Search Results for: interview tips

Top Blog Posts and Polls of 2009

This has been a year full of twists and turns, ups and downs, and a lot of learning. This year we’ve provided you with a lot of information about how and where to look for a job, building a standout résumé, interview skills and follow-up advice, etc. So, if you missed anything, check out our most read Movin’ on Up blog posts and polls of 2009.

Top 5 Blog Posts of 2009

  1. 30 Power Words to Power Up Your Résumé & Boost Your Job Search – Help employers take notice of your résumé by using these 30 words to help showcase your skills and abilities.
  2. Where to Find Hot Summer Jobs – Think summer jobs only consist of retail or fast food? Check out these summer employment opportunities to help make some extra cash.
  3. Negotiating Salary in a Recession – Although many companies enforced salary freezes in 2009, there is still a chance to negotiate your way to a higher salary. How? Get the scoop here.
  4. 6 Things to Bring to an Interview – Before you go to your next job interview, make sure you take these six basic things with you to help you land the job.
  5. 5 Ways to Say Happy Birthday at Work (Without Breaking Your Budget) – Sometimes birthdays can get expensive when you have several co-workers. Learn five tips on how you can still celebrate the occasion, while saving money in the process.

Top 5 Blog Polls of 2009

  1. This Holiday, Do You Need a Second Job? – To get a pulse on the economy and to follow up from our summer job poll, 53% of respondents said they are on the hunt for a second job. See all the results.
  2. What's the Most Important Soft Skill Today? – Employers do look at your soft skills when considering you for a job. According to those surveyed, what are the most important soft skills?
  3. This Summer, Are You Looking for a Second Job? – What was the outlook on taking a second job during the 2009 summer? Take a look at these results and then compare to the follow-up holiday poll at the top of this list.
  4. This Year, Is Higher Education Worth the Cost? – During this recession, with unemployment numbers at an all-time high, many are choosing to return to school. Is it worth it?
  5. Generations and the Job Search: Who’s Having a Harder Time? – When it comes to finding a job, are new grads or mature workers having a more difficult time finding work?

Here’s to a bright 2010. Happy New Year!

Next at 10: How to Make Your Resume Newsworthy

Creating a stand-out résumé isn’t a skill that comes naturally to most people. But, communication is one of the top skills employers are looking for, according to our poll. The first demonstration of just how well you communicate will most likely be the résumé an employer sees as they’re looking for candidates.

So, how can you make sure your résumé is newsworthy enough for you to be the topic of conversation around the water cooler tomorrow? Use these tricks from people who get you talking – reporters, who make the news you watch, read, and talk about every day. Here’s how you can think like a reporter when you write your résumé.

5 Ways to Think like a Resume Reporter

Make it Timely – One of the most important parts of reporting is to have news that’s – well, news. Which means it’s not outdated or something you hear every day. For your résumé, this means highlighting the parts of your professional experience that set you apart from the norm. It may also include adding updated language, terms, and software to demonstrate that you’re in-the-know on what’s going on in your field.

Know your Angle – In the news business, the angle of the story is an important element. Many different news outlets may report on the same event, story, or person, so reporters make sure they have an exclusive angle to ensure their story will be unique, interesting, and valuable to the public. Think about your résumé this same way. Chances are it will be in a stack with lots of other résumés with similar background, education, and experience levels – because everyone in consideration qualifies for the job. So, make your résumé stand out by writing it with a great angle. Are you a qualified accountant who just so happens to also be a really great customer service representative? Are you a salesperson with great local connections? Whatever your angle, highlight it in a way that adds to your appeal to that employer, industry, or niche.

Feature Experts and Eyewitnesses – Your local news station doesn’t just show you footage with reporters talking about what’s going on. To make things more interesting and add credibility to their story, they also interview witnesses and experts to talk about what happened. People often list several references on their résumé or include a seperate document listing references. In the world of digital résumés, professional networking site LinkedIn offers the ability for people who have worked with you to leave recommendations about you. These recommendations add credibility to your work history – because they’re essentially eyewitness reports about you as an employee. So, consider asking a trusted source to write a recommendation for your profile or to share a testimonial you could include on the references list you send to potential employers.

Focus on Action – In every great news story, people want to know more than just who was involved, the timeline that transpired, and where it occurred. The main thing people want to know is simple: What happened? So, make sure your résumé doesn’t just read like a list of who, when, and where. Under every job title, describe what you did using action verbs.

