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How In-Experienced Workers can Find Summer Jobs

May 23rd, 2011

The economy sucks right now. We all know that. But what many people haven’t anticipated is the lasting effect that the economic downturn has had on seasonal jobs and their most common employees, students and in-experienced workers.

If you want to find a summer job, it’s time to gear up for a challenging, but fulfilling job search. You aren’t too late to find one but you should expect it to be a little bit difficult if you haven’t found a position yet.  You will have to be more creative when searching for a position by using a variety of job sites to search for jobs, and it may even require pounding a little pavement and carting your resume around to a few places before you find a good fit.

There is nothing wrong with working at the local ice cream parlor. In fact, having any job is better than none at all. But a summer job can be more than just something to do. It can be a good stepping stone to a career by either putting you in an industry that you may want to stay in, or by teaching you valuable life lessons that you can’t get elsewhere.

Good seasonal jobs can often be found around the community. Some examples are:

  1. The City/State- oftentimes summer employees are needed in the parks departments and sanitation departments to balance the effects of increased tourism. Can be referred to as a character and strength builder on resumes.
  2. Parks, Resorts, Camps and Hotels- just like with Cities and States, hotels and other tourism hotspots usually need summer employees like lifeguards, extra wait-staff in the dining facilities, and counselors/participants to help guide children through daily activities. Great for people looking for hospitality, sales, or customer service careers.
  3. Nursing Homes/Healthcare Facilities- more often than not, these types of facilities are short on staff. This can be a good place to learn valuable people skills and can be a great job for teens or students who are looking to have a career in the medical profession

It’s certainly not impossible to make a summer job both fun and rewarding for the future. There are plenty of great ways to make summer jobs both valuable and an adventure.

Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/paalia/2600793709/

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How To Update your Resume before Starting your Sales Career

May 18th, 2011

There’s no need to panic if you have never written a resume, or you haven’t edited yours in a long time. This happens to most of us from time to time, and thankfully resumes are always easy to fix. Here are a few ways you can avoid an unprofessional looking resume.

Create/Edit the Format

It’s not hard to find templates dedicated to the standard resume format (see the “Circles Template). You should follow this template fairly strictly (at least in the beginning) as far as the following points are concerned:

  • Indentation
  • Spacing
  • Grammar
  • Bullet point construction
  • and parallel construction (similar structure of words and phrases)

You do not have to follow it word for word in your phrasing though. If you want to turn the Achievements/Involvements section (see below) into a section, say, to a list of all the short stories you have published that is your prerogative.

Don’t stick to one format for every employer. Change the information so only the most salient experience is on it. Experiment with it. Make it the best it can be. Just be sure to put all the salient information into the resume that is required for a particular job description.

Write/Edit the Text

Forget all the fancy stuff for a while. The first thing you should do is either write or edit the text. A standard resume should not exceed two pages (although most often every resume can be done on one page). It should have five to seven relevant sections that list all, or most, of your work experience:

  • Heading- gives your name and contact information.
  • Education- tells the employer what grade level you have achieved, where you went to school, and relevant class work you completed if it directly applies to the job.
  • Technical Information- tells the employer what computer programs you are capable of using.
  • Related experience- experience directly related to the job you are applying for
  • Other work experience- only relevant if you have jobs that aren’t directly related to the job you are applying for.
  • Achievements/Involvements- this is where you list other certifications and activities that aren’t directly related but that you still consider important to who you are as an employee. i.e. Licenses, Certificates, Clubs, Teams, etc.

Remember to write everything in lists. Stay to the point. If you find yourself writing sentences about the tasks you were assigned at a given job, then you have written too much. An easy way to keep from doing this is by focusing on action verbs and using very few adjectives and adverbs afterward. The following is an example:

Blog Editor and Writer: example.com

Nowhere, TX

  • Researched copy for blog posts
  • Drafted and edited copy for online blog
  • Optimized blog posts for search engines
  • Brainstormed, shot, and edited videos for the blog

And don’t forget to edit: for content, grammar, and typographical mistakes.

Play with Color

The resumes that standout most these days are the ones that use color or graphic design in a pleasing way. Don’t be afraid to experiment with a bit of color.

There are a lot of good blogs and resources full of resume tips out there if you still need help. There’s also no shame in hiring someone to help you craft an industry specific template for you to work with when you are trying to start your sales career.


