Wednesday, August 27, 2014

7 Interview Follow Up Steps To Seal The Deal

Proper interview follow-up can uphold the good first impression you made in the interview. I’m a big believer that how you conduct your search communicates to the employer how you will conduct yourself on the job, so you need to continue your follow-up appropriately and professionally. These interview follow up steps actually do not start at the end of the interview, but they start while you are still on the interview.

For effective interview follow up, savvy interviewers know the interview process also continues well after the actual interview, whether you’re applying to a corporation or with a search firm.
These are the interview follow up steps you must take to seal the deal. Keep them in mind when getting ready for your next interview:

1. Inquire About Next Steps in the Process—Before the Meeting Ends
When the hiring manager or recruiter ends the interview with, “Do you have any questions?” you can ask about the next steps in the process (after you have asked your other questions about the business, the position, etc). By asking about next steps, you’ll get the road map for when to follow up and in what timeframe. It’s a no-brainer that eliminates a lot of the guess work on your part. As a recruiter, it stuns me that so few people end the conversation with this question.

2. Ask If You Can Send a LinkedIn Invitation to Connect
Yes, you’re interviewing in the hopes of getting the position—but you’ve also just formed a new professional relationship and added another name to your list of business contacts. Asking the interviewer if you can connect on LinkedIn is perfectly acceptable.

During the interview, look for natural segues into a connection request. If the interviewer mentions they love to golf, for instance, you can mention a great article on golfing you just read and offer to forward it to them. If they attended your alma mater, you can mention how great its LinkedIn group is and offer to introduce them to some former classmates who are active in that group. Make sure, when you send the actual request to connect, that you include a personalized note along the lines of, “I enjoyed speaking with you today. I’d like to introduce you to some fellow classmates as we discussed.”

Even if you don’t get the job, you’ve still made a great new professional connection who could wind up assisting your job hunt or career in the future. Don’t neglect to capitalize on that.

Read all 7 steps and the complete article

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

How to Stand Out in the Eleventh Hour of the Hiring Process


What can you do to stand out during the interview process? First, you want to stand out for the right reasons. Consider the results of a CareerBuilder and Harris Interactive survey from 2013, involving more than 2,000 hiring managers and HR professionals who were asked which factors would make them more likely to favor one candidate over another. Twenty-seven percent of respondents would favor the candidate with the better sense of humor, 26 percent would consider the candidate who is involved in his or her community, 22 percent would favor the better-dressed candidate and 21 percent would like the candidate with whom they had more in common.

Here are some ways to be a standout candidate.

Use mutual professional and personal interests. Instead of testing new jokes out on your interviewer, look to build rapport by asking questions about his or her professional interests. Also, watch the body language of your interviewer to gauge level of interest in your responses, especially to questions about community activities and professional interests, like conferences, books, publications or professional associations. If the conversation and body language is positive, you should be sure to reference that topic in your follow-up with him or her.

Follow up is in your court. Should you follow up again after you send your thank you? Yes, you want to stay in front of the hiring decision-makers as they interview and consider more candidates. The hiring process will take longer than either of you expect. About two weeks after you send your thank you, plan on touching base with the recruiter again. Liz Ryan, CEO and founder of the publishing firm, think tank and coaching and consulting business Human Workplace, wrote a Forbes article on writing a post thank you follow-up, where she  recommends you ask a friend to debrief the interview with you. The logic is that in recounting blow by blow with someone else you may reveal things you missed. “You’ll be amazed how your friend, simply by virtue of not being you, can call your attention to issues that deserve your attention," Ryan writes. "They could be odd or concerning things that happened at the interview.” Use these insights when you write your next email to the interviewer.

Read the full USNews article for more tips and strategies 

Thursday, August 14, 2014

The Only 5 Interview Questions You Need to Prepare for


There is an awful lot of chitchat, jibber jabber and small talk going on in interviews. When you take a closer look at the exchanges, you can see that there are only a few questions the interviewer is really bothered about. The rest are simply there to create rapport and filling the gaps.

The reason you will always struggle to prepare answers to every single question you are asked in an interview is that the interviewer themselves didn’t prepare them. They don’t really care too much about all the answers you give either. What we do know is that an interviewer has one major objective to fulfill and that is to get the answers to the five basic questions. Based on the answers, he or she will then compare the answers to that of any other interviewer’s and they will then rule you in or out. Here is the list:

1) What brings you to this interview?

This is where the interviewer wants to see how well you have researched this position, how committed you really are to the company and why you are looking for a new job in the first place. Make sure you read up on the job and can say exactly how it fits to your skills. Do your homework on the company so that you can explain why you are on their interview couch and not the competitor’s. Finally, you will inevitably have to explain what brought you to a job interview, prepare to outline your reason for changing jobs.

2) What value will you add to our company?

The interviewer is hoping you might be the solution to their problems, so let’s tune in to WIIFM and crank up the volume. List your main skills and how these will be directly applicable if you get the job. Back your claims up with achievements from your previous jobs, preferably quantified ($x increase in sales, 30% savings on paper clips). Forget what you want to get out of the job you are interviewing for, this is all about what they will get from you.

