Search Results for: interview tips

Making the Most of a Job Fair – Part 2

If you followed the tips in part 1 of this series, you’ve got your list of prospects, an up-to-date résumé, a tailored cover letter, an elevator speech, and your interview attire. Now you’re ready to tackle the job fair.

What to Do While You’re There

Map it out. To better utilize your time and make sure you meet all the prospective employers on your list and increase your chances of landing an interview, first find out where each employer is located. Map out your day so you’re not running back and forth between booths to meet people. Some job fairs have maps showing the location of each employer’s booth, so make sure you pick up one when you arrive.

Limit your time. Once you figure your agenda, plan to spend only five to 10 minutes with each employer. You want to spend enough time to make an impact and create a good first impression, but you don’t want to spend so much time that you wear out your welcome. Remember, you’re not the only one there looking for a job. If you extend your stay, you could be viewed as annoying or desperate and diminish your chances of receiving an interview. So, get in, make a good impression, get out, and move on to the next employer. Before you leave, remember to thank your new contact for their time and ask for a business card. If you have a business card of your own, ask if you can leave one with your résumé. 

If you mapped out your day correctly, you’ll probably have time to meet with employers that didn’t make the first cut on your agenda. If you have time, it’s a good idea to take this opportunity to learn more about other companies. They just might have the job you’ve been looking for.

The tough part is over, but you’re not quite done. After you meet with so many employers, learn how to follow up after attending a job fair in our next post.

Don’t Quit Like This: 3 Ways Not to End a Job

Leaving a job can be stressful for anyone, whether you’re pursuing another opportunity or leaving for personal reasons. But, taking the right steps when you quit can make the transition from one job to another smoother for both you, your career, and your employer. Here are three real-life scenarios where individuals left their jobs in less than ideal conditions. How do you think they could have handled the situation better? We’ll provide you with tips on how to effectively handle quitting a job in part 2 of this series.

Leaving without a plan. Ray felt stuck in his job and had been searching for something else for months but to no avail. He didn’t enjoy his work, received little help from his co-workers, and was stressed to the max. After being away from the office for a few days due to a family emergency, he called in on the day he was to return and gave his notice. He decided not to go back to work but didn’t have any interviews lined up either. He’s still struggling to find a job months later, and he’s running out of money.

Jumping ship without notice. Jessie worked for an acquaintance for several years in a position with no room for advancement. When she found another opportunity that provided benefits, better pay, and career potential, she jumped at the chance. But as a conflict-avoider, she didn’t want to face her boss and tell him she was quitting. So, she simply never returned to work and ignored his phone calls. She already had another job and wasn’t worried about it.

Quitting out of anger. Greg was a strong performer at work, constantly completing projects early, helping others with their work, and moving up within the company. But he had a hot temper, and one day, a co-worker made a remark about his work that offended Greg, who didn’t give his co-worker the opportunity to clarify the comment. An argument began and quickly escalated. Greg was so angry he collected his things, told his supervisor he quit, and walked out the door.

Have you left a job in one of these ways? If so, what happened? How has it affected you or your job search? Did you jeopardize your career, ruin your chances at another opportunity, or lose a reference? Let us know in the comments section below. In part 2 of this series, we’ll discuss effective ways to give your notice.

5 Little Words that Make a Big Difference in a New Job

Starting a new job can be an exciting and equally anxious process. You’ve survived the job search, dominated the interview process, and are ready to begin. How can you make the most of the first day on a new job? Here are five little words to keep in mind.

1. Meet.
Everyone. Make it your goal to learn as many names as possible, and don’t be shy about meeting new people. The first few days on a job is your best time to meet new people, because you have the excuse of not knowing anyone. Much of your personal success on the job will depend on the relationships you develop at work – not just with immediate co-workers, but with people in other departments or locations as well. So, take the time to invest in meeting people and building relationships.