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10 Interview Tips to help you land the Best Sales Jobs

May 12th, 2011

Interviews can be nerve-wracking for most of us. Not only are you trying to sell yourself to a potential employer, but you are also trying to demonstrate that you understand what the company is about.

Making a good impression is relatively easy. While there are at least 88 good tips to help you ace your interview, I have whittled the list down to 10 key tips to help you land your ideal sales job.

  1. Be prepared, mentally. Know what not to do in an interview. This will keep you focused and prepared while the interviewer is asking questions
  2. Be prepared, physically. Do any research about the company ahead of time. Have a copy of your resume and portfolio available to leave with the interviewer if necessary.
  3. Maintain eye contact. Look the interviewer in the eye without staring, and don’t look away or down at the table. Give them a genuine smile to let them know that you are at ease in your surroundings.
  4. Be succinct. Don’t tell them your life story, but also give a bit of detail instead of just “yes” and “no”.
  5. Nod. But don’t make it too dramatic. It shows you are attentive and amenable to being managed. Women are more likely to nod than men, so men should practice more.
  6. Ask for clarification. Whenever you don’t understand something ask for clarification.
  7. Ask questions. Ask about the culture at the company and any general questions that an interviewer has not mentioned. Remember you need to be as comfortable with them as they are with you.
  8. Watch facial queues. Even dream jobs have uninteresting tasks that must get done. Don’t wrinkle your nose at a list of tasks that may seem boring or difficult.
  9. Ask about your position. You could be interviewed for multiple positions, despite what the job description you applied for indicated. Ask what positions you’re being considered for.
  10. Ask about your team. Ask how many people you’d be working with and what they do.

Always know what questions are likely to be asked in the interview. The best job interviews occur when you are relaxed, so before the interview stretch your arms and legs and take a couple of good deep breaths. Be confident that you are prepared and you should have no problem landing one of the best sales jobs.

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4 Quick Tips to Get You the Sales Career You Desire

May 10th, 2011

Cool Blog Sociale - 10 July 2008 - I Heart Job Offers Resume T-shirt by BlackBirdTees A

With the job market flooded with professionals, it can be hard to gain an edge when trying to jumpstart your sales career. It can be stressful and confusing for new job seekers and seasoned veterans alike.

With an average of five people competing for every job opening, trying to start your sales career can seem pretty daunting. This is even truer when you take into account how many articles and blog posts about what tips to use when looking for a sales position are published daily.

The best thing to do when you’re a little stressed is to follow your instincts. But, if your instincts are a little rusty, following these 4 tips will help give you back your edge when starting (or re-starting) your sales career.

1. Tailor your Resume

You should tailor your resume specifically for every job you apply to. Each resume and cover letter should be different in some way from the one you sent before. That way your information stays fresh and you are constantly evaluating what your best qualities are. This boosts self esteem, and makes you more prepared in spur of the moment interviews.

Also it helps to remember these tips when tailoring your resume:

  • Don’t use an “Objective” statement- regardless of what people say this turns out to be redundant.
  • Edit closely- spelling and grammar errors will set your resume apart from the rest, and not in a good way.
  • Write how you speak- don’t use “legalese” or “corporatespeak.” Filling your resume with overly complicated language is unnecessary and it will ultimately irritate the reader.

Editing can be difficult, so read a technical writing textbook when applying for sales job positions. They are best for learning how to tailor documents for specific purposes and edit text closely.

2. Use your Contacts

If you have connected with someone high in the chain of command of a particular company, either by meeting them at a corporate function or networking with them on social media sites like Linked In, then use their standing to your advantage when applying for a position.

If you cannot submit your application and resume directly to them, let them know that you have applied for the position and ask if they would be comfortable recommending you.

3.  Apply to More than one Position

Applying for one sales job at a time will almost ensure that you are looking for jobs a lot longer than you may desire.

Applying for 3 jobs a week ensures that your resume is going to be seen at least once every other week which will shorten the time spent searching professional sites for sales careers.

It still might take a while to get a job, but the professional sites can help you keep track of which jobs you have applied for. The effort will pay off in the end.

4. Call Back

Many people are afraid of calling to check on the resumes they have sent. They sometimes feel it makes them seem too desperate or eager for a job. The thing to remember is that job searching is not like dating. You can never seem too desperate or eager.

A good rule of thumb is to wait three days for a company to contact you after sending them your information. If they have not called you buy then, try to get someone on the phone to make sure everything got there on time and to see whether or not the position has been filled.