See all 5 and the complete UnderCoverRecruiter article

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Avoid These 7 Interview Mistakes

Want to ace your next job interview? It's not just about doing the right things. What you don't do can be just as crucial to getting hired.

3. Interrupt.
It's not only bad manners, but it indicates that you're a bad listener -- not something most HR people put high on their list of qualities to look for in a potential hire.

4. Be late.
It should go without saying, but just in case: be on time. In fact, if you can, get to the area a little early and wait in a nearby coffee shop, etc. Being late makes you look disorganized or, worse, as if you value your time, but not the interviewer's.

6. Fail to ask questions.
"You can count on the fact that almost every interview will end the same way: with your interviewer asking you, 'What questions do you have for me?'" writes Robin Madell at US News' On Careers blog. "A big ball-drop is thinking you’ll just wing this opportunity rather than preparing for it in advance."
Come prepared with a few thoughtful questions and think of points that you'd like clarified that come up during the interview. 

Read all 7 mistakes and the complete Payscale article

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

4 Things Employers Look for When They Google You

Want to know what 80 percent of employers do before they invite you for an interview?

They Google you.

If this surprises you, then this article is exactly what you need to read. In today’s workforce, employers value transparency when recruiting and hiring candidates, so you need to make sure your online presence is clean and honest.

When employers search for you on Google, they don’t do it to intentionally find negative things about you. They simply want to get to know their applicants so they can better select candidates for an interview. This is why you need to take into consideration the top four things employers look for when they Google candidates:

1. A professional headshot

Whenever possible, employers want to know what their applicants look like. Make sure you have a professional photo of you on your online networks and website so employers can see you. This doesn’t have to be a photo taken by a professional, but it should be a  photo of you in professional attire with good lighting.

3. The size of your digital footprint
Employers also want to know how you present yourself and interact with others online. Research shows 96 percent of recruiters use LinkedIn to search for candidates. This should be an indicator that you should have a complete LinkedIn profile in addition to the other social networks you use. If you don’t have yourself connected to these online profiles, then you could be missed by employers when they search for job seekers in your field.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Resume Writing – 50 Tips That Work

Professional resume writers agree there are many right ways to write a resume. Get 10 professional resume writers working for the same resume client, and they could probably create 10 different resumes based on style and look. However, all of the resumes could still be very good.

After 12 years of owning a resume writing business, I have seen these resume writing tips immediately transform a resume. Remember – Your resume has 20-30 seconds to make an impression and spending 30 minutes with this list could help!

2. Proofread resumes for grammar, spelling and factual errors by reading from the end in reverse order

3. Use consistent font size including bullet sizes on your resume

14. Top 30-40% of the resume gets the most attention; Make it grab the reader’s attenton.

36. Get others to proof read your resume – be open to criticism

See all 50 tips and the complete article

Thursday, August 7, 2014

5 Classic Job Search Tools That Still Get Results

When was the last time you applied for a job by fax?

My first resume in the early ’90s was typed on what hardware maker Smith Corona called a “personal word processor”. It definitely processed my words!

It was a computer keyboard attached to a printer the size of a small suitcase and it seemed to weigh a ton. The keyboard had a protective cover that flipped upwards and back, exposing a small monochrome computer screen.

(Back then, digital screens were usually black characters on a beige or green background but I’ll never forget how the Smith Corona had blue characters instead of black. I used to turn it on just because I liked seeing that novelty.)

The machine had a typewriter mode which worked as you’d expect – each letter printed as your fingers touched the keyboard – but I don’t think I ever used it for work, it would waste too much paper.

Instead, I would use the more computer-like word processor mode where whatever I typed appeared on screen and could also be saved to a diskette. I think it even had a simple auto-save mode too.
At the time, it was very cool as a “new age” typewriter and I was so productive with it that I continued using it for a while even after we bought our first PC.

While you wouldn’t now want to go back to the days of typewriters and whiteout for your job search documents, other tools that date back to that era are still useful today because few other job seekers are using them.

5 job search tools that time forgot

5) Personal organizers
Sure, it’s cool to have an iPad or another tablet, but they need to be charged, they break easily and they will empty your wallet. They’re still not for everyone.

Personal organizers, on the other hand, don’t cost much, don’t need to be charged and won’t break so easily when dropped. Use one to manage your schedule, take notes, jot down ideas, organize newspaper clippings (e.g. job listings), store business cards (both yours and others’) and more. Plus, just carrying one makes you look professional.

3) Telephone
While we’ve covered 6 reasons you need a smartphone to job search, most job seekers are still too hesitant to pick up the phone and dial. Yes, you should follow up after interviews, or to even see why you never received a response to your resume. But what about calling to see if there’s even an opening in the first place? At worst, you could ask- “Oh, you’re not hiring? Perhaps you can recommend a company who is, such as one of your business partners?”

