Tuesday, November 12, 2019

How To Answer The Salary Question On Online Job Applications And Other Common Job Search Negotiation Questions Answered

Caroline Ceniza-Levine

Here are five job search negotiation questions:

1 - How do you address online applications that require a dollar figure and avoid being screened out?

Getting the salary question so early in the hiring process is one of the reasons to avoid online applications if you can help it. It’s hard to give a desired salary when you don’t know much about the job. The desired salary should always be about the job at hand, not what you were making before, what you hope to make, even what you think you deserve.

Therefore, if possible, try to get referred to someone and get a chance to speak with people to learn more specifics about the job before suggesting a salary. However, sometimes you don’t don’t have an existing connection into the company, and you want to apply before too many others apply. First, see if you can just skip the question or write a text response (such as “commensurate with responsibilities of the job”). If not, put a nonsensical number like $1 so that you can move past the question. If you get asked about the $1 response in the first interview, then you can mention that you need to learn more about the job first before estimating the appropriate salary.

2 - How do you avoid mentioning a salary range during your first interview?

Related to the first question, another attendee wanted to avoid giving a salary range, not just at the application stage, but even in the first interview. While I agree that you want to have as much detail about the job as possible before quoting a desired salary, you don’t want to avoid discussing salary at all costs. Some recruiters don’t move forward with a candidate if they don’t have an idea of target salary because the candidate might be too expensive and it’s a waste of everyone’s time. Refusing to discuss salary may prevent you from moving forward.

Therefore, you don’t want to avoid mentioning a salary range at all – just avoid mentioning a salary target too soon. Too soon is when you’re not clear about the job. It’s also too soon to discuss salary if you have not researched the market and may underestimate or overestimate your value. For that reason, you should be researching salaries now, even before you get into an interview situation. You don’t want to be caught unprepared to discuss salary. Your lack of readiness is a problem for you, not the employer.

Read Questions / Answers 3-5 and the complete Forbes article

Thursday, November 7, 2019

The 25 Best Keywords for You in Your Job Search - Build Your Personal SEO

By Susan P. Joyce

A CareerBuilder study released in August 2018 revealed that employers are less likely to contact an applicant they cannot find online because they "expect candidates to have an online presence."

Clearly, being found online today is NOT optional if you want to have a successful career (and job search).

To be found, implement personal SEO ("search engine optimization"). 

Personal SEO requires that you create relevant web content, containing appropriate keywords, so that it ranks well when someone is searching for those keywords.

For most professionals, this means a complete LinkedIn Profile and consistent visibility inside LinkedIn. But, simply having a LinkedIn Profile is NOT enough unless you are paying attention to your keywords.

To be found, implementing effective personal SEO is a necessity.

Keywords Are the Key to Being Found in Search

The right keywords, most appropriate for you and your goals, are the foundation of successful personal SEO.
KEYWORDS: The terms used by searchers to find relevant content in a search engine, social network, applicant tracking system, or other database
Selection and placement of the right keywords is the core of effective SEO (search engine optimization). Use those terms in the right places in resumes, applications, and social media (especially LinkedIn) and you will be found.

Without the right keywords (for you), in the right places (LinkedIn Profile, resume, application), you are invisible online, and employers clearly do NOT like invisible job candidates.

Exact Keyword Match Is Usually Required

If a recruiter is searching for someone with experience in Microsoft Word, your name won't appear in search results unless your social profile or resume contain the exact term Microsoft Word. Microsoft Office, the product which includes Microsoft Word, is not a match

This means you will not be included in search results for the term Microsoft Word unless you also include that term in the documents.

Currently, most software is not programmed to make assumptions. If a job description requires experience with "Microsoft Word," most systems won't understand that a resume for someone who is "highly skilled with Microsoft Office products" meets that requirement because the exact term "Microsoft Word" is not included. 

Even if you have that experience or skill, you are invisible unless your social profile, application, or resume includes the term being searched.

Building Your Personal SEO with Your Best Keywords

Think like a recruiter filling the job you want next. How is that job described in job postings? What skills, tools, etc. are required?
Research how your target employers define your target job to determine your best keywords, as listed below.
Look through the list below and choose what is appropriate for you. Develop your keywords based on the following categories of information:


Keywords About You, Personally:

1. Your professional name

Most people don't think of their names as important keywords, but in these days of search engines and social media...

Your name is your most important set of keywords. Be consistent!

If your resume or business card is for "Edward J. Jones" but your LinkedIn Profile is for "Ed Jones" (or vice versa), you've made it difficult for a recruiter or employer to make the connection between the two, which most will need to do. Not having a LinkedIn Profile is a negative for most professionals, so using different names can damage opportunities for you.

You need to consistently use the same version of your name for your LinkedIn Profile, resumes, business/networking cards, professional email, meeting name tags and badges, and other visibility so recruiters doing research on you can "connect the dots" between you and your professional visibility. 

[Practice Defensive Googling, and read Your Most Important Keywords for more information on avoiding mistaken online identity and Personal Online Reputation Management for the new necessity today.]