Don’t be afraid that by asking the right questions and being enthusiastic that you will sabotage your job search. Using these tips and avoiding bad manners will help you start your sales career in no time.

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Sales and Marketing Jobs: How to Successfully find Marketing and Sales Jobs Online

May 5th, 2011

To those who spend a great majority of their time online, it is no secret that social media websites grow more popular daily. But there are many who don’t know that employers and recruiters are beginning to rely on social media to find employees.

Today, using social media to find sales and marketing jobs online is critical. Why? Because sales and marketing employers often use the tools they have at hand to search for employees.

Which Social Media Platforms to Focus On

Having a blog is a great first step to using social media. A blog lets employers know who you are and why you are qualified to work in a particular position.

Since sales and marketing work is done using websites like Facebook, Twitter, and Linked In, then it is helpful to use these social media websites to search for sales and marketing jobs.

Using Social Media Successfully

Sales and marketing employees use social media to drive online traffic toward a particular website or product. Job hunters can do the exact same thing. The only difference is, in the second case the job seeker (you) is the product.

Setting up a blog allows you to become both visible and transparent to employers. It allows them to see why you are qualified. You can use a blog to highlight job skills, illustrate past experiences, show your best work, and also let the employee know that you are willing to help others by offering industry related advice through blog posts.

Then you can use Facebook, Twitter, and Linked In to perform simple searches for recruiters and employers, as well as to see what they look for in employees. Using these sites will help you determine which companies fit your needs, and which employers are looking for your particular skill set.

Social media sites also let you link yourself in such a way that employers can easily access all of your information. For example, you can link your blog to your Twitter and Linked In profiles so that, when you build a network of like-minded, helpful individuals, you can immediately show them all of your relevant qualifications.

Social media allows sales and marketing job seekers to use the benefits of social media sites to their advantage.

By having a large number of connections, you have more choices from which to develop more meaningful connections. Networking from then on becomes easier, and soon enough you will have successfully used social media to find a job.


Links used within the piece (in order):

http://blog.resumebear.com/changing-careers/5-reasons-why-social-media-must-be-part-of-your-job-search/

http://www.gilsmethod.com/how-to-effectively-use-social-media-when-job-hunting/

Facebook, Twitter, Linked In

http://www.focus.com/images/view/58313/

Photo: http://www.flickr.com/photos/gt8073a/4732282678/

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Accept The “Funny Word” To Hit Sales Gold

May 3rd, 2011

Sales calls require a tough exterior and pleasant demeanor. The combination is often difficult when calling someone who doesn’t know—and may not care to know you.

The goal then is to deliver the “brick of gold” that gets their curiosity piqued. It requires a concise, crisp and kind approach so they sense you are genuinely interested in their welfare, not just yours.

This called being a Sales Stand-Out—someone who quickly grasps the concept and approach to selling the WIIFM of the business owner or other decision-maker.

What’s that? It’s the What’s In It For Me for the person who’s listening to your sales opportunity. They don’t care about all the bells and whistles, fantastic pricing or anything until the WIIFM resonates. Once the light bulb goes off, you’ve got a real sales prospect—someone you can now set up an appointment with, and demonstrate the value and validity of your offer.

So, what’s the road you must travel to get to the WIIFM?

No Auto-Pilot. It’s natural to shoot your message like a rocket when a prospect answers the phone. Turn off the auto-pilot switch and let them communicate with you. Be sure to speak with them not at them.

Know Your Audience. Selling to an independent retailer who is a small business owner is a different story than talking to a purchasing officer at a big-box retailer like Wal-Mart. When calling, make sure you know something about the organization. Google it, read its Web site, review its About Us and Team pages.

Know Your Product or Service. This goes without saying, but it’s always a good reminder. Before you call, make sure you know your products, services and offerings. If you’re asked a question you don’t know, that’s OK too, as long as you don’t get flustered and “pretend” to answer the question. It’s a simple matter. “Mr. Smith, I’m not sure I have all that information but I will definitely find out and follow up.” This can even work to your advantage. It gives you an opportunity to “touch” the prospect again.

Adapt Your Sales Message. This is a lot like “Know Your Audience,” but different. Sometimes you don’t have to follow every step of your sales speech or script. Depending on how the prospect is responding, you can go directly to your Call To Action. Just be aware of where your prospect is going with his or her questions and interest level.

