Monday, June 10, 2019

You’re probably answering these 5 common interview questions wrong

By Judith Humphrey

Some of the simplest interview questions are the trickiest. 

No matter what sorts of jobs you applied for, you can expect certain interview questions to pop up again and again. But just because you’ve answered these questions before doesn’t mean you should skip the prep work. In fact, some of these super-common questions are the hardest ones to get right.
So get your pen out, and don’t even think about heading in for an interview until you’ve written out talking points for the following questions:

1. Can you tell me about yourself?

This question is often answered with a meandering narrative, instead of using the opportunity to present a clear, impactful story about yourself.

Such an open-ended question makes it easy to go on too long and fill in a lot of details about your education, previous jobs, like and dislikes, or interests. But no one wants to hear a dissertation on your life. It makes you sound unfocused and aimless.

Instead, think of one clear message you want to deliver about yourself, and then pitch that idea in your answer. For example, you might say “I’m a person who has performed well in a series of communications roles,” or “If there’s one thing that defines me it’s my passion for leading people.” And make sure the one idea you’re putting forward about yourself fits with what the interviewer is looking for in a candidate. Once you have the key descriptor, expand upon it. You’ll sound focused and career-savvy.

2. What interests you about this job?

This question is tricky because it’s easy to give an answer that has little to do with the job itself. For example, you may say you’ve applied for this job in retail because you’ve always wanted to be in fashion, or you are a designer and you want to be in advertising. Or perhaps you have a friend who told you about the job, so you’ve applied because your friend likes that company. Or you may be interested simply because you’re ready to move on from your current gig. These are all true answers, but they’re hardly inspiring.

Instead, use this answer to show you know what is expected, what the challenges of the job are, and why you believe your talents will allow you to achieve what is expected. Dig deep and explain why exactly you feel you can deliver in the role.

Read all 5 questions and the complete Fast Company article

 

 

Sunday, March 10, 2019

Why Personal Branding Is Essential For Getting A Job

This post was written by Pamela Paterson

What’s A Personal Brand?

According to Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, “Your brand is what people say about you when you’re not in the room.”  They are the words that are invoked when people think of you—your skills, values, and talents. Your brand is what people can expect from you.

For example, I gave a lecture recently about personal brands to college students. I asked them to give me words that described their professors. Some said hardworking, quality, and committed. Others said disengaged, unprofessional, and unfriendly. I pointed out that all of their professors were qualified on paper, but some of them didn’t spend any effort to create a positive brand. If you lack tenure and are just entering the job market, you need to create a strong brand that tells employers why to hire you.

Developing Your Brand

Your brand will tell employers why you are a perfect fit for the job and their company: how you meet their needs. Your brand must be evident in your resume and cover letter, as well as your online presence (when you Google yourself, what do you find?). Your brand must match the requirements in the company’s job posting, as well as the company values that you find on their website. As an aside, matching the job posting will also help you get through the company’s applicant tracking system, which is designed to screen out poor keyword matches.

Through the job posting and website, and any other online searching you do (for example, of staff LinkedIn profiles), you’ll learn some general characteristics the company looks for in its employees.  It could be people who can work in an aggressive, multiple-priority environment, or people who function best in a process-driven government organization. You’ll learn about the “personality” of the company. The closer your brand is to their personality, the better your chances of joining that company.

Know that even companies in the same industry may have different personalities. For example, two accounting firms will not necessarily embrace the same values. A small, local accounting firm that helps clients file their taxes will have a stronger requirement for customer service than an auditor in a global accounting firm who doesn’t have any direct customer contact.

Strengthening Your Brand - Read the rest of the WorkItDaily article

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

CV Writing Tips: 8 Common Mistakes You Need To Avoid

By

When it’s time for your job search to commence, reviewing your CV and checking CV writing tips should be at the top of your list.

We all know that it is important to have a properly-formatted and up-to-date CV. However, while we focus our efforts on ensuring our CV looks great to potential employers, it is easy to overlook simple mistakes that could actually be quite damaging to your application. Once you have sent your CV off, this damage is irreversible.

Some mistakes are minor grammatical errors and some are just extremely awkward!

1. Check and double check spelling and grammar

This is the number 1 most common mistake made on CVs, it happens a lot! It is also one of the easiest mistakes to avoid, so there is no excuse!

