Friday, September 28, 2012

Top 5 Interview Mistakes Millennials Make

Jenna Goudreau

In today’s job market, older workers have a definitive edge over younger workers. According to a new survey by recruiting firm Adecco, hiring managers are three times more likely to hire a worker that is 50-years-old or older than hire a millennial.
The survey of 501 hiring managers was conducted in late August and defined millennial workers as those born between 1981 and 2000, meaning workers age 31 and under. The recruiters seemed most concerned with millennials’ long-term commitment, professionalism and reliability. They also said millennial workers need major improvement in their interview skills.
Here are the top five interview mistakes millennials make, based on the survey results—and how you can avoid them.

No. 1: Wear Inappropriate Interview Attire

The top interview mistake millennials make is wearing the wrong clothing, according to 75% of hiring managers surveyed. When Angela Romano Kuo was vice president of human resources at  professional job-matching company TheLadders, she recalls being appalled that a young man came to an interview wearing a golf shirt, shorts and flip flops. He did not get the job. “Err on the side of being overdressed to make a good impression,” she advises. In an interview, stay away from flashy jewelry, plunging necklines, too-short hemlines, t-shirts, and shoes that are too casual or too difficult to walk in. “You never want to wear something that can be distracting, so if you have to think twice about it—skip it.”

No. 2: Have Posted Questionable Social Media Content

An overwhelming majority (70%) of hiring managers said millennials make the mistake of posting potentially compromising content on social media channels like Facebook and Twitter. Conversely, managers reported that only 19% of older workers post improper content. According to a recent survey by Intel, top social media faux pas include posting inappropriate or explicit photos, sharing too-personal information about yourself or others, using profanity, and writing with poor grammar and spelling. Young people should be especially careful of their grammar, considering that 46% of hiring managers believe millennials need to improve their writing skills.

No. 3: Haven’t Done Their Research
Hiring managers are generally skeptical of millennials’ research skills, and 62% said it hurts them in an interview when they have not done enough research or preparation on the company and position. While young professionals are most associated with being creative (74%) and strong networkers (73%), they are not believed to be organized (8%) or detail-oriented (17%). The easiest way to flip this assumption on its head is for millennials to be as prepared as possible for the interview. Do internet research on the company, position and interviewer; read as many recent articles as you can find about the industry; and use your LinkedIn connections to talk directly to someone already working there about the culture and environment.

Tips 4, 5, and complete Forbes article

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Stand Out in Your Interview

by Amy Gallo - Harvard Business Review

You've just landed a job interview for a position you really want. Congratulations. Now, you know you only get one chance to impress, but how exactly do you do that? Given all of the conflicting advice out there and the changing rules of getting a job, it's no wonder that job seekers are confused about how to best prepare for and perform in an interview.

What the Experts Say
One common piece of advice is to "take charge" of the interview. John Lees, a career strategist and author of The Interview Expert: How to Get the Job You Want and Job Interviews: Top Answers to Tough Questions, says this advice is misleading: "The reality is that the interviewer is in control. Your job is to be as helpful as you can." Claudio Fernández-Aráoz, a senior adviser at Egon Zehnder International and the author of Great People Decisions, agrees: "You need to help interviewers do the right thing since most of them don't follow best practices." According to Fernández-Aráoz, who has interviewed more than 20,000 candidates in his 26 years as a search consultant, most interviewers fall prey to unconscious biases and focus too heavily on experience rather than competence. It's your responsibility to make sure this doesn't happen. Here's how.

Prepare, prepare, prepare
Most people know they need to show up to the interview having done their homework, but both Fernández-Aráoz and Lees agree that people rarely prepare enough. "You can never invest enough in terms of preparation. You should find out as much as possible about the company, how it's organized, its culture, the relevant industry trends, and some information about the interviewer," says Fernández-Aráoz. He also advises researching the specific job challenges. This will allow you to demonstrate you have what it takes to fill the role.

Formulate a strategy
Before you enter the room, decide what three or four messages you want to convey to the interviewer. These should "show the connection between what you have achieved and what is really needed to succeed in the specific job and context," says Fernández-Aráoz. Lees says the best way to do this is to draft narratives ahead of time. "People buy into stories far more than they do evidence or data," he says. Your stories should be concise and interesting. Make sure they have a good opening line, such as, "I'm going to tell you about a time that I rescued the organization." Then, learn them like the back of your hand. Know how they begin and end so you can relay them without stumbling or sounding like a robot. Whenever possible, use one of your stories to answer an interview question.

Emphasize your potential
"No candidate will ever be perfect, and you will be no exception," says Fernández-Aráoz. Instead of harping on where your resume might fall short — or letting the interviewer do the same — focus on your potential. This is often a far better indicator of future job performance. "If your past achievements are not directly related to the job, but you've demonstrated a great ability to learn and adapt to new situations, you should very clearly articulate that," says Fernández-Aráoz. For example, if you're interviewing for an international role but have no global experience, you might explain how your ability to influence others in a cross-functional role, such as between production and sales, proves your ability to collaborate with different types of people from different cultures.

Ace the first 30 seconds
First impressions matter. Lees points to psychological research that shows that people form opinions about your personality and intelligence in the first 30 seconds of the interview. "How you speak, how you enter the room, and how comfortable you look are really important," he says. People who perform best in interviews start off by speaking clearly but slowly, walk with confidence, and think through what "props" they will carry so they don't appear over-cluttered. Lees suggests rehearsing your entrance several times. You can even record yourself on video and play it back without the sound so you can see precisely how you are presenting yourself and make adjustments. The same applies to phone interviews. You need to use the first 30 seconds of the conversation to establish yourself as a confident, calm voice on the line.

