Monday, August 30, 2010

Job Search Advice: How to Explain Your Unemployment (and Get Your Confidence Back!)

Saturday, August 28, 2010

O Magazine - The New Rules Of Networking

By Barbara Safani and Louise Fletcher
O, The Oprah Magazine  |  

1. Join LinkedIn, which will allow you to connect with current and former associates—and their networks, too. "At this point, if you're not on LinkedIn, people wonder why," says Safani. (Bonus: Recruiters often use it as a database.)

2. Request information, not a job. "When you ask for a job, there is a yes or no answer," says Safani, "and it can feel like you're begging." Instead, explain exactly what you want and inquire about others who might be good for you to talk to. "Or pick their brain about the industry; that can be flattering."

3. Be on-message all the time. Prepare a succinct, compelling pitch about what you're looking for and why you're qualified. Then keep this message consistent in your résumé, your online profiles, and your conversations. Never say, "I'll take anything." If you do, people won't know how to help you.

4. Be helpful to others. "Networking isn't just something you do when you're looking for a job," says Fletcher. "If you help people out whenever you can, those favors will come back to you when you need them." 

Friday, August 27, 2010

Create your very own personalized job board for your job search

Considering the thousands and thousands of job boards active on the web, it may come as a surprise to discover that there are few job search management tools available.
Jobspeaker, a site that launched beta this month, is hoping to become the go-to resource for job seekers. After installing the Jobspeaker FireFox Add-on, job seekers can save, rate, track, and takes note on any job they apply for or come across on the web. This establishes a single point of access for all jobs, instead having to visit job boards one at a time. In addition, the Jobspeaker tools enable users to prioritize opportunities based on their relevance.
A sharing function lets job seekers email or tweet jobs to friends and colleagues with just a couple clicks. Besides job posting management, users can rank and track recruiters, employers, and job boards.
Employers and recruiters will have the opportunity to present their company to users and also to comment on remarks and ratings made by job seekers. The site says these services are not yet available, so it is unclear if this is monetizing aspect of Jobspeaker.
The point of all these tools, the Jobspeaker team says, is to ‘remove the information barriers from the recruiting business.”
Jobspeaker was developed by Jarlath O’Carroll, a graduate of the London Business School and the current Technology Product Innovator at Oisin in San Fransisco. According to the Jobspeaker blog, O’Carroll got the idea to start the site after becoming another lay-off casualty of the recession.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Tips for Cold Calling for a Job

With our economy headed into a double-dip recession, with all economic indicators heading downward, this is going to be a challenging period for job hunters.  Yet, we all know that some people are getting jobs.  Are they better than you?  No, they're just better at finding the jobs.

When you have exhausted your personal contacts, worked Facebook and LinkedIn to death and attended every networking event you could find and still don't have any viable job leads, it's time to start cold calling and meeting new people to invigorate your job search.
One of the most challenging skills to master is the ability to effectively cold call.  Cold calling, by my definition, are calls made to people you have never met before where you are looking to establish a business relationship.  It is truly the most difficult process in business.

Cold calling can be made either by sending a letter, e-mail, or phone call.  I personally like calling a new contact.  People today get way too many e-mails which can be daunting for most of us.  I would never e-mail a person if you have never met them.  It's not productive to send information to a potential contact via the e-mail and disrupt their personal space.  In fact, if they do not know who you are they'll probably delete your e-mail without opening it or it will end up in their Spam folder.
Cold calling should be based on a marketing plan you have comprised.  It is essential to have some sort of a game plan before you pick up the phone and start calling a prospect.  This is what separates you from a whiney job seeker who doesn't get return calls from someone who gets return phone calls.
Once you identify who you are contacting do research to see if they have been honored for anything recently or have written any articles lately.  This will give you some insight into how they think and may give you an advantage in your early communication with them.  Compliment them on their achievements: make it about them, not you.
Know that these people you are calling on are extremely busy.  They probably have piles of paper on their desk, fifty e-mails to be answered, and an almost full voice mail.  This is the kind of environment we work in today and will continue for the foreseeable future.  So remember whoever you are contacting cold is probably overworked, tired and bombarded by a number of other people who are trying to reach them.
When you are making a cold call by phone you may only reach a voice mail.  If you do reach a voice mail then leave a short message of who you are, why you're calling and your telephone number.  You may get a return phone call depending on the business ethics of who you are calling.  Many successful executives will return calls out of courtesy but a number of business people will not.  In most cases, you will have to call back a few times.  Don't call back at the same time each time you call.  Be creative and tenacious, but not annoying.
Companies are hiring people, just not at the pace people are losing jobs.  Firms are always looking for new talent.  The key is to be in the inner circle of hiring.  I recognize that personal referrals into a company are easier and sometimes better when looking for a job, but it also limits your chance of getting a job. Personal referrals are quickly exhausted and then what do you do besides applying online as everyone else does?
You have nothing to lose by cold calling.  Just make sure that you target the right people to call.  Do your homework by knowing something about the person you are calling. Compliment them on an article they published or a promotion, something they feel good about and feel compelled to respond to you to thank you for acknowledging.
Be enthusiastic, confident and informed. This confidence and enthusiasm will be infectious.  Whether you leave a voice mail or speak directly to the person you are attempting to reach by phone, make sure to make your proposition clear.  The mission of a cold call is not to sell your goods on the spot, but to open the door with this person for dialog.
Great sales people make great cold calls.  Take a cue from them.  Meet with one of your friends who have made a career in selling and ask them what they do.  This is not a time to sit back and wait for a phone call.  Get out there and keep talking, until you get the job you want.

