Friday, November 30, 2012

Interview is Tomorrow, Are You Ready?

You just received a job interview request from your dream company and they want to interview you tomorrow. Are you ready? 

You're working hard to get an interview so you can get hired. With your career resting on your interview performance, let's have some fun getting ready so you will get hired on your next interview.

Arrange to meet a friend for coffee near your target company. Ask them to interview you. You'll bring everything needed including t he interview questions. All they have to do is show up, enjoy their favorite morning beverage, ask a few questions, and listen.

Prepare like it's a real interview. Tomorrow you could get a real job interview request, just like my friend John did when he got the interview call two (2) hours after he clicked SEND.

Print out the interview questions listed below and bring two copies to the meeting. Your interviewer should ask the questions in the order shown. Prepare your responses in advance. Questions 5 and 6 include probing questions the interviewer should ask after your initial response. This virtual interview is a lot like a real interview.

Also prepare a list of 3 questions you'll use when responding to question #10. Record the interview to listen how you actually perform. For help with the "salary question" .

Mastering this practice interview will make you confident and fearless on your real job interviews, and you'll get hired.

  1. Tell me about yourself.
  2. Why are you looking for a new position?
  3. What is your most recent salary?
  4. Tell me about your experience with _____________ (Insert one job requirement from a position you desire.)
  5. Describe a time when you worked with a team under stress and tight deadlines.
  6. What did you do?
  7. How did you approach the situation?
  8. What did you learn?
  9. How have you applied what you learned in a different s ituation?
  10. Give me an example when you had to handle multiple priorities or projects.
    • What did you do?
    • How did you approach the situation?
    • What did you learn?
    • How have you applied what you learned in a different situation?
    • I'm concerned with your lack of industry experience. Why do you think you'd be a good performer in this unfamiliar industry? (This question is appropriate if you are changing industries.)
    • Describe one of your weaknesses.
    • Why should we hire you for this job?
    • Do you have any questions?
Best of luck on your next interview. It is the most important moment in your search for a better position.

By Michael Neece

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Killer Secret Gets Your Cover Letter Noticed!

Written By Jimmy Sweeney 

Have I got a secret for you! Not just any secret, but a 'killer' secret––the kind that turns heads and grabs attention instantly. The kind of secret that hiring managers can't resist—even when they think they've seen it all.

And the secret is… a smashing title or headline that grabs and holds the reader's attention—that compels him or her to keep on reading your cover letter to the last line. This amazing technique is the needle in the haystack that every job hunter is looking for but can't find. Everyone hopes to locate the one 'trick' that will put his or her cover letter above all the others. Well, now you know it and you didn't have to tear apart a haystack to find it.

How can this killer secret distinguish your cover letter from others?
Here's how. Place a powerful headline at the top of your cover letter. Just above the greeting in your cover letter (Dear Mrs. Smith), place your 'killer' headline in boldface print and center it on the page. (Two lines maximum.)

Here are THREE examples of first-rate cover letter headlines—the secret to landing more quality job interviews:

Three reasons I feel confident I'm the candidate you're searching for regarding the [insert job opening title here].

I have visited the [company name] website and believe I am a great match for the position of [insert job opening title here].

I would love the opportunity to be interviewed in person for the position of [insert job opening title here].

By creating a stellar headline you are attracting attention to your cover letter and bringing it the attention it deserves. Starting your cover letter off with an attention-grabbing headline is a highly effective way for you to stand out from the crowd in a positive light.

Use this strategy for yourself. It can result in many more job interview requests. So do your part today. Create that strong headline at the beginning of your next job-search cover letter. But keep this 'secret' to yourself. Why help your competition? Then get ready to fill your calendar with interviews for the job you've been searching for.

Friday, November 23, 2012

6 Job-Networking Techniques

We all know that networking is the most effective way to find a job. But these six mistakes can kill your networking efforts.

1) Not preparing for the networking event and not having a plan of "attack."

What do I mean by preparation and a plan of attack?

A. Find out who else will be there and what companies/organizations will be represented. (The organization arranging the event should have a guest list.)
B. Learn as much as you can about the different companies.
C. You have to be aggressive with your time, meaning, you must designate a certain amount of time for each individual on your list.
D. You have to follow through closely and stick to the designated time limits with each person.
E. Don't forget to take your business cards with you and use a different pocket for those cards that you will be receiving from others.