Don't be yourself
Lees calls the "be yourself" advice "demonstrably untrue." He says, "It's a trained improvised performance where you're trying to present the best version of you." Bring as much energy and enthusiasm to the interview as you can. But don't oversell yourself. Because there's an oversupply in the talent market, employers are wary that people are exaggerating their experience and skills. "If you're going to make a statement about what you can achieve, you need to back it up with hard evidence," Lees says.

Be ready for the tough questions
Many people worry about how to answer questions about a pause in their work history, a short stay at a recent job, or other blemishes on their CV. Again, the best approach is to prepare in advance. Don't just have one answer for these difficult questions. Lee suggests three lines of defense. First, have a simple, straightforward answer that doesn't go into too much detail. Then have two additional answers ready so that if the interviewer follows up, you have something further to say. For example, if you didn't finish a degree that would've been helpful to the job, be ready to answer an initial question with something like, "I felt it was better to go straight into the work world." If the interviewer pushes further, be ready with another level of detail, such as, "I thought about it carefully. I knew it would carry negative connotations but I thought I would learn a lot more by working." Lees says, "The key is to never be pushed so far that you are left high and dry without a smart answer."

More tips and complete Harvard Business Review article

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Executive Coach Reveals Best Career Advice Ever

Kristi Hedges

Executive coaches are sometimes called corporate shrinks. And while most of us would argue vehemently that what we do doesn’t approach psychological therapy — and we’re careful to steer clear of it — we will admit that we hear lots of private thoughts. Our entire job is predicated on intimacy, trust, and shared confidences.

We also see, in real time, how career strategies play out. We collect feedback on all sides about how commonly held wisdoms work — or crash and burn.
The reality is that a whole lot of this career stuff is situational. What works for one person, or in one company, doesn’t do so well elsewhere. That said, there are a few, consistent pieces of advice I’ve heard through my work that hold up anywhere, for any level of professional. Follow these, and you’ll fast-track your own career.

1. If you see a fire, run into it.
This was shared recently by a client (told to her by her Dad), and it echoes a sentiment I’ve held for years: in chaos, there is opportunity. Most major career accelerations happen when someone steps into a mess and makes a difference. In the technology sector, people will remark that one year in a start-up is like five years in an established company. There’s ample opportunity to stretch your wings, wear many hats, and create a name for yourself when there’s not a set plan to follow. You can find the same opportunity in any organization, if you seek it.

2. Follow up.
If, as Woody Allen made famous, 80% of life is showing up — then 90% of career success is following up. Our organizations are rife with lack of accountability, whether by intention or incompetence. Be the person who meets deadlines, holds others accountable, and heck, even remembers to say thanks when it’s due. Following through on your commitments is trust-building, and the opposite erodes it quickly and indelibly.

3. Tell the truth.
Truthfulness seems a bit obvious to be on this list. However, companies are rife with damaging  lies of omission. In an effort to look good, and not cause waves, we don’t express our truthful opinion. Being brave enough to respectfully state the truth in a politically astute way sets you apart. Most CEOs I know want to hear dissenting opinion; they crave more information not “yes” people. As Joann Lublin discussed in the Wall Street Journal, expressing a difference of opinion actually helps your career.

Tips 4 - 7 and complete Forbes article

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

50 Job Search Tips From Recruiters

When researching the most effective practices on conducting a job search, job seekers can get a lot of mixed messages on what to do (or what not to do) – depending on the who they talk to. HR and Recruiting professionals can be a great source of information, given their roles in the recruitment and selection process.

This article is comprised of job search tips from 50 different HR and Recruiting members of Minnesota Recruiters.

1. Use Google to find email addresses of target companies. Enter “*@domainname.higherleveldomain” For example, if looking for an email address at Pearson search “*”, which will give you several examples of their email format.  From there  you can fill in the target’s name.

2. Don’t assume the jobs posted online are the only positions available. Recruiters often close their postings online before jobs are filled. You must network and market yourself!

3. If you know any recruiters or managers who regularly interview prospective new employees, ask them to give you a mock interview and take their feedback on your résumé and your interview style. This will improve your confidence and performance in real interview situations.

4. Listen to opportunities even when you are happy in your position. A new opportunity may take you to an even better place, personally and professionally.

5. Don’t be afraid to pick up the phone! If you let your thumbs do the talking, you’ll find yourself at the bottom of the inbox and a lose out on an opportunity.

6. Learn as much as you can about the interviewer before the interview, and prepare questions before the meeting.

7. Research the company prior to interviewing, in order to ask informed questions of your interviewer. Focus on questions that are pertinent to the position you are considering.

8. Do not only have answers prepared for the great things about yourself, but be prepared to answer the tough questions such as, “Describe the worst experience you have had with a customer? How did you handle it & what was the outcome?”

9. Never underestimate the power of preparing for an interview, and be armed with examples to showcase your skills. With more companies using phone screens and video conferencing for interviews, I would also suggest practicing in front of your webcam or over the phone with a friend.

10. Read the job description, not just the title before you apply to a job!

Tips 11 - 50 and Complete Article

Monday, September 24, 2012

5 Ways to Use Pinterest for Your Job Search


Now that Pinterest is a full-blown cultural phenomenon, people have started considering it for uses other than inspiration for recipes, home decor and the latest fashions. And with a shaky economy and millions of people either out of work, underemployed or looking to change jobs, Pinterest is now being used as a job search tool.
At the beginning of 2012, Mashable asked, Can Pinterest Help Your Job Search?, and we’re answering “Yes!” with five ways to use Pinterest in your job search and your career development.

1. Pin Your Resume

Search for “my resume” on Pinterest, and you’ll get thousands of hits. Be more specific with your search terms (writer resume, business resume, graphic design resume) and more results pop up. Some are basic resumes with standard information and layout. Others are stylized pieces with creative layouts and catchy graphics. Most fall somewhere in between. The goal of pinning your resume to Pinterest is to get it shared throughout the site, so make sure it’s somewhat eye catching, error-free and compelling — wouldn’t you want those qualities in your resume, anyway?

