Virtual Job Fair: Keep that job, advance your career

February 10, 2012

Our virtual job fair was set up to get you answers to your questions.

Go to our Morning Show Facebook page to get caught up on the advice our guests gave while answering your questions throughout our morning newscasts.

See all the tips below from our guests this week. And watch the videos above for more advice given live on the air.

Friday: Tom Gimbel, of LaSalle Network: How to keep that job and advance your career

1. Work hard - This seems like a given, but is the most important step to advancing your career. Show that you can deliver results with every task and role you have. Strive to be the best person that has ever held your job, have a passion for your position and do more than is expected of you.

2. Develop yourself - To advance your career, you need to constantly improve yourself. Learn your strengths and your weaknesses and improve both. Don't just look to improve your weaknesses, but capitalize and grow your strengths as well. Develop talents that others in your department or company don't have. These will make you indispensable.

3. Schedule authentic face time - Whether your boss is in the office two days a month or 24 hours a day, you should make a proactive effort to schedule time with him or her. It's your responsibility, as an employee, to take charge of the relationship. Establishing one-on-one meetings to quickly check-in, gain clarification on an assignment or just to ask for feedback is a key step to getting ahead at work.

4. Find a mentor - A professional mentor can help guide you through your career by sharing his or her experiences and offering practical advice. Find a professional in your field whose career you'd like to emulate. It doesn't have to be someone who does your dream job; instead, focus on finding a person who demonstrates the character traits you'd like to hone in yourself.

5. Build your network - Getting involved in professional organizations - both through your employer and in the community - will help you advance your career by allowing others to get to know you and your work. Being well known and respected means it is your name that will come up when career opportunities arise.

6. Create a relationship with your manager - Every employee's main purpose is to make their boss's life easier, so work independently and anticipate your manager's needs before he or she asks about them. Connect with your manager on a personal level; ask about his or her passions outside of work, and find the opportunity to engage those interests in conversation. The extra effort and positive attitude you put into the relationship will not go unnoticed.

LaSalle Network
Chicago - Oak Brook - Arlington Heights
200 North LaSalle Street
Suite 2400
Chicago, IL 60601

Thursday: Nicole Duhoski, founding partner of Chicago-based social-media strategy and public relations firm VineSprout

TOP 10 TIPS on finding a job:

1.Spend more time upfront creating solid resources and thorough social media profiles. Then you can sit back and let Twitter, Google, recruiters and your online network do most of the work for you.

2.Build and develop a personal and professional online brand that reflects your skills, passions, experience, and personality. You don't have to hide your identity or your personality just because you are job searching. Being a real person online and having a strong and consistent presence across all networks helps recruiters get to know you, and sets you apart from a list of names and resumes.

3.Write your resume and LinkedIn profile for the job you want, not just the jobs you've had.

4.Network. Most jobs are found through networking and some of the best jobs are never posted on job boards.

5.Create a simple, concise, easy to understand, 30-second job pitch and memorize it. Include it in your Twitter bio, your LinkedIn profile, Facebook and any other social network that you are on. Be ready to use it in interviews and at in-person networking events.

6.This is not the time to be shy. Reach out to all friends, family and professional contacts and let everyone know that you are looking for a job. Send emails, LinkedIn messages, and facebook messages.

7.Provide your network with titles and descriptions and point them to your LinkedIn profile, or personal website with your resume. When people know exactly what you're looking for, they are more likely to help you and to refer you to their network.

8.Network as much as possible by attending in-person industry events, conferences and meetups. Volunteer to work registration and you'll have an opportunity to meet most of the attendees. Contact with them on LinkedIn or Facebook within 24 hours.

9.Be reachable. Make sure to include your personal contact information (email address, phone number and URLs for relevant social networks) on your resume, business cards and in your email signature. Make sure that your social profiles are current and update them regularly to reflect any changes.

10.Don't just look for jobs by searching openings that are posted online. Find the companies that you want to work for and reach out to the HR department or ask an inside connection to forward your resume to the hiring managers for a future opening, or perhaps a current opening that hasn't been posted to a public job board.