2) Taking your resume with you to a networking event.

You might be shocked to hear this - don't take your resume with you when you attend professional meetings. I'm talking about conferences, trade shows, club meetings, cocktail parties and such. Do you really want to be seen as a desperate person who walks around with a folder full of resumes? Do you really want to juggle that folder and worry about whether the resumes get wrinkled or not, how many you can give away and whether the person you gave it to will remember where he or she put it?

(Now, of course, DO take your resume‚ to job fairs and related career-events. Leave them with the appropriate person and don't forget to record who you gave your resume‚ to so you can follow up within a couple of weeks or so with a phone call.)

3) Not having a PREPARED and REHEARSED 20 second "mini" speech/introduction about your expertise.

You cannot just show up blindly, thinking whatever happens will be OK.

A 20 seconds mini speech is not too long. It's just enough for you to articulate your expertise and let someone know what you are about. So, when someone asks you what you do, give her or him your mini speech.

One caution.

Don't be a generalist. Don't just say: "I'm a Process Engineer and I work for Ford Motor Company."

Instead, be SPECIFIC. Say: "I'm a Process Engineer and my expertise lies in providing cost effective solutions to complex process engineering problems within the automotive industry."

4) Not finding out how you could contribute.

Ask questions! Find out what problems the person you are talking to is facing within his/her job and industry. Then, if appropriate, propose your possible solution by lining up your matching skills. Basically, find out how you could contribute, how you could help them solve a problem.

5) Focusing on yourself.

You will come across as far more personable if you ask questions about the other person instead of talking about yourself. Remember that people do business with those they perceive as friendly and those that show genuine interest in learning about the other person. So, by showing an interest in the other person, you will accomplish two things: learn about her or him and about their company's needs and will show that you are personable and a good communicator. So, ask away! You will reap great benefits.

6) Not sending a thank you note.

Send a thank you note to those that took the time to talk with you at the networking event. Thank them for their time and again, subtly, let them know about your expertise.

Say something like:

"Mr. Smith, it was great talking to you at the XYZ conference. As a Website Designer, I particularly enjoyed our talk regarding the future of e-commerce and Internet technology."

By Rita Fisher 

Monday, November 19, 2012

Find the Courage to Leap To a Great New Career

It takes courage to pursue a career you're passionate about when you're already immersed in one you dislike.

When I started my first marketing job in Manhattan in the early 1980s, I loved the pace, big-city excitement and the high salary I was earning. I excelled at my job. Wall Street was booming. As my career progressed, I ran sales and marketing programs for large and small companies. But gradually I began to feel as though I was turning into a corporate emblem.

I'd chosen a career in sales and marketing because I was a "people person," fascinated by how people behave and what motivates them. Yet I found myself in a system where making decisions took so long that an eternity looked short. Day after day I took my assigned place, to work according to rules created by others for endless hours that belonged to others, to achieve the goals of others. I was slowly becoming invisible.

As a symptom of my discontent, I began job hopping. Friends and colleagues would ask, "What's wrong with you?" I asked myself: "Why can't you be happy?" and "Why can't you stay in one job for an extended period of time?" I'd start each job with good intentions, telling myself, "This is it. I'm staying here forever." But a month or two later, I would feel unhappy again. I longed for a better career but had no goal and therefore no plan to implement a change.

When I finally decided I'd had enough, I signed up for a class to learn a new profession, and I switched careers. Suddenly my next professional move seemed clear to me, and I made it happen. Now I love what I do and can't imagine doing anything else.

You can have a career with purpose and passion, too. If you already have the know-how and skills, you may need only the encouragement to follow through on your dreams. Here are three ways to push yourself toward securing a more meaningful career:

Dream again.

Remember when you were young and knew what you wanted to be when you grew up? Are you doing this now as an adult? If not, why? Why didn't you go after what you wanted? What got in the way?

Many professionals who are unhappy in their careers say they can't envision their dream jobs. But when they're pushed to write their dreams on paper, they remember their childhood fantasies.

Be creative.