2. Create a Resume Pinboard

Rather than pinning your full resume as one pin, create an entire board that represents the different parts of your resume with different pins. Pin pictures of the companies you’ve worked for, schools you’ve attended, places you’ve volunteered and hobbies you enjoy. Because Pinterest is a visual medium, it can provide a multi-dimensional representation of your two-dimensional resume. And, utilize the text box given with each pin to describe the image, how it relates to your career and why it’s important to you.

3. Follow Career Experts

If you’re in the market for some job search advice, Pinterest has a lot to offer. Sites like CareerBliss use pinboards to showcase inspiring ideas and items related to finding work that makes people happy. College career offices such as Penn State’s give tips geared towards newbies in the workforce. And The 405 Club caters to career advice for the unemployed.

Tips 4,5, and Complete Mashable Article

Friday, September 21, 2012

10 Tips to Use Google Plus for Your Job Search

The social web is evolving with each passing day. Right from the day Google Plus (a social network introduced by Google) was announced, people have been flocking to join in. Google Plus social network offers some really cool features, apart from bolstering user security. Not only businesses, even jobseekers can use this social network for job search.
If you are ready to use Google Plus for job searching, given below are some of the most real tips you can use.

#1. If you don’t have a profile on Google Plus, go create one.

If you are there already, you need to optimize your profile. Optimizing your profile means filling out the details in a way that increases your visibility to employers. Include industry related keyword so you appear in relevant searches.

#2. Use the Circles feature to connect with influential people.

More importantly, add those people who are already employed in your target companies. Participate in their conversations to attract attention.

#3. Use the Hangouts feature to take your efforts to the next level.

You can use this feature to create job search clubs. Learn the basic rules and regulations of participating in hangouts.

#4. Find opportunities to highlight your talents and skills.

If you are really smart, you can easily grab the attention of companies or employers. It is also a good idea to ask questions related to the kind of job you are looking for.

#5. Engage.

When you genuinely engage on the Google Plus network, you will come across with many people regarding the hiring process. Companies might also want to interview you online. Therefore, it’s important that you know how to make the most of online interviewing.

Tips 6 - 10 and Complete Article

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Resume Tips For Your Post 50 Job Search

Technology has altered the hiring process significantly, especially when it comes to resumes. Due to the overwhelming volume of responses to posted positions, most mid- to large-sized companies are now using applicant-tracking systems to perform a first-level screening of incoming resumes.

Although the software has been around for a while, many job-seekers are unaware of how it works. This mistake can be costly because applicant tracking systems process today's massive numbers of resumes, whittle them down to a manageable size and select only those that are suitable to pass along to reviewers and recruiters. As a savvy applicant, you should presume that the resume you submit to an online posting will be screened in or out by this software.

In order to ensure your resume gets passed along, you'll need to:

Learn the rules of the game. Applicant tracking systems are programmed to allow only those resumes that match the search criteria (i.e. keywords) to make it through the screening process and eventually wind up on the recruiter's computer screen. If yours does not reflect what they're looking for, it will disappear into the black hole of cyberspace, unseen by human eyes.

  • Give them what they want. You'll need to match your skill sets to the skills advertised in the posting. Whatever you put on your resume needs to be 100 percent truthful; however, it is your decision as to which skills you choose to emphasize. So ignore your creative urges and repeat the words you find in the posting. Remember, software cannot make assumptions -- your resume needs to duplicate the advertised skills as closely as possible.

  • Make your resume eye friendly. If your resume does make it through the screening process of the applicant-tracking software, it will eventually be viewed by a human screener/recruiter. Most reviewers claim to give a resume only a 30-second scan to determine whether or not it is worth reading. Your key skills and experience, therefore, need to be readily visible and literally leap out at the reader. This means you'll not only need to match the skills and keywords in the ad but also place them at the top of your resume, surrounded by plenty of white space, and use bullet points to catch the eye.

  • More Tips and Complete Huffingtonpost article
  • Wednesday, September 19, 2012

    6 Ways to Ensure The Cover Letter You Write Is Read


    Writing a great cover letter that is specific to each job search application is a must in today’s career marketplace. Using a one-size-fits-all, general cover letter for all your applications and communications is not an effective means to uniquely presenting yourself in a job search. The following six cover letter tips will help you write a concise, impactful cover letter that will improve your chances of getting noticed and receiving that call for the coveted interview:
    • Ensure your cover letter is short—no more than a computer screen shot or a couple of scrolls on a smart phone. That’s it! Hiring managers and associates do not read much more than that length. If it is longer, you run the risk of your letter getting skipped over.
    • Address your cover letter to a person—an actual person! Do not send it “To Whom It May Concern” or “Hiring Manager.”  Do the homework and research who you should be addressing your cover letter to for your submission.
    • Specify how you found the person to email them. Most people have an instinctive response like, “How did they get my name?” when receiving an unsolicited, yet personalized inquiry. Indicate early on in the cover letter email how came to discover them to put the receiving party at immediate ease to continue reading. Whether it was research on LinkedIn or your former co-worker that led you to reach out to this person, informing the recipient of how your email landed in their inbox makes the person feel better.
    • Be explicit as to what job you are looking for, if it is an exploratory request, or submitting to, if there is a job posting.  Do not leave it up to the hiring manager to decide which job you are applying to or where you may fit within their organization. If you do, your cover letter may get filed under the “T” file (Trash).

    • Tips 4,5 and complete article

    Tuesday, September 18, 2012

    The Top 75 Websites For Your Career

    In early August, Forbes Leadership put out a call for nominations for our inaugural list of the best career websites, largely inspired by ForbesWoman’s annual list of Top 100 Websites For Women. We endeavored to assemble a comprehensive guide to smart and engaging sites. To accomplish this we challenged you, our readers, to submit your picks for the best online destinations for interns, job seekers, business owners, established professionals, retirees, and anyone else looking to launch, improve, advance, or change his or her career.

