Thursday, March 4, 2021

7 successful executives share what it takes to climb the ladder during COVID

Jessica Thiefels

Are you ready to advance your career but worry about getting noticed through a Zoom lens? The COVID-19 pandemic has prompted several discussions about promotion etiquette. Some employees are wondering what they should do if the pandemic puts their promotions on hold, while others wondered about the ethics of asking for promotion during this time.

If you’re ready to climb the career ladder despite the pandemic, you have the power to get noticed—either your current company or even a competing one. But don’t take it from us. Here’s what seven executives had to say about growing your career during COVID.

1. Evaluate your Digital Presence

If you want the leaders in your industry to notice you and vie for your talent, make sure you can easily be found online and that your digital profiles look their best.

“Covid has presented an excellent opportunity for leaders to really focus on developing their personal brand and eminence online, not just around their industry or subject matter expertise, but as people, strategy, and thought leaders,” Victoria Pelletier, VP of North American Talent and Transformation at IBM, says.

Now may be a good time to create a professional Twitter account, attend virtual meet-ups, and showcase how much you know on social. Pelletier says starting out in a virtual setting can also give you some “electronic courage” before you meet in person.  

4. Find a Mentor

If you aren’t sure what you want to do or what options are available within your career field, seek out a mentor who can guide you in the right direction.

“Mentors can support us in reaching our full potential and bring inspiration to our career development,” explains Dorota Lysienia, community manager at LiverCareer. “While mentors help fresh graduates look for career guidance, they can also serve as an excellent source of knowledge for more experienced professionals. Even though it’s currently challenging to meet in person, we can still reach out to them and schedule online mentoring sessions.”

If you’re not sure where to start, consider working with a professional mentor service that can match you with someone who would be the best fit for your goals and desires. 

6. Keep Networking

Despite the pandemic canceling events and moving meetings remotely, it is possible to keep networking. More importantly, the old adage of “who you know,” still rings true. Forming connections today can still help you down the road. Not feeling it? David Cusick, Chief Strategy Officer at House Method shares an important reminder:

“Even if you feel like you’re stuck…don’t stop. Building those connections with people will not only help you grow in your career or grow your business—it will also make your work more fulfilling.”

It’s never too early, or a bad time, to build your network and leverage the learning and career growth opportunities that come from it.

See all 7 tips and the complete TheLadders article



Tuesday, March 2, 2021

These are the 10 traits recruiters are looking for

By Stephanie Vozza

In a recent study, recruiters ranked what they consider to be the most important traits for job applicants. 

Like it or not, first impressions matter. A study from the résumé-building website Zety found that 83% of hiring managers call that initial gut feeling they get about a person a critical factor when making hiring decisions. What drives a first impression is your traits.

“Traits are different than skills,” says Zety’s career expert Jacques Buffett. “Skills are what is on your résumé. Hard skills could be a programming language you know, and soft skills include leadership, teamwork, and communication. Personal traits are the qualities that turn up during the interview. It’s the impression you leave through your attitude and how you compose yourself from the second you walk in the door.”

In the Zety study, recruiters ranked what they consider to be the most important traits. Here are the top 10:

4. Adaptability

In 2020, companies learned that the best laid plans don’t always turn out. As a result, recruiters are looking for candidates who can roll with punches, tackling new problems and opportunities. “There’s so much growth in every business sector,” says Buffett. “Employees need to be able to adapt.”

8. Emotional Intelligence

This trait is particularly important with leaders who need to read others’ emotions to communicate effectively, says Buffett. “To respond appropriately you need to understand the person’s motivations,” he says. “There are plenty of bad bosses out there, and to be good boss you need emotional understanding and compassion. Employees aren’t robots. Teams are made up of unique individuals with unique traits and qualities.”

10. Open-Mindedness

Recruiters also look for open-mindedness, which can be someone who is willing to try new ways of doing business and new methods of working. “This also feeds into tolerance,” says Buffett. “It’s also being open minded to different cultures, religions, and political backgrounds. You don’t have to agree to be open-minded and tolerant.”