2. Your location (or your target location)


According to LinkedIn, "More than 30% of recruiters use advanced search based on location."

Use the best location for you, but DO have a specific location because using a country is too generic. Not having a location will handicap you in most searches. If appropriate for your location, use both city and state plus regional names -- like Oakland, CA, and East Bay Area, or Manhattan and New York City -- so your profile is in the search results for either.

Do NOT provide your street address. At most, include the city and state. Read How to Safely Publish Your Contact Information on LinkedIn for important tips.

3. Your languages

If you speak more than one language, make it clear the languages that you can speak. Also indicate your level of proficiency -- from "native" through "basic" or "elementary" and whether you can read, write, and/or speak the languages. 


To demonstrate your skills in multiple languages, create a LinkedIn Profile in each of them. LinkedIn allows and encourages this, and it's a great way to gain attention for jobs requiring people who can speak and write in more than one language.

See all 25 Keywords and the complete job-hunt.org article



Tuesday, November 5, 2019

How to Answer “Why Should We Hire You” Questions

Alice Berg

The entire interview narrows down to this single question: Why should we give you this job? And it is probably the hardest part of a job interview. Many applicants who don’t prepare for this type of question don’t make it past the interview stage. It may be the reason you didn’t get hired after a wonderful interview.

But when you have a proper answer prepared, you can actually have an advantage over other applicants. 

Remember, it is your chance to bring attention to some of the outstanding qualities that make you a great candidate for the job.

This article will help you learn:

· Why interviewers like to ask why should we employ you

· The best way to answer this question

· How not to answer when you are asked why they should hire you

“Why Should We Hire You?” — What the Interviewer Is Really Asking?

This question may be asked in different ways but what the interviewer is actually asking is why are you a good fit for this position. They have gone through your resume, cover letter and tested your suitability from the time you started the interview up to this point. What they really want to know, therefore, is if you understand what they are looking for and whether you can offer it.

Already, they think you might be qualified enough for the job; otherwise, they would not invite you for an in-person interview. But there may be one or more applicant just as or more qualified for the job. Thus, answering this question is your one chance to sell your unique skills, qualifications, achievements or abilities.

How to Answer Why Should We Hire You Properly During an Interview - See the answer and the full Medium post


Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Here's an example of the perfect resume, according to Harvard career experts

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Just the thought of writing a resume can lead to a huge headache.

But it doesn't have to be so complicated. Try to think of your resume as an award-winning short memoir about your professional experience.

Certainly, they aren't exactly the same (resumes shouldn't be written in a narrative style), but both share a few similarities: They tell the truth, differentiate you from others, highlight your most unique qualities and capture readers' attention.

Don't know where to start? The career experts suggest considering the essential tips below:

1. Tailor your resume

I've seen a shockingly large number of candidates send out a dozen resumes — that all look exactly the same — to a dozen different job openings.

A great resume should be tailored to the job and type of position that you're applying for. You don't have to change every little detail, but the resume itself should reflect the skills and experience that your potential employer would value.

2. Include your contact information

This is one of the top five resume mistakes people make, according to Harvard career experts.

Always be sure to include your email address and phone number. You can go the extra mile by adding your LinkedIn (just make sure it's up to date) or website that showcases examples of your work.

What not to include:
  • A list of references: You don't even need to put "references available upon request" — hiring managers will ask for this if you advance in the hiring process
  • A picture: It doesn't matter how strong your selfie game is — including your a photo of yourself makes you look unprofessional and could introduce unconscious bias
  • Age or sex: Again, keep it professional. It's a resume, not a Tinder profile...
See tips 3,4, and the complete CNBC article



 

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

How To Write A Winning Post-Interview Thank You Note (With Sample)

by

This is the one thing that most people forget to do (or do poorly)

If you’re in the midst of a job search or recently went through one, you’ll know first-hand how competitive the job market is.

No longer is it “good enough” to have a killer résumé.

You’ve got an equally impressive and custom-branded Linkedin profile and cover letter, and perhaps a one-page networking document.

You know how important it is to communicate what your value is, so you created and practiced your short elevator pitch that hooks the listener in a few seconds.

You’ve nailed some interviews as a result of being able to express your value verbally and in writing.

You know how to answer behavioural and situational questions because you created and practiced your long value proposition statement.

Congratulations!  You’re probably a lot farther ahead than most people.

But don’t get too comfortable – you’re not done yet!  There’s one other milestone that you need to meet that always seems to be an after-thought – if anyone thinks about it at all.

It’s following up to a successful interview with a killer thank you note.

This is no longer an option but a necessity and can make the difference between getting the job or being taken out of the running.

Why a thank you note is such a big deal

By today’s standards, a post-interview thank you note goes way beyond just being a social courtesy. It’s another opportunity to SELL YOURSELF for the job. Think of it like a follow up sales letter.

A well-crafted thank you note:  Read the full article to see what a thank you note can do for you, tips, and tricks.

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

How to answer 5 common trick questions designed to trip you up in an interview

Here’s what employers are hoping to glean from these simple questions—and how you can prepare to answer them with confidence.