How to use social media tools in the job hunt

  • Like the companies you are interested in working for on Twitter.
  • Talk about your job search on Facebook.
  • Tell your friends what type of opportunities you are looking for and remind them often.
  • Search LinkedIn's jobs and find someone in your network or in a connection's network that will make an introduction to the hiring manager for you.
  • Optimize your LinkedIn profile to let recruiters find you. Think about the top three to four keywords that you use to search for jobs, and make sure that they are included in your profile.
  • Monitor how often your profile appears in searches and how many people are viewing your profile. Try changing your headline often to see what works best and what keywords attract more views.
  • Update your status and make changes and updates to your profile to stay current in the feeds of your connections. You can also link your Twitter account to show up in your feed.
  • Use LinkedIn 'Groups' and 'Answers' to network and demonstrate your expertise in your field.
  • Link to your online resume or your LinkedIn account in your Twitter bio.
  • Set up a saved search using keywords related to the jobs that you are applying to including location, job titles, and company names.
  • Use Twitter as a real time job board. Search hashtags such as #jobs, #job, #jobsearch, #jobseeker, #career.
  • Twitter gives you direct access to recruiters, CEOs, and people that have your dream job. Follow them and tweet them. Have conversations with the people and businesses that you have an interest in working for. Companies often have HR specific handles that are used to announce job openings.
    Google Alerts
  • Set up Google Alerts to help you monitor job leads that never appear on major job boards. Set up multiple search queries using keywords related to the jobs that you are applying to including location, job titles, and company names.
  • Set up a Google alert for your own name to monitor your personal brand

Wednesday: Mike Erwin, Careerbuilder


Do your research: Identify organizations that will view your experience and skills as relevant to their business equation.

Keep your professional skills current: One of the myths about older workers is that they are not as technologically savvy as the younger generations. If you are proficient with a computer, put that in your resume. List what software packages you can use. Consider taking a computer class to learn new programs or brush up on your skills. Continuing education is vital, no matter how old you are.

Network, network, network: Positions at upper levels are not as likely to be advertised, so networking is particularly important for the older professional in the job market. Seek out professional organizations, former colleagues and employees at companies you are interested in. Volunteering in your community or joining a board of a local organization can provide the opportunity to meet your peers and showcase your skills and abilities.

Focus on your accomplishments, not your age: You can turn around perceived hurdles regarding your age by demonstrating your vitality, experience and work ethic. Focus on your strengths. Position yourself as someone who can get the job done and who can bring a great deal to the table with your unique qualifications. Don't apologize for your age. Don't ever joke about it or assume that it is even an issue.

Chicago Hiring Outlook for 2012 Remains Cautiously Optimistic, CareerBuilder's Annual Job Forecast Finds

With a 9.6 unemployment rate hovering more than a point above the national average, can Chicago expect another year of cautious growth or will upward trending national numbers carry over to the area job market? Nearly one in five Chicago employers said they'll increase the number of full-time, permanent workers in 2012 - slightly below national expectations. However, nearly half (49 percent) of Chicago firms say they are in a better financial position than one year ago.

Full-time, Permanent Hiring

Eighteen percent of Chicago employers surveyed plan to hire full-time, permanent employees in 2012. Only five percent plan to reduce full-time headcount, which is two points below the national average. Sixty-one percent anticipate no changes.

Temporary and Contract Hiring

One-third of Chicago employers plan to hire contract and temporary workers this year, and 48 percent of those companies have plans to hire contract and temporary workers on a permanent basis - 13 percentage points above the national average.


Here are 10 tips for a successful job search in 2012:

1. Create a job-search strategy. Employers hate receiving applications from candidates who are not qualified for positions. So it's time to stop using the shotgun approach to your job search. You're wasting your time, and you're wasting the recruiter's time. Carefully read job postings and determine whether you could do most of the tasks required if you started tomorrow.

2. Define your goals. It can be challenging to stop and ask yourself, "What do I really want out of a job?" Answers as simple as a paycheck or benefits may be a reality, but the fact is that you do want more out of your job than just cash. Your career needs to satisfy you in more ways than just your pocketbook. By defining what you want out of a job and what you offer as a job seeker, you become better at applying for jobs that are aligned with your overall career goals.

3. Diversify your search. While employers still use sites like CareerBuilder, many are branching out in multiple ways to connect with job seekers. You should be readily available in each of those channels. Whether it's through social media or local networking events, use today's technology to further spread the message about your job search. Today's job search can be summed up in one word: hustle. The more you switch up your efforts, the more opportunities you'll come across and the more you will place yourself ahead of the pack.

4. Evaluate your skills and add more. Perhaps your skills aren't up-to-date with most of the jobs you are seeing in the market, or perhaps they are a little rusty. Brush up on your skills with online courses or community classes You could also consider going back to school full time. Government funding and other programs are available for out-of-work job seekers who want to enroll in training or continue their education to better position themselves in the current workforce.

5. Be unique. You already know that defining your goals and skills can help set you apart from the competition. When an employer asks, "Why should I hire you?" you will already have a list of your best qualities. As you come across jobs that you feel confident about, do something that will help you stand out and be memorable to the recruiter or human resources manager. Dig around, and before applying, find out the name of the hiring manager or someone who heads up the department the position is in, and contact him directly.

6. Listen. Searching for a job can be tedious, and you can get so focused that sometimes it's easy to forget to listen, research or monitor conversations. Pay attention to how employers are communicating about jobs via social media and through their websites and how you can speak to them in their own language. Connect with other job seekers or career experts, and see what methods you can adopt from their job-search strategies..

