Need Some Help Decoding The Hiring Process?

Need Some Help Decoding The Hiring Process?

When it comes to getting hired, the whole process can feel like a bit of a mystery. How, in fact, do you stand out from the crowd in that pile of resumes? Why does one person get noticed over any other person? And then if you do end up getting an interview, what about that process leads a hiring director to choose one person over another?

You’re not the only one who is confused. Most jobs get about 250 resumes per application, and hiring directors typically whittle that down to about six candidates. Once they do that, then it comes to in-person time and that’s really where you can find some tips to lead you to success in your next interview. For example, can you and do you make eye contact? Then that’s an automatic positive in the eyes of the person doing the hiring. What else can you do? This graphic has some ideas.

 

The Art of Tailoring Your Resume

The Art of Tailoring Your Resume

If you’re anything like I was when I first started my job search, you printed off a stack of resumes and merrily set to work, dropping them off at places you’d like to work until your supply was all gone. You made everything vague enough to make sense pretty much everywhere you applied, and figured that was good enough.

 

A vague resume will not get you a job

By now, you may or may not have figured out that it is indeed not enough. Your days of sending off bunches of generic resumes to whatever job postings you see online or in your neighborhood are over.

 

Tailor to fit

If you’re serious about getting a job – from McDonalds to lion taming to high end sales – it is your responsibility to tailor your resume for each place you apply instead of sending out a one-size-fits-all. Include work experience most relevant to each place uniquely, change your mission statement, write a cover letter explaining more deeply why you believe your presence would benefit them. Your potential employer goes through a lot of resumes – it’s kind of insulting if you were too lazy to make reading yours worth their time.

 

So just put in the effort – apply in a more quality way to less places, and we can pretty much guarantee you’ll get a lot more callbacks & interviews.

 

How Long Should You Stay at Your Job?

How Long Should You Stay at Your Job

How Long Should You Stay at Your Job?

You’re not going to have this job forever.

 

You’ll get promoted, or you’ll find your fit at a different company. Sometimes you might get let go and have to go on the job hunt. According to About:Careers, the average person will have about 11 job changes over the course of their careers. Changing jobs is as much about professional growth as it is about how much money you make.

 

Making the choice to change your job, whether out of necessity or desire, is always a stressful and important one. The question that most people ask themselves is, how long should I stay at my job? While the answer is rarely concrete, there are a couple of things to look at when you’re considering a change.

Always be Learning

If you feel that your current position isn’t offering you anything new, it might be time to change things up. Before you start asking for a promotion or looking for work elsewhere, make sure you’ve done all you can to grow your current role. You don’t want to ask for a promotion and have your supervisor tell you they don’t feel you’ve mastered your role.

Hard Numbers

If you’ve gotten as far as you think you can in your current position it’s probably time to move on. How long before you make the move without looking like a job jumper? All situations are different, and so it’s hard to give a set number. Over at Monster, they’ve suggested that the maximum length of time you should stay in one position is four years

 

Fortune suggests that there are four time limits to keep in mind. Anything less than 8 months is too short. A year and a half is a good minimum length. Fours years they say, is a good sweet spot. Finally, six years is the maximum time you should stay in one position. 

Personal and Profession Growth

In the end, how long you stay in your position has everything to do with you. Do you feel challenged, are you still learning, and are you being paid what you feel you are worth? If you feel you have more to offer, let people know and if you current employer can’t give you a promotion or raise, then maybe it’s time to move on. There is no right or wrong answer to this question.

 

 

What’s an Informational Interview?

What's an Informational Interview?

What’s an Informational Interview?

The quick answer: an informational interview is an interview you hold with someone who works in an industry or job that you are interested in. The aim of the informational interview is for you to learn as much as you can from someone who can tell you about the day-to-day of their job. 

 

The point of an informational interview is not to get a job. It’s to learn if a specific field or job is right for you. It can be a connection you make, and keep, that could help in your job search, but you shouldn’t go in expecting to get an offer out of it.