2. Ask.
One of the most terrifying things about a new job is the unknown. Whether or not you have prior experience within a certain field or industry, there are a lot of new things to learn – the company culture, team dynamics, products, and processes, to name a few. Often, your best resources for learning about all things work-related – from big picture to the little things – are the people around you. So, don’t be afraid to ask questions for fear of looking unskilled or inept. The longer you wait to ask, the harder it will be to work up the courage. Some reports say that most people spend their first 90 days just trying to guess their way around a new job. Don’t waste your time and energy this way. Make it a point to ask as many questions as you can within the first week on a new job so you can hit the ground running and quickly impress.

3. Learn.
hen you start a new job, it can often be difficult simply figuring out exactly what all your responsibilities include. So, make it a point to learn as much as you can, not just about what you’ve been tasked to do, but about the company, industry, and field you’re working in. Be proactive about learning, and you’ll show your boss that you’re a star player and be better equipped to not just survive, but thrive in your position.

4. Help.
he shining stars in the workplace don’t just focus on doing their own work. They understand how to help the entire team as well. Of course, you don’t want to come across as a know-it all. So, while you are learning the ropes, let those around you know you’re willing to help when it’s needed. That way, by the time you’ve had a chance to get up to speed, teammates will know they can turn to you for your insight and assistance.

5. Do.
It can be so easy within the first few days on a job to get bogged down in orientation, paperwork, and information, that doing the actual work you are assigned to can be difficult. But don’t wait. Start working right away so that you can discover the areas you need to ask questions about. If your boss doesn’t give you projects right away, ask for them.

Acting out these five words can help you quickly master the job you’ve been hired to do. So, start your new job off right by living these five mantras – not just the first week, but every day.

Who knows what opportunities might emerge when you commit yourself to becoming a star from day one.

Which of these words is the most important when you’re starting a new job? Let us know your thoughts by sharing your comments.

Your Turn: Sound Off on What You Want to See Covered

Here at Express, our main purpose for the Movin’ On Up blog is to provide you with the tools to help you find a job and succeed in your career. We also offer tips on dealing with workplace issues and give insight on current workforce trends. We try to cover all kinds of topics from interview techniques to workplace gossip.

To help us better understand your needs, we would love to hear from you. Post your comments, questions, concerns or anything you would like to know about the job search process, workplace issues, or current trends in the job market. We’ll address your comments and help you with your needs.

So, let’s get the conversation started. We’re waiting to hear from you!

The Job Description Doesn’t Request a Cover Letter. Should I Write One Anyway?

As you’ve hunted for a job and read description after description, you’ve probably noticed that some postings request a cover letter in addition to your résumé. Others simply state to submit your application or résumé but don’t mention anything about a cover letter, and most people will just omit it if it’s not requested. But, a cover letter is an important way to highlight your achievements to help you land the job or at least an interview. Check out these reasons why you should write one, whether or not an employer requests one.

Your résumé only says so much. With only one, or maybe two, pages to explain your qualifications, previous experience, and education, you can’t always get everything into your résumé that might convince an employer to interview you. A cover letter gives you the opportunity to share more information, such as why you want the job, specific examples of why you’re qualified for the position, and how you’d be an asset to the company or organization.

You’ll be ahead of the competition. Most people don’t take the time to write a cover letter if one isn’t requested. In this case, when your résumé arrives with a well-written cover letter, employers will take notice. You’ll stand out from other candidates that only turned in a résumé, and have the added bonus of being able to say in your own words why you’re qualified for the job.

The more information you can share with an employer, the better your chances are for an invitation to an interview. Make sure you include a cover letter the next time you apply for a job, and you’ll be a step ahead of the competition.

5 Things to Prepare Before Going to a Job Fair

Job fairs provide access to many different employers and a variety of positions to job seekers in one place. Getting an invitation for an interview or a job offer requires more than simply showing up. So, before you head out, prepare these five things, and take advantage of the opportunities job fairs create.