Original Article

Monday, August 23, 2010

Ten Common Job Interview Questions and Answers

Whether you’re an entry-level candidate looking for your first job or an experienced professional looking to switch gears, the job interview process can be one of the most intimidating and frustrating steps in securing that perfect position. Oddly enough, many interviewers stick to a standard list of questions, regardless of the position being applied for. This standardization can be used to your advantage, as it allows you to prepare and even rehearse your answers to typical interview questions.
Here are ten of the most common job interview questions, and some tips for handling them.
Job Interview Questions and Answers #1: Tell me about yourself.
A lot of less-inspiring interviewers start off with this cookie-cutter icebreaker. It’s a pretty easy one to field: tell them about yourself. Just make sure to think before you speak. Don’t ramble; don’t say anything incriminating; don’t be offensive.
“I love to drink tequila and watch porn,” is probably not appropriate information, no matter how true it is.
If possible, try to tie in some elements that explain why you, an an individual, are a great fit for the company or the position. Interviewing to work with an all-terrain vehicle manufacturer? It might be worth mentioning that you’re an outdoors and motorsports enthusiast.
Job Interview Questions and Answers #2: Tell me about your last job.
This is another question that often comes at the beginning of interviews; it can be a bit tricky to answer. Your goal here is to explain why this new position is better suited to you than your last job without whining or bashing your former company. Potential employers are extremely wary of anybody who has an overabundance of negative stuff to say about their last job.
As an example, let’s say you used to work at an insurance company’s call center, and you’re trying to move into a quality-control role. “Those dumb bastards didn’t have a clue,” is probably not something you want to say about the insurance company.
Instead, try something like, “I enjoyed the customer service element of my previous position, but there simply wasn’t enough problem-solving to keep me engaged. That’s why I decided to look for a position with a little more responsibility that draws upon my technical skill set.”
Job Interview Questions and Answers #3: Tell me about a difficult situation you’ve had with a customer/client and how you handled it.
This can be a very tricky question for entry-level candidates who don’t have a whole lot of formal work experience. If you don’t have a good answer, admit it, and instead try drawing on an experience you had with a friend or family member. Basically, the interviewer is looking for proof of your people skills, so just tell a story about a time when you were able to make an unhappy person happy.

