The Help Files’ Winter Special: Job Hunting Tips & Tricks

photo credit: Angela Penny on

Image by Angela Penny on, no changes, License

For those of us in the northern hemisphere, here in America, December churns on. Frost is on the ground (when my alarm rings at 4:00 AM, it sure is!), the last Dreidel has been spun, and Christmas decorations are everywhere. Santa Claus is on his way and who knows, he might just bring you a new job.

If jolly old Saint NIck craps out in the job department, however, you’ll have to get one yourself. Landing a new job is still tough, but not quite as brutal as it was during the last recession, not if you know the ropes.

And the ropes have changed quite a bit over the years. Job hunting isn’t the same as it was 10 years ago. It sure has changed a freaking ton since I first looked around for jobs in 1983, when I was “paroled” from college. Good-bye, local newspaper. Hello, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and Pinterest. (Yes, Pinterest, but that’s a topic for a later column!)

For now, let’s get things rolling with The Help Files for December 2015. We have plenty of tips and tricks to help you land a new job this winter.

Get Any Job You Want

If you know what you want in a job, go get it, so says Bill Carmody in a post for According to Carmody, “When you have tried in earnest to follow the conventional wisdom and it’s gotten you nowhere, it’s time to pivot and change strategies.” Read on for more information.

How Job Hunting Has Changed In the Last Decade

Only a few years ago, you could assume a seasoned HR representative would be carefully reading your very carefully crafted resume. That was then. This is now. Because companies shed staff like crazy during the Great Recession, your resume might be skimmed, for all of 30 seconds, by someone young enough to be your son or daughter. And they might not have any HR training at all, and even less interest. The harried temp answering phones might be glancing at your resume while they are trying to gulp lunch before the boss strolls by. Here’s how to make the best of your 30-second audition.

Out of Work? Here’s Why Your Career Isn’t Over

The job market is a lot better than it was a few short years ago, but if you got laid off just before the holidays, it is still a miserable thing to have happen to you. Pick yourself up, wipe your nose, and follow me. All is far from lost. Even though you feel really sad right now, Donna Fuscaldo has some tips to help get you working again, especially if you’re over 50.

How to Get the Job When You’re Overqualified

We’ve all been here. First, you’re underqualified because you’re a recent graduate and you’re looking for your first job. Then, after you have a few years of experience under your belt and you feel great, suddenly you’re “OVERQUALIFIED.” Yeah, right! That’s code for, “We don’t want to pay you what you’re worth,” or maybe, “You’re going to be get bored fast and leave in a month.” Perhaps. Before you throw in the towel when the hiring manager declares you overqualified, read Sarah K. White’s piece to help you land that job.

The 9 Articles You Need to Read if Your Job Search Is Dragging On and On

Maybe you were hoping to read a few job ads, submit a handful of resumes, and get the whole job thing over quickly. Not so fast. That worked fine — in 1975. For better or worse, this is 2015, and things are getting more complex very quickly. If your job hunt is taking longer than you hoped, or is dragging on just a bit too long, then read Lily Herman’s piece for The Muse about how to handle the situation.

2016 Resume Tips

Let’s say you’re lucky enough to have a job. Maybe you’ve had it for a few years or more, and you’ve got it knocked. Your duties are under control and perhaps you’re feeling restless and want to try your luck at another company. Before you start looking around, take a critical look at your resume, especially you haven’t updated it for a few years. The great resume that landed an interview for you in 2000 may not cut it today. To find out what you need to know about resumes for 2016, read Jessica H. Hernandez’s post on LinkedIn. She will tell you how to make the most of the mere seconds your resume has to make an impression.

Why the Holidays are Ideal for Launching a Job Search

You’re hard at work where you’re supposed to be, in your chair, at your desk, in your cube. You notice that your cubicle neighbors to either side have taken vacation for the holidays. Even your boss is out this week. You’ve been thinking of looking for another job, but why bother with Christmas creeping closer? If the slew of Out Of Office email messages you’re getting is any clue, everyone is taking time off now. Why bother even trying right now? Head over to Grammar Chic, Inc. They have good reasons for you to persevere in your job search during the holidays.

Should You Suspend Your Job Search Over the Holidays?

In a double-shot from Grammar Chic, Inc., they offer reasons and tips to help motivate you to keep your job hunt alive over the holiday season. For example, networking at parties. Be classy about it (Read: NOT pushy) and you’ll be fine.

We took a real resume from a laid-off tech worker and turned it into something fantastic

You got the axe. It happens all the time. Now you’re officially job hunting. You might be a whiz at information technology, but not so great at communicating your skills and talents on a sheet of paper. Head over to Julie Bort’s post on The Business Insider. This piece describes how a startup named “Enhancecv” fixed up someone’s resume, taking it from drab to fab. Read the article and judge for you yourself. If you don’t know any resume writers, maybe you should give these guys a call.

4 Ways to Make Sure Your Resume Is Selling You as the One for the Job

While the job market is on the upswing, things are getting more competitive than ever. You don’t want your resume to sit quietly on the hiring manager’s desk and ask politely to be seen. You need your resume to scream that you’re the best applicant for the job, “Quick, hire me now before someone else does!” Problem is, are you sure that your resume is selling YOU as the best and only candidate for the job? Your resume needs to be your best sales tool ever. Check out Katie Douthwaite Wolf’s piece for The Muse. She lays out what you need to do in four steps.

She talks about tailoring your resume and using bullets, and that’s just in the introductory paragraph!

This Free Tool Will Transform Your Ugly-Duckling Resume Into a Swan

Most of us use Word for everyday tasks, but creating a resume? Building a resume in Word gives you a headache and makes you want to tear your hair out, doesn’t it? That’s how I feel anyway. Well, here’s a new free tool to check out. Yes, *free.* Read Kat Moon’s piece for The Muse where she reviews “” (pronounced “I need a resume”). She also tells you the best way to use it. If you need a resume revamp, but, like most of us, you’re short on money and time, then take this tool for a spin around the block.

Have some tips or tools to share with your fellow technical communicators, information developers, and content creators? Let’s network! Drop me a note: Follow me on Twitter, connect with me on LinkedIn, circle me on Google+, or email me at I enjoy connecting with others in the industry.

Category: The Help FIles

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