Use P-Square. That’s the Power of Politeness. Just by being kind and having a tone of confidence yet empathy goes a long way with a sales prospect. Recognize that the prospect is just like you. They have lives, highs and lows. You could be the bright spot of their entire day.

Fake It Until You Make It. It’s easy to get “dialing for prospects” doldrums. Dial 10 numbers, the ring of the phone, voicemail; Dial 10 number … It’s a routine. That can be reflected in your voice tone, so when you do get a live prospect answering the phone, you may sound bored or asleep. That’s when faking it until you make it is important. Overcome this by keeping a squishy ball nearby to keep your hands moving. One tactic is to even stand up and walk while you’re talking. That gets your body moving. Tone is key.

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Climbing The Ladder Of Success & Getting That Promotion – Becoming A Better Paid Salesperson

April 28th, 2011

Every sales person wants to be the best and climb that ladder of success quickly and permanently. Without being promoted, climbing the ladder to the top looks nearly impossible.  When you do manage to get a foot on the ladder of success it’s only a matter of time before you climb the next step and so on and so forth. Yet it’s getting to that first rung on the ladder that is the hardest task. For those not lucky enough to be born the child of the owner, taking that first step means being promoted. To get away from the entry level work and into more complicated and better paid sales work a sales person must be dedicated and savvy. However for some, getting a promotion is something they have never experienced, nor do they know how to win a boss over to be rewarded with a promotion. In this article we shall look at some character attributes you must possess if you intend to get a promotion.

Attendance/Punctuality – The first way a boss can judge someone’s worth and commitment is through their punctuality and attendance. You will never be in line for a promotion if you continue to be late or persistently miss your work deadlines. It will take a long time to repair a poor record, but be punctual and meet your deadlines consistently and you will be noticed.

Professionalism – It’s important to always be professional when you are working or representing your company. It’s okay if you want to be a bit more relaxed with your peers at times to bond with your coworkers, but you should always be professional and follow your bosses lead when interacting with him or her. You must always respect your boss with the amount of professionalism they personally desire.

Performance – If you can exceed targets, and exceed them regularly, you will always be the person that comes to mind when your boss decides a promotion is in need. Show your worth with what you can contribute to the business through meeting, beating and creatively tackling deadlines, projects and tasks.

Rapport – You will need to have a good line of communication with your boss. This needs to be open at all times, but not casual. You will need to develop an easy and professional yet comfortable rapport in which you and your boss can easily communicate with one another.

Being on hand – This isn’t a case of becoming the office lackey, it’s more a case of noticing when your boss is in need and offering to take on that little bit of extra workload to help meet the needs of the business. Your boss will be thankful for the help and commitment that you have shown. If you can do a spectacular job of what’s been asked then that will bode well when a vacancy opens.

Ultimately you need to shine at work to ever be in line for a promotion at work. You need to be the best or the most capable at your current level to make that step up to the next one. Work hard and in time you considerable efforts shall be rewarded with that promotion you have been seeking to become a better and well paid salesperson.


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Finding The Drive To Become A Better Sales Person

April 26th, 2011

As a salesperson, if you ever want to move beyond entry level sales jobs then you will need to find the determination, passion and ultimately a driving force to push you towards your goal of becoming the top sales professional, with a salary to match. To make that move from the bottom of the pack to the top earning sales person you need to set your sights on specific goals and make plans for how to reach those goals.

For some though, finding the driving force can be a tricky task. It’s hard to be motivated about wanting to improve your career if you’re not passionate about reaching the top. Quite a few top sales professional have made it to the top because they were determined to be the best. The majority of people need an extrinsic cause to give them motivation, something personal, something they can remind themselves every morning about, such as providing for their family, buying that vacation home or some other goal that they wish to reach. What should you set your sights on and what else could you use as your driving force?

Ultimately money is the driving goal for a lot of people to succeed and become the very best.  With a better salary it is possible to do so much more in life. For instance you would be able to put money away comfortably for your children’s college funds, you could buy a bigger house or get that car you have always wanted. The extra money from a top sales job is more than enough to stoke the flames of ambition within ourselves. Often the urge to be the best comes from a desire to better one’s life.

Yes, going to work every day and slogging it out can be a chore, especially when you know the chances of promotion in your current position are slim to none. However this does not mean you have met a dead end. On the contrary you can use this job as your platform to succeed. Do your best at this job and the chances of getting hired for a better position will be more likely. You can take the time to make the mistakes and learn the right techniques to become the best salesperson in the current position.