Questions 4 - 10

Monday, August 16, 2010

Tips for Polishing Your Resume

Just as April is a perfect time for some spring cleaning, the last few weeks of August — when things are slower and most of us start looking ahead to the busy fall — is a great time to dust off the cobwebs from your resume. Hiring experts say that even those not involved in an active job hunt should have an updated and polished resume — because sometimes when you’re not looking, that’s just when someone gets interested in you, right?
And for those on a job hunt, it’s important to continually update your resume. Use the hard-won knowledge you’re gaining about what works and doesn’t in a job search to ensure that you are using your resume to its best advantage — and that all parts of it are working for you rather than against you. Also, you want your resume to scream relevance — and the best way to do this is to highlight what you’ve been doing lately, such as freelance or consulting work.
Here are some tips for polishing your resume whether you’re actively job hunting or not:
*Keep it updated. Often, once someone lands a  job, they let their resume languish. And then when they need it again, they’re furiously seeking to include information about their most recent job and activities. It’s better to continually update your resume with details about your most professional experience, freelance work, awards, honors and references or recommendations. (And to make this information fit, make sure to cut long-ago or less relevant positions and honors.) That way, when you make a contact who wants to see your resume (who may be key to getting your next job) you can show how organized you are by immediately sending it to them. And don’t forget to keep an updated copy of your resume on LinkedIn or other professional networking sites you’re on — a good number of people have outdated resumes on these sites, and that means they aren’t taking full advantage of the opportunity right before them.
*Edit with care. A tendency among mid-career professionals, especially, is to pack a ton of information on their resume — after all, they’ve worked hard to gain this experience and want to show it off. Yet too-packed descriptions and paragraphs often have the opposite effect and can frustrate a recruiter — they want to know what you think are your most important qualities and qualifications. Prioritize. Then ruthlessly edit each section of your resume, especially the job descriptions, and take care in word choice. Less is usually more. Also, give your resume some room to breathe. Don’t include so much in any one each section so that it’s literally hard to read on the page. White space is also your friend — provide a little room between sections.
*Simple and elegant is usually best. A resume is your professional calling card — it isn’t an advertising flier or press release. So while it may not look exciting or sound exciting, you’re better off keeping it plain vanilla in terms of look and language.  It’s best to ease up on the bold key and to lightly use italics, dashes or underlining to make your point. Also, these can turn into gobbledygook in this world of scanners and email attachments — make sure you send your resume as an attachment to yourself and print it out before sending to others so that you can see what it will really look like once printed out (which it will be).  Also, when printing your resume at a copy shop (and you should always show up to interviews with your resume on a paper of decent stock) don’t use odd-sized or boldly colored paper; you will be making a statement by doing that and it’s usually not one you want to make. And don’t include your picture on your resume unless requested to do so. And remember, it’s best to leave off items that really aren’t any of a potential employer’s business — such as personal data like marital status or how many kids you have, and statements such as “in excellent health.” Keep it focused on your professional achievements — and polish away!
*Some good news and congratulations today — Max Frumes, a recent graduate of Northwestern’s Medill School of Journalism (and a participant in its Washington program), has landed a full-time job with The Deal ( in New York as a private-equity reporter, and as he says, “it was partly serendipity.” (As it so often is in job hunting, by the way!) He wasn’t looking for a full-time position because he had an internship lined up with Bloomberg in New York for the fall. Because there was a lag between his graduation in June from Medill and the fall start date for the internship, he was freelancing in D.C. As he was looking for more freelance opportunities to tide him over, he contacted a MarketWatch reporter he had gotten to know through his work at Medill. Though MarketWatch didn’t have a freelance budget, he sent Max’s name to someone with his previous organization — The Deal — about temporary work, and a month later, they called him for interviews for a full-time job. So again, networking is the absolute key to getting a good job — even when you aren’t necessarily looking for one!
Congratulations and best of luck to Max! And please pass along your story — or spread the word to others who have landed well and ask them to get in touch — as they are so instructive about how people really get jobs in this competitive market.
*And now, for some fresh communications and journalism leads — remember, I include these mostly to give an indication of who is really hiring in the D.C. area and for what types of jobs (your best bet is still to try to find someone within an organization you’re targeting to get your resume to decision makers):
*Intelsat in D.C. has an opening for a director of corporate communications:
Director, Corporate Communications
Intelsat – Washington, DC
years of Satellite Communications experience as the Director, Corporate Communications within the Corporate and Marketing Communications team of Intelsat. The…
*The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation in D.C. has several openings on its marketing and communications team, including for a director of strategic philanthropy:
Director of Strategic Philanthropy
National Fish and Wildlife Foundation- Washington, DC Office – Washington, DC
of Marketing and Communications, development support… fundraising plans. • Support preparation of communication/marketing materials related to Keystone and…
*This might be a good opportunity for a transitioning journalist, especially one with a background and interest in conservation issues — the National Parks Conservation Association in D.C. is looking for a program manager with a geographic focus on Virginia:
VA Program Manager
National Parks Conservation Association – Washington, DC
motivated, strategic, results-oriented, collaborative leader with excellent communication skills. BA/BS degree with three to five years of equivalent experience…
*The Center for Public Integrity in D.C. has an opening for a senior Web developer:
The Center for Public Integrity, a nonprofit investigative journalism publisher, is seeking a Senior Web Developer to work at its headquarters in Washington DC.
The Web Developer will help lead development and redevelopment of websites on the Django and Drupal platforms. Maintenance of existing websites on other platforms, such as Expression Engine, will also be required. This position reports to the Web editor and the Chief Digital Officer.
Main Responsibilities:
• Lead development of the next generation of Web platforms, social networking tools and publishing tools to showcase the Center’s award-winning reporting.
• Coordinate with editors and Web producers to ensure that needed functionality meets usability and workflow requirements.
• Implement bug fixes and assist with routine maintenance of existing websites.
• Research emerging technologies to help identify potential revenue opportunities and/or enhancements to website user experience.
• Participate in all aspects of website development/redevelopment: analysis, planning, testing, development, maintenance.
Required Qualifications:
• Minimum 2 years experience developing in Django and Drupal.
• Strong Python knowledge.
• XML, CSS and Web Standards experience and knowledge
• Demonstrated ability to produce quality code and to lead other developers to produce quality code.
Preferred Skills:
• Experience in the news media industry.
• Experience working in other programming languages/frameworks.
• Experience in traditional software development.
• Prior leadership experience in Web development enterprise.
• Must be able to produce high-quality code under clear deadlines.
• Must be able to manage multiple projects and consistently meet project deadlines
• Must be able to lead a team of other developers to produce quality code.
• Excellent written and spoken communication skills
• Excellent interpersonal skills
• Innovative, self-motivated approach to work
The Center offers a compensation and benefits package, including medical, dental, and vision insurance. All applications should be emailed to Web Editor Andrew Green at
*Also, the Center for Public Integrity has several fall Web internships (paid!) still available through the end of 2010:
The Center for Public Integrity’s Web department is looking to hire two or three web-savvy interns beginning as soon as possible and working through the end of the year. Interns will be expected to work 10 – 15 hours per week at a rate of $10 per hour.
Basic responsibilities will include:
·         Loading content to the Center’s website;
·         Basic web-based advertising (Google Ads);
·         Assistance with photo research and editing;
·         Maintaining archives of multimedia content;
·         Assistance with compiling analytics;
·         Other duties as assigned.
Additional responsibilities may include:
·         Assisting with multimedia projects;
·         Assisting with project management of major investigations.
The Center is looking to hire interns with basic content management system and HTML skills. Additional multimedia, social media and graphic design skills are a plus.
Interested applicants should send a resume and brief cover letter to Andrew Green at
Note: This is a web-based position, and while it may offer opportunities to assist with web-based multimedia projects, it is a not a reporting and writing position.
*The Daily Record in Baltimore has an opening for a Web content producer:
The Daily Record, Maryland’s trusted source for business and legal news, is looking for someone skilled with databases and online media tools and a desire to put them to work in new and creative ways. This job is less reporting and writing and more data-driven, content-focused and technology-centric. We’re looking for someone familiar with the rhythms of a newsroom who can:
  • Create and import various forms of data from various sources and format for use online and in print products. Aggregate information that can be combined into one search function and “mashed” together for use by sophisticated business and legal news audiences.
  • Compile, format and help analyze data for computer-assisted reporting online and in print.
  • Perform all duties essential to our website operation, including but not limited to: operating our content management system; packaging stories online in creative and compelling ways; and utilizing hyperlinks, search engine optimization strategies, tags and any other tools that will generate traffic.
  • Build e-mail newsletters, breaking news e-blasts, text alerts and other products for distribution to our growing digital audience.
Please e-mail a resume and cover letter to
*The Detroit Free Press has an opening in its D.C. bureau for an auto writer:

The Detroit Free Press is seeking an auto writer who will be based in the newspaper’s Washington bureau. The reporter will cover regulatory and congressional issues related to the auto industry, including recall and safety matters, fuel economy debates, lobbying, and trade and labor policy developments.
The writer also will work closely with our Detroit-based autos team, helping to cover major news developments in the domestic and global auto industry. The writer also would occasionally collaborate on watchdog projects and breaking news with our political reporter based in Washington. We need an enterprising reporter who produces stories that range from watchdog to explanatory to analytical. Candidates must have clips showing experience with digging into public records and a track record for developing deep sourcing in the industry, agencies and congressional offices.
The Free Press is the nation’s ninth-largest Sunday newspaper. Its award-winning autos and business staff has been recognized by the Society of American Business Editors and Writers as producing one of the top business reports in the country.
Applicants should send a resume, cover letter and writing samples to Senior Managing Editor Jeff Taylor at Candidates should cite examples of how they have broken news and provided exclusive content in digital platforms.
*SNL Financial has an opening in its Arlington office for an energy reporter:
SNL Financial LC, a premier news and data company, is looking for a top-notch energy reporter to be based in its Arlington, Va., office. The position involves phone and face-to-face interviews, as well as some travel to attend conferences and other industry events. Energy industry reporting experience is a plus, specifically in the coal and power markets. SNL offers unique salary potential – competitive base salary and performance based bonuses – and a great working environment in our Arlington, VA office. Please submit a cover letter of interest, resume and writing samples to SNL Financial is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer.
*The Huffington Post is looking for a copy editor to be based in its D.C. office:
The Huffington Post is hiring a copy editor to be based at our downtown Washington, D.C. office.
Candidates should have strong editing skills and a working knowledge of national politics.
The position will involve editing a large volume of fast-moving content from HuffPost’s growing reporting team, and working closely with the DC bureau chief and the politics editor on reporting coverage. At least two years of editing experience required.
Send resume and references to

*And last but not least today, Groupon is looking for freelance writers:
Every day, Groupon emails over 8 million subscribers with a new thing to do, eat, or see in their city. Every business we feature gets a thoroughly researched and profoundly absurd descriptive write-up, and we are looking for a few freelance writers to add to our figurative stable of word wizards. Our freelancers are guaranteed a steady stream of work, and the creative style of our writing has won us recognition from such arbiters of taste as the NY Times. The succesful candidate will demonstrate an effortless knack for our unusual voice in his or her sample, and will also be able to point to hard evidence of the ability to self-direct and work under deadline.

For instructions and to apply, click

Original DC Works Posting

Friday, August 13, 2010

26 Companies Hiring Right Now:

If you’ve ever found yourself in a job search, you know the frustration that often accompanies it. You’ve prepared your resume, pressed your suit, practiced your interview answers and are ready to go. All you need is that job offer.

The entire job search process can feel like a test of patience. You can only write and rewrite your résumé so many times before you want to pull out your hair. Although revising your cover letter and attending networking events are excellent ways to be a great job candidate, you can get burned out quickly. And if your job search lasts for several months, the burnout can linger.
In order to ease some of the anxiety of a job hunt, we’ve decided to bring the jobs to you. Across all industries throughout the country, these companies are ready to hire qualified workers in August. In other words, they want hard workers like you. You’ve spent a lot of your energy getting ready for the right job, so we have put together a list of 25 companies hiring right now:

Adventist Health System

Industry: Health care
Number of openings: 1,200
Sample job titles: Registered nurse, nursing, physical therapist, occupational therapist, pharmacist, speech language pathologist, physician, physician assistant, management, supply chain, nutrition services, human resources, information technology, accounting, marketing
Location: Florida, Texas, Illinois, Georgia, North Carolina, Tennessee, Kansas, Colorado, Kentucky, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Missouri


Industry: Hardware, Software, Retail
Number of openings: 1000
Sample job titles: Genius, Specialist, Creative, Business Manager, Store Leader, Recruiter
Location: Worldwide


Industry: Telecommunications
Number of openings: 2,000
Sample job titles: Retail sales consultants, retail store managers, call center customer service representatives, premises technicians
Location: Nationwide


Industry: Automotive parts/retail
Number of openings: 57
Sample job titles: Counter sales, parts delivery
Location: Michigan, Wisconsin, Illinois, Ohio

CB Richard Ellis, Inc.

Industry: Corporate real estate
Number of openings: 187
Sample job titles: Service engineer, senior IT BSA, financial analyst
Location: New York, Los Angeles, Dallas, and more.