Common interview questions such as “Tell me about yourself” may not make you panic as much as a bizarre question like “How do you make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich?” But they can still wreak havoc on your responses if you aren’t prepared.
Don’t be fooled by these deceptively simple questions. Experienced recruiters use questions like the ones below to trick you into divulging details you hadn’t planned on sharing during the interview. Here’s what employers are hoping to glean from these common yet tricky questions—and how you can prepare to answer them with confidence.

Tell me about yourself

Translation: Why are you a good fit?
This common interview question seems straightforward, yet it trips up many job seekers. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve watched a candidate go off the rails and share personal details that have nothing to do with the job. When employers ask this question, they’re not interested in hearing your autobiography. Instead, they want you to share a tailored version of your career story. Based on what you know about the job requirements and company, succinctly explain how your previous experiences have led you to this opportunity, as well as how they’ve qualified you for this particular role.

Tell me about a time when . . .
Translation: Prove it. Give me an example.
Many employers like to use this line of questioning—a technique called behavior-based interviewing—to assess a candidate’s potential. A recent TopResume study revealed this to be the single-most-important factor to employers when evaluating a potential hire. These open-ended questions encourage the candidate to share a story that illustrates how they’ve handled a previous situation that is likely to occur in this new role.

When faced with this interview question, stick to the STAR Method (Situation, Task, Actions, Results). Describe a situation or task you handled. Explain the actions you took to resolve the issue or overcome the challenge and summarize the results of your actions. While you might be unable to guess every behavior-based question a recruiter might throw at you, the job posting will offer some clues. Use the job requirements to brainstorm relevant behavioral questions and succinct stories from your work history you can share to demonstrate your abilities.

See all 5 questions and the complete Fast Company article

 

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

How to Explain Gaps in Employment

Pamela Skillings

This article is about how to explain a resume gap in a job interview. This is a common challenge for anyone who has taken time away from work for any reason, whether professional or personal.

Recruiters and hiring managers are trained to look for gaps in candidates’ resumes and ask questions about them. After all, gaps can sometimes indicate a candidate could be a risky hire.

However, there are often good reasons for gaps. People commonly need to take some time away from the workforce to take care of other pressing matters — for example, caring for family members or recovering from health issues.
If you have taken some time away or otherwise followed an unorthodox career path, your gaps will likely come up in your interviews.

Do not fear! We’re here to help you address these gaps in a neutral or positive way that will explain your decision and experience without raising red flags.
Let’s take a look at some of the most common reasons for having gaps in your work history and how to address them.

Parenthood Employment Gaps

Raising young kids takes a lot of time and energy. If you’ve taken time out of your career to care for children, you may have a significant gap in your resume.

If you’re currently trying to return to full-time work after time away to focus on parenting, here is some guidance on how to answer questions about your time away from work in your interviews.
 

1. Project Confidence

This is a very common situation. Be confident in the decision you’ve made to make your family a priority.
However, you must also show you are confident in your readiness and ability to return to work and excel in the position at hand.

Do not go in to your interview apologetic or take a timid stance on the issue. Boldly but politely explain your thoughtful and calculated decision to take time off for your children.

Then, make it clear you are ready to return and enthusiastic about getting back to work.
Your interviewer will likely appreciate your candor and your solid stance.
 

2. Don’t Be Defensive

While you do want to project confidence, you don’t want to be defensive. Understand that it is reasonable for the interviewer to wonder about your gap and don’t assume they are biased against you.

The key is to be confident and straightforward without over-explaining or falling into self-deprecating language.
Defensiveness can make interviewers wonder if you’re hiding something — or if you’re truly confident in your abilities.
 

3. Brush Up on Technology

If it’s been some time since you’ve been in the workplace (5-10 years or more), technology has likely advanced past what you were used to.

Brush up on workplace essentials, such as Google Drive, Google Calendars, Microsoft Office, and any other software specific to your industry.

Your technological competencies will likely be asked about in your interview and you don’t want to be caught off guard.

You can analyze the job description for specifics on what technical skills are most important in the role you’re interviewing for.

You can also tap into your network and/or research industry trends to learn more about technical skills that could come up.
 

4. Keep Up with Your Industry

Much like technology, industries are changing all of the time. Hopefully you’ve kept tabs on major developments while you’ve been out of the workforce, but if you haven’t, take some time to do some research before your interview.
You want to make sure you can keep up with the conversation during your interview, as well as be able to speak knowledgeably about the current challenges and triumphs facing your industry.

Even if you’ve kept up on changes, you may have to counter mistaken perceptions that you’re “out of touch.” Be aware that interviewers may have concerns about your ability to jump back in.

Prepare to talk about how you’ve kept your skills and knowledge fresh.

You can discuss any part-time work, volunteer experience, classes, or other relevant activities.
If you don’t have a lot to talk about, consider signing up for a job-related class or online training course. Even if you won’t have time to complete it before your next interview, your decision to enroll can reinforce your commitment to returning to work and show you have some current knowledge.

Read the full article to see how to discuss other types of gaps