Poor spelling and grammar tells an employer that you have poor attention to detail and suggests that you may not care too much about the opportunity. To avoid this, rather than just relying on a computer to check your mistakes (computers are not very good in the grammar department), get at least one friend or family member to carefully read through your CV and check for mistakes. They should be able to spot any that you have missed.

2. Avoid long sentences that say nothing at all

Your CV should be concise and direct. Employers do not need a lengthy explanation about everything you have ever done, you can go into more detail at your interview. Try to use concise bullet points instead of paragraphs that will highlight key achievements and skills that are relevant to the role that you are applying for.

3. Always tailor your CV

Remember that every opportunity is different, so using the same generic CV is unlikely to work if you are applying for numerous roles. Consider the role requirements listed in the job advert and make small changes to your CV to show that you match all of these requirements. An employer will then clearly see that you have taken the time to understand the role and know exactly what is required of you.

See all 8 common mistakes and the complete Career Experts article





Monday, February 4, 2019

How To Get A Summer Internship In 8 (Pretty) Easy Steps

Sabrina Rojas Weiss

There are so many more tempting alternatives to working in an internship over the summer. You could be backpacking through another continent or partying on the beach. You could be earning more money as a nanny, or hanging on to your childhood as a camp counselor. But if you've clicked on this story, you know that those probably aren't the smartest, most responsible ways to spend the summer months as you look toward building a future career.
 
While there's no guarantee that you'll be offered a sweet job immediately after completing an internship, it's a pretty reliable way to get there eventually. For one, you'll be building up a résumé with more than just retail and babysitting jobs. You'll also be meeting people in the industry you've set your sights on, and those will become part of the network that you'll need to find work later.
 
"The biggest issue with applying for a job on a job board is that there are hundreds of other people also applying for those same jobs," career coach Elana Konstant tells Refinery29, reminding everyone why networking is the key to everything.
 
Another benefit of internships no one talks about: This is a great way to determine if the career you think you want is really right for you. Maybe you actually wind up hating it. Or you might discover that there's a specific path within that industry that you want to pursue.
So how do you go about landing the summer internship that will launch your future? You could park yourself in front of the computer and apply to every opening you find. Or you could work a little smarter. Here's how:
 
#1
Start early (but it's never too late)

"Some industries recruit [interns] almost a full year in advance of the summer," says A-J Aronstein, associate dean of Beyond Barnard, Barnard College's career-development office. Financial services, consulting, and tech companies tend to be the ones with that early timeline, especially because some of them actually do hire directly from their intern pool. But many other industries and smaller companies without rigid internship programs don't hire until spring, so don't panic if you get a late start.

#5
Be open to smaller companies

As you're searching on LinkedIn, you can also see where people who work at your dream company wind up working next. Some go on to smaller companies or less well-known organizations that could have opportunities for you. While you may think you need a big, famous brand on your résumé, those don't necessarily make for the best internship experiences if you'll just be getting coffee and doing data entry.

"The best internship, regardless of the size of a company, is one where you're actually learning real things that will help you be the best professional you can possibly be down the road," says Porter Braswell, CEO of the career platform Jopwell and author of the book Let Them See You: The Guide for Leveraging Your Diversity at Work. When you network with other employees and at your interview for the internship, try to get a sense of what kind of work they'll be asking of you and whether you'll receive guidance and mentorship along the way.


See all 8 Tips and the complete Refinery29 article

Monday, January 21, 2019

Where to Look for Jobs in 2019

Hiring will be up in both cities and career fields that are popular with older Americans





The ManpowerGroup, a firm that studies job trends, conducted more than 12,500 interviews with employers in the nation’s 100 largest metropolitan regions. Participants were asked about whether they expected to hire workers during January through March 2019, compared with the last three months of 2018. Their responses revealed the “strongest hiring intentions in 12 years,” the report says.

"Increased employer optimism tells us employers have jobs to fill, yet we know they are struggling to find the talent they need — from production line workers to IT professionals,” says Becky Frankiewicz, president of ManpowerGroup North America. “With so many U.S. organizations set to hire in an already tight labor market, skilled workers can call the shots.” 