Comerica Bank

Industry: Banking/financial services
Number of openings: 50
Sample job titles: Customer service representatives, assistant banking center managers, banking center managers and commercial banking officers
Location: Texas, Arizona, California, Florida and Michigan

Enterprise Rent-A-Car

Industry: Travel/tourism
Number of openings: 500
Sample job titles: Sales/management trainee
Location: Nationwide

Freeport McMoRan

Industry: Mining
Number of openings: 450
Sample job titles: Architect, mechanical engineer, accountant, benefits analyst, truck driver, mechanic
Location: Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, Texas, Connecticut

Gentex Corporation

Industry: Automotive electronics
Number of openings: 140
Sample job titles: Production team members, electrical design engineers, software development engineers, electrical project engineers, program managers, technical team leaders, manufacturing process technicians, software test engineers, product design engineers
Location: Zeeland, Mich.

Go Wireless

Industry: Retail
Number of openings: 75
Sample job titles: Store manager, sales associate
Location: New York, New Jersey, Florida

Guitar Center

Industry: Retail
Number of openings: 55
Sample job titles: CRM business architect, manager of user experience, senior marketing campaign analyst
Location: Westlake Village, Calif.

Harland Clarke

Industry: Marketing services and technology solutions
Number of openings: 50
Sample job titles: Senior programmer analyst, systems admin engineer, customer care specialists
Location: San Antonio, Glen Burnie, Md.


Industry: Electronic medical records
Number of openings: 60
Sample job titles: Medical record techs, IT
Location: Atlanta

Holland America

Industry: Leisure/entertainment
Number of openings: 65
Sample job titles: Reservation sales, oracle developer, maintenance engineer, marketing specialist
Location: Seattle

Intercontinental Capital Group

Industry: Mortgage
Number of openings: 100
Sample job titles: Loan consultants, team leaders
Location: New York, Phoenix, King of Prussia, Penn., Columbus, Boca Raton

LMS Intellibound

Industry: Industrial
Number of openings: 56
Sample job titles: Site manager, warehouse supervisor, unloader, administrative
Location: North Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, South Carolina, New York, Maryland, Mississippi, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana

Marcus and Millichap

Industry: Commercial real estate
Number of openings: 90
Sample job titles: Commercial real estate agent, commercial real estate investment broker, executive assistant, brokerage administrator
Location: California, Texas, Arizona, Nevada, Minnesota, Illinois, Michigan, New York, Florida, and more

MetLife Home Loans

Industry: Mortgage Banking
Number of openings: 250
Sample job titles: Mortgage loan specialist, closer, funder, underwriter, underwriting manager, operations manager
Location: Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Los Angeles, Hauppauge, N.Y.

Millennium Pharmacy Systems, Inc.

Industry: Health care (pharmacy services, long-term care)
Number of openings: 60
Sample job titles: Staff pharmacists, dispensing pharmacist, pharmacy techs, customer service representatives, customer service supervisors, customer advocate, staff accountant
Location: Rhode Island, North Carolina, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Florida, Maryland, Washington, D.C. and Illinois

National Agents Alliance

Industry: Insurance
Number of openings: 321
Sample job titles: Insurance sales representative (entry level and experienced), administrative assistant, recruiter
Location: Nationwide

Plymouth Auctioneering

Industry: Arts and entertainment/sales
Number of openings: 60
Sample job titles: Traveling art auction sales professional
Location: International travel (100 percent travel)

Saber Healthcare

Industry: Health care
Number of openings: 55
Sample job titles: Director of nursing, occupational therapist, physical therapist, administrators
Location: Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Florida and Missouri

Shared Technologies, Inc

Industry: Telecommunications
Number of openings: 50
Sample job titles: Sales executive, sr. sales executive, technician
Location: California, Pennsylvania, Florida, Texas, New York, New Jersey, Nevada Arizona, Maryland

Shelter Development, LLC

Industry: Housing/health care
Number of openings: 50
Sample job titles: Property manager, dining services director, clinical, assistant controller, assistant property manager, service technician, senior living program director, staff accountant
Location: Baltimore

Sutter Health

Industry: Health care
Number of openings: 1,700
Sample job titles: RN, nurse managers, directors, physical therapist, occupational therapist, HIM, pharmacist, IT
Location: Northern California region, including Sacramento, Central Valley, Bay Area, Peninsula

Tetra Tech

Industry: Government contractor – engineering
Number of openings: 85
Sample job titles: UXO technicians, field technician, lead UNIX/Linux technician
Location: Nationwide

Thursday, August 12, 2010

10 Killer Interview Tactics You Ought to Know

Jimmy Sweeney

Job interviews can be a mystery. But you can find success if you follow the right job interview strategies. The following 10 tips are the best job interview strategies to follow if you want to ace your next interview.

1. Study the company

One of the best job interview strategies that most candidates ignore is to study the current events of the company. Knowing what the current events of the company is important so that you can ask pertinent questions. Doing so will show the interviewer that you have done your homework, and also have a genuine interest in the company. This strategy will definitely help your job interview.

2. Know your resume

As a candidate, you should be very familiar with your resume. In any job interview, anything on your resume is at the interviewer's disposal. Implementing this job interview strategy will help build credibility with your interviewer. It is your respnsibility to convince the interviewer that you can come in and do the job. Speaking intelligently about each of your previous positions will help do this, and is one of the best job interview strategies to follow.

3. Prepare an interview emergency kit

Many candidates don't properly prepare for a job interview. Getting together a "job interview kit" is a great job interview strategy to follow. Suggested items for the kit include extra copies of your resume, directions to the office, a bottle of water, eye drops, pens, and notepad. But you should only bring the extra copies of your resume into the office with you, preferably in a portfolio.

