Wednesday, July 23, 2014

10 Reasons Why I Ignored Your Resume

A lot of people want jobs in marketing, which is great news for those of us currently hiring. However, after a decade of screening, interviewing and onboarding marketers, there are still some mistakes that I constantly see. Here are examples of some mistakes you should avoid.

1. You use a Hotmail or AOL email address
Marketers should see into the future, not live in the past, so unless you're applying for a job as a historian for 1999, I would suggest updating your email address, perhaps to a Gmail address. Bonus points if you use an email address associated with your own custom domain because it shows you know something about using the web and technology.

2. I can't find you on Google
You don't have to be popular like Michael Jordan or Michael Jackson, but you should be present enough on the web that I can easily find your LinkedIn profile, content you have created, your Twitter account, or your personal web page just by typing your name into Google.

3. Your last tweet is from 2011
Don't tell me you’re a digital guru if you haven’t tweeted in the last three years. You don't have to have a million followers (though I'll pay closer attention if you do), but you do need to be participating in the conversation on a regular basis by sharing other people’s content and staying current. A few tweets a week is enough; a month long lapse is unacceptable. I’d rather see you using one network well and not have accounts on the others, than have accounts everywhere and use none of them effectively.

Reasons 4-7 and the complete Mashable article

Monday, July 14, 2014

The Questions Managers Want You to Ask During a Job Interview

It's a query that can give an ill-prepared job seeker pause: So, do you have any questions for me?

Interviewers will judge you by your questions. Almost all employers wrap up job interviews by turning the tables and offering candidates an opportunity to showcase how well they understand the role, how interested they are in the opportunity and what plays to their passions points.

When the time comes to flip roles and grill your interviewer about the potential job, it can be tempting to ask pressing questions about salaries, hours and workload. But asking questions about vacation time, salary reviews and benefits might be red flags — and worst-case scenario, they might cost you the job.

When asking your interviewer questions regarding compensation or scheduling, there’s an imminent risk of being perceived as self-serving. Questions that are more focused on achieving results, helping the company grow and showing how well you've researched the role are the most wow-inducing. The goal is to end with a bang and leave a solid impression.

We asked managers what they actually want to hear candidates ask during an interview. Below are a few of their responses.

1. "How has [the company you're interviewing for]'s product impacted you directly?"

"This question shows that the candidate wants to work in a place where people are passionate about what they do. They don't want to come to work just to get a paycheck. They want to know how employees interact with the product and how it has personally impacted their lives."
Ragini Parmar, hiring manager at Credit Karma.

2. "How would my role affect the business in the short-, medium- and long-term?"

"First, this question demonstrates that the candidate isn't just thinking about themselves, but rather where they fit into the strategy of the business as a whole. It switches the conversation from being about what the company can do for them to what they can do for the company."

–- Erin Patterson, talent acquisition at Moxie.

Questions 3-6 and the complete Mashable article.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

The 8 Cover Letters You Need to Read Now

By Lily Herman

Cover letters: They strike fear in the hearts of millions, and just uttering the phrase is enough to make a grown man cry. Who the heck writes a good cover letter anyway?

Lucky for you, we searched the web far and wide to bring you the best examples of totally awesome, out of this world cover letters that people have actually written. After all, how can you become a cover letter ninja without seeing some examples beforehand?
  1. Ever wanted to see a cover letter makeover? Alison Green did a little before-and-after action to show just how awesome your cover letter can be. (Ask A Manager)
  2. One of the most confusing things about the cover letter writing process is how to adapt your letter to the particular industry you’re applying for. The Guardian did a side-by-side comparison of how to format three different types of cover letters. (The Guardian)
  3. Can a five-sentence cover letter really be the best cover letter ever? (Harvard Business Review)
Read cover letters 4-8 and the complete article

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Why You Need a Job Interview Ice Breaker

by David Sargant

Vision it. You’re sat there anxiously waiting in the reception area for your job interview to begin.
Tick. Tock.

If you’ve done your research on the company, the job and the person(s) interviewing you, in your head you’re probably going over what you’ve been reading up on. That’s normal.

It’s OK to be nervous before a job interview too – it shows you genuinely care about performing well and that the job is important to you – but you need to be careful that the pre job interview ‘in-head’ planning and your nerves don’t scupper your chances of getting the job – especially within those vital first 10 to 30 seconds of meeting the person who will be interviewing you.

You need to be focusing on a Job Interview Ice Breaker.
A Job Interview Ice Breaker is the very first thing you say and talk about after shaking the interviewer’s hand.

It’s the conversation that you lead on when walking from reception to the interview room, while in the lift to the top floor or while they’re pouring you a glass of water. It fills those awkward moments right before a job interview has started but it also does a whole lot more for your chances of getting the job.

How to identify a good Job Interview Ice Breaker. - Find out to identify a good Ice Breaker, Sample Ice Breakers, and the complete article

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Why Recruiters Ask The 5 Toughest Job Interview Questions

by Mark Babbitt

During a job interview, there are five questions you must absolutely be ready to answer.

Why these five? Because old-school recruiters and hiring managers have come to count on them as the best possible way to gauge your confidence, passion, sincerity and knowledge of the role for which you’ve applied as well as the mission of the company.