    We received a wealth of comments, emails and tweets with your choices–about 1,500 of them, naming roughly 700 different websites. To taper the list down to 75, my colleague Susan Adams and I combed through the stack and hand-picked the sites we thought our readers would find most compelling and useful for things like job listings, facts and figures, and career insights and guidance.

    Susan has written an accompanying post with our picks for the ten best sites from our list of 75. She reminds readers that while there are some great resources on the web, they shouldn’t spend too much time on the Internet scouring listings, reading career advice or blasting out their résumé. Especially for those in job search mode, it’s better to spend time researching companies, networking and meeting people face to face.

    Our full list of the Top 75 Websites For Your Career is not a ranking and there are no winners or losers; it’s simply a compilation of nominated sites that we believe deserve some special recognition. The list includes blogs, job aggregators and boards, personal career coaching pages, and traditional media outlets’ career sites that could be useful to those in traditional 9 to 5 office jobs, Federal workers, work-from-home professionals, entrepreneurs, college students and retirees.

    Here’s our first-ever list of the Top 75 Websites For Your Career (in alphabetical order): 
    Owned by The New York Times, offers a wealth of free information for job seekers and those looking to advance their careers, including articles about everything from how to get along with your boss to questions not to ask an employer during an interview. also links to other sites focused on specific careers like advertising or criminology, that have articles on topics like copywriting or the day in the life of a police officer. Users can also read up on the history of various fields, find a list of schools where they can study for a particular degree, or peruse an article on the most popular jobs in a given field. The site links to job listings powered by Job search and employment expert Alison Doyle has been’s job search guide since 1998.

    Betts Recruiting
    This is the site for Betts Recruiting, which searches for talent for the business side of venture capital-backed startups in New York City and Silicon Valley. The focus is on sales, marketing and business development staff from the junior level through vice president.

    Big Interview
    Co-founded by career coach Pamela Skillings, who used to work in human resources at Citigroup, Morgan Stanley and MasterCard International, Big Interview offers online interviewing tutorials where users pay $197 for a package of three installments. Users can prep for industry-specific interviews like pharmaceutical sales or advertising. The prep involves an on-screen interviewer asking questions like, “tell me about yourself,” and “why are you interested in this position?” The user then records her answer and watches it back onscreen. The site offers numerous tips for different stages of the interview process (sample answer, in part: “I love managing teams and solving customer problems.”)

    Blogging4Jobs is an online workplace resource for managers, leaders, human resources, and recruiting professionals.  They take their audience to “uncomfortable, yet necessary,” places exposing them to the realities of the workplace without the “corporate sugar coating.”  The site was launched in 2007 with a goal of helping job seekers learn the unwritten rules of job searching.  The site has since expanded to offer insights into the world of work from a corporate and operations no-nonsense point of view.

    Boomer Job Tips
    Boomer Job Tops offers ideas, hints, tips and how-to’s for the growing baby boomer population to help them find a job, win an interview or move their career forward. The site has hundreds of articles from experts in the career area on résumés, interviews, strategy and tactics with a “boomer focus.”
    CareerBliss is all about helping people lead happier lives by finding happiness in the workplace. The job information-hub offers free resources, like its “happiness assessment” developed by experts, a database of 6.5 million salaries, 600,000 company reviews, and 3 million job listings.  Using its large database of reviews and survey results, the site regularly releases lists like, “The Happiest For Working Dads” and “The Happiest Companies to Work For.”

    Founded in 1995, CareerBuilder is one of the biggest online job boards. Its scope is international, with a presence in more than 60 markets worldwide. The site helps employers refine and target job descriptions to attract talent. Users can post résumés on the site and for a fee, get help writing résumés ($180-$300), cover letters ($50), thank-you notes ($15) and compiling references ($10). The site also offers paid online courses in different fields, like marketing and dentistry.

    Career Change Central
    The days when people spent decades in the same job before retiring are basically over. Career Change Central says the working public now has a new model: “One that encompasses multiple careers, a variety of job opportunities, and productive self-employment.” So whether you’re trying to get ahead in your current job, wanting to change directions completely or get a job after retirement, this is your resource. Bettie Biehn, a career human resources and not-for-profit management professional, launched the site in 2004 and provides career coaching services, résumé writing tips and cover letter advice.

    Career Copilot

    The people behind this career blog believe that when it comes to your career, you shouldn’t fly solo. Dan Keller, the sites owner and editor, has over a decade of recruiting experience, including retained search, contingency search and corporate recruiting. As a certified résumé writer, he also owns and manages Keller provides advice on everything from interviewing to social networking to career development on the blog.

    Career Girl Network
    Career Girl Network provides information and resources to women, as well as the opportunity to build a network invested in their success. With hundreds of original articles each month from writers who know the world of personal branding, dressing for success, interview tactics, and other tips for success, the site combines its in-house expertise with valuable aggregated content for women in business from around the web.

    Careers in Government aims to match job seekers with careers in the government and the public sector. The site also includes resources like a basic salary calculator, tips for using social media to find a public sector job and a comprehensive list of professional associations for public sector employees.

    Come Recommended
    Come Recommended is a content marketing and digital PR consultancy for organizations with products that target job seekers and/or employers. Simply put, they help companies get found, get clients, and get the recognition they deserve. The site was founded in 2008 by Forbes contributor Heather R. Huhman, a thought leader and expert in the careers space with a decade of experience as a hiring manager and public relations specialist.

    See all 75 sites and complete Forbes article

    Monday, September 17, 2012

    The Ultimate Social Network Job Searching Guide


    A recent study by Right Management revealed that more than 46,000 individuals selected networking as the most effective way to find a new job — the fifth year in a row networking has topped the list. The study data proves once again that, in the highly competitive job search, it’s who you know and who knows you that leads to successful employment.