How to get an Informational Interview

An informational interview can be with anyone. Someone you know personally like a parent, aunt or friend. It all depends on what you’re aiming to learn. If you don’t know anyone personally who works in a place you’re interested in, asking friends if they have connections is another way to find people.

 

Don’t forget social media. LinkedIn is a great resource for finding people with jobs you’re interested in. Send someone you don’t know on LinkedIn an InMail explaining you’re looking for the opportunity to have an informational interview; you’ll be surprised how many people are willing to chat! Twitter is another platform where you can follow and message with people building up connections. Again, you’ll find it surprising how often people are willing to share perspectives about their work with interested students and job hunters.

 

One key thing to remember: You are asking a favor of the individual you’re interviewing. Be willing to move your schedule to fit theirs. Offer to do it by phone, or if they work/live near you and suggest meeting in person and be willing to travel to their location.

What to Ask During an Informational Interview

Prepare for an Informational Interview like you would for a real job interview. Research the person’s company and their position. Learn what you can about what they do before you go in. Your interviewee will appreciate the time you put in. Keep the interview professional. Avoid questions about money or salary. Ask them what their day-to-day is like. Ask where their job leads. Ask them what led them to the job they are currently in. 

 

Again remember that the interviewer is giving you their time. Respect that by keeping the interview short; usually aim for under 20 minutes. If it seems the interviewee is not in a rush, offer to end the interview but feel free to continue if they suggest they aren’t in a hurry.

Once the Interview is Done

Thank them for their time. One of the most important things to do after an informational interview is follow up. It can be as simple as an email thanking them for their time. If they gave you suggestions let them know if those suggestions helped. Staying connected with your informational interviewee is a great way to build your network and stay ahead of the curve. 

 

Time For An Attitude Adjustment?

Time For An Attitude Adjustment?

You like your job, you’ve been doing it a while, it’s easy to become complacent and unmotivated. The key to staying fresh and motivated, to keep moving forward and expanding your horizons is maintaining your attitude.  Not only will a great attitude help you stay happy and fulfilled – as a byproduct you’ll want to push yourself faster and harder. You’ll be excited about achieving new things.

What if this was the last day of your life?

Uber successful Steve Jobs used to ask himself the same question everyday “If this was the last day of my life would I want to do what I’m about to do today?”

 

Ask yourself that question to help you put your days into perspective. You only have so many days to accomplish all the things you want. You have priorities, you have goals and dreams. Ensure as many of your days as possible are bringing you closer to those priorities, are helping brings those dreams out into the light of day.

Giving vs. receiving

All of us spend so much time thinking about what we can get. Things we can buy, what someone can give us professionally or personally. Things that we believe will enhance our sense of self worth. All those get things are good, but the satisfaction they bring is fleeting. Sure you feel good when you buy a new gadget, but soon the new gadget becomes just another gadget and you start longing for the next one. Sure that person helped you get to the next level, but now that you’re there, you’re already chasing after the next person. Sometimes after all that chasing you realize you’ve only been running on a treadmill, never actually getting anywhere. Sometimes the only way you will feel like you’re getting somewhere is to get off the treadmill altogether. To give yourself the chance to be the giver rather than the receiver. The benefits of helping someone else are twofold.

  1. You’ve helped someone else
  2. You feel really good about yourself.

And that good feeling you’ve created for yourself has the tendency to stick around a lot longer than the good feeling of a getting new thing because it’s mixed with pride and accomplishment and an all-around, good job me!

 Cultivate some patience

Heard a new song on the radio and you want it? No problem it’s a click away. Got a hankering for some pizza? Delivered, take-away or dine in – your choice.  Suddenly interested in a course on inhabitants of the Jurassic? An online course is as close as your tablet. With so much so easily available, it’s easy to think everything should be on demand. The perfect job. The exact experience you’re looking for. Then it’s not and with the world still at your fingertips, you start to feel depressed, like nothing is possible. Attitude adjustment! Have patience. Work towards your goals. Don’t expect them to materialize right away. Think of the three little pigs. Sure you can have a house of straw in about five minutes but it will blow down even faster. A house of sticks might take a little longer to build, but it will come down with the wolf’s laugh. The house of bricks will take some time to build, but it’s going to withstand whatever life throws at it and when you look at that house you built – boy does it feel good!