There’s a down side to this, of course: because these questions are asked of everyone there is almost no such thing as an original answer. While the recruiter is smiling, nodding and exuding professional politeness the chances are good they are really thinking:
“For the love of Pete… Can’t anyone give me a good answer to this question?!”

With that in mind, here’s why a recruiter is really asking these questions, and what they really want learn from your answer:

“Why should we hire you?”

As complicated as this question sounds, it is designed to help the recruiter learn three simple things:
  • How well do you know – and how well can you articulate – your strengths, skills and qualifications?
  • How much do you know about the mission of this organization and the role for which you applied?
  • Have you considered how working here, in this specific role, will help us accomplish the mission?
So when answering this question, don’t dive into your hometown, what you enjoyed most about college, your hobbies or family life. Don’t simply regurgitate the company mission statement. And definitely don’t give some generic “Miss America” contestant answer about wanting to change the world.

Instead, focus on answering the three “real” questions the recruiter is asking. Tell the recruiter about your unique value proposition. State your version of the company mission – and be sure to include “why” the company does what it does. Then, deliberately talk about how you being chosen for the position will help them meet their organizational goals.

That is what the recruiter really cares about. That is what they are really asking!

(By-the-way, this exact same approach can easily be used to answer two other tough job interview questions: “Tell me about yourself?” and “Why do you want to work here?”)

“Describe a problem, then tell me how you solved that problem?”

With this question, interviewers are measuring your ability not just to think critically and develop solutions – but to see if you understand the impact of the solution.

Regardless of the specific issue, phrase your answer in the form of a fairy tale. Specifically, tell the recruiter:
  • The beginning: What was the problem? Why was the hero necessary?
  • The middle: How did the hero solve the story? Who was helped? Who was impacted? How did lives or business change?
  • The quantified end: What was the real impact of the hero’s work? How many dollars were saved? What percentage of operations were impacted? What was the effect on the customer? Who lived happily ever after?

In job interviews, storytellers make the best sellers. This is more than just a good question. This is your opportunity to tell a good story.

Questions and Answers 3-5 and the complete article

Friday, June 27, 2014

31 Attention-Grabbing Cover Letter Examples

Traditional cover letter wisdom tells you to start a cover letter with something to the effect of:

Dear Sir or Madam,
I am writing to apply for the position of Marketing Manager with the Thomas Company.

We say: The days of cookie cutter cover letter intros are long gone.

Here’s the thing: Your cover letter is the best way to introduce to the hiring manager who you are, what you have to offer, and why you want the job—but you have an extremely limited amount of time to do all of those things. So, if you really want to get noticed, you’ve got to start right off the bat with something that grabs your reader’s attention.

What do we mean? Well, we won’t just tell you, we’ll show you—with 31 examples of original cover letter introductions. We don’t recommend copying and pasting them because, well, your cover letter should be unique to your stories, background, and interests, but you can most definitely use them to get inspired for your next application.

(Want even more help? Sign up for our free cover letter writing guide.) 

Start With a Passion

Many companies say that they’re looking for people who not only have the skills to do the job, but who are truly passionate about what they’re spending their time on every day. If that’s what your dream company is really looking for (hint: read the job description), try an intro that shows off why you’re so excited to be part of the team.
  1. If truly loving data is wrong, I don’t want to be right. It seems like the rest of the team at Chartbeat feels the same way—and that’s just one of the reasons why I think I’d be the perfect next hire for your sales team.

Start With Your Love for the Company

Similarly, many companies want to hire people who already know, love, eat, and sleep their brand. And in these cases, what better to kick off your cover letter than a little flattery? Bonus points if you can tell a story—studies show that stories are up to 22 times more memorable than facts alone.

Of course, remember when you’re telling a company why you love it to be specific and genuine. Because, um, no one likes an overly crazed fangirl.
  1. I pretty much spent my childhood in the cheap seats at Cubs games, snacking on popcorn and cheering on the team with my grandfather. It’s that passion that’s shaped my career—from helping to establish the sports marketing major at my university to leading a college baseball team to an undefeated season as assistant coach—and what led me to apply for this position at the Chicago Cubs

Start With an Attribute or Accomplishment

The unfortunate reality of the job hunting process is that, for any given job, you’re going to be competing with a lot of other people—presumably, a lot of other similarly qualified people. So, a great way to stand out in your cover letter is to highlight something about yourself—a character trait, an accomplishment, a really impressive skill—that’ll quickly show how you stand out among other applications.
  1. My last boss once told me that my phone manner could probably diffuse an international hostage situation. I’ve always had a knack for communicating with people—the easygoing and the difficult alike—and I’d love to bring that skill to the office manager position at Shutterstock.

Start With Humor or Creativity

OK, before you read any of these, we feel we have to stamp them with a big disclaimer: Do your homework before trying anything like this—learning everything you can about the company, the hiring manager, and whether or not they’ll appreciate some sass or snark. If they do, it’s a great way to make them smile (then call you). If they don’t? Well, better luck next time.
  1. I’m interested in the freelance writer position. But before I blow you away with all the reasons I’m going to be your next writer, I would like to tell you a little about myself: I didn’t grow hair until I was about five years old, which made everyone who crossed my stroller’s path believe me to be a boy (my name is Casey, which definitely didn’t help). Hope I got your attention. (Via @CaseCav)