RésuméUpdate your résumé to include your latest employment information, acquired skills, and education. Create multiple versions, and tailor each one to a different job objective so you can apply for a variety of positions that interest you. Also, bring a generic résumé that you can use in any situation, in case another job catches your attention. Make sure to bring several copies of each version of your résumé so you can leave a copy with many potential employers.

Contact card – Design and print a personal contact card, similar to a business card, with your name and contact information. You may also want to include your degree, profession, or desired career on the card. Give these to potential employers in addition to your résumé, and you’ll stand out from other job candidates by looking more professional and well-prepared.

Self advertisement – Employers at job fairs meet with many different job candidates and probably don’t have time to talk to you for more than a few minutes. So, create a short pitch or speech to sell your qualifications to a potential employer in 60 seconds or less. Make sure to practice in front of a friend, but keep it conversational so it doesn’t sound forced. Your self advertisement should include important information such as your work experience, skills, and career goals.

Attire – Treat a job fair like you would an interview – go into it knowing you need to create a positive first impression through your appearance. Dress professionally, polish your shoes, and make sure your hair is in place. Don’t carry extra baggage such as a backpack or purse, because you’ll look less professional and probably fumble to shake an employer’s hand. Instead, carry a briefcase or portfolio folder to carry your résumé copies and business cards.

Questions – You’ll engage in conversation with employers as you hand them your résumé. So, before you go, research companies that will be there. Then, prepare specific questions you’d like to ask each potential employer you’re interested in working for to learn more about the position and the company. Also, make sure to be ready to answer common interview questions yourself.

You may meet your next employer at a job fair so it’s important to be ready, just as you would be for an interview. Your preparation can increase your chances of landing an interview and receiving a job offer.

The Great Debate: Return to School or Get a Job. How to decide your next career move

Are you struggling with your job search and getting frustrated because you haven’t landed a job, even though you have the education? Many graduates of high school, college and vocational schools have a hard time finding jobs, even after completing their degrees. Some get so frustrated that they want to head back to school to better their chances of finding a job in a different field. But before you decide to go back to school and pursue a new career, try some of these tips to turn your job search into a success.

Evaluate your situation – Take a look at where you are now, what experiences you’ve had and where you want to be in the future. If you’re looking for a job in a field that you don’t currently have any experience in, find ways to get that experience by volunteering, interning or taking an entry-level position. If you’re considering going back to school, look into the opportunities that a new career could offer. Another degree may not promise a job offer, higher salary or professional growth, so decide if it’s worth it to stick with the degree you have and just gain experience in that field. You may have to make a few sacrifices along the way, but the sacrifices you make now will pay off in the future by helping you land the job you want.

Update your résuméRésumés create a lasting first impression. If you’ve submitted résumés to several employers and have yet to receive an invitation for an interview, pull yours out and see what updates or changes can be made. It’s important to grab the attention of potential employers, so don’t be afraid to ask someone else for their input, or contact a professional to help you. Co-workers, friends and family members can offer ways to improve your layout, design and content. Going back to school to add another degree will look great on your résumé, but if you lack the experience needed for the position, your extra degree won’t guarantee an employment offer or even an interview.

Practice interviewing – If you’ve been looking for a job for a while and have been to several interviews but haven’t received a job offer, your interview skills may need some tweaking. Ask someone to practice with you and have them ask questions that are frequently asked by employers, specific to your résumé and pertain to the job you’re interested in. When you practice with others, they can help you identify areas that need to be improved and can offer hints to help you really sell your skills to a potential employer. Going back to school won’t help you master interviewing or land a job. Practicing your interviewing skills is easier and less time consuming than school, so consider taking this step to improve your job search before hitting the books.

Finding a job can be a challenge for anyone, but it’s possible to find a job in your field. Before you give up and head back to school or switch careers, try these tips to improve your job search and land the job you want.

Were you able to find a job right out of school? How did you successfully land a job? Give us your feedback in the comments section below.