Andrea Doven
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How can I find a job in today's difficult job market?

There is no doubt that it is hard to find a job in today's competitive market. Downsizing and hard economic times have led to severe cutbacks in many sectors. Andrea Doven, a professional human resources expert, notes that finding a job today may be twice as hard as it was a few years ago, especially if you want full-time work. However, the same rules that applied in the past apply now: make yourself the best possible candidate for the job and you will eventually be hired.

You must get your professionally-written resume and cover letter in front of the hiring manager at as many companies as possible, and be prepared to look in unthought-of places as well as utilize your network of contacts. Unless you are very lucky, it will take weeks or months of hard work, but you can find a job, even in today's market, with the right strategies.

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How effective are online job searches?

"Online job searches are very effective at what they are designed to do," notes Andrea Doven, a leading HR expert. "Unfortunately, most people do not understand what online job searches are designed to do, and assume that they are getting the full picture when, in fact, they may only be seeing part of the landscape." Doven goes on to explain that online job boards tend to take a "broad brush" approach to various industries. Companies that advertise on job boards may have someone in mind for the job but are required to post the job online.

They may also be looking for a large pool of candidates from which to narrow their hiring search. "Most online job postings receive hundreds or thousands of applications," notes Doven. "The chance of yours standing out in the crowd is slim." In order to make use of online job boards, Doven suggests using them as a starting point to identify potential employers. Once you have a list of companies, begin sending your resume and cover letter to specific, targeted people in those companies.

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What would be a perfect job for you?

Perfect job? I already have it! I work as an International Consultant specializing in hiring and training talent. I've worked with some of the biggest brands in the world. This position allows me the freedom to pick and choose who I want to work with and where I want to work. There are times when I've done consulting stints where I've been stationed at the client's office for weeks at a time.

Through it I've been able to visit many parts of the world, tried various cuisines as well as enjoy different cultures. There are times when I have a moment to myself and say, "wow I get paid to do this!" I simply love my job.

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What advice would you give to children today?

To my 11 year old son, I always give him this advice, and I might as well tell the rest of world this; nothing in this world is free. You need to have the determination, the gumption and the drive to make things happen. Don't get caught up in the world of reality TV where you see rich kids or a certain family who are famous for doing nothing. That image itself is fantasy, you can't just enjoy a rich life without putting in some effort behind it. You merely can't expect to become rich or live in the life of luxury without having to go through tougher times.

Set goals, remind yourself that what you are experiencing right now, the hardship the toil and the tough times is temporary. Keep true to your goal and once you achieve it, you can reward yourself. Never stop working towards something. That in it self helps us stay motivated and hungry to achieve more in life

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Is it possible to find a job in the arts and entertainment industry?

It is possible to find a job in any industry, according to human resources expert Andrea Doven. What will change from one field to another is the amount of hard work it will take to find a suitable position. "It has always been difficult to find a job in the entertainment industry because of the fierce levels of competition for almost every position," notes Andrea Doven.

Because of the competitive nature of the industry, she notes, many people assume that they simply cannot find a job and give up on their dream of working in films or on television. That, says Doven, is a mistake. "The same set of skills that lands you a job anywhere will help you in your search for a job in the entertainment industry," she says. You must be willing, however, to put in many hours of searching and bear with a great deal of disappointment before finding the right job.

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How effective are online job searches?

"Online job searches are very effective at what they are designed to do," notes Andrea Doven, a leading HR expert. "Unfortunately, most people do not understand what online job searches are designed to do, and assume that they are getting the full picture when, in fact, they may only be seeing part of the landscape." Doven goes on to explain that online job boards tend to take a "broad brush" approach to various industries. Companies that advertise on job boards may have someone in mind for the job but are required to post the job online. They may also be looking for a large pool of candidates from which to narrow their hiring search.

"Most online job postings receive hundreds or thousands of applications," notes Doven. "The chance of yours standing out in the crowd is slim." In order to make use of online job boards, Doven suggests using them as a starting point to identify potential employers. Once you have a list of companies, begin sending your resume and cover letter to specific, targeted people in those companies.

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Should I post my resume online?

Posting your resume online can be a fast and effective way of getting your name in front of a large number of hiring managers. However, posting a resume online also has drawbacks, according to Andrea Doven. "When you post your resume online, you are one of a faceless crowd of hundreds or even thousands. Your resume has to be stellar to stand out from that group, and chances are a resume that is general enough to fit most online job boards is not going to be specific enough to attract a particular hiring manager."

For this reason, although Doven says posting your resume online is never a bad idea, she also advises to keep that resume general and tailor your resume for specific job postings. You can submit your tailored and specific resume independently for jobs you target. Using this strategy, you will avoid the problem of the "generalized" resume and have a resume ready for every job for which you wish to apply.

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How can I choose the type of education that I need for the career I want?