How Employers Identify Traits

First impressions can be valuable, but recruiters will often dig deeper to confirm their instincts. Buffett says many will turn to social media platforms like Facebook, Tik Tok, or YouTube.

“It’s a very common way of finding personal information,” he says. “Recruiters won’t find that information on LinkedIn. If you’re looking for a job, make sure your social profiles are cleaned up.”

Recruiters also rely on behavior tests. The survey found that more than half use psychological profiling techniques to identify candidates’ personality traits.

While social media and personality tests dig deeper, if your first impression isn’t good, a recruiter may not choose to move forward with either. The bottom line for a job seeker is to be mindful of your demeanor from the second you walk in or log into the videoconference. Buffett says phone calls and emails can also help to form that impression.

“Speak to current friends and colleagues to find out what impression people have of you,” he recommends. “Look at the 10 key traits and determine how you can improve on those. How you come across is critical.”

See all 10 traits and the complete Fast Company article






Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Want a job at Google? VP shares 6 things to always say during interviews

Bonita Stewart 

Google VP says she always listens for these 6 things during the job interview: ‘They’re not often easy to spot’

I’ve picked up quite a bit on what to look for in a job candidate in my three decades at the helm of major businesses — and specifically, in my nearly 15 years at Google, where I’m currently vice president of global partnerships.

When it comes to hiring the right people, Google sets high standards and requirements across role-related knowledge, leadership expectations and diversified perspectives. I also apply the foundation of my value system, which came from my father, called the four Cs: Concentration, culture, courage and character. 

Of course, they aren’t often easy to spot — or, for an applicant, to display. So here are six important things I always listen for during job interviews:

1. Talk about transferable skills, experience

Depending on what position you’re applying for, you must have some sort of relevant experience. But expertise can be garnered in a number of ways, not purely academic.

Perhaps someone without a master’s degree has gained tremendous experience through interesting personal projects or hobbies, like a side hustle they started outside of work.

For example, if you’re interviewing for an entry-level marketing position, it’s okay to not have 10 marketing internships under your belt. Perhaps you organized a community service event in your hometown. Tell me about the creative strategies you used to get people to pay attention, care and participate.

2. Ask questions—lots of them

This shows natural curiosity, which is a valuable asset in just about every workplace. But move beyond questions you can easily find answers to on your own (e.g., through a Google search).

Instead, focus on coupling a fact with an open-ended question to draw out a personal perspective on a strategic topic. Consider doing this in essential areas such as strategy, product and industry positioning, nurturing high performing teams and inclusive leadership.

For example, “Your team is already performing well in [X], but what about enlisting someone to do [Y], which I believe could help improve [Z]?”

Two other questions that I wish more candidates would ask during job interviews:

  1. What does your team need that isn’t being done now?
  2. How can I contribute in ways that go beyond the job listing responsibilities?

5. Personal agility

The rapid acceleration of technology has created a work culture where business transformation is the norm. Make sure you study the company and identify what unique perspectives you can bring.

For example, I look for candidates who are eager to be helpful to our clients, so that when an industry evolves, such as news and media, we have the right talent to come up with creative strategies to meet the needs of our partners.

This is also about thinking fast, leading with innovation and readily accepting new ideas that come from everyone and everywhere.

See all 6 things and the complete CNBC article





Thursday, February 11, 2021

4 ways to refresh your résumé | video


For many people, February can be an optimal time to hunker down and start looking for a new job. Pavithra Mohan shares 4 résumé refresh tips to help you land a job during an uncertain year.

Tuesday, February 9, 2021

3 Tips On How To Gain Momentum In A February Job Search

Kourtney Whitehead

With a little planning and effort, you can make significant progress in your job search this month, attracting new opportunities and converting promising leads. But to be successful in these endeavors, you need to know what to expect so that you can get ready to adjust to the current and often-turbulent job market trends.

If you are launching or continuing a job search in February, here’s how you can focus your efforts to continue to make traction and achieve your goal of getting a new job in 2021.