Highlight Results – Every good news story has a great ending. So, make sure each section of your résumé includes the results you accomplished in that job. For example, if you increased sales, tell by what percent. If you developed a new plan or process, how did it help the company. Make your résumé newsworthy by including not just a list of your job duties, but also how your work made a difference – in the life of your boss, your co-workers, your customers, or your clients. This will demonstrate that you’re more than the average hire – you’re someone who makes a positive difference and achieves important results.

In today’s competitive job market, having a standout résumé is more important than ever. With high unemployment rates, more applicants are applying for every open job. So, use these tricks from the reporter’s toolbox to make sure your résumé is one that will make headlines.

Have you used any of these ideas for your résumé? Let us know your tips and tricks in the comments.

Who’s Spying on You Online?

With online networking websites continuing to grow at rapid speeds, doesn’t it sometimes seem that you have more friends/connections online than you know in real life? There’s that coworker you met very briefly at the companywide meeting. Another random person you met at the baseball game who has a LinkedIn account and works in your industry. Your sister’s best friend, her boyfriend, and his cousin. That guy who used to sit alone in your American History class in high school. This list goes on and on. Your online network could grow to hundreds of thousands of people, but would this allow for effective networking and relationship building?

Building a large network of connections is a good thing, and yes, that’s the purpose of most social media tools. But, it’s important to remember to be conscious of what information you do and do not post on your profile when using social media sites. Some sites, such as Facebook, are more heavily focused on socializing and staying connected to your friends. But did you know that many employers are hopping on the social media bandwagon too?

You never know who will see what you post online. It always seems there is someone who knows someone who knows you.To help you with your social media, here are a few basic rules to follow.

Learn about privacy settings. The first rule for using any social media site is to know what the privacy settings are. You might want to set your profile so that it can only be viewed by your friends. This way, once you have approved someone to be a friend, only then can they have access to your information and pictures. If they’re not a friend, they can’t access any information from you. This gives you some control over who sees your profile and who doesn’t.

After-hour pictures. Yes, everyone has a personal life outside of work, and what you do in your free time is your choice. But, realize that if you post party pictures, a co-worker or someone who interviewed you for a job might be able to see those photos. Another thing to keep in mind is that your friends can post things on your profile. On some sites like Facebook, friends can tag photos of you, so just make sure to do check-ups on your site to see what others might have posted about you.  Remember that your networking profiles are a reflection of you, so use your best judgment when it comes to the featured content.

Spell check. Even if you are not a journalist or in a communication-related field, make sure you don’t have a lot of misspelled words on your profiles. Typos and misspellings could communicate a careless attitude or sloppiness – two things you don’t want to convey in the professional world.

Social media can be a great tool for staying connected, learning new industry tips, and showing that you are up-to-speed on current trends. In the digital age, personal and professional can overlap. So, use these tips to make sure you maintain a balanced online image. It’s always a good idea to put your best foot forward by always being professional, even in your personal life. To learn more, view our guide on social media for business leaders.

30 Power Words to Power Up Your Résumé & Boost Your Job Search

Does your résumé have the punch it needs to help you stand out? Is your cover letter well-written and convincing? Are you conveying professionalism in the e-mails you write to recruiters or hiring managers?

With unemployment still at record highs, the job market is intensely competitive. Simply having the job qualifications, education, and experience required is not enough to help you land the job in this market. Since each job now receives record numbers of applicants, competition is fierce. Just getting past the résumé pile and landing an interview can be quite an accomplishment.

So, to help you get past that first step in the process, you can give your résumé a little boost by using words that help employers see you have the extra skills they’re looking for. And, according to our recent poll that asked what the top soft skills employers want out of today’s worker, a strong work ethic, a positive attitude, and good communication skills are at the top of the list. So, here are 30 words you can use to show you’ve got what it takes for the demands of today’s world of work.

Words to Convey Work Ethic

1. Diligent
2. Consistent
3. Thoughtful
4. Accurate
5. Valuable
6. Thorough
7. Reliable
8. Results
9. Persistence
10. Improved

Words to Convey Positive Attitude

11. Solutions
12. Vision
13. Success
14. Encouraged
15. Innovative
16. Achieved
17. Motivated
18. Contributed
19. Collaborated
20. Outcome

Words to Convey Communication Skills

21. Spoke
22. Presented
23. Published
24. Negotiated
25. Inspired
26. Created
27. Shared
28. Conveyed
29. Timely
30. Concise

Use these words to revise how you describe job functions in your résumé and cover letter, or add details about yourself to other correspondence you write during the job search and interview process.