7. Set goals. The overall goal may be either get a job or get a new one, but when you break that big goal down into smaller goals, you set yourself up for more success and less frustration. When you only look toward that big goal, it can be disheartening when it takes a long time to achieve it. Choose monthly goals such as joining professional organizations or volunteering at a nonprofit that will allow you to flex and use your skills.

8. Prepare for anything. You can't always predict when you may get called for an in-person or phone interview, so you should always be ready. Go into an interview with at least five examples that demonstrate your best qualities. When they want examples of real-life successes or things you'd do differently, have them prepared.

9. Positive thinking can lead to positive results. Use your career search as a time to see every situation as a learning opportunity. Of course, every job hunt will have moments of frustration and hopelessness. But don't give up on yourself or on the belief that the right job is out there. Use the time to re-evaluate your career path, which could lead you to a more fulfilling career. A positive attitude is contagious, and the more positive you are, the more likely others will be to go out of their way to help you.

10. Stay balanced. Job searching can take a lot out of you. Create a schedule or routine for yourself, so you don't burn out. Make sure you get plenty of rest, talk to friends and family, stay active and allow yourself time to do things you enjoy.

Tuesday: Jodi Glickman, President and Founder,

First Impressions
Destination- what are you looking to do next? Look forward
Back Story-- then, tell me where you come from in a quick recap of your work / education experience. Start with most recent
Connect the Dots-- tell me why it makes perfect sense for you to make the jump from A to B (from marketing to journalism, e.g)

Creating a Resume
Focus on results / outcomes (not just activities)
Be able to speak to EVERYTHING on your resume (if you write it down, it's fair game)
Include volunteer work, special skills, travel, community service
Don't go all the way back to high school unless you don't have a college degree

Answering Challenging Questions
Don't lie-- always better to say "I don't know" (i.e. that's a great question, unfortunately I don't have the answer)
Take a moment to think / collect your thoughts
If you don't have an answer, think of a similar situation in which you tackled a problem, came up with a solution, etc.
If you draw a total blank-- ask to move on and offer to come back to the Q when you can think of something

TOP 10 Tips for Finding a Job
1. Talk to everyone you know!
2. Use destination, back story, connect the dots
3. Have a friend edit / proof your resume
4. Find a job buddy
5. Update your LinkedIn profile
6. Google yourself
7. Work in a coffee shop
8. Volunteer
9. Make connections for other people
10. Stay positive

Monday: John Challenger of Challenger, Gray, and Christmas is here to set the stage for the week with an overall look at the job picture and tell us which sectors are the hottest.

Late last week, Challenger, Gray, and Christmas said that employers planned to announce 53,486 jobs, the largest layoff total since September.

But numbers from the federal government Friday showed that 243,000 jobs were added last month and unemployment dropped to 8.3 percent.

Right now, Challenger says, health care and specialty manufacturing are two of the industries in demand

Challenger says 80 percent of jobs are most likely filled by referrals and recruiters. so find companies that fit your skills and go to them.

2012 Job Outlook from John Challenger

-Slow and steady - we think that employers will continue to add workers at a steady pace in 2012, but the monthly employment gains will not make much of a dent in the unemployment rate, which currently stands at 8.5 percent (as of December. January figures will come out Friday).

-Hiring IS happening - it's easy to look at jobs news and conclude that "no one" is hiring. However, nothing could be further from the truth. The latest survey of employers by the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that non-farm employers hired 4,149,000 new workers in November and there were still 2,819,000 job openings at the end of the month.

-Little government can do - As much as Congress fights about ways to spur job growth, whether its stimulus or tax cuts, there is little they can do. It comes down to demand, which is still soft due to continued weakness in the housing market.

Jobs in Demand
- Energy/Renewable energy
- Health care
- Technology
- Specialty manufacturing

How to kick off the job search

- Get out from behind the computer - Answering online help wanted ads should not be abandoned, but it should consume the least amount of time and energy. Do that at night.

- Uncover the hidden job market - Only a fraction of job openings are found in print or online job ads, maybe as little as 20 percent. The other 80 percent are hidden and will most likely be filled from employee referrals, recruiters, etc. Identify companies in your search area where your skills could be a fit and go to them with resume in hand, whether they are advertising openings or not.

- Network, network, network - Because the largest portion of the job market is hidden, finding a job often comes down to being in the right place at the right time AND knowing the right person. Start with people you know - family, friends, fellow religious worshippers, former work colleagues - but the ultimate goal is to start meeting with people you don't know, but who are in a good position to help your job search.

- Be aggressive - You never want to be a pest, but you have to be aggressive. No one ever found a job by sitting back and waiting for the phone to ring…especially in this market.

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