Keep yourself engaged

One of the easiest ways to get into a rut is having nothing to look forward to. No carrot just outside your reach. Have you achieved the goals you set out for yourself? If not are you still working towards them? Does the thought of your goals add a spring to your step in the mornings?

If you have reached all your goals do you have new ones? They don’t have to be monumental goals (although they can), but they do need to be objectives to keep things interesting.

Pay attention to your inner voice

Like it or not that little voice inside your head sways a lot of influence over you. If it’s always telling you that you can’t do something then you’re going to believe it. If it’s always telling you to keep going because you CAN then you’ll believe that too. You don’t have to agree with what that voice says. You are the narrator of that story. Change it if you want to.

 

What Is Your Personal Brand?

What Is Your Personal Brand?

What is Your Personal Brand?

When you think of brands, the first thing that comes to your mind is probably names like Nike, McDonald’s or Pepsi. Large companies that spend millions and millions of dollars making sure customers see their brand a certain way. When you’re thinking about your job search, or how you look online, you need to think of your personal brand. 

 

A personal brand is exactly what it sounds like, it’s how you want to be seen by others. If you think you don’t have a personal brand, think again. If you do anything online like Twitter, Snapchat or Instagram, you have a brand. The question is, what does that brand look like and can you use it to help yourself in your job search, and in the business world.

Your Current Brand

Google yourself and your current city and you’ll get a quick idea of what your online presence looks like. You might be feeling like all these things are personal and not meant for the public eye, but if they’re online, they can be seen by anyone. Your current brand might be a student who likes to travel. It could be an entry-level worker who’s a foodie. Whatever you’ve been posting tells others about you, and what it tells them about you is your brand.

Branding and Identity

Personal branding is all about identity. Even if your Pinterest is just a personal collection of recipes and motivational quotes, a potential employer might find it. Will they see a common theme to the quotes? Will they see that you post daily or will they see that you posted a couple pins and then forgot all about it?

Making Your Personal Brand

Not having a personal brand is unlikely to hinder your job search, but having a clear, strong personal brand will help you stick out in your search for employment. When you’re cultivating your personal brand, be sure you have a clear idea about how you want to project yourself. Make sure what you are creating and putting online is consistent with that idea.

 

Having a personal brand is a great way to stick out from the crowd and to establish yourself as the best candidate for the job. A strong personal brand can also help you grow your network. 

 

Your Future is Now

Your Future is Now

When you think about your future how often do you think of it as some far away time that’s a long way off? How often do you think that the future is after you’re done school, or once you finally get that next promotion? We tend to think of the future as something to look forward to and maybe even plan for, all the while thinking it’s not coming any time soon. Miles Davis has a different idea. The future, he says, is right here, right now, every single morning. 

 

The future is now

Miles Davis is considered by many to be one of the best jazz musicians of all time. In this quote, Davis points out that while you can spend all your time thinking of the future as some distant time, it’s really right here. Miles started playing music around age 13. It would have been easy enough for him to say he’d start playing when he was done school, or once he found a job, but he didn’t. 

 

Don’t spend your time waiting for the weekend, or the summer to start your future. Start it today. From working on your resume to starting a new hobby, there’s no better time than now to begin. We know there’s not a lot of time to get to things, and that you’re waiting for a block of time big enough to tackle it, but that might never come. Start small and grow bigger. The future is now, don’t wait for it to pass you by.

 

Talking to Your Boss

Talking to Your Boss

Talking to Your Boss

How often do you wish you could talk to your boss or supervisor about something but aren’t sure if it will turn out well or not. Maybe you have a complaint or an idea, but are worried about how it will be received. Ideally, talking to your boss should be something you feel comfortable doing, but sometimes that’s just not the case. Here are a couple things to consider when talking to your boss.

