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May 6, 2013 in applicant advice, Workplace Relationships | Tags: 2013 Graduates, Be patient, change will be gradual, College Graduation, Don't check out too early, don't show off just to show someone else up, Don't try to change things too quickly, early career advice, Find a way to keep that enthusiasm, graduate with a degree, graduation, graduation advice, learn the office politics, learn the ropes, Learn the ways and processes, Life After College Graduation, ou will likely regret being a jerk, share your vast knowledge, stay current, Take a step back and observe, There's a fine line between being smart and being a smart aleck, this is how we've always done it, we're never going to change, You'll learn how to be a professional, You'll never regret being kind | Leave a comment
You’re about to graduate with a degree and are probably eager to share your vast knowledge with your future employer. That’s great! Find a way to keep that enthusiasm while you learn the ropes of your field and job. Take time to learn not only the industry you’ll work in, but the office politics, the major players in the field and in your office and where you are the most talented.
Take a step back and observe before you jump in head first. You’re probably well-versed in the latest and greatest methods and systems, but your office might not be there yet. Be patient. Learn the ways and processes in your office and then make suggestions. Don’t try to change things too quickly, but at the same time stay eager, excited and current. You might hear the phrase, but this is how we’ve always done it. Instead of hearing that as, we’re never going to change, hear it as change will be gradual. If you pay attention to your coworkers you might see someone roll their eyes at this comment. Befriend that person. Talk to your supervisor about implementing minor changes slowly.
There’s a fine line between being smart and being a smart aleck. Always err on the side of caution. Don’t be afraid to show you know math, statistics and basic (or advanced!) science and don’t be afraid to share your knowledge of colors, design and marketing principles. But at the same time don’t show off just to show someone else up. You’ll never regret being kind, but you will likely regret being a jerk.
Don’t check out too early. The skills you learn as an entry-level employee go far beyond changing paper in the copier and the right way to respond to email. You’ll learn how to interact with a wide range of personalities. You’ll learn what your limits are and when to extend them. You’ll learn how to be a professional and that’s priceless.
January 23, 2013 in applicant advice | Tags: 7 Things You Can’t Hide in your Resume, @InterviewIQ, applying for a job abroad, as you stated on your resume, ballpark figure on your age, be clear, Be concise, business, caught until after you're hired, easy to catch liars, fraid to put dates on their resumes, Inflating your experience and skills., Karalyn Brown, main language is English, no-nonsense style, not a native English speaker, or well, Resume Mistakes, sell yourself, state what makes you uniquely qualified, Twitter, Undercover Recruiter, why this job, You aren’t really that bothered about this job, You do not write very often, You lack marketing skills, You're not very confident | Leave a comment
If you aren’t already following Undercover Recruiter on Twitter and checking out the website, you’re missing an excellent resource. The no-nonsense style and advice is perfect for anyone in the job market.
1. You are not a native English speaker. This advice goes both ways. If your main language is English and you’re applying for a job abroad (even in the UK!) make sure you have a local native read your resume and cover letter. Hint: if they laugh, chuckle or grimace you’ve missed something.
2. Inflating your experience and skills. This is a giant red flag. Granted, you might not get caught until after you’re hired, but the second your employer finds out you can’t edit an entire broadcast story on tape to tape in under 10 minutes, as you stated on your resume, you should expect to be shown the door. In today’s digital age, it is easy to catch liars.
3. You’re not very confident. Just like overselling yourself is a red flag, underselling yourself is just as detrimental. Be proud of the skills you have and your work experience. Don’t be afraid to state what makes you uniquely qualified for the postion you are applying for.
4. You want to keep your age to yourself. Most new graduates and seasoned employees are afraid to put dates on their resumes. This might hurt you more than help you. If a college degree is required, the potential employer might want to verify you received the degree from your stated university (see No. 2 above), that can be hard to do without a graduation date. Work experience and skills can usually give a potential employer a ballpark figure on your age, don’t make them work too hard.
5. You lack marketing skills. Your job is to sell yourself! You are marketing a product you know super well, you! Just don’t be smarmy.
6. You aren’t really that bothered about this job. Why this job? Why should the hiring manager consider you above all other candidates?
