are few things to take care of first:

  1.  Jot down full contact information for whomever in your company’s HR department will be processing your exit. You may need to contact them after you have left to iron out any details concerning your 401(k) plan, your COBRA coverage for a bridge until new insurance kicks in, etc.
  2. Print out your address book entries if it is on your employer’s server or in the cloud via your employer’s network. Once you leave you will no longer have access to it. If possible import it into your personal email account and then delete the ones that are not of value.
  3. Forward to your personal email account any emails in your work email account that you want to save or be able to reference in the future. If there are emails that you can add to your “Brag Book” (see my blog post) be sure to do so. While you are at it…see if there is anyone in the organization that might write a letter of recommendation for you that you can include in your Brag Book. Be sure that it includes specifics vs generalities. Don’t overlook others outside of the organization that you might have dealt with – vendors, etc.
  4. Change the details in your LinkedIn profile so that contact info is your personal email and not your work email. Same for other social media.
  5. If you have used your work email address for any credit cards, frequent flyer accounts, etc. be sure to change them. Often that process requires verifications sent to the original email…and you can’t do that if you no longer have access!! Same for phone numbers if you had a company cell phone and used that number as contact info for credit cards, etc.
  6. Know what you are entitled to with regard to un-used vacation pay. Sick pay usually isn’t paid but vacation pay is. If you have receipts to put against a Flex Plan do so…and find out where to send them after you leave to clean out the balance left behind.
  7. Pack up your stuff …but only YOUR stuff!! If you have some of your employer’s stuff at home – bring it in and be sure someone vouches for its receipt.
  8. If there will be an exit interview think it through and prepare for it. If there are areas where improvement can be made and that won’t be overly critical of the organization or specific people – mention it. Don’t, however, blast people or policies that can’t be fixed or that you are critical of but others don’t seem to be. Remember….you will need the organization’s goodwill in the future for a reference.
  9. If you have an employment agreement, get a copy of it. If it includes prohibitions against certain practices once you have left – know what they are and observe them.
  10. Finally make the rounds. Thank all you have worked with for the opportunity to do so and let them know how to reach you if you can be of assistance to them in the future.

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For jobs and career opportunities in the Washington, DC metro area –  visit the NRI website. Many jobs are listed there …..and NRI Recruiters can find others for you!

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Getting a Job Offer – Social Media Job Seeking Tips!

Getting a Job Offer – Social Media Job Seeking Tips!

If you have one or more social media pages/profiles (LinkedInFacebook

The picture you DON'T want to be part of your job-seeking process!

The picture you DON’T want to be part of your job-seeking process!

Twitter – etc.) two very important pieces of advice from an expert….when it comes to getting a job offer.

1.    Review very carefully what you have posted and who else impacts what appears on your profile.

2.    Be sure they are all in sync AND match your resume – no inconsistencies.

Let’s review both.

First – take a close look with a critical eye as to what is there for a prospective employer to see. Many an employment opportunity has ended abruptly when a prospective employer’s recruiter/interviewer saw things on a social media site that concerned them sufficiently to conclude that the candidate would not be a good fit for the organization and hence no longer a viable candidate for the job.

After all, the person that screens and interviews for open positions is the “gate-keeper” and empowered to screen out those that are not a good fit in terms of organizational culture.

And don’t “friend” with those whose social media content is inappropriate in any way – it can adversely impact you!

Secondly – be sure your resume and LinkedIn profile “mirror” each other; you don’t want a prospective employer trying to reconcile inconsistencies between the two.

If you don’t have a LinkedIn account/profile – you need to create one posthaste… just be sure it mirrors your resume!

You can be sure that the process of reviewing your application will include a Google search of your name – you and only you can control what is found! Getting a job offer requires a little work on your end…

Here are some more great tips about how your social media can hurt your job search: http://socialmeep.com/5-social-media-mistakes-job-seekers-need-to-avoid/

These guidelines – and others – about how to get the job you want can be found in “The Ultimate Job-Seeker’s Guide”.

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For jobs in Washington, DC – visit the NRI website.