Build Your Credibility

This career advice suggests building your credibility within your company before getting too vocal. It makes sense. Show that you understand the company, it’s values and that you can do good work before you start throwing out suggestions left and right. If your boss sees that you’re savvy and committed, they’ll be more likely to hear what you have to say.

No Yes Men

If the only reason you want to talk to your boss is to agree with them and tell them you think they’re great, you can save yourself some time and not bother. Most supervisors will tell you, they don’t want people blindly agreeing with them at every turn. Offer helpful alternatives and different ideas. If you can show that you’re able to think for yourself, you’re more likely to have your boss’s ear. 

Know What Your Asking

Whatever you want to talk to your boss about, make sure you’ve thought it through before hand. If you come with a complaint but no solution, or an idea you haven’t followed through to conclusion, don’t go to your manager with it.

Have a Solution

This goes along with knowing what you’re asking. If you just keep placing problems at your manager’s feet, they’re not going to be thrilled. However, if each time you present a problem, you offer a solution, your boss will see that you’re someone who problem solves, saving them the work.

 

Talking to your boss doesn’t have to be a nerve-wracking experience. Prove that you are invested in making the goals of the company come to fruition and do your best to solve your own issues. You’re manager will be glad you took the time.

 

Increase Your Sales Success

Increase Your Sales Success

Salespeople spend so much time working out the perfect pitch for the perfect person. They can recite endless facts on command. They’ve got statistics and testimonials to back up everything we say.

 

The thing is, what you say isn’t going to be the only determining factor in your success. As a matter of fact what you don’t say may be equally important. That’s because while you’re not talking, you are listening. A salesperson who listens to his or her customers generally has an easier time making sales, which in turn lead to increased earnings and more job satisfaction.

 

Listen before speaking

Did you know that a great percentage of top sales people are introverts? That’s because introverts are naturally more centred on the other person rather than themselves. They prefer to listen than speak.  Rather than dominating the conversation, they dominate the listening.

 

Help your customers feel secure

When they’re being listened to, customers feel comfortable and secure in your presence. They don’t feel pressured. Because of that, when you do speak they in turn listen to what you’re saying and are more apt to buy.

 

Clarify and paraphrase

It’s important the person in front of you knows they’re being listened to. Paraphrase what they say in your own words and that will encourage them to go deeper.

 

Slow down your own conversation

When it is your turn to speak don’t whip through the conversation. That can stress people out. You don’t need to go slowly, but you should take your time and pause to give them time to ask questions or clarify what you’re saying.

 

Check out this article from allbusienss.com to see how you rate as an effective listener.

Find the Best Job for Your Personality

Find the Best Job for Your Personality

Finding the Best Job for Your Personality

If you’re trying to figure out what you want to do with your life, start by figuring out what makes you tick. Knowing your personality is a great way to find jobs and industries that will suit you best. But how do you dissect your personality? 

 

Personality Tests

There are a number of different systems and ways to look at your personality. One of the most common is called Myers-Briggs. Myers-Briggs is a personality test that many companies use to determine the personality of their employees. It measures your preference in different categories, like whether you’re introverted or extroverted. There are a number of places you can take the test, including 16 Personalities which has a free version.

 

Myers-Briggs assigns you four different letters for your personality. Once you have the four letters of your personality, you’ll be able to look online and see what a variety of sources say about your personality. And what role that will play in your career choice. For instance: some people are best when working with rational things and making non-emotional decisions. So things that involve math and numbers may be suited for them. Other people thrive on working in busy workplaces with lots of people. They might look for work where they constantly interact with others.

 

Business Insider has a great breakdown of the 16 separate personality types and what jobs might be best suited for each. If you’re introverted, chances are you don’t want a job where you have to be in the midst of crowds all day. 

 

To be clear, these personality tests and their suggestions aren’t guarantees. They offer interesting guidelines and ideas for what the right job for you could be. In the end, you should aim to work at something that makes you happy and that fulfills you no matter what. Personality tests simply offer a possibility of narrowing down that search. 

 

One thing remains true. To find a job you like, you have to have an understanding of yourself first.