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Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Job Search Old and New

To find your next job, you goal is to meet the right people and convince them to hire you.

It’s just that simple.

Best part: There are more ways to meet hiring authorities today than ever before.

For example, want ads used to be found only in newspapers. Now they’re now online, too. And you can network your way into an employer using free Web sites like, a route to employment that was inconceivable 15 years ago.

But not every job-search idea is new. Sometimes old methods work just as well.

To illustrate, here are two ways to find a job: one is at least 71 years old, and the other, about 71 months...

1) Something Old: Create a Mastermind Group

The idea of a “mastermind” is found in the book, “Think and Grow Rich,” written by Napoleon Hill in 1937. It’s a brainstorming and problem-solving technique used by Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, Andrew Carnegie and others, to create some of history’s greatest inventions and biggest fortunes.

And it can help you find a new job, too.

Here’s how it works. A mastermind is a group of likeminded people who meet, once or twice a month for an hour or two, to discuss and solve each other’s problems.

You’ve heard the phrase, “Two heads are better than one.” Well, a mastermind group involves three, four or five heads. Each person has a few minutes to state their problem. In your case, yours is your job search. Then, the group offers suggestions in a free-for-all discussion. Your brainpower gets multiplied many times this way -- the insights, ideas and answers you’ll receive may astonish you.

Note: This does not mean you should join other unemployed folks in a local job club. Job clubs have their place, but they can sometimes turn into sob sessions. Instead, your mastermind should be made up of people who have jobs they enjoy. This way, their positive attitudes about work will rub off and encourage you.

Simply put, a mastermind, organized and led by you, will help solve your job-search problems. To learn more, Google these two words: Mastermind Hill.

2) Something New: Create a Blog

The word “blog” is short for “weblog,” defined as a frequent, chronological publication of personal thoughts and Web links. While blogs typically function as a kind of diary, they can also get you hired.

In fact, blogs are being called “the new resumes” by some employment experts. So it behooves you to learn more about this method of getting your name before hiring managers.

To get the facts, I spoke to Chris Russell, an author, blogging expert, and (naturally) creator of the blog,

“Blogs are a way to get found by potential employers online. Think of a blog as an extended version of your resume,” says Russell, who points out that anyone can create a blog using free Web-based tools, such as or

Blogging is especially useful if you’re looking for a job in IT or any field in which you must prove your communication skills.

What should go in your blog? “You can approach this a couple of ways. You could use it as an application for one job at one company -- write relevant things about the employer and then send a link to the hiring manager. Or, you can blog in a more general way, to position yourself as an expert in your field,” says Russell.

When blogging, aim to differentiate yourself from others. Let your personality and expertise shine through. But be smart. Don’t write negatively about past employers or include stories of how you got tear-gassed at last weekend’s keg party. “A blog posting is forever because there are sites that archive them,” says Russell.

Think of your blog as a new puppy, requiring plenty of care, nurturing -- and patience. “Post entries to your blog on a regular basis and understand that it takes time to build an audience,” advises Russell.

The best ways to promote your blog -- and get found by employers -- include participating in and linking to other blogs. Also, it pays to give out your blog address as you would a business card. Put it on your resume, and email it to friends, colleagues and others.

To learn more, and read blogging success stories that should motivate you, visit and

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