While the report states that hiring will be strong across the country — 23 percent of employers expect to grow their workforce — jobs could be especially abundant in the Sunshine State. Several cities in Florida top the report’s list for the biggest anticipated increases in hiring over the first three months of 2019. The top 10 cities (including a few extras due to ties) are:
1.    Daytona, Fla.
2.    Cape Coral, Fla.
3.    Tampa, Fla.
4.    Jacksonville, Fla.; Raleigh, N.C.
5.    Boise, Idaho

See the rest of the top 10 cities plus the full AARP article

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

175 Helpful Questions To Ask At A Job Interview

--Jacob Share

In this followup to 444 Most Popular Job Interviewer Questions To Prepare Yourself With, here are questions you should consider asking the interviewer instead of the other way around.

TIP: Know someone who has an upcoming job interview? Share this list with them right now.

Although the article keeps saying ‘company, company, company’, the questions are relevant if you’re applying for a position at any other kind of organization.

 The Best Questions To Ask In A Job Interview

Questions 1-71 are about the job itself
Questions 72-111 are about the company
Questions 112-131 are about the boss
Questions 132-162 are about the team
Questions 163-175 are about feedback and next steps
  1. Why has this job opened up?
  2. Is this a new position? If not, what did the previous employee go on to do?
  3. How long has this position existed?



  • Tell me some of the reasons people like working here.
  • What do you see ahead for the company in the next five years?
  • Who do you consider your customers to be?
  • What is your company’s market or target demographic?
  • What makes your company better than your competitors?


  • Read all 175 questions
  • Thursday, November 1, 2018

    4 Reasons Why You're Not Moving Forward In Your Job Search, And Why You Won't


    Every week, I receive scores of emails from job hunters all over the world who find me online and reach out to ask for help.  Their situations vary in detail, but the gist of many messages I receive is this:

    “Kathy, I’ve been looking for a new job for X months, and I just can’t land one. I’ve been interviewing in my field (which I don’t really like but it’s where I have the most experience), and I’ve been applying online for jobs where I can, but nothing seems to work. I’m really discouraged, and feel I’m at the end of my rope.  I’m seriously considering changing directions in my career, but don’t know where to begin.  Can you offer any advice?”

    I personally know what this feels like. I lost my job after a brutal layoff in the days following 9/11, and I took months to regroup.  I also struggled to find work after my first career reinvention (from corporate VP to therapist), and I know how disheartening it can be when, try as you might, nothing comes to fruition.  Clearly, times are tough.  But I’ve also seen that there are certain steps we can take to positively impact our job search outcomes.  Often, those who remain stuck are relying on outdated methods of finding work that won’t yield positive results today.  Here are some commonalities:

    1) They’re approaching it in the wrong way.
    The majority of unsuccessful job seekers I hear from are approaching the process the wrong way.  If you are focused on submitting your résumé online only or sitting at your computer looking at LinkedIn LNKD +3.24%, you’re not going to have the success you long for.  Today’s job search requires that you “bring yourself to market” in ways that will open new doors, build great connections, and get your name out there as someone who will enhance an organization.  It requires in-person connecting and making your mark, not just online submitting. (Recent studies have shown that 80% of jobs are found through networking.)

    Get out there in the world and start making waves (the good kind). For example, reach out to all the colleagues you’ve ever enjoyed and respected, and reconnect, and ask how you can be of service to them.  Go to every industry or association meeting in your field and share in a compelling way what you love about the work you do (don’t go just to say “I need work.”) Volunteer to support a fabulous project in your community that will further your connections and demonstrate your talents.  As Forbes writer Susan Adams recommends, start your own networking group where you meet weekly or monthly to support each other’s efforts.   In short, stop “hunting” for work, and start being a source of positive energy, wisdom and motivation to others, and doors will open.

    2) Discouragement and confusion (and paralysis) have set in.

    When you’re looking for work, you need to understand that you’re facing very stiff competition, for every position you’re exploring.  Put yourself in the shoes of a hiring manager.  She wants the best match she can get for the money she’ll pay, and today, employers don’t have to compromise on what they want.  What do hiring managers want? They want someone who not only has all (or most) of the skills, experience, and background that match the job perfectly well, but they need to see excitement, commitment, energy, a can-do attitude and an upbeat personality from the candidate. If you can’t find a way to muster those qualities, you’re going to struggle.  (If you’re finding depression has set in and you feel you might benefit from outside help to navigate through it, don’t hesitate to explore some therapeutic support.)


    Reasons 3,4, the solutions, and the complete Forbes article