4. Study the job description

After landing an interview, you need to study the job description to truly understand what the interviewer is looking for. If the description calls for attentiveness to detail, you will want to tailor the discussion accordingly. Knowing this, you can navigate the interview and discuss examples from previous jobs that will exemplify this trait. Do this for all significant traits or qualities that you identify in the job description. This is one of the best job interview strategies I have used, and know that it can bring you success.

5. Build rapport

You know the saying, "There's never a second chance to make a first impression?" That holds very true in the case of job interviews. That is why building rapport is such an important job interview strategy. Shake hands, make eye contact, and smile. Put those three together when you first meet your interviewer and it will set a positive tone for the rest of the interview.

6. Make eye contact

Making positive eye contact is one of the best job interview strategies to follow. Eye contact is one of the strongest forms of nonverbal communication. A person's qualities and personality can be detected simply based on eye contact. Making direct eye contact communicates confidence and high self-esteem, two key qualities employers look for in candidates.

Thus, it is very important that you make eye contact when you first meet interviewer and shake hands. And during the interview, it is important to make eye contact, not only when you talk, but also as you listen. Simply doing this job interview strategy will greatly help your chances of success in an interview.

7. Body language

Just as eye contact speaks volumes about you, so does your body language. Proper body language conveys confidence and high self-esteem. During the interview, things like sitting up straight with your chest out and keeping a pleasant demeanor on your face will project confidence. The interviewer will be aware of this, and it will help you stand out in his/her mind.

8. Display your skills with concrete examples

When it comes to discussing their skills, many candidates make the mistake of "telling" instead of "showing." One of the best job interview strategies is to use concrete examples to demonstrate their skills to the interviewer. For example, if one of your skills is successfully handling multiple tasks at once, providing an example of how you do that will help paint a picture for the interviewer. It also gives the interviewer something to "hold on to" once the interview is over, and helps him/her remember you when it comes to decision time.

9. Be yourself

A common mistake that many candidates make is not being themselves. Some feel that they need to fit a certain mold and act accordingly. This will only end up hurting both parties in the end when your "true" personality comes out. You will be surprised how easy it is to detect insincerity during an interview. Thus, it is important to be professional, but also maintain your true essence. When you do this, your sincerity and genuineness will be picked up by the interviewer. This is one of the best job interview strategies to implement, and will go a long way in determining your success.

10. Follow up quickly

After the job interview, send a thank you note to the interview. These days, an email is fine, but traditionally a handwritten card is sent. Whatever method you choose, do it promptly after the interview. The correspondence should be sent the next day after the interview. Many hiring decisions are made quickly these days, so timeliness is very important.

You now have 10 of the best job interview tactics to follow. There are many aspects of a successful job interview, but if you implement these 10 best job interview tactics listed above, your chances of success will skyrocket!

For more interview tips, check out the Ultimate Guide to Job Interview Answers, our sponsors.

Original Posting

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Candidates - What Is The Most Important Question You Can Ask In A Job Interview?

Over the decades I have asked many job seekers which questions are most important in the interview. Many answers come out, such as:
· Why is this position open?
· Is this a new position or a replacement?
· What are you looking for in this position?
· What are the long-term potentials of the position?
· What are the next steps in the process?
· What would you like someone to start?
Books have hundreds of questions to ask during the job interview about the company, the future of the department etc. But I don’t often see, and rarely hear from job seekers, a question that seeks direct feedback of how you are doing in real time. Surprisingly, most candidates never think of asking it. Most candidates interpret good conversation or politeness as an endorsement or a favorable vote. They prefer to assume that everything went great and then wait at home hoping for the next steps in the process. When no one calls or returns their calls, and time drags on, they then begin to second-guess about how they interviewed, what they said, or perhaps the agenda of the manager. Stories and excuses begin to form in order to rationalize why they are not moving forward in the hiring process. It is a very frustrating experience.
So as I coach job seekers on how to close a job interview properly using a four question technique, it is this question that surprises them. It’s based on the sales cycle where you must ask the tough questions in order to see where you stand. A “no” or a “concern” can be your best friend because it gives you a chance to address it while you are there. Since a job interview is a selling situation, finding out any issues is the best thing you can do near the end of the job interview. Once you know them, you can probe for clarification, address the issue, outweigh the weakness or clarify a previous comment.
So the Question to ask is:
“Mr. Manager, is there anything I said today or anything in my background that would prevent you from recommending me for this position? If there is, could I at least have a chance to talk about it while I’m here today?”
Candidates have relayed to me that this question has often surfaced misconceptions, miscommunications and/or opportunities to address weaknesses with more information. If the manager is hiding an answer from you it will be obvious from his facial expressions or hesitation. If it looks good, the answer will be quick and positive. If there is a concern, they often will bring it up and say something like “we were thinking of looking for someone little more like this” or “I’m not sure I see you as a proper fit for the job in this area”. This will require you to probe deeper to understand the real issue.
Now you have a chance to summarize your appropriate background and try to outweigh or resolve such a weakness rather than going home and being put into the reject pile with no explanation of where you fell short. Many times during the job interview, you may be emphasizing one point of your background and strengths at the expense of another, or inadvertently fail to address a negative answer or weakness. Asking this question gives you a chance to recover and to really assess how well you’re doing in this job interview.
Asking this important question shows maturity and the ability to communicate even when the topic could be negative or uncomfortable. So always ask this question with courage. A direct answer is your friend. A positive answer and a quick response confirms you may have interviewed well and you are qualified. Other answers will help you refine your interview technique. Either way, you come out a winner in understanding what your status is for this particular job opportunity and you can proceed to close or strategize for the next appropriate step with this knowledge. Good luck and good interviewing.
Excerpted from InterviewCoach at
Howard Cattie is Head Coach of CareerOyster, an innovative online career coaching firm. CareerOyster helps job seekers learn powerful, effective resume writing and winning job interview skills through products such as ResumeCoach and InterviewCoach. To get started, and to get your free video career advice and job search tips newsletter, visit