A businesswoman I know with a schedule that moves at the speed of light speaks regularly with clients who have built multimillion-dollar empires. She loves what she does, but she says if she doesn't find time to be creative, the day has gone to waste. Being creative makes us happy and fuels our soul. Creativity allows us to express our talents and skills to their fullest capability. It takes us away from our problems and makes room for new ideas and perspectives.

To unleash your own creativity, begin paying attention to the inner voice that urges you to paint, write, fix your car or engage in another activity that gives you pleasure. These are clues to where you belong in your career.

Keep moving no matter what.
Countless professionals on the brink of success fail only because they stopped trying too soon. Life can be difficult. We sometimes forget this when the going gets tough.

For example, many executives use the sour economy as an excuse for not moving forward. They've decided that their career goals are too hard to reach, and so they wait for the marketplace to improve on its own. This is the worst decision a professional can make.

Those who are successful in their careers don't give up. They're no different from you or me. The distinction is that they keep moving no matter what. They have good and bad days, but they don't stop trying.

Move forward even if you don't feel like it. Do one thing every day regardless of whether you think it will make a difference. Waiting kills your momentum and spirit. Progress will make your career goals a reality.

By Deborah Brown-Volkman

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Emailing Your Resume

Emailing Your Resume

When searching for a job, there is nothing more frustrating than emailing resumes and never receiving responses. For this reason, I took the time to ask recruiters, hiring managers, and human resources representatives the mistakes job seekers make when applying for a position electronically. Below are the main points I got from the discussions.

  • Not reading directions before applying. Some hiring organizations have specific guidelines. Don’t dismiss the guidelines just because you don’t agree with them or don’t understand the purpose. When applying for a position you have to follow their rules. So when the classified states that you need to designate a specific position you are interested in or your application won’t be considered, be sure to include one. This means that if you are interested in more than one position don’t toy with the idea of providing a list of positions you are willing to interview for. Choose the position you are most qualified and interests you more.
  • Classified ads also indicate an email address you should send the resume. The email address provided is usually of screener and I understand your hesitancy in submitting your resume to an individual who doesn’t have hiring authority. Because of this, you may decide to call the company and get the manager’s name for the department that has the open position and email the resume directly to her. Smart move, but your suaveness may backfire. The hiring manager may choose to delete. To cover your bases, email your resume to both the manager and the email provided in the job description.
  • Cancel the email verification system you have installed. You know the program. The one where the email sender (in this case the hiring organization) receives a notice indicating that in order for the recipient (that’s you) to receive the email the sender needs to click on a link and type in a verification code. Interviewers are very busy and they will not take the extra steps to ensure that you receive their email unless you are a candidate that they can’t live without. And the reality is that qualified candidates are a dime a dozen so you have to make it easy for an interviewer to reach you. Cancel the email verification while conducting a job search and deal with the unwanted emails from Nigeria asking if you are interested in a business proposal. If you choose not to, it can cost you the interview you have been waiting for.
  • The following tips seem so simplistic, but these mistakes happen time and time again: (1) when searching for a job don’t change your email address and then email your potential employer about the change. Keep your email address until your job search is over. The likelihood that a hiring manager is going to find your resume and insert your new email address is virtually non-existent (2) your subject line should read professionally, such as Linda Matias Resume for Career Coaching or Resume Writing Position (3) don’t email more than one hiring organization within the same email. Take the time to send each one out personally and finally (4) if the organization requests a Word attachment, make sure you name the attachment professionally, such as matias.linda.resume.doc.
By Linda Matias

Monday, November 12, 2012

Find out some time...