If you want to become a better salesperson then you need to find your determination and your desire to succeed. Remind yourself every time you start to falter why it is you want to become the best and keep at it. If you continually put in the hard work you will find that your hard and diligent work will be well rewarded throughout your sales career.

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Top Sales Industries

April 21st, 2011

If you fancy making a mid-career move to a different sales sector then perhaps you would like to enter one of the better sales careers out there. But how do you decide which sales career is the best? There are so many unique things connected to each job. You have the prestige of the job, how it benefits the community, will it be working with people, or out in the field, the benefits of the job and finally the pay. All of these together make certain sales careers more appealing than others. However since a sales career is a personal choice, it has to meet your own requirements, we couldn’t simply pick the single best sales sector. What we have done is put together a list of the 3 top sales jobs for you to evaluate.

Pharmaceutical Sales – Pharmaceuticals are a highly lucrative and highly sought after sales careers. Many college students try to land their first jobs for one of these major companies. These jobs offer excellent benefits such as a company care and insurance packages. You often work with people, but at the same time out in the field on sales calls. The potential for personal growth and earnings is high.  You are in a great position as you will be dealing with medicine and doctors, ultimately providing the best pharmaceuticals to save more lives. The median salary is around $56,000.

Software Sales – With computers, the internet, software and web applications rocketing into the forefront of so many established and growing economies, this is a great time to land yourself a job in software sales.  You will be working with both the vendors and developers as the in-between man.  If you have a real passion for technology then this could be the one for you. You will be able to glean lots of information for personal development while in this career. The median salary is around $62,000.

Petroleum Sales – This sector is pretty much crying out for new and versatile sales professionals to add to its current teams. As a petroleum salesperson you will be working for the oil companies and negotiating with retail centers and energy suppliers the cost of petroleum. There is a high potential for earnings and development in petroleum sales, as well as the opportunity to travel. The median salary is $72,000.

While this was only a short look at some of the top sales job, it is important to realize that your success and income when in a sales career depends greatly upon yourself. While they all offer varying degrees of pay and prestige, they all offer excellent potential for personal growth as a sales professional. The choice is up to you now, if you wish to find out more about working in any of these sectors visit the leading company’s websites for each sector. For example try GlaxoSmithKline, Abode & BP for their respective sectors.


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Entry Level Sales Jobs – Are You Interested In Starting On The Path To Becoming A Top Earner?

April 19th, 2011

If you want to make your way in the world of sales then there are two primary options for getting started. The first is the complete your time at college, get your MBA, and accomplish some career goals or personal goals and walk into a job after you finish. The second option is to work your way from the very bottom up to the top job, although this may take longer, it will be more gratifying. The place to start is by looking for entry level sales jobs.  An entry level sales job will give you the grounding you need to start a great sales career; it is also the perfect time for you to decide if this is the career for you. Below you can find some helpful advice on how to find your very first entry level sales job.

The first step you need to take is to determine which companies in your local area are currently hiring entry level sales personnel; some companies only hire mid-level and some just entry level yet others recruit across the spectrum. You can look at websites such as CareerBuilder and Monster to begin your search. You will find the entry level jobs under the section ‘sales’. Once you have found companies that are hiring and ones you would like to work for, then it is time to do your research on them. You will want to find out what they do, what they sell and more importantly decipher whether you would be a good match for them.

Once you have chosen the companies you wish to apply for its time to craft a skillfully composed sales rep resume and a cover letter which will sell yourself to the hiring managers. Include relevant details of how and when you have increased a business’ profits and sales, if applicable and any achievements whether at work, home or academia that will provide you with a boost.  You will need to present yourself as an asset to the hiring company, as well include useful skills that you have such as communication, independence and initiative.

A lot of the companies who need sales professionals prefer that they already know the products and services inside out. This will often require you to join as a customer service rep from which you can move your way up into the sales department.

The last thing you need to consider on your journey to securing one of those entry level sales jobs is to remain persistent. Do not let a few rejection letters stop you from achieving your dream of one day becoming a top earning sales professional. If you are rejected or don’t hear back from a company you have applied to then give the hiring manager a call. This presents you with two opportunities, the first is to acquire some feedback which will be useful in later job searches, the second will give you one last chance to further sell yourself to the hiring manager.

If you remain focused on your goal then you should obtain it no time, remember to sell yourself at every opportunity.

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