Job Interviews

Is Your Online Activity Costing You the Job?

Your lack of interviews could be due to what you said online years ago.

The internet is a huge and wonderful place. You can search for tips on how to fix your sink, buy a used car, and leave a review for your favorite restaurant. However, it’s important to remember that anything you say online is pretty much permanent. An angry review or a sarcastic comment from years ago could come back to haunt you later.

This is incredibly relevant to the job search. The lack of a face-to-face connection might seem to give you some degree of anonymity, but it doesn’t. Recruiters and interviewers will see what you’ve done and said online and factor that into their consideration of you as a candidate, for better or worse.

According to the HUHS Library Media Center, 45% of all hiring managers use search engines to find information on people who applied for jobs. And, 63% said that something on a job seeker’s social media site caused them to not offer them a job.
And the best way to avoid that situation? Not doing anything bad in the first place. But what exactly is “bad” when it comes to the internet and your job search? We’ve got you covered.

Don’t Complain on Social Media

If you had food poisoning during a recent trip to Sherry’s Crab Emporium, it’s fine and dandy to let them know on social media or a review site. However, avoid ranting or using any rude language. Be concerned and polite. That review might come up when you’re being considered for a great job, and it could be the deciding factor that throws you out as a candidate.

Avoid complaining about a boss or co-worker on any of your pages. Even if you aren’t social media friends with these individuals, it’s still possible they could see your comments through a shared contact. And if you’re applying for a new position, your potential employer could write you off as a temperamental employee.

Don’t Breach the Line Between Business and Personal

Social media can be a great networking tool. However, don’t add interviewers on any social platform. Keep the personal and professional separate. Your online interactions with the company should always be strictly professional.

Avoid contacting companies you’ve applied or interviewed with via social media. A quick question to your interviewer via email is fine, but writing a post to a company’s Facebook page is not. The person in charge of the Facebook page most likely has nothing to do with your interview. And, if you post directly to the company’s Twitter or Facebook feed, you’re letting everybody else see your conversation.

Don’t bother your contacts on social media. Don’t message them just because you can. Avoid doing anything that could be seen as begging for a job. Realize that there is a line between social media for business and social media for personal use.

DO Be the Best Version of Yourself

When you want to impress someone in the real world, you bring your A game. You put on a nice suit, smile, and take care to be as polite as possible.

The internet should be no different. If your name is in any way attached, realize that whatever you say or do is there to stay. Don’t post pictures of yourself partying or say anything overtly political. Keep complaints to yourself, and don’t use any profanity.

To keep your personal life private, it’s important to adjust your privacy settings. Although the method for this will change depending on the platform, you usually can adjust what the general public (non-friends/followers) see on social media through something on the site’s “settings” tab.

Don’t Forget to Log-Out

The internet is a great place, but nothing replaces the power of a true one-on-one, face-to-face interaction. Go the extra mile and deliver your resume and cover letter to a business in person.

If you have questions, pick up the phone. Call the office and schedule an in-person appointment to meet with someone and discuss your concerns politely and succinctly.

Whenever an interview is over, send a handwritten thank you card in the mail. That little bit of extra effort goes a long way.

In all that you do, be quick, polite, and kind. That’s something truly memorable.

Have questions about how to behave online? Let us know in the comments below!

Ask a Recruiter: Interview Blunders

Read on for lessons learned from what NOT to do.

Interviews are hard. You’re being tested not only on your skills, but also on who you are as a person and how your unique personality might work with the company in question. There are so many variables. What will they ask me? What should I ask them? What experience is relevant?

Plenty of prep time and research can eliminate many of these questions. However, regardless of preparation, there are a few basic rules of etiquette to keep in mind. Dress in accordance with what your interviewer asks for. Don’t interrupt your interviewer. Be kind and courteous. Don’t try to hide a barking puppy under your shirt. Wait, what?

That’s right, that happened. Some applicants bring a little extra something to the interview. We asked a few of our top recruiters for stories about the more outrageous interview experiences they have had.

Working Isn’t My Thing

One of our staffing consultants recently dealt with a strange occurrence. An applicant came in with a standard resume. Everything seemed above board. However, the first thing he said was “I get that some people are motivated by hard work, but that’s really not my thing.”

Honesty is great, and you should be truthful when speaking about your experience in an interview. However, most employers aren’t going to hire someone who doesn’t want to work. They have plenty of other candidates, and odds are that most of them didn’t say they don’t like to work. Even if you’re just working for a paycheck, there’s no need to mention that in an interview.

Batman Needs Me

Another staffing consultant recalled an incident that started off normal enough but immediately fell apart. A candidate came in for a 2 o’clock interview 15 minutes early. However, before the interview could get started, he left. He returned 20 minutes past his scheduled interview time and, when asked about the reason for his rapid departure and subsequent return, he said he “had to sell comic books.” Oh, and his mother was now accompanying him; he was not a teenager.