Choosing the right education for the job you want may be more difficult than it appears. There are so many different types of education available today that finding the perfect degree may be next to impossible without knowing the specific job you will be hired for. Since this is not usually the case, it is best to obtain a broad education that encompasses several areas, according to Andrea Doven. "While education is expensive, and the tendency is to focus on saving money by taking fast-track degrees or courses, this may not always be the best strategy," notes Andrea Doven. "Sometimes a good liberal arts education with courses in a wide range of subjects can help you clarify your educational goals."

Many students have found that by taking a wide range of classes, they discovered hidden talents or, more importantly, found that they did not care for their original major subject as much as they thought.

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What kinds of support should human resources provide?

According to Andrea Doven, human resources experts provide much more than just "hiring and firing" to the companies for which they work. "Human resources encompasses everything to do with the workforce and the people that make it up," says Doven, a 25-year veteran of several important HR departments, including that of Odin Films. According to Doven, human resources provides a wide range of support for employees, including benefits management, conflict resolution, training and education, emergency services and other valuable resources. "You can go to your HR department if you feel you are being discriminated against or harassed; if you have a family emergency and need help; or if you want information on how to further your career," says Doven.

If you are having trouble working with your HR department, or if your company is not providing all of the services it should, speak with your manager or supervisor. It may be that you can access benefits and help you did not realize were available.

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What type of work should I do before landing my "dream job?"

Depending on the field you are in, a job in a certain area may be a stepping stone to future employment. For example, if your career goal is to manage a retail store, you may find that taking a job as a clerk in that store will lead you to the management track, especially if you do a very good job with the less responsible position. "Managers love to promote from within because the employee is already a known quantity," says Andrea Doven, a human resources expert. Depending on the field in which you work, even mopping the floor can open doors to new opportunities.

One of the key things about this strategy, however, is that you must be willing to do a superior job at the small position before moving on to the larger position. When you show your employer that you are willing to do a good job with small things, he or she is much more likely to allow you more responsibility at a higher-paying job.

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Is it possible to find a job in the arts and entertainment industry?

It is possible to find a job in any industry, according to human resources expert Andrea Doven. What will change from one field to another is the amount of hard work it will take to find a suitable position. "It has always been difficult to find a job in the entertainment industry because of the fierce levels of competition for almost every position," notes Andrea Doven. Because of the competitive nature of the industry, she notes, many people assume that they simply cannot find a job and give up on their dream of working in films or on television.

That, says Doven, is a mistake. "The same set of skills that lands you a job anywhere will help you in your search for a job in the entertainment industry," she says. You must be willing, however, to put in many hours of searching and bear with a great deal of disappointment before finding the right job.

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Why is job retention important?

Sometimes when people are in a job that they dislike, all they can think of is leaving. This may cause them to make careless mistakes and ultimately lose the employer business or money. Losing your employer money is one of the certain ways to lose your job, so it is important to avoid situations that could result in distraction due to your dislike of your position. How can you do this? You protect your job by changing your mindset.

It may help to remember that job retention of any job is very important in the larger scheme of things. One of the hardest things to do is to explain to a future employer why you were fired, especially if it was for incompetence, laziness or anything else that will reflect badly on you and your work ethic. Additionally, you may wish to use your manager or the company's owner one day as a reference. If that is the case, it is very important to maintain a good relationship with the employer, even if you do secure another job in the meantime.

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What are soft skills and how do they help me find and keep a job?

The term "soft skills" refers to the skill set that makes you a valuable employee in any job. It includes good work ethic, timeliness, good interpersonal skills and the ability to self-manage. When you combine those skills, it does not matter what field the person is in; he or she is likely to be a valuable employee. In fact, many hiring managers note that they can train almost anyone for a particular job; what they want is someone who already has the soft skills that are valuable in an employee.

In certain fields, some soft skills are more important than others. For example, in sales, strong interpersonal communication skills are essential, while a computer repair technician might need more problem-solving ability. Showing off your soft skills on a resume is extremely important, so be sure to include this information throughout the document. Use words like "self-starter," "highly motivated," "problem-solving abilities" and even "time management."

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What fields are particularly "hot" in the job market right now?

There are always fields that have more jobs than others. Many recruiters and placement officers refer to these jobs as "hot," meaning they are a great goal for someone who is considering education or training. However, it is also important to remember that "hot" jobs come and go, while strong job skills are timeless, according to Andrea Doven. Although the popular fields may change from decade to decade, there are some things that do not change, like the necessity of having good communication skills and a strong work ethic.

If there is a field in which you are particularly interested, the chances are you can find a job there, even if it is not considered a booming employment area presently. Furthermore, updating your training and education may make you even more marketable, especially if you already have experience in a given area. Currently, "hot" job fields include technology, medicine and human resources.

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About Andrea Doven:

Andrea Doven is a hiring expert and recruiter with over 20 years experience in human resources. Mother, wife, creative, executive.

New York

https://www.crunchbase.com/person/andrea-doven