It's all about Life Management…

By Vinod Bidwaik 

People always ask me about my different activities. I write blog and articles. Colleges and institutes call me as a speaker. Sometimes I spend my time with NGOs and also involved in CSR activities. This all is done after office hours. In professional life there are lot many tasks which are beyond my JD and still I perform with passion.
 “How you get the time to write all this?” One of the friends asked me.
“I don’t get the time, I find out the time.” I answered.
We all run with the time. Sometimes we also don’t know what we are doing. People have great excuse of time always. People really work hard but getting some time is dream for all. This is all about the attitude towards our life.
Here I remember the statement of famous person, “Assign responsibilities who have lot of work, people who just say that they do not have time for doing something, will not do the job best.” Fact is you will not get the time anyways, but the reality is if you find the time for something, you will definitely get the time.
This is all about the attitude towards life. If you have positive attitude about the time, time will be there to support you. The question is how you go the extra mile. Sometimes we do not challenge ourselves. I am involved in budgeting exercise. Making budget and then aligning with the finance is real challenge. We have different styles. In past I use to spend almost 10 days in making the budget. Today I complete the budge within 2 days without errors. In past I was doing hard work and now I do the smart work, the result is more time for more value added activities. I recognize that my time is very important to the company. I need to spend my time on relevant value added tasks. However I even can’t delegate the budget exercise to team members as it involves lot of confidentiality and integrity. So what I did, I made a programmed excel file, where I just need to put the relevant percentage for increment as per the cost center and whole calculations are done automatically.
I have seen, people actually spending time on the tasks which can be handled with effective technical knowledge. Actually, you need to be innovative. Every morning when I go in the office, I ask one question to myself, how can I improve, innovate and change today.
How many times, we go extra mile and push ourselves? When I decided that I have to find out time for some other activities, I push myself. Coaching your team for taking more responsibilities and delegating some activities will definitely help. For getting some personal time, I started to cut my sleep by ½ hour by every morning.  
There is everything available on Time Management, but we will not get the time by just reading such references. We actually need to go extra mile and push our attitude..
Hence first find out some time to get the time. After all Life is not about finding yourself, Life is about creating yourself.  

Saturday, November 10, 2012

How to Describe Yourself in an Interview

There you are dressed your best and being interviewed for the job of your dreams and the dreaded question gets asked, ‘Describe yourself for me.’ This question is almost always asked by prospective employers and almost always answered with a resounding uuuuuh… Knowing how to describe yourself in an interview can mean the difference of landing your dream job or going back to the want ads.

It helps if you come to grips with the fact that this question will be asked and you prepare for it ahead of time, but be careful that you don’t some off sounding like you memorized a script the night before. When getting ready to describe yourself in an interview you should consider the following:
  • Don’t tell them what they already know: Don’t start out with your name and age, they have that on the application and repeating it sort of makes you sound silly. Instead of saying where you went to school –also on the application- tell the interviewer what you got out of your schooling or who influenced you along the way. Get into any activities or hobbies you have that may not be listed on the application. This is your time to let the interviewer know everything about you that is not on the application already.
  • Give your strengths AND your weaknesses: First off all when giving your strengths, never come off too cocky. Be proud, but be careful not to toot your own horn too loudly as this can be a major turn-off to the interviewer. Besides giving what your strengths are, also mention your weaknesses, but do it in a way that makes you look good. ‘I have no patience for those that do not want to go the extra mile to help a co-worker,’ or ‘A big fault of mine is that I tend to pay too much attention to detail when it may not be needed.’ Statements such as those show the interviewer that you don’t think you are perfect, but that your faults are good ones to have.
  • Be honest: This is most important of all. If you are not being honest many prospective employers can see right through your bologna and besides, you are who you are. If the job isn’t meant to be, then that is life. Never pretend to be somebody you are not.
  • Speak clearly and don’t stammer: This goes back to the whole practice thing. If you are constantly stammering or saying ‘uh’ then you give off the impression that you are searching for words to say. This gives a bad vibe off because if you don’t know who you are, then who really does?
While there are no magic words to speak that will guarantee you a job, you should be prepared to adequately describe yourself at an interview. Again, you know the question is coming, so you may as well prepare for it. A good trick is to stand in front of the mirror and interview yourself. Ask yourself the question and answer the question. Would you hire yourself? If the answer is no, then chances are neither will the prospective employer, so keep practicing until the answer is yes.

By Jason Kay

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Bridge Your Employment Gap!

Large employment gaps in your curriculum vitae are very dangerous. And this goes equally for both- the employee as well as the employer. No matter what all the reasons are, the majority of employers will right away dismiss these resumes, giving no second thought. This may seem hard to digest and unfair, but it is a true fact. All this can demoralize anyone but it is also true that the so-called gap can be managed to reflect positively.

So to deal with such a problematic and unpleasant phase in life, here are some effective tips you can use:

Educate Yourself
Grasping from tutorials or getting a certified IT qualification can help you to acquire those skills that employers might be looking for. Whether it’s from online or any local community college, further education always does the needful despite your unemployment.