And, since employers want good communication skills in an employee, make sure to spell check and proof read every written document you use in your job search for proper grammar, tone, and form. Consider having a friend or trusted peer review these documents to make sure they’re professional, thoughtful, and convincing.

After all, you’re more than what you put on paper. But step one in the job process is to convince employers of that fact. Using the right words may be just the thing your job search needs.

Job Loss & Income Level Top Recession Career Impacts, Readers Say

According to our latest poll, job loss is the leading impact the recession has had on the careers of our readers, with 31% selecting this factor, followed by 22% selecting lower income level. In addition, 12% of readers said that fewer job prospects have been a factor in their career during this recession. 

Interestingly, 11% of our readers responded that their career had not been affected by the recession, the next most popular selection in the poll.

The non-scientific poll, which ran during the month of August, received 506 responses and asked “How has the recession impacted your career?” Respondents were asked to select one of 10 factors for which has had the biggest affect on their whole career story.

Other career impact factors ranked as follows: fewer advancement opportunities (6%), working more hours (5%), career change (3%), less work/life balance, (2%), more career opportunities (1%), and postponed education (1%).

Have you been impacted by job loss, lowered income, or fewer job opportunities? Share your stories and comments with us by clicking on the “comments” link below.

For  more information about overcoming career challenges during this recession, check out the following resources:

Seeker or Sleeper: What’s Your Job Search Style

Have you ever thought about the differences between superstars and slouches? We usually think about separating the high achievers from the low performers on the job, but it pertains to job seekers as well.

The three indicators discussed in The Key Differences between Superstars and Slouches can also relate to the different styles of people searching for jobs.

First, people who find jobs understand that finding a job is a full-time position. They devote an 8-hour workday to the process. They wake up in the morning, get ready for the day, and start their job search bright and early. They filter through employment opportunities, compiling a list of prospective employers to submit their résumés to. They don’t allow past failures or a sluggish economy to get in the way of finding a job.

Second, successful job seekers usually are relentless in their job search process. They pound the pavement looking for employment opportunities wherever they can find them. They don’t limit their job search to certain hours of the day. After they submit applications and résumés, they follow up with phone calls to ensure that potential employers have received all necessary documents and request a time for an interview. They don’t wait around with fingers crossed.

Third, job getters are the ones who don’t make excuses for the lack of employment opportunities. They understand the obstacles that stand in their way. Whether it’s a down economy, a competitive job market, or a lack of qualifications inhibiting their job search success, they reevaluate the situation and determine solutions.

The job search process may take longer than would have a year ago, but there are still jobs available. The difference is the job seeker. Successful job seekers process these three key elements, and the sleepers, well um, they sleep. So, don’t give up and fall into a job search slumber.

Check out your local Express office today for help in the job search process.

Mature Workers Face Toughest Job Market, Readers Say

The debate over age and the job search may still be raging, but our results are in, and according to our readers, mature workers are having the hardest time in this job market.

In fact, of the 950 votes cast in our poll, 70% of readers selected mature workers as those having a harder time getting work, while 30% selected new grads.

That doesn’t necessarily mean great news for college students who are already hot on the job hunt ahead of May graduation. The National Association of Colleges and Employers have projected employers will hire 22% fewer graduates than in 2008, and many job searchers are finding that it’s tough to land a full-time gig without on-the-job experience.

However, help and support for college students entering this rough market is available. For example, social networking career site LinkedIn recently announced a company wide initiative devoted entirely to equipping May 2009 graduates to enter the workforce. You can also read how college students can start preparing for the job search now.

There’s also help for mature workers. One great resource is the AARP’s support and guidelines for mature workers who are looking for work. Also, check out our blog post on combating age discrimination in the job search.

The age versus experience debate may never fully go away. But reality is, no matter what your age or experience level, it’s important to be dedicated to a cohesive, professional job search process if you’re looking for work. So, polish your approach today, and focus your time, attention, and efforts on landing those interviews!

Want to know what others are saying about age and the employment process? Check out the comments thread our poll generated. Have a question you’d like to share? Leave it on our Q&A page.

Related Tips & Advice