Your interview starts before you’re even in the room. Everything you do in the waiting area can have real consequences. Yelling on the phone, treating the front desk coordinator badly, and, yes, leaving without any notification—these are reasons to write you off as a candidate.

Coming back and expecting to fit into what was already a busy schedule is an even worse idea. If you do have to leave for any reason, notify the receptionist and attempt to re-schedule via email. However, save this for true emergency situations—there’s no guarantee you’ll get a second try.

Chad Truly Felt Chad Had the Skills for the Job

One staffing consultant had an interview that was unsettling, to say the least. A candidate walked in; let’s call him Chad. Chad immediately began explaining his experience to the staffing consultant. However, Chad repeatedly spoke about himself in the third person. Caught off guard, the staffing consultant had to take a few minutes to realize what was going on. When he asked Chad why he was talking about himself in the third person, Chad said he hadn’t even realized that was happening, and attributed it to being nervous.

Although it’s easy to blame Chad for his odd attitude in this scenario, there are plenty of other candidates who fall into similar pitfalls. This is due to a lack of interview training. Many candidates don’t know their strange interview tics because they’ve never been told about them. To avoid this problem, practice interviews with friends or family. That training will come in handy!

Job Genius

Want to make sure you never make any of these mistakes? Looking for a one-stop-shop for all your interview and job search questions? Job Genius is here to help.

Covering everything from the job market forecast to your resume, subsequent interview, and more, Job Genius is the perfect place to start (or kick start) your career.

Have questions about what NOT to do in an interview? Let us know in the comments below!

Make an Impression with Potential Employers

Starting your career in today’s hiring environment can be challenging, including making a positive, memorable impression with people who could be your employer. There are several ways you can be proactive to ensure a potential boss will have a great first and ongoing impression of who you are.

Social Media

Today, your first opportunity to present yourself after applying for a job is not in person; it’s online. Most businesses you contact for potential employment will do a simple Internet search of your name to look at what you or someone else has posted about you online if they are interested in finding out more about you. According to online image company Reppler, 91 percent of recruiters screened prospective employees through social media, and 69 percent said they rejected a candidate based on what they saw on a candidate’s social media profiles. Take the first step and do the same thing; search your name and see what sites pop up that include information about you, then check each social media site you have a profile on and make sure you don’t have any embarrassing or unprofessional postings. You should also make sure your information is up dated and correlates to information you included on your résumé and cover letter.

The Interview

Most likely, the next time you will be in front of an employer is for an interview. There are two important tips to remember when preparing for an interview to make sure you leave knowing it went well. First, remember that the business is obviously interested in you if they are willing to take the time to talk with you for a little while. So be confident in your abilities and what you have to offer. Next, do the proper research on the company you’re interviewing with and be ready to offer a few practical solutions you believe helps improve the company. “Don’t just recite your job description in a generic way that makes you interchangeable with any person in the same position before and, or after you,” said career coach Wendy Doulton. “Know and show what you bring to the table. Own your interview!”

Give Thanks

Finally, follow up your interview with a personalized, handwritten thank you note to the interviewer. With the instant access of email, handwritten letters are less and less common, so sending a simple and grateful thank you note will help you stand out from the crowd of candidates. Make sure to also follow up through an email or phone call in the days after the interview if you don’t hear anything to find out where they are in the process.

If after being fully prepared and leaving an interview excited, you don’t get the job, don’t be discouraged. Consider asking the interviewer for some feedback on what you can do to improve your chances of getting a job. A rejection is not the end of your job search, it’s just another learning opportunity for you to grow as you continue moving forward in pursuit of a great job. A positive reaction to being turned down for a job helps display great character and maturity to other employers, so make sure you react positively when you get the news and if you decide to post the news on your social media sites.

Poll: What Part of the Job Interview Process Do You Need Help With?

Here at Movin’ On Up, it’s our goal to help you find a job and career you’ll love. Accomplishing that means acing your interviews.

Is there any part of the interview process you’d like help with? Something you’ve always wanted to know but never had an opportunity to ask? Now’s your chance!

Let us know about any topics you’d like to hear about, and we’ll feature the most topics responses in a future blog post.

Let us know by voting in our poll!

Interviews and Your Personality Type

Are you an introvert or an extrovert?

We’ve all heard it before. Be assertive and social in an interview. Show that you want the job and are easy to talk to. You want to show how great it would be to work with you, and how valuable your sense of teamwork is.

However, what do you do if you’re an introvert? You would love to come off as talkative and social, but that’s just not who you are.

It turns out that your personality type heavily affects how you approach an interview. You want to cater to your strengths and cover your weaknesses. As such, introverts and extroverts both need to approach interviews differently.