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Copyright © Robert Mulberger All Rights Reserved

Is a Cover Letter Really Necessary?

Yes it is… and I have seen good ones and bad ones. Let’s talk about why a great cover letter is necessary.

1. It anchors the resume; it provides the starting point to consider your resume.

cover letter2. There is a reason why college applications almost always ask for an essay; it provides a way to further evaluate a student. Same for the cover letter – it tells the recruiter “can this person write a brief, articulate and specific business letter”. With very rare exceptions, the ability to communicate in words – to present “word pictures” is important – and your cover letter needs to do just that.

3. If the cover letter properly “mirrors” the exact words and phrases called for in the ad or job requirement – those words and phrases will jump off the page and the recruiter will say to themselves “I may have hit the mother lode on this  one”!

So with it now established that Yes – you do need a cover letter, let’s see what an effective one looks like.

1. First of all – it is reader friendly. One page max – lots of white space. Black ink on white paper. Nice quality paper – 24 lb. ideal (NOT copy machine paper!).  On personal letterhead. If you don’t have personal letterhead – create it in MSWord – and save it as a template. When you need to write a cover letter, open the template – save it as “cover letter – XYZ corp – date” and then write the cover letter.

2.  Have an opening sentence that is to the point – mildly creative – but not overkill. Don’t start off with “I am the superstar you are looking for” or “I’m a one-of-a-kind take charge person”. Too “over the top”! Since you know the job title – the opening sentence might be “I am very interested  in your open position  of staff accountant; I am confident my background and experience will be of interest to you.”

3. The next portion of your cover letter will be literally lifted from your resume. The very first content of your resume should be a “Summary of Experience and Accomplishments”. Let’s assume the following is that section of your resume:

 Summary of Experience and Accomplishments – 12 years of accounting experience, including 5 years of Public Accounting. Account management responsibility for several SEC-reporting clients. Supervise audit teams. Specialize in trade association accounting  procedures and software, including unique tax and foundation issues. Featured speaker at trade association CFO seminars.

The content of your cover letter might look like:

As can be seen on my enclosed resume, I have significant accounting and audit experience with ever increasing responsibilities  including account management for several SEC-reporting  clients. I am particularly proud of leading my audit team to consistently completing our work ahead of target dates.

I have also been part of several successful client development efforts, and I found that to be both very rewarding and fun.

The cover letter goes on to include:

One of my career goals has been to work for a firm such as yours, and I am confident I can make a significant contribution from day one.

I am available for interview immediately.  I will call you in several days to see if it is possible to arrange for a time for a personal interview.

Thank you for your attention.

Sincerely,

<signature>

4. Address the cover letter to a specific person if at all possible. In many cases, the person’s name will probably be included in the ad. If it is not, do a Google search and get the name of the director of HR or of the department head for the position (VP of sales for a sales position, VP of finance for an accounting position, etc.).

5. Proofread you letter very, very carefully! Read it aloud to be sure it makes sense and you haven’t forgotten a word, have the wrong tense, etc.

After following these guidelines – you will have a powerful cover letter to pave the way for the recipient to review your resume!

Here is an example of a good cover letter:

(Please excuse the double spacing in the letterhead text as well as the address – this would not be the case in the letter itself – but WordPress won’t let me single space it!):

Susan T. Someone, CPA

1234 King Street, Alexandria, VA 22314

(703) 123-4567 (Home)     (703) 987-6543 (Cell)

susancpa888@gmail.com

Mr. William J Harris                                                              Date

Managing Partner

XYZ National Accounting Firm

1633 M Street, NW Suite 900

Washington, DC 20006

Dear Mr. Harris:

I am writing in regard to your published position for Senior Auditor on your website.

As can be seen on my enclosed resume, I have significant accounting and audit experience with ever increasing responsibilities, included account management for several SEC-reporting clients. I am particularly proud of leading my audit team to consistently completing our work ahead of target dates.

I have also been part of several successful client development efforts, and I found that to be both very rewarding and fun.

One of my career goals has been to work for a firm such as yours, and I am confident I can make a significant contribution from day one.