Is Monetary Problem Coming Your Way?
Various sources give free seminars along with certified training and theory classes, solving financial worries of serious learners.

Gain Experience
Getting a permanent job is something what you always search for. But until you get it, don’t hesitate in doing freelancing or part-time jobs. This will keep your technical skills intact as well as fresh. You will gain on-hand experiences on various aspects of professionalism.
But you must remember that the chosen activity mentioned in your curriculum vitae must reflect why you have done that along with its relevance to the job that you are aspiring for. Also, it is equally important that it must add a great value to yourself as a bright candidate. And for a truly motivated job seeker, there can’t be any such terminology like ‘Employment Gap’. Such experiences and learning processes will anyway take you on a long ride of success sooner or later!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Baby Boomers, Beware! Don’t Let Your Resume Date You!

If you’re a job seeker of the Baby Boom generation, you may be feeling a little left out by the job market. You’re certainly not ready to retire, but the young recruiters you send resumes to don’t seem to respond to your skills and experience. If you’re feeling symptoms of age discrimination, you should know that your resume could be the culprit, categorizing you as out of date and over the hill.

There are three ways your resume can put you in the over the hill category.Your resume is due for an update if it contains:
  1. Outdated technology skills
  2. Outdated industry or occupational terminology
  3. Outdated resume trends
Don’t despair if your resume is out of date. You can perform an extreme resume makeover by using the tips below.
  1. Make sure you are up to date on your industry’s technology. Check multiple job descriptions within your industry to see what technologies employers really want. Determine which technologies are missing from your resume. Then decide what you need to learn or do in order to fill that technology gap. Consider adult education classes, college classes, or even online learning.You should be aware that technology terms are often used as keywords to filter the best resumes from electronic databases. If your resume doesn’t have them, it may never be seen. Make sure your technology skills aren’t leaving you behind.
  2. Make sure your resume is using current terminology. If you have just been adding to the same old resume over the years, then your early entries may be using outdated terms. One way to bring your resume up to date is through publications from your industry’s professional associations. If you don’t belong to any professional associations, you might be missing out on the latest industry-speak.Another good resource is job descriptions. Search job descriptions in your field for recurring terms. Learn to use the current terminology for your industry correctly and effectively.
  3. Make sure your resume reflects today’s trends in resume format and style. Ten or fifteen years ago, the old-fashioned reverse-chronological format may have worked for you. But now that you have more experience, it may not be the best choice. The more advanced hybrid format may be much better at promoting your skills and expertise, providing you with a more professional presentation. With the hybrid resume, potential employers will form an impression of you based on your best accomplishments, not just your most recent job description.
You should also realize that some of the old resume rules just don’t apply any more. For example:
  • Limit your resume to one page.” This is a really old idea that limits your ability to show all of your skills and expertise.
  • “End your resume with References Available Upon Request.” You don’t need to say that; it’s assumed.
  • “You should show every job you have ever held and give each equal importance.” Your employment history should only go back as far as it related to your current employment objectives. Think of your resume as a marketing piece that highlights the best parts rather than as a tell-all.
  • “Your resume should go back no more than ten years.” Don’t use an arbitrary number to determine how much to include on your resume. Use the rule of relevancy to decide how many of your jobs to include.
  • “One resume should handle everything.” Not anymore! In addition to tailoring your resume to different fields or industries, you’ll also need to tailor the way that you save it.
You’ll want to have (1) a standard Word format (for printouts and as email attachments), and (2) a Plain Text version for online forms. This will save you a lot of time in repairing lost formatting, which often occurs when cutting and pasting a Word document into a text-only form.

Let your experience work for you rather than against you. Using these tips to update your resume can make a noticeable difference in interest from employers. And your new resume will be a better reflection of your hard-earned skills, talents, and expertise.

- Deborah Walker

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Two IMP. Questions - Closing The interview

By James Caan,CEO,Hamilton.Brad Shaw.