    Job seekers understand the importance of networking. They read up on job search experts’ tips for networking events, order hundreds of business cards and then hit local industry events like a job search Tasmanian devil, chatting up every professional and jotting down names of new connections to request on LinkedIn when returning home.

    But too often, job seekers simply build up their networks to leave them untapped and unused in their job search. Why? Employers are using social networking sites to pre-screen candidates, and 92% of recruiters use social networking sites to find talent. Job seekers can also take the full advantage of a social network job search. All they need is a beginner’s guide, and it begins with “who.”

    Who You Need in Your Social Network

    When it comes to what people you need in your social network, some may surprise you. Many job seekers mistakenly believe the best and only people they need to have in their social networks are fellow industry professionals, preferably higher up in the industry, who have accomplished a great deal. While these people are a component of job seekers’ social networks, they are just a piece of a bigger puzzle.

    In fact, the ideal job seeker’s network is comprised of industry professionals as well as fellow job seekers in a variety of industries, former and/or current mentors, family members and friends. Why such a diverse group? Let me explain.

    Fellow job seekers in a variety of industries are necessary in job seekers’ networks because they’re the people staying abreast of job search best practices. They hunt down job search help articles (like this one), subscribe to career newsletters, utilize social network job search tools such as tweetmyjobs and more. Fellow job seekers, whether they’re employed, underemployed or unemployed, are also the best at understanding the frustration of searching in our difficult job market. Their moral support is often more vital to job seekers’ psyches than actual job leads.

    Former and/or current mentors, too, are great at providing overwhelming support and motivation as well as job leads and tailored recommendations in the job search. They can also share tales of early career setbacks to keep job seekers motivated in rough times. And family members and friends can refer and recommend job seekers within their companies.

    How to Prioritize Your Social Network

    Prioritizing your social network begins with deciding what type of job you’d like and at what type of company you’d like to work. Job seekers must remember that previous positions in their industry don’t limit them to only applying for jobs within the same industry. For example, job seekers who previously worked as events managers at hotels aren’t limited to applying for hotel jobs. They can apply for event planning jobs at advertising or public relations agencies, non-profit organizations and large corporations that hold employee events, to name a few. A bit of career soul searching is required for successful prioritizing.

    Once job seekers decide the type of job they’d like, prioritizing their social networks is actually quite simple. Job seekers’ most important connections will be those within the industry they’re pursuing. These connections are the most likely to know of open positions within the industry, and they can give job seekers the advantage of learning of those openings even before they’re advertised.

    Below this group are connections with the same or similar positions in different industries. These connections will be able to provide the most accurate picture of what the position requires, and they’ll be able to tell job seekers how to best tailor the resumes to showcase how their experience is relevant. Hiring managers and HR professionals also tend to regard these professionals as the best for referrals and recommendations, since they understand the demands of the position in question.

    Finally, job seekers have their remaining connections. Job seekers should regard these connections as important components of their network even though they may not be terribly helpful in their current job search. There is, of course, a chance these professionals stumbled upon an open position job seekers are looking for, but there’s a better chance that they’ll be helpful in future job searches, so maintaining mutually beneficial relationships is vital.

    How To Tell Your Social Network You’re Job Searching - More advice and complete Mashable artcle

    Sudy Bharadwaj is a co-founder and the CEO of Jackalope Jobs, a web-based platform that combines search, social networking, and the overall user’s experience to provide relevant job openings. Learn how Sudy and Jackalope Jobs obsess over job seekers by connecting with them on , LinkedIn and Twitter.

    Friday, September 14, 2012

    Four Big Lies Recruiters Tell Job Applicants

    By Charles Purdy

    By now, we should all know that it’s dangerous to lie on a resume. But you know what? In the job search conversation between employers and candidates, a bit of fibbing sometimes happens on the employer side, too.

    Often, there’s no ill will intended. While there are a few bad apples in the bunch (as with the rest of humanity), most recruiters and HR folks are motivated by the desire to put the right people into the jobs they have to fill. The trouble is that overwork and overly large candidate pools can thwart good intentions -- so those little white lies meant to spare a job seeker’s feelings end up not doing the candidate any favors.

    We asked some recruiting experts to name the biggest lies recruiters tell, so you can spot the untruths and be ready to deal with them.

    1. “We’ll keep you in mind for future opportunities.”

    Recruiters meet a lot of people. And most of them have huge candidate databases. Often when they speak this untruth, they mean it: They are keeping your resume on file. Just know that they’re doing so in a gigantic filing cabinet, and that out of sight often means out of mind.

    How to Handle: Don’t assume that “no” means “never.” Once you’ve started a conversation with a recruiter, don’t let the conversation end just because you’re not offered one job. Stay in touch via professional networking sites, and stay abreast of goings-on at the company so you can be aware of opportunities before they’re posted.

    Just remember that there’s a fine line between “staying in touch” and “stalking.” So contact the recruiter only when you have a genuine reason to do so. And as with all professional contacts, don’t just look for favors to ask -- also look for ways to be of service.

    2. “Salary depends on experience.”

    Usually, the company has a ballpark figure in mind. If a recruiter asks for your salary requirements or expectations, he’s trying to see whether you’re in that ballpark.

    How to Handle: In general, it’s better to wait until a job offer is on the table before moving onto salary negotiations -- but recruiters sometimes use salary requirements as a way to thin out the candidate pool.

    In this case, your best defense is having done thorough research. Make sure you know what’s competitive for the position, the industry and the region, combined with what’s appropriate for someone with your background. That way, you can answer the question in terms of what your research has uncovered (not in terms of what your specific needs are), and then you can add something like, “But of course a conversation about salary makes more sense when we’re discussing a job offer.” Don’t lowball your number, but perhaps let the recruiter know that you’ll weigh nonsalary compensation (vacation days and other perks, for example) with the actual salary offer.