1. Create a sustainable routine so you can outlast your competition

By February, many people that set out to get a new job in 2021 are already losing steam.

While January is an obvious time to launch a job search, as you are often propelled by the optimism for a new year, it is also one of the hardest months to get noticed in. The candidate supply is at its highest while many organizations are only just beginning to open up positions and rethink their hiring needs.

And it’s fair to say that this January’s job market took the dynamic to new heights, as US unemployment rates continued to stagnate, and new job openings were spotty.

However, the situation will begin to shift in February when many job seekers, especially those who are already employed and who have a more passive approach to their job search, begin to lose steam and refocus on the demands of daily life, often allowing their job search efforts to stop completely or go cold.

See tips 2,3, and the complete Forbes article



Friday, February 5, 2021

I Envy Me

















To misquote Spinal Tap “I envy me”

Today is my last day at Apple.  It has been nearly 15 years since I first came on board as contract recruiter.  

It has been quite the adventure.  The iPhone was announced the day after I converted from a contractor to an employee.  I’ve been able to help open Apple Stores in multiple countries and recruit for multiple roles for our stores and other groups within Apple.  Working for Apple is something that I’d recommend to anyone.

While the work has been rewarding it is the people that I work with and have worked with that come to mind the most.  Over the years there have been weddings, babies, graduations, and now pandemics.  I was going to try to thank each of them and let them know what they have meant to me over the years but I know I’d forget someone and they’d maybe think that they didn’t mean as much to me but that wouldn’t be true.

So what’s next… Well, i think I picked the wrong date to retire as the high temp at home will be 5 above for the first week but I’ve got the indoor bike and treadmill ready to go as well as the cross country skis as I need to drop some weight so I can stick around for a while.  Hopefully get the magic vaccine shot so I can go visit the parents, brother, and sister who are scattered about.  Maybe head to FLA to see the in-laws.  I’m thinking a trip to CA in 2022 and try to find a replacement for Harry’s Haufbrau.

As some of you know “I’ve always wanted to a collection of my acoustic numbers with the London Philharmonic”…........ ( another Spinal Tap reference )

Thursday, January 28, 2021

Over 50? Here’s 6 tips to get recruiters to notice you

Kaitlyn McInnis

The experience that workers over 50 bring to the table can be very valuable for a company—but unfortunately, oftentimes recruiters or hiring managers are quick to dismiss older applicants without real reason to do so.

That doesn’t mean you’re out of luck, though. If you’re over 50 and looking to start applying to new jobs, there are a few key ways to put yourself ahead and get noticed. Emphasizing your value is a good first step to getting a recruiter’s attention, but it can also help to proactively assuage some of the concerns they may have about recruiting older workers.

Below, we spoke to a handful of hiring managers and directors to get their top tips on exactly how applicants over 50 should approach the job search, initial interviews, and skeptical interviewers who may unintentionally be dismissive before hearing you out. 

2) Address the “overqualified” concern

“An experienced applicant applying for an entry-level role is almost always going to be overqualified for the position,” explains Hill. “This raises concerns that the person will get bored in their role or be unsatisfied with the lower salary it earns and demand more or move on.”

The best way to overcome this is to explain why you want this position, whether you’re looking to expand your skill-set, pivot careers, or simply want a more relaxed role for a better work/life balance. 

3) Focus on the recent past, not your whole career

You don’t want to lie about your age, of course, but you don’t need to draw attention to it, either. According to Hill, generally speaking, things should “age off” of your resume after about 10-15 years.

“This is good advice for anyone who’s established in their field, but is especially important for workers over 50. Similarly, you don’t need to list your graduation date in your education section, especially if it was several decades ago.”

5) Focus on your relevant transferable skills

Bring attention to highly sought after skills such as organizational skills, communication skills, and sales skills.

“These skills are crucial for any entry-level position,” says Paul French, Managing Director at Intrinsic Search. “Show how you used these skills to meet the needs of the employer in your past positions and how you will use them in the current position.”

See all 6 tips and the complete The Ladders article