Introverts

An introvert, per the Merriam-Webster dictionary, is “one whose personality is characterized by introversion; broadly: a reserved or shy person.”

An introvert doesn’t hate people—he or she just doesn’t enjoy being the center of attention. Introverts recharge their batteries by being alone, and sometimes can only handle social situations for a short amount of time.

How are you supposed to act in an interview? By focusing on your goals and preparing. Most introverts are critical thinkers—they spend more time alone, and thus more time in their own mind. Use this time to anticipate all the questions an interviewer might ask, and to develop an action plan. If improvising in the moment isn’t your strength, simply prepare a suitable response for every possible situation.

In the actual interview, rely on your preparation. If a question comes up you didn’t prepare for, don’t be afraid to ask for a moment to reflect on the question. An interview is not a race—you don’t have to answer as quickly as possible to show you’re the right person for the job.

Extroverts

Merriam-Webster notes that an extrovert is “one whose personality is characterized by extroversion; broadly: a gregarious and unreserved person.” So, someone who likes to talk, and isn’t afraid to state their opinion. Although it might seem like interviews would be a breeze for people like this, that’s not always the case.

Extroverted applicants need to be especially wary of oversharing or taking over the interview. Your answer to a question should never exceed three minutes. When asked about your overall experience and interest in the job, have a prepared speech planned. Standard questions (where do you see yourself in (blank) years, tell me about a time….), should be answered in 90 seconds or less.

Be aware of body language and the personality type of your interviewer. If your answers and their questions are flowing rhythmically, you’re probably dealing with another extrovert. That’s more in your wheelhouse. However, if they’re taking a bit of time to process your answers and taking detailed notes, you might be dealing with an introvert. Take that to heart, and consider your words more carefully. Speak slowly and succinctly. Give them time to process what you’re saying. Know when to speak, and when not to.

It’s important to note that your personality type lies on a spectrum. Some people are extroverted introverts, while others are introverted extroverts. Know yourself, and adapt your own unique personality to the interview process.

How has your personality type affected your interview style? Let us know in the comments below!

 

 

 

How to Get Hired Quickly in 2018

Make 2018 your year

The new year is a time for resolutions, both big and small. Maybe you’ve decided to spend more time with your kids, get to the gym more often, cook a new dish, or start a new hobby. And then there’s your biggest resolution of all—getting a new job.

The key to making good on resolutions is to have smaller resolutions that lead to your goals. For example, if your goal is just to “be healthier,” you probably aren’t going to achieve much. If you set smaller goals like cutting your diet by 500 calories, working out three times a week, etc., you’ll hit your goal in no time. The job search is no different.

Here are a few job search resolutions to ensure that you get that dream job in 2018.

Practice Writing Your Cover Letter

Cover letters aren’t required by all companies and industries, but bringing one to an interview (or submitting one with a resume) can be a gamechanger. A well-done cover letter shows how your skills and experience make you the perfect pick for the job. Physically visiting the business you’re applying to and dropping off a cover letter can be a great way to get noticed.

When you’re applying for jobs, ideally, you’ll want to cater each cover letter to the job you’re applying for. However, nothing is stopping you from basing each cover letter on a general cover letter for the industry you’re interested in. Now is the perfect time to start refining that letter.

A great cover letter shows two things: how what you’ve done is relevant to the position you’re applying for, and why you want to work for the company. Since you can’t focus on the latter in a general cover letter, focus on the former. Filter through your accomplishments and list your strongest ones. If you don’t have any experience in the industry, find experiences in your career that are relevant. Try to feature your soft skills as well.

And even if no one reads your cover letter, going through the process of writing it can clear your head and help you focus on what you’re really looking for in a new job.

Gain Skills or Learn More About Your Industry

One way to stand out to employers is to build up your skillset, whether that means going online to find free learning applications or gaining certifications in new technologies.

Really understanding your industry will grab the attention of hiring managers. One way to build that understanding is to start a personal blog where you write about new developments in the industry. Set goals for yourself, such as writing one or two blogs a week. After a few months, you’ll have a wealth of knowledge about your industry and a blog that showcases that knowledge.

Writing a blog is a great idea even if you aren’t a great writer. However, if you use spellcheck and Grammarly (there is a free edition), you might even become a better writer over time. And writing well is a skill that everyone can use.

And if you don’t have time for a blog? Subscribe to email newsletters about your industry. Industry blogs are good resources as well.

Ace Your Interviews

Obviously, you should want the job you’re applying for—otherwise there’s no point in interviewing. However, you should go into each interview having prepared in every conceivable manner. You should already know almost everything about the company and where you fit in.

Interviews can reveal more about the company and the culture. However, at the end of the day, learning about the company is not your end goal. You’re here to get a job. So do your homework.

