Wednesday, October 31, 2018

7 Things All Interviewers Want To Know About Your Brand

Cheryl Simpson

Your career brand is multifaceted and the good news is that, once defined, it can be shared with interviewers in many ways. Which is more good news, considering that your interviewers want to grasp the essence of your brand when they speak with you. In fact, all of their interview questions are aimed at clarifying your brand so they can evaluate its match to their needs.

Let’s take a look at seven questions interviewers ask themselves as they get to know you and the best ways for you to clarify Brand You™ in your interview responses.

1. What Sets Your Candidacy Apart?

What skills, experience, and credentials to you possess which make you a stronger candidate than the others who have applied? As interviewers slog through dozens of resumes and meet with candidate after candidate, they need to know what makes you different. They also need you to tell them this rather than expect them to figure out.

TIP: Summarize your strongest skills, experience, and credentials early in the interview, perhaps as a reply to the ubiquitous “tell me about yourself” question. Try this deceivingly simple but highly effective way to package your brand in reply to this question.

2. What Measurable Impact Have You Had To Date?

What specific measurable results have you achieved throughout your career that positively impacted your employers’ top- or bottom-lines? Define your revenue, sales, market share, profitability, cost reduction, productivity, and/or efficiency impacts in numerical terms.

TIP: Craft 5-8 CAR (challenge/action/results) statements that demonstrate the challenges you’ve faced with other firms, the actions you took to overcome them, and the measurable difference you made. Each CAR should address one or more of the key impacts employers are looking for; these are outlined in the job description and the job posting.

Read all 7 things and the complete Careeralism article

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

12 Buzzwords To Say In Your Next Interview

A job interview shouldn’t come down to the words you use—you think. But slipping in a buzzword or 10 during the interview process can be key. As career coach Hallie Crawford explains, “in a job interview, hiring managers are alert to certain words and phrases that convey knowledge of the position, confidence, and that a person would be a good fit for the company.” And without them, you could be looked over. 

So what are those words you should always use? Here, our experts say, are 12. 
Buzzword #1. We. “We” isn’t a buzzword per se, but it’s imperative to drop once—if not a dozen times—during an interview. Why? “Using the word ‘we’ shows that you are already thinking you are part of the team and explaining how you will collectively gain more sales, reach more clients, and more,” explains millennial career expert Jill Jacinto

Buzzword #2. Flexible. As in, you are flexible—and not in a yoga junkie kind of way. Crawford says that being flexible—whether with your time or your responsibilities—will show a hiring manager that you’d be easy to work with. “Of course, you don’t want to lie if there are some issues you wouldn’t negotiate on,” Crawford advises, “but stressing your flexibility shows the hiring manager that you’d [be a fit in the team].” 

Buzzword #3 Leader. You can and should be a leader—even if you’re not applying for a boss’ position. “Every interviewer wants to hear about a time a candidate took charge and owned a project or led a team,” Jacinto says. “No matter what job you are applying for, this skill—and this buzzword—need to be expressed.” How to fit it in, you ask, without sounding like bragging? Something like, “I’ve enjoyed leading a team of …” will do the trick, or try out, “I’ve been a leader in many ways. For example …”  

Sunday, October 28, 2018

5 Steps to Networking Success for Introverts


How to shine while making professional connections.

While there are some people who enjoy networking and get a lot of energy from interacting with a crowd, many find it intimidating and draining. Traditional networking is not for everyone.

However, networking is essential in today’s job market. Experts estimate that well over half of jobs are found through networking and word of mouth. The old job search method of comfortably sitting at your computer sending off résumés and cover letters will no longer get you very far.

Luckily for introverts, there are multiple ways to network. Some may bring you a bit outside of your comfort zone, but that’s not a bad thing. Think of these as skills you are developing that could benefit you in a future job.

1. Start from a position of strength. When you're employed, it’s much easier to promote yourself and talk about what you do. When you network while employed, you will exude confidence. Start building your network from there. And if it’s possible and of interest to you to meet new contacts within your company, begin with them.

4. Be explicit with your requests. Think about what information you can possibly glean from the person you're networking with. Don’t ask him or her to forward your résumé to human resources or help you get a job.

Briefly introduce yourself at the start of an email, call or in-person meeting, and tell him or her what kind of advice you are seeking. Asking questions will help take the focus off you and allow you to learn a lot about the other person. 

See all 5 steps and the complete USNews article

Friday, October 26, 2018

Why You Should Be Blogging on the Job Hunt

While blogging as a platform has been around for a while, it wasn’t until relatively recently when job seekers started using this social media tool to help them find their next job.

Since recruiters are already using social media sites like Twitter and LinkedIn to find candidates you can also bet that they are looking through candidate blogs. In other words, if you don’t have one yet you may be missing out on some great job opportunities.

Below you’ll find a list of benefits that explain why you should start a blog to help you expand your job hunt.

You have more than just a resume.

Let’s be frank, everyone has a resume. Everyone also probably uses a lot of the same resume advice. However, not everyone can adequately show a recruiter their skills. This is where blogging comes in.

With blogging you have the ability to actually showcase your skills in a way that a resume never could. For example, if you’re a marketing executive you can share some of your favorite strategies and comment on the latest marketing research. If you’re a financial executive you can comment on new laws and policies.

Consequently blogging allows you to present yourself as an expert in your field. In a time when the job market is constantly changing those who are specialized are the ones who have an easier time finding a job.

Furthermore, blogging on topics in your field keeps you on your toes. Maintaining a blog and creating new content is a cost effective way to keep your knowledge and skill set up-to-date.
Please note that this does not mean you forgo using a resume all together. We’re simply suggesting that you compliment your resume with content on a blog that showcases your particular skill set.

Expand and maintain your networkRead the full article for more information

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

9 Questions to Ask on an Interview

In a job interview, asking focused, intelligent questions of your interviewer demonstrates initiative, thoroughness, and careful analysis of your options – qualities every engineer should have.

To get you started, we’ll consider nine solid questions to ask while interviewing for an engineering position. What you learn about the position, your prospective employer, and your team will not only position you to advantage as a candidate but enable you to make a more informed decision moving forward.

We divided our list into three general categories:  Job, Company, and Personnel.

Investigate the Job

Not all positions are alike, though key responsibilities and skill sets may appear identical. Every engineering company holds slightly different expectations of its employees, which you’d do well to investigate before accepting a position.

1. What would my first priority be in this role?

There’s  a reason the company needs this role filled. Determine what their particular needs are, and you can better present yourself as the solution.

Learn More About the Company

Corporate culture is hard to quantify but should be a critical element in your decision-making. These questions will reward you with insights into what the company values, its overall health, and how its engineers are treated.

4. Is this a newly created position? If not, where is my predecessor?

This may seem like a difficult question to ask, but it’s a very important one. A new position may indicate a healthy, growing company. If not, the fate of the previous engineer in your role is very informative. They may have been promoted, for example, or moved laterally within the firm – this suggests a company which develops its engineers rather than hiring from outside. If the last person quit or was fired, the way an interviewer answers (or doesn’t answer) this question can provide important insights into performance metrics and corporate culture.

Who Will You Be Working With?

Corporations are people, people you will have to work with every day. Ask about the team you’ll be working with, your supervisor, and which particular employees the interviewer might hold up as an example to new hires.

7. What can you tell me about the team?

In the course of your daily responsibilities, the most important relationships you have are with your own team members. How would the interviewer describe the strengths of your team? Are there areas where they need improvement?  What is your immediate supervisor like? Not only is this an opportunity to learn about your prospective coworkers but to position yourself as the team’s missing element during the remainder of your interview.