Original Article

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

10 Hiring Manager Deal Breakers - Why Candidates Don't Get The Job

By Kaitlin Madden, writer

Everyone has encountered a deal breaker. That one unappealing characteristic -- no matter how attractive something initially seems -- that completely overrides any positive aspects. For example, you found a great apartment but it's a mile from the subway or your hot blind date acts like a cast member from "The Jersey Shore." Like anyone else, hiring managers have deal breakers too -- things that a job candidate does or says that immediately get their application sent to the "no" pile.
Here are some automatic applicant disqualifiers, straight from the recruiters' mouths:
"I provide personal PR consulting as part of my practice, and job interviews have come up recently. In talking with other managers, the worst interview blunder that I keep hearing about is young grads using social media speak during conversations, as if LOL is a real word. Most hiring managers are social-media savvy, but they want to know that their future employee can carry on professional conversations with all levels of the organizations -- using real words." -- Jules Zunich, owner, Z Group PR
 "The first thing that comes to mind when I think about deal breakers is the candidate's online personal brand. I Google candidates and if I find online content that is concerning, it's an immediate deal breaker. Examples of this include: pictures of the candidate drunk or acting in a promiscuous way or albums of pictures that represent a 'party animal' image; blogs or videos that are not in good taste; blogs, articles or any written content with below par writing and grammar skills; lack of professionalism or good conduct in group discussions (i.e. LinkedIn groups); complaints about prior companies and managers; and just a general usage of improper language on any social-media venue." -- Jessica Simko, human resource manager and owner,
"A few of my common no-no's:
1. Bringing up salary in the initial interview (for an otherwise great interview, I'll excuse this if it happens during the Q&A at the end).
2. Speaking about scheduling limitations or prospective reasons to leave the position right off the bat.
3. Acting impolitely or speaking down to any person in our office (receptionists or secretaries included).
4. Telling me that dealing with people is your biggest challenge/weakness or least favorite thing. Very few jobs let you work without other people.
5. Consistently answering questions other than those I asked.
In general, it's often the little things that distinguish a good candidate from a bad candidate, so keeping all of those little things in mind is very important!" -- Josh, commenter on
"Deal breakers I have seen include: having a really immature [cell phone] ring-back (I called one girl for an interview and her ring-back was some hip-hop song). Also, once a candidate didn't know what company they were applying for. Although the job posting didn't note the company name, the root domain of my e-mail should give away our Web address, and we were looking for someone that was tech-savvy for the job. Another time I told a candidate to dress fashionably for the interview because we were a fashion company, but she was a total mess when she came into the interview with loose clothing and really messy hair." -- Danny Wong, hiring manager, Blank Label Clothing
"Lying on a résumé. I had a marketing director e-mail me her old résumé (which I only had a paper copy of) and an updated résumé. The dates of employment on the updated résumé did not match the dates on the previous résumé and the first job listed on the previous résumé did not appear on the new one. When I asked for an explanation, she told me that she could not remember the dates of employment at her previous job and that she had removed her previous job from the new résumé because she wanted everything to fit on two pages. When I told her that I could not proceed with her candidacy because of the inaccuracies, she actually got angry at me. The second was a lawyer who, on a new résumé, changed the dates of his previous employments and removed one job completely. The funny thing was that he knew I had the previous résumé. The rule is simple: Liars need not apply!" -- Bruce Hurwitz, president and CEO, Hurwitz Strategic Staffing
"Arrogance. When a candidate is overly confident, I find them to have a sense of entitlement, which is the last thing any employer wants to deal with. Remember to be gracious to anyone you meet during the job search process. Being humble will get you farther than being conceited." -- Elliott Martimbeau, recruiting manager at Sapphire Technologies
"One candidate I met recently came into my client's office and complained about the sign on the building. She said that it was too high up and was blocked by the trees surrounding it so she was unable to find the company. If you are this negative going into an interview when you're supposed to be at your best, think about how negative you'll be when you face challenges as an employee. Another candidate interviewing for a coordinator role asked for directions when I scheduled the interview. These days with Google Maps being so prevalent, candidates should be able to find their own directions, even if they don't have a GPS. Worse yet, she got lost on the way to the interview, and rather than asking someone in the neighborhood to help her, she called me. It took me five minutes to explain where the building was. Clearly this was not a person who was able to think on her own -- a deal breaker for a coordinator role." -- Abby Kohut, former hiring manager and author of "101 Job Search Secrets"
"Internally here when interviewing, we try and be somewhat forgiving as we understand everyone is only human. However, when the competition is high, there are things that can immediately remove people from consideration -- particularly if it's something that reflects on skills or attributes relevant to the job.
One of the big ones for us is spelling on a résumé, simply because it speaks to a person's attention to detail. If they can't check their own résumé over to ensure there are no mistakes, how could we expect them to do it once they get hired by one of our clients? So unless someone is a true superstar or has skills and experience that are in high demand, spelling mistakes are a deal breaker for us. The lesson here then is to make sure you triple-check your résumé before applying.
In addition, we've heard from a number of our clients about their personal deal breakers as well. While many are the same, we've definitely heard some unique ones. One hiring manager eliminated a short-listed candidate because her bra strap was showing. Another because a woman's skirt was too short. You never know the type of person you're going to be interviewing with and what type of quirky biases they may have. While some hiring managers' personal deal breakers might not exactly be fair to candidates, the bottom line is that they can and do eliminate candidates based on these personal judgments. Our best advice would be to err on the conservative or more professional side if you're ever in doubt." -- Greg Masiewich, manager, IQ Partners Inc.
There you have it, hiring deal breakers straight from the source. It appears that all of the disqualifiers mentioned above were caused by one thing: lack of professionalism. Remember, no detail is too small to be overlooked by a recruiter, so make sure you exude a professional demeanor during your job search. Whether it's in the way you dress, your manner of speaking, your online profile or even your cell-phone ring-back -- recruiters take everything into account.
Kaitlin Madden is a writer and blogger for and its job blog, The Work Buzz. She researches and writes about job search strategy, career management, hiring trends and workplace issues. Follow @CBForJobSeekers on Twitter. 