Know the ins and outs of the job, know your skills, and prepare a list of questions ahead of time. This could be your only chance to show the company you’re the right person for the job.

Any questions about changing up your job search for 2018? Let us know in the comments below!

5 Steps to Getting a Job Offer

From job search to interview to final offer, we’re here to help.

A job search is stressful for numerous reasons. Chief among the rest—you need money to support yourself and your family. Secondary concerns include finding your professional persona, the sheer force of will and attention it takes to job search for hours every day, and the fear that comes after each interview (did I get the job or not?).

Here at Movin’ On Up, we recognize that all of these stresses make it hard to keep going. It can be easy to give up. But we won’t let you. We’re here to encourage you with a plan for each stage of the job search process.

  1. Job Search

Searching online. Networking. Social media. All cogs in the job search machine. You have to search to get a job—that much is obvious. The problem is the job search is a job in and of itself. If you really want to get anything out of it, you have to put time into it. Eight hours a day if you can. It’s not just a hobby or a side activity. When you’re unemployed, the job search is your job. Except that you won’t see a payoff until you land the job.

Don’t forget to organize the needs a job must meet for you. These include salary requirements, paid time off, and insurance requirements, among other things. If you aren’t sure what kind of salary you should be shooting for, go online and find out what others in similar positions are being paid. Glassdoor.com is a great resource for this.

What can you do to make the search easier? Job search in bursts. Don’t spend your entire day staring at the screen. Take a break every once in a while to take a walk or talk to a human being.

You should also set goals and keep track of your progress each day. That way you’ll see that you’re making headway every day, bit by bit.

Above all else? Vary your job search. Don’t put all of your eggs into the online job search basket. Talk to a recruiter at a staffing agency. Attend networking events. Politely and tactfully ask friends and family members if they know of any job openings. Be on LinkedIn and Facebook—even if you don’t see the point in social media, there’s no reason not to be online. Creating an account is incredibly easy.

If your talent is something you can develop in your spare time, do it. If you’re a writer, write. Try to find some freelance gigs. If you’re a receptionist see if you can improve yourself in that area with online training. Your personal development plan will vary depending on your job field.

Avoid locking yourself into one type of job. Look at your skills and apply them to other industries. It’s much easier to find a job when you have a job. So, even if the job listings you see aren’t for your dream job, those jobs can nonetheless be stepping stones on your way to the top.

  1. Before the Interview

Congrats! All of that hard work has paid off. You have an interview. Now what?

Don’t let your job search efforts go to waste. Treat this like the last interview you’ll ever have. Research the company online. Know their mission statement and their company culture. Try to find information on what could be your future department and who your interviewer is. If there are any videos online, find them! The first step to succeeding in any interview is being well prepared. Start a list of questions to ask at the end of the interview. You want the interviewer to see that you truly want the position.

The night before your interview, try to get rid of anything that could possibly make you late. Set out your clothes, find your keys, and get plenty of sleep. Make sure the coffee is filled, and figure out a healthy breakfast plan.

Use Google maps or another navigation tool to plan your route ahead of time. Doing all of this now will make the next day much easier.

  1. The Interview

This is it. You’re in the interview room. First thing? Be nice to everyone. Even if the receptionist spills coffee all over your shirt. You never know who has a close relationship with the boss, and you want to look good. Plus these could be your future coworkers! There’s no reason to bring a bad attitude to work.

Once you’re in the room with your interviewer, shake their hand. Make eye contact. But try to avoid staring into their eyes the entire interview.

Answer any questions with the truth. The short truth. Don’t talk about your family or your feelings. Those are important, but not to your interviewer. Not now at least. Save those stories for when you get the job.

And when the interviewer asks if you have any questions? Say yes. Then ask the questions you carefully prepared the night before. They should be about the position, about typical days in the office, and about the company culture. Questions that are not only helpful for you, but also show your interest in the company itself. Make sure to ask about next steps. When you know the company’s plan for next steps, you can adapt your follow-up plans to that schedule.

  1. After the interview

As soon as you can, write a handwritten note to your interviewer. Reference your interview with a note about something you truly found interesting. Remember, you want to show that you care.

Since you definitely nailed the interview, pour all of that positive energy into continuing the job search when you get home. Show them all how awesome you are.

If you don’t hear back within the time-frame specified by your interviewer, don’t be afraid to contact them again. Bring up another reason this job is right for you, and then let it go.

  1. The job offer

It’s finally happened. You got the call. Now you have to negotiate. Be smart. You know your budget and how much money you need (at least at a minimum). If interviews are few and far between, you may need to choose between waiting longer for your dream job and taking something not as great in the meantime. Just remember—this one job doesn’t have to be the end all be all. Any job is better than no job when you have bills to pay.

Have any questions about any of the job search steps? Let us know in the comments below!