7. You do not write very often, or well. Be concise and clear. Read your cover letter and resume out loud to yourself. Vary how you start and end your sentences.
What other erros might make your resume end up in the circular file (trash)?
January 14, 2013 in applicant advice | Tags: be candid, Career Evaluations, conversation, customer service, data entry, different fields, evaluate a temporary position, evaluate job functions, filing, movinglivesforward.org, reentering the workforce, reiterate what you enjoy, schedule coordinating, taking meeting notes, temp agency | Leave a comment
A friend is reentering the workforce after spending the last few years home with her son. She’s more than qualified in a two very different fields and to help her decide which one to focus her job search on, she’s working as a temp.
This is a great opportunity for her to evaluate what she likes and doesn’t in addition to what’s changed in the last five years.
After working in her temporary position for two of the four weeks, she’s fairly certain that she would enjoy a different field and inquired how to talk to the temp agency about placing her somewhere else when this position wraps up.
I encouraged her to have a conversation with the agency and be candid. Instead of emphasizing what she hated, instead reiterate the parts that she did enjoy, especially the aspects that indicate she would be happier in a different field.
For example, if she didn’t like the customer service parts of the job but enjoyed the data entry, schedule coordinating, taking meeting notes and filing, she should emphasize the latter in the conversation and on her written summary.
December 12, 2012 in applicant advice | Tags: assess how you think you did, be reflective of how the interview went, Brazen Careerist article, Brazen Careerist author, close the interview, determine from their body language, How to end a job interview, inquire about the process and next steps, leadership, read the interviewer, Sarah Greesonbach, the correct next step, tone and facial expressions | 1 comment
Previously, the best advice on how to end an interview was to inquire about the process and next steps. (You can read more on How to close a Job Interview from January.) That advice is still relevant, but this recent article from Brazen Careerist has additional suggestions.
To reiterate, however you choose to close the interview should be within your own comfort level and be reflective of how the interview went. You must be able to read the interviewer and determine from their body language, tone and facial expressions the correct next step.
As the Brazen Careerist author, Sarah Greesonbach, writes as the interview is winding up, “assess how you think you did. If you feel strongly that you’re still the prime candidate, ask any one of the following analytical questions (or more, if appropriate).”
Her suggestions are:
- “May I have a tour of the office?”
- “If you were forced to say yes or no to hiring me right now, what would be your biggest hesitation in offering me this position?”
- “May I ask why you are interested in me for this position?”
- “What are the most important characteristics you are looking for in the person you plan to hire for this position?”
To those I would add:
- “Who else would I be working directly with in this position?” Followed by, “May I meet them?”
What would you add?
December 3, 2012 in applicant advice, Resources | Tags: #HUGSF12, adds value to you or your organization, advertising, AK Stout, be on the first page of results, business, Content, content helps your SEO, Content: Value and Information, creating new content, gain clients or customers, Google, Google isn't the yellow pages, HUG Super Forum, information, Instead of selling yourself, keynote speaker, making content work for you, marketing, opening session, overtly selling turns people off, owner at Saying it Social, technology, Value, without trying to overtly sell | Leave a comment
The opening session keynote speaker at the HUG Super Forum (I’m attending for work) made some really great points about making content work for you to gain clients or customers.
She said, people aren’t using search engines to find a “plumber” like they would use the yellow pages, instead they are searching for, “how to fix a leaky faucet.” If your plumbing business can be on the first page of results for how to fix a leaky faucet, you’re more likely to gain that person as a customer when they can’t fix the leaky faucet themselves, or when they fix it using your information and another big plumbing issue comes up later.
The same is true for you. If you can be on the first page of results for whatever your niche or your company’s niche is, the more likely you are to gain that the person searching for that information for the project or in the future. You’ve provided valuable information without trying to overtly sell something.
Which was Stout’s second point, overtly selling turns people off. If instead you can provide value or desired information before pushing yourself or company, then you’ve gained their trust and you’re more like to gain a sale in the future. It’s a different mentality than in the past.
Think of that when you’re interviewing for a position. Instead of selling yourself, prove you can provide the value and have the necessary qualities for the position.
How do you provide valuable content and gain trust?