    Lies 3,4, and complete Monster article

    Thursday, September 13, 2012

    How to Network Without Begging

    by Amanda Augustine

    What is the best way to contact connections and ask them for an informational interview without making it sound like you need a favor? Most people think that the person just wants a job, so they do not reply. —M.R., Claremont, CA

    I am a big fan of conducting informational interviews as part of any job seeker’s networking strategy, especially if you’re new to the job market or considering a transition to a new field or industry.
    They are a great way to grow your connections, promote your personal brand, learn about the job market in your targeted field and uncover unpublished job leads.

    However, they’re not about begging for favors. You should never go into an informational interview expecting to come away with a job lead. As the name suggests, the goal of an informational interview is to gather more information and grow your network so you’re better equipped to navigate the job market. A job lead would be a bonus.

    But before we talk about how to reach out to your connections, we first need to discuss who you should be reaching out to.

    Take a good look at your current network and prioritize your contacts based on their ability to help you. The first group will be people within your current or desired line of work: former colleagues, vendors, business partners, customers and so forth. Hopefully these are people with whom you’ve maintained a friendly, if not close, relationship. Who in this group is actually in a position to know about industry news and job openings? Target those people.

    But there’s also another group of contacts that will be incredibly valuable because of their social reach. They are the social butterflies among your circle of friends. You know the ones – they tend to run in a number of very different social circles and love gathering people together and making introductions. Malcolm Gladwell refers to them as “connectors” in his book, The Tipping Point. Whether in your industry or not, connectors like this can be an important gateway to other valuable connections.

    This social butterfly will be able to put you in touch with people you might never meet otherwise — and talking you up to connections could help you secure a phone call or lunch meeting. A social butterfly is good at that.

    Now that we’ve identified the right people to target, it’s time to discuss your approach.

    Professional Connections
    When you’ve been out of contact with people you’ve worked with in the past, it can feel very weird reaching out. And you’re right – the assumption will probably be that you’re looking for job leads. To help combat that, I recommend you reconnect before you ask for anything. Send a simple note via email or over one of your social networks saying hi and asking how everything is going. If you’ve noticed they’ve changed companies or passed some career or family milestone, mention it and congratulate them (hint: do a little online research). It’s an easy excuse to reach out.
    Subject Line: Catching Up – Amanda Augustine
    Hi Bob,
    Long time no speak!
    How’s everything at Amgen these days? I was on LinkedIn yesterday and noticed you were recently promoted to Senior Director – congratulations! How’s the new gig treating you?
    I’d love to grab lunch with you next week and catch up. Let me know if you’re available.
    Please send my hellos to Brennan and the boys!

    The fall season is also a great time to reconnect with people you haven’t spoken to in a while. Find out how their summer was, and now that everyone is back to school and their old routines, it’s the perfect time to catch up over lunch or happy hour. There’s no major “ask” on your part, and it won’t appear like you’re begging for job help.

    Once you’ve reconnected, then you can pick their brain about their company or industry, and find out if they can help. Don’t ask for a job. Most people you meet with won’t be able to offer that type of help. And if they have to say no, it makes them less likely to help you in other ways. What you can ask for is a job reference, an introduction to another contact or some insight into the industry.

    Personal Acquaintances  More tips and complete TheLadders article

    Wednesday, September 12, 2012

    How to Create a Professional Email Signature for Your Career or Job Search

    In prior blog posts I spoke about some rather sophisticated career management documents such a brag book, a networking newsletter, and a one-page biography. Today, I would like to focus on a more simple aspect of your job search toolkit but one that is many, many times overlooked: adding a professional email signature.

    Consider the following scenario:

    You are a “heads down” corporate employee doing a good, no, make that a great job. Somehow, due to a perfect storm, you lose your job in a downright awful economy. After the shock wears off, you sit down at your personal computer and realize you have to start using your personal email as your “base of operation.” So, you make a list of everybody you know and you start firing off emails letting people know of your situation. Like any savvy job seeker, you begin the networking process which creates a lot more email activity.
    What you may not have considered are three key issues related to your newfound “base of operation” – your personal email account. For the time being while in full-bore job search mode, your personal email account is really your work email account. Why? Because you need to put forth the same professional image in your email signature when you are in transition (unemployed) as you do when you are employed. Let’s look carefully at each component of a professional email box: the email address itself, your display settings and the email signature.

    Email Address

    This is quite obvious but so often overlooked. “WineKook10 {at}” is not an email address that evokes professionalism, intelligence and competence! Instead, create an email address more in line with what you would see in a work setting, for example, “Firstname_Lastname {at}”

    Email Name Settings

    In a prior article I ranted about one of my pet peeves regarding LinkedIn etiquette. Well, here is a second pet peeve. Often I receive emails that read in my email program like so: from “ronjones{at}” Or just as bad: from “ron” with no last name. Emails should always be sent via “First name Last name” (or vice versa). Not only is it professional, it is also the only way that recruiters and hiring managers can find your email in their overstuffed email bins – by sorting or searching on your name. This setting is easy to find and adjust in your email program.

    Email Signature

    It also amazes me as to how many emails I receive that have no email signature whatsoever. At best, I might see the person sign their name. For example, “Thanks, Matt.” While on the job you used a professional email signature, now, while in transition, it is more important than ever to convey a professional image.
    Here are instructions on how to create a highly professional and functional email signature when you are in job search mode. I bet you will keep the signature you create even after you land. After all, job search is not a one-time event during a time of need. Instead, you must incorporate a professional email signature and other strategies into your on-going career management. I am using my email signature as an example. Feel free to tailor these ideas to your own style.

    Name and Title

    Certainly lead with your name. Consider a larger point size and an attractive font and color. If you are in transition, consider starting your own consulting company. That way you can give yourself a title just like your last full time job! You may find yourself becoming a successful entrepreneur. If this strategy is not right for you, you can still add a tagline like the examples below.