I'VE carried out thousands of interviews over the years and from my experience, there isn't one single question that candidates can ask that will guarantee them landing their dream job. What people tend to forget is that it’s a two way dialogue. Obviously, the interviewer is controlling the situation but the candidate also has the opportunity to exert some influence on the proceedings. For example, there are a couple of killer questions that can move you closer to closing the deal on that all important job offer. Say for example you know you've made it to the final three, when the interview is coming to an end you can simply ask,

*‘Is there anything that you've seen in the other people on the shortlist , that you have not seen in me?’*

It’s a great way of turning the tables on the interviewer and will give you a chance to dispel any lingering doubts your prospective employer might have about you. Whatever the response, you get the chance to address any negative perceptions head on. Remember that first and last impressions are extremely important and that during the interview itself people are usually on their guard.

Another a little tactic is to wait until the formalities are over - once the meeting is finished people tend to mentally relax so time this one for when you are leaving the room or walking to the lift.

Simply say,

*‘So what is your gut feeling about me as a candidate?’ *

You'll be putting your potential employer on the spot, but they will probably respect your boldness. In my experience it's unusual for candidates to take control in this way but when they do, they certainly get a mental tick in the box from me.

Friday, November 2, 2012

How To Ace An Interview - The Checklist

A job interview is a screening tool. For you, it's an opportunity to assess whether or not you want to work for a company. For the employer, it's an opportunity to decide whether or not they want to hire you. Both sides are looking for a match. 

You can ace an interview and win the job you want even in this economy; even with the competition that wants the same job as you. You will have to work hard, but it can be done. Know that the work you do upfront and afterwards will make the "during" (while you are interviewing) much easier for you. 

Here's a checklist to help you: 

  • Do your homework and find out who you will be interviewing with. You are looking for job title, responsibilities, accomplishments, as well as anything else that impresses you about this person. 
  • Know as much about the company as possible. Get on their web site and memorize their products and services. Look at their press release section for news. Talk to a few people about what they know. Look online for comments, discussions, blogs, forums, and additional insights. - Don't just look for good news. Look for challenges that the company is facing, and think about how you might contribute to their success.
  • Write out the top 3 points you want to make sure you get across.
  • Write down what makes you different or unique.
  • Have a story/example for each bullet on the job description and each bullet in you resume. Include the challenges you were up against, the action you took to solve these challenges, and the results you achieved.
  • Write down answers to questions such as your strengths, weaknesses, where you want to be in the future, etc. The questions that employers don't always feel comfortable asking. The same questions you don't always feel comfortable answering. Nevertheless, expect to be asked these questions anyway.
  • Write down the answers to the questions you don't want to be asked. If you have a gap in your resume, have a good response for when you are asked about it. If you were fired, be prepared to tell the employer why with a positive spin. Don't shy away from these questions and hope they won't be asked. Expect them to be posed to you and have your answers mapped out and ready to go.
  • Write down questions to ask the interviewer; three to five should do. Questions like, "What are you looking for in a candidate?" "What keeps you up at night?" "What's the biggest challenge you are facing right now?" These questions may be answered during the interview, and other questions may come up as the discussion progresses, but these questions will give you a place to start.
  • Write down an introduction; an opener that says who you are and what you do. Include your past title, the type of work you have been doing, why you are excited to be interviewing with this company.
  • Be upbeat, passionate, and excited to be there.
  • Use your prepared introduction and introduce yourself.
  • Right after your introduction; say something flattering to the interviewer. Reveal what you like about the person or the company. Include what impresses you the most. Sincere flattery starts the interview off in a positive way.
  • Answer questions and ask them. Remember, it's a two way conversation, and an opportunity for both parties to see if there is a match. Don't forget to listen and let the interviewer talk.
  • Make sure you cover anything that was not discussed in the interview before you leave. For example, did you cover your 3 points? Did you tell the interviewer what makes you different? Did you handle all objections properly? Did you ask the questions you wanted to ask? Cover this now; afterwards may be too late.
  • Tell the interviewer again why you want the job.
  • Ask what the hiring process is, and when you can follow up with them again.
  • Send a thank-you note. Email one version and also send a handwritten version. Thank you cards work well here.
  • Include in your email anything you left out during the interview. Add credibility to your email by mentioning something specific the interviewer said that impressed you.
  • If you promised to follow up on a specific day and time, keep that promise.
  • Continue interviewing. No matter how great an interview went, no matter how many people told you that you are "the one," you do not have the job until you have formally been given a job offer in writing. Don't let everything ride on one job. Keep going until you are officially employed.

 ByDeborah Brown-Volkman