Original Article

Monday, August 9, 2010

In job search, salary information often requires digging a little deeper

By Vickie Elmer
Special to The Washington Post
Sunday, August 8, 2010
The job looks enticing and the commute would be half your current one. But the pay? Who knows? The ad doesn't mention it and the company offers nothing on its Web site to clue you in.
This Story
If you're looking for a new position, you also may want to start your due diligence -- your search for the salary skinny -- right away. Salary information from a previous search, even as recent as a year ago, may no longer be relevant.
"Salary data is volatile and it changes constantly," said Deborah Keary, human resources director for the for the Society of Human Resource Management, an Alexandria-based professional association. In other words, your dream job may not pay as much as you dreamed.
In the past two years, millions of people's salaries were reduced or frozen, or their positions were turned into contract jobs without benefits. Vacation days and pay raises dropped from sight last year in many sectors, though salaries are climbing back now.
Top-performing staffers around the Washington metro area can expect raises of 3.9 percent, on average, this year, which is higher than the national average reported in a recent salary survey by WorldatWork, a human resources association based in Scottsdale, Ariz. The highest-rated staffers -- one fourth of all workers -- will collect more, but the bottom quarter may get meager raises or none at all this year, WorldatWork officials said.
The average pay increase nationwide this year is 2.5 percent -- below the gains of 3.5 percent or more that had been logged in recent years.
"You can't expect a lot of money unless you're a really good performer," Keary said.

If you win a promotion, that could bump up your pay 7 to 15 percent, according to Paul Rowson, managing director at WorldatWork's D.C. office. "Top performers tend to be considered for promotions faster than average performers," he said. Either way, you're likely to earn more if you know the market's pay rates and your own worth in today's job market.
Here's are four strategies for learning more about pay and benefits:
-- If you already work for the organization, simply go to the human resources department and ask. This may work for some outside candidates, too, especially if they are finalists for the job. "Transparency is an up-and-coming thought," Keary said.
-- Check recent job postings specific to the city and industry where you want to work and to your level of experience. Exclude contract jobs (unless that is what you're seeking), because their base pay is much higher. Recruiters also can be great sources, Rowson said.
-- Use Web sites to learn a ballpark estimate of market salaries, Keary suggests.

 -- Talk to people who already hold the job you want. "Don't be a researcher. Be a networker," Rowson said. Connect with them on LinkedIn or through professional associations. Ask for career advice and insights -- including salary ranges.
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Keary agreed that people are a great source -- if handled gingerly. "People are interested in the subject" of salaries, she said, though many would rather discuss them in third-person generalities. Ask about a fair salary for someone with 10 years of experience in that field. "Make it clear that you're not prying into their personal business," she said.
You also may want to find out how the organization treats its staff. "You'll hear the horror stories first," she said, including tales of those who went years without a raise. Dig deeper and ask a variety of people about compensation history and practices.
Most jobs have established pay ranges, and government jobs have pay grades that can be found online. Ranges may be broad, especially for management jobs. It's tricky to determine where you would fall within a stated pay range. Among the factors are years of experience, technical prowess and standout abilities. "You've got to be conservative. You can't overestimate your worth" or you may get kicked out of the running, Rowson said.
Many experts suggest you hold off on discussing pay and benefits until late in the hiring process, after a job has been offered or you're at least a finalist.
Candidates may want to have three figures in mind -- or stashed as a note on their mobile phones -- as they begin to discuss pay, said Mary E. Hayward, director of career services for the SIT Graduate Institute in Brattleboro, Vt.
The first number is the market salary for the job you want. The second is your highest expectation of what you could earn. And the third is the lowest pay you would accept.

Employers will be more likely to negotiate a higher salary or better benefits if you have demonstrated your qualifications and any extras you bring to the position, Hayward said. She recommends developing a list of bargaining points ahead of time. "What this gets down to is you're marketing a product," she said. "And the product is you." Try to be collaborative in salary discussions. "Don't accept the first offer," Hayward said, since it's probably a low-ball offer.

Original Article