    Tuesday, September 11, 2012

    Six Tips to Get the Interview

    Be Proactive Before and After You Send Your Resume

    By Kim Isaacs, Monster Resume Expert

    You find a promising job listing online. Excited, you send a customized resume and tailored cover letter and wait for a response. Six weeks later, you're still waiting, your enthusiasm has waned, and you've concluded your resume has fallen into a black hole.

    A proactive approach to your job search can improve your chances of landing interviews. These six tips will help maximize your success.

    1. Make Contact Before Sending Your Resume

    Unless you're responding to an ad that requests "no phone calls," try to contact the hiring manager before you send your resume. Even if you don't know the name of the person handling the search, you can do a bit of investigation to locate the correct person, if you know the employer.

    Once you get the person on the phone, be brief. The purpose of your call is to express enthusiasm about the opportunity, and that you can positively contribute to the team. Be prepared with an elevator pitch about your qualifications and the ways you could benefit the employer. Keep the focus on the employer, not you.

    If you don't get to speak with the hiring manager, find out who the recruiter is in charge of hiring for the position as well as the correct spelling of his name.

    2. End Your Cover Letter with a Promise of Action
    Conclude your letter with something like, "I will follow up with you in a few days to discuss the possibility of an interview. In the meantime, please feel free to contact me at ______." If you say you will follow up, make sure you do.

    3. Follow Up Quickly on All Resumes You Send

    Follow up within three to five business days. You can follow up by phone, or by email if replying to a blind ad or the ad specifies no calls.

    When following up by phone, try saying something like, "Hi, my name is ______ and I submitted my resume for your ______ opening. I'm extremely interested in this opportunity, and I just wanted to touch base with you on how I can benefit your operation..."

    If you are following up by email, your message should be brief. Here's an example:

    Dear Name (or "Hiring Manager" if name is unknown):

    I recently applied for your ______ opening, and I just wanted to follow up to make sure my resume was received. My strong background in ______, ______ and ______ appears to be an excellent match to the qualifications you are seeking, and I am very interested in your opportunity. I realize you may not yet be at the interview stage, but I am more than happy to answer any preliminary questions you may have, and I can be reached at ______. Thank you for your time and kind consideration.


    Tips 4 - 6 and complete Monster article 

    Monday, September 10, 2012

    21 Ways to Sabotage Your Job Search

    by Catherine Adenle

    Now, when you are looking for a job, you can feel inundated if you think about the amount of factors beyond your control that might affect your chances of getting hired.

    First is the economy, then comes your location, job location, industry trends and even the hiring manager’s mood during your interview can influence whether or not you get hired.

    Yet, as easy as it would be to blame your lack of offers on all or one of these factors, you can’t forget that the common denominator in your job seeking activities from the CV to the interview and to the final hiring phase is YOU.

    If you are not getting the kinds of interviews and job offers you feel you should be getting, perhaps one or more of these 21 common mistakes below might be the culprit.

    Here are the 21 common ways you might be unknowingly sabotaging your own job search:

    The first steps
    1. Not keeping track of your accomplishments When you’re happy in your job, it’s easy to forget about possible future job hunts. Trust me, you never know when you’ll end up looking for new work, and if you don’t keep a running list of ‘on the job accomplishments, awards and promotions, you might not remember them when it’s time for you to update your CV.

    2. Leaving your former employer on a bad note Don’t leave any employer on a bad note! As much fun as it is to fantasise about telling a bad manager to sod off, don’t actually do it. Leaving a trail of angry managers or co-workers is like throwing a boomerang. It will come back to haunt you when you need references and you never know where you might meet people in future.

    3. Keeping quiet about your situation and not networking If you are silent about your job search, your friends, family and colleagues would not think of you when they hear about job opportunities. As a job seeker, you want to stand out against the sea of other job-seekers. It goes without saying that having the right contacts can get you the job of your dream. Considering that most jobs come through personal connections, building your network should be high priority during and after a job search. See Become a Superstar Networker: See These 8 Tips

    4. Only using the Internet Internet online job sites, social media tools and boards are fantastic resources, but you need to do some footwork too if you want to increase your chances of finding a job. Contact companies that you would like to work for, even if there are no job listings. Not all companies advertise openings online.

    5. Searching only for the perfect job Yes, your job search should be focused. After all, applying to every job posting that comes your way is a good way to waste time but not an effective way to find a job you want. However, if you approach your job hunt unwilling to accept anything less than the precise job title, pay, benefits and hours you want, you’re setting yourself up for disappointment.

    Tips 6 - 21 and complete article

    Friday, September 7, 2012

    6 Secrets To Writing A Great Cover Letter

    Seth Porges

    At best, a cover letter can help A job-seeker stand out from the pack. At worst, it can make a promising candidate seem like in uncreative cut-and-paster. Sadly, the vast majority of cover letters read essentially the same: Retreads of resumes that ramble on while repeating the obvious. Would you read one of these to the end if it were put in front of you? Probably not, and nor would most hiring managers.

    Of course, the Internet is full of tips and tutorials on writing a cover letter, but few of them give much useful information other than the obvious (“Use good grammar!”). So I got to thinking about what cover letter tips and techniques have served me over the years. I came up with these six golden rules for writing a cover letter somebody will actually want to read.

    1) Don’t repeat your resume
    A lot of people write cover letters as if they were paragraph-form resumes. Fact is, your letter will be stapled (or attached to the same email) as your actual resume, so you can assume that they’ll at least glance at it (and probably with a keener eye than your cover letter). Instead, use your cover letter to show personality, curiosity, and an interest in the field you are applying to work in. My favorite pro tip: Google around for the history of your field or company, and sprinkle some cool historical facts into your cover letter (or even use one as a lead). If I was applying for a job in tech, I might talk about how thrilling it was to see Moore’s law transform technology before my eyes, and how thrilled I am to be a part of this transformation. If I were applying for a job in fashion, I might talk about how much fashion has changed since the 80s (a lot!). Everything has a hidden history. Use it to show expertise and interest.