I am available for interview immediately.  I will call you in several days to see if it is possible to arrange for a time for a personal interview.

Thank you for your attention.

Sincerely,

<signature>

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How to Position Myself to Achieve Optimal Interest from Prospective Employers?

I received an email from a job-seeker referred to me as a result of one of my university alumni webinars.

The email asked the question “…how to position myself to achieve optimal interest from potential employers?…and asked about the value of a career coach.

My response was:

The answer lies in the fact that qualifications and experience speak for themselves when properly packaged.

For example a degreed accountant who is currently a controller will respond differently (with regard to resume, cover letter and marketing effort) when applying for another controller position vs an accounting manager position. The first will stress hands-on accounting skills and knowledge; the second will stress management, problem-solving and leadership skills and knowledge.

So first define what  it is you are specifically seeking – and it can be more than one career target. For each career target – fashion a resume, cover letter and marketing plan that speaks to what an employer would want. For example – a firm seeking a tax attorney will want to know how current the knowledge base is, how recent the relevant experience is, etc. You have a number of career paths already somewhat in place but you need different versions of your resume and cover letter to focus on them individually.

As you define career targets… think to where the opportunity lies …go after the “low-hanging fruit” (the positions and career targets that are on the upswing vs those that are not). For example any positions in print journalism are not career targets that makes sense at this time. Research the possibilities for your selected career targets.

So my advice to you is:

  1. Read my book . If you don’t think it has value – let me know and I will refund your money.
  2. Come up with several career targets based upon your personal ambitions coupled with your experience and apply a dose of reality to them based on trends and your research.
  3. Fire up your network and once you have resumes and cover letters in order – follow the advice in Chapter 9 – “Uncovering The Hidden Job Market”.
  4. If you feel a career coach might be of value – sound out the following two individuals – and see if what they offer has value for you. I recommend both  – feel free to  use my name as an introduction.

Angelo Agrafiotis – 973.283.8161 – apagrafiotis@aimlifecoaching.com – www.aimlifecoaching.com Angelo is in New Jersey.

Marshall Brown – 202.518.5811 – marshall@mbrownassociates.com – www.mbrownassociates.com

Marshall is in DC.

Good luck and let me know how it is proceeding!

Robb Mulberger

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Does your Resume “Mirror”?

Don’t Let your Resume Do You In!

The process of screening resumes more and more is being done by scanners looking for specific descriptive words and phrases detailing specific areas of expertise and/or experience. The odds are that this is certainly true for many large organizations and sample resumemany of those that ask you to submit your resume via a web portal.

What does this mean for you?

It means that you need to write your resume to include the EXACT words and descriptive phrases that are found in the job listing or ad. As noted in Chapter 7 (Your Resume: The Key to Your Next Job – Better Get it Right!), every resume submitted needs to be custom written to present your credentials truthfully yet be in sync with what the organization is seeking. It needs to be as perfect a match as can be… word – wise. You may be 100% qualified for the job in question but never make the cut to get that telephone call if the resume screening process includes looking for key words or phrases that are not in your resume!

Website designers know that for a website to be included in the results of a particular internet search, the website in question must contain key words appropriate to the search.

For example, the NRI Staffing Resources’ website includes all of the possible job titles and skill sets appropriate to NRI’s four areas of specialization (accounting/finance, legal, healthcare, office admin/clerical). This tactic increases the chances of an internet search for a job in any of these four areas will bring up the NRI website.

The same principle applies to your resume; rather than trying to get a hit on a search engine, you want a hit on a scanner looking for certain key words and phrases! So it is absolutely necessary that the EXACT words and phrases that detail the desired credentials of the candidate to be hired… be in your resume! Your resume needs to “mirror” the job listing or ad!

What if you are conducting a campaign rather than replying to a specific ad or job posting? Do a search to find an previous ad or job posting for the position you are seeking and include those key words and phrases. If you can’t find an appropriate ad, look to the organization’s mission statement for any descriptive words or phrases that detail the organization’s values, etc. The point is if your resume is to be screened via a scanner, you really need to have the right words and phrases within it. So – think creatively!

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