On The Job Trail
A Minnetonka executive recruiter gives tips for job seekers.
The Twin Cities metro area added almost 10,000 new jobs last month- that's the strongest gain in more than five years. Statewide, the strongest gains were made in education and health services as well as leisure and hospitality. The construction, government and financial services industries have lost jobs— all this according to Minnesota's Department of Employment and Economic Development. Many area residents are in the job market so Minnetonka Patch sat down with Julie Yedoni-Melbye to talk job hunting strategies. Yedoni-Melbye is an executive recruiter at Minnetonka's McKinley Group.
Minnetonka Patch: What is the jobs outlook here in Minnetonka?
Julie Yedoni-Melby: Cautiously guarded. As things are moving positively in all industries, there are opportunities. We're seeing jobs pick up from where they were at a year ago. At McKinley, job orders have increased 200 to 300 percent over the past year. Now we are seeing jobs that are being filled, and a lot more interviews are happening. The jobs outlook is still worse than it was three years ago, so job seekers need to be diligent.
Minnetonka Patch: What is your number one tip for job seekers?
Yedoni-Melby: Network. 80 percent of people find jobs networking, so 80 percent of your time should be spent networking. Job hunters typically search online and forget to go outside of their home. Online job hunting alone will lengthen your search. Having a strong resume, a positive attitude and being well prepared for an interview are also keys.
Minnetonka Patch: If you could tell people looking for jobs one thing not to do, what would it be?
Yedoni-Melby: When in a networking meeting, do not ask, "Who do you know that has jobs?" Your question should be, "Who do you know that I should network with?"
Minnetonka Patch: What preparation do you suggest for interviewing?
Yedoni-Melby: To prepare for interviewing, use the STAR method (situation, task, action-personal, result-measurable). Be able to describe a past work situation, the task that needed to be achieved, what personal action you took to address the need, and a measurable, positive outcome which you contributed to or accomplished. The best indicator of future success is past success, so come in with a story from your history that will catch the hiring official's attention. We recommend that job seekers write out their STAR story (keeping it short, no more than three minutes in length) and practice telling it to someone.
Minnetonka Patch: What do people forget to do that keeps them from finding jobs?
Yedoni-Melby: You have to get out there and actively advocate for yourself. The odds of finding a job by looking online are greatly reduced because there are so many job seekers out there. I recently heard a talk in which the Vice President of HR at United Health Group said that, for every one of their posted external job announcements, their average number of applicants is 700.
You don't have to go through your job search alone. Use job transition and networking groups that are out there to help. Networking occurs in these groups, but as important, you meet with other people going through the same thing, providing inspiration. These groups are not a pity party.
Minnetonka Patch: Could you illustrate successful networking with an actual example?
Yedoni-Melby: Having learned about a job at a desirable company, a man we worked with networked into this company utilizing LinkedIn.com, but learned the job had already been filled. We encouraged him to call his networking contact again, acknowledging that the job had been filled and asking, "Is there someone else I should network with?" He wound up contacting six people within this company. The sixth person told him of another job about to open up, and he landed the job.
He succeeded in opening up the "Hidden Job Market," obtaining a job that was never posted online externally. So instead of being one of 700, he became one of two or three candidates.
Minnetonka Patch: What steps help job seekers stand out positively from the pack?
Yedoni-Melby: Network into the hiring manager. Find somebody in your network who works at your target company. LinkedIn.com is an important part of a networking strategy.
A Safety Engineer I coached looked at St. Jude, and connected with somebody for a networking meeting within St Jude's safety department. People want to help job seekers, but just don't know how to help. They won't mind a 15 or 20 minute networking meeting if you come prepared.
Julie Yedoni-Melby's best resources for Minnetonka job seekers:
- Jewish Family and Children's Services is a Minnetonka-based nonprofit serving the job-seeking public in western Hennepin County suburbs. Employment services here are available by appointment. To schedule an appointment please call 952-591-0041. The service is offered on a sliding-scale fee, or is free if guidelines are met.
- LinkedIn is an online professional career networking
- Second Annual Crossroads Career Christmas Party is being held on Dec. 14 from 7 p.m. – 9 p.m at Grace Church in Eden Prairie, Minn.
- Two area locations for networking groups, open to the public are:
- Crossroads Career Network
- Wooddale Church Job Transition Group