See all 5 tools and the complete JobMob article

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Do These 5 Things Before Your Next Interview and Get the Job

Interview prep is tricky not because you don't know what to do to get ready, but because you know too much about what you could do. Before you get bogged down in endless practice interview questions, make sure you have these things checked off your pre-interview to-do list.

1. Research the company.
You probably know at least a little something about your prospective employer by the time you make it to the interview stage, or your resume and cover letter wouldn't have helped you snag the interview. Still, now's the time to make sure you have a full grasp of the company history, including its mission and founders, and are up-to-date on its latest news. Start with the corporate website and the organization's profile in PayScale's Research Center, and then do a Google News search, and take a look at the company's social media profiles. Know how long they've been around, what challenges they've faced, who their competitors are. Most importantly, figure out what their problems are -- especially the ones that hiring you would solve.

3. Get to know the key people.
If possible, ask for the names of the people you'll be speaking with, so that you can look them up on LinkedIn before the interview. If you're interviewing with folks outside of HR, pay special attention to their background and experience. Note any points of commonality with your background.

See all 5 things and the complete PayScale article 

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

The 7 Best Apps For Career Seekers

The job market is more competitive than ever before, forcing potential employees to up their game. Fortunately, some of the best job search tools can be found right on your phone. Hit the ground running in your job search by utilizing these great Android apps.

Simply Hired
This free app uses a powerful search engine to pull job listings from all across the web, including job boards, company websites, and newspapers. The interface is incredibly easy to use. Plus, you can refine your search by location, salary, and other important factors. Save jobs that pique your interest and come back to apply later. As one of the largest and most well-known job search engines, Simply Hired is a must for your mobile device.
Cost: Free

Searching for listings on company websites can take hours. With LinkUp, it’s all done for you in a matter of seconds. Use filters like location, company, and keywords to find jobs on company websites, then apply directly from your mobile device or email your favorite listings to yourself.
You can also sign up for email job alerts for your favorite companies or job categories. Because of its unique method of finding company website listings, LinkUp finds many unadvertised jobs and guarantees that no scams or frauds are included in your search results.
Cost: Free

See all 7 apps and the complete article

Monday, August 4, 2014

8 Totally Overused Clichés That Will Actually Help Your Job Search

By Lily Zhang

It’s easy to scoff at any quote that sounds like something your uncle would say or you’d see on a motivational business poster, but doesn’t the fact that something becomes a cliché mean that there must be some truth in it? Why else would these phrases be repeated over and over again?

Before you dismiss these eight overused sayings, allow me to shed some light on how they might actually help you think about your job search in a new way.

1. The Grass is Always Greener on the Other Side

Do you know someone who seemingly has the perfect career? Remember that it’s easy to have job-envy when you’re only seeing the social media (read: highlights reel) version of someone’s work and life. Before you decide to start job searching, make sure you have a full understanding of the pros and cons of positions you’re getting ready to apply for.

2. How Do You Eat an Elephant? One Bite at a Time

Whatever your reasons for job searching, at some point you’re probably going to feel overwhelmed. It’s OK—that feeling is normal, and it can be overcome. Rome wasn’t built in a day, you can’t eat an elephant in one bite, and you’re not going to find a job overnight, no matter how feverishly you’re applying for positions. Break it down to manageable chunks (our free, week-long “Kick Start Your Job Search” email class is a good start), and take it from there.

3. You Can’t Learn to Swim Without Getting in the Water

You also can’t get a job in a new field without knowing some people in that world! Truthfully, you can apply to jobs online all day and it won’t be nearly as effective as meeting people who know the ins and outs (and the hiring managers) of the companies you want to work for. So, get out there and network (or, better yet, meet people and get some hands-on experience at the same time through volunteering). Find industry events or conferences that need some extra hands, and get to it.

Cliches 4-8 and the complete article 

Friday, August 1, 2014

6 things - What interviewers are looking for, but don't ask...

Michael Schneider

Do you ever wonder what's being discussed after you leave your interview? Or what everyone was writing down during your responses? Below are a few examples of what interviewers are trying to determine without actually asking...

1) Are you likable?
I've seen qualified candidates miss out on great jobs because they come across too arrogant, too demeaning, and too cold. One of the best traits in interviewing is the ability to read your audience, feel out the environment, and tailor your responses to fit the situation. Remember that everyone in the interview is determining whether or not they could see themselves working with you EVERY SINGLE DAY. Be personable and be mentally present!

2) Are you interested in the job?
People will be surprised how far a little enthusiasm can go. Make sure to show zeal by preparing for the interview, learning about the company, and coming in ready with questions that prove you've taken this seriously. NEVER SAY THAT YOU DON'T HAVE ANY QUESTIONS. A big mistake candidates make is believing that they hold all the leverage. There are many fish in the sea and potential employers want candidates who have a genuine interest in their company.

3) Are there any underlying issues?
Make sure to remain positive at all times throughout the interview. Remember, an employer expects you to be on your best behavior during the interview. So if there is even a shred of confusion, doubt, or concern about your character, they anticipate it only magnifying once you start.

Things 4-6 and the complete article