    2) Keep it short
    Less. Is. More. Three paragraphs, tops. Half a page, tops. Skip lengthy exposition and jump right into something juicy.

    3) Address Nobody
    Sometimes, you don’t know exactly who you should be addressing your letter to. Nix the generic and bland “Dear Hiring Manager” or “To Whom It May Concern”. If you absolutely don’t know who you should be addressing, then don’t address anybody. Instead, just jump right into the body of the letter.

    Tips 4 - 6 and complete Forbes article

    Thursday, September 6, 2012

    How to tweet, blog and network your way to a new job

    By Heather Struck

    Welcome to Job Search 2.0. In today's challenging economy, employers aren't waiting for you to click on an online job listing or drop your application into their inbox.

    "A resume is not enough anymore" even if you post it on all the right websites, says Lindsey Pollak, author of "Getting from College to Career," and a promoter of what she calls "disruptive" job hunting.
    Hiring managers scroll through hundreds of profiles a week on, a social networking site with a professional bent. That means that job seekers need to be aggressive about building their own distinctive brands and promoting them on networking sites as well as in blogs and emails.

    When you build, the trick is to highlight personal details that could connect you to recruiters or raise your profile. If applying for accounting jobs, for example, don't assume your passion for playing piano is irrelevant - it could paint you as a patient, creative and disciplined.
    "You have to be willing to show who you are," says Shara Senderoff, founder of, a website for people searching for internships that allows users to create profiles that may be browsed by potential employers.

    The idea is not to multiply the number of social networking accounts, however. It is to use the social tools on the Web to leverage and promote key details about yourself.
    That's what Margaret Jung, a New York University film student, did when she started looking for a summer internship. Last November, she uploaded a one-minute animated video onto InternSushi. "I grew up learning that promises and deadlines are two of the most important things to keep," she says in the video. It became one of the website's most popular profiles, garnering 1,500 clicks. It also led to a dozen interviews, and eventually an internship at Mark Gordon Company, a Los Angeles-based film producer.

    Even less technically savvy folks can start at LinkedIn. Use your profile to anticipate and answer key questions before recruiters ask them: What do you love to do, how can your passion be turned into something that can make or save money for a business and what do you want to do in the future?
    Develop an email signature with a link to a personal blog or website. Use those spaces to present articles about your topic of interest or attractive images of your visual work.
    When venturing into social media, be sure to understand the privacy features of each site. Facebook and Google+ allow users to assign their online friends to different groups and prevent some groups from seeing particular personal content.

    Use Twitter to establish legitimacy in your field. You can follow and retweet experts, and you can use your tweets to highlight articles and developments of interest to people in your chosen industry.
    "We follow people who are authentic," says J.T. O'Donnell, a workplace consultant and founder of "When you really care about a subject, your passion comes through."

    BE PERSONAL, BUT NOT TOO PERSONAL - Read the rest of the Personal tip and the complete article

    Wednesday, September 5, 2012

    Why Recruiters Lie When Rejecting You

    By The Recruiting Animal

    I was going to write about hiring managers being the dumbest people in the world but I decided to write about recruiters instead because, you know, they’re dumb, too.

    I’ll often see a recruiter puffing up her chest online and strutting around bragging about how transparent she is with candidates.

    So, then, I’ll ask her, “If the hiring manager rejected a candidate because he didn’t like her voice, would you tell her that? Imagine he said, ‘She’s very intelligent but if I had to listen to that all day, I’d shoot myself.’ Would you pass that on?”

    Of course, the answer is always “No.” but you have to force them to admit it. They’ll say, “He thought you were very intelligent but it just wasn’t a match,” and try to claim that this is transparent.

    What they usually mean when they say “transparent” is that you send an automated email to someone who applies to a job online telling them that their resume has been received. Then you send them another email when they have been rejected.

    The Recruiting Animal is a headhunter not a rock star. He’s not even a rockstar headhunter. (That’s @Jerry_Albright). He runs a rowdy online call-in show about recruiting and careers. His website is:

    Tuesday, September 4, 2012

    Recruiter Reveals 7 Salary Negotiation Strategies

    The way in which you present your requests during salary negotiations has a dramatic impact on whether you get what you want from an employer. Be firm, but flexible, self-confident, but not arrogant or demanding, and sell your skills and knowledge in a way that appeals to the employer’s concern about the bottom line.

    Let me give you a few tips on how to negotiate your best salary yet…

    1. During negotiations, be enthusiastic, polite, and professional.
    Let the employer know by your tone of voice and your demeanor that your goal is a win-win solution. If you are too pushy or adopt a “take-it-or-leave-it” attitude, the employer may get the impression that you’re not that interested in the job and withdraw the offer.

    2. Start high and work toward a middle ground.
    Ask for a little more than you think the employer wants to pay and then negotiate a middle ground between the employer’s first offer and your counter-proposal.

    3. Be creative.
    Look beyond base salary for ways to boost your income. For example:
    • Holiday days. If new employees must work for 6 to 12 months before receiving paid holidays, ask that this restriction be waived.
    • Early salary review.
    • Bonuses. In addition to requesting a sign-on bonus, you may be able to negotiate a performance bonus. 
    4. Continue selling yourself.
    As you negotiate, remind the employer how the company will benefit from your services. Let’s say, for example, that the employer balks at giving you $8,000 more in compensation. Explain how you will recoup that amount and more for the company. For instance:
    “I realize you have a budget to worry about. However, remember that with the desktop publishing skills I bring to the position, you won’t have to hire outside vendors to produce our monthly customer newsletter and other publications. That alone should produce far more than $8,000 in savings a year.”
    In other words, justify every additional money or benefit you request. Remember to do so by focusing on the employer’s needs, not yours.

    Tips 5-7 and Complete Careerealism article