Tag Archives: 2014

Four Tricks to Learn to Land the Interview

four_tricks_to_learn_March2014Without the right guidance, filling out applications, sending your resume to numerous people, and searching for jobs online, can seem impossible. But we want to help make that process easier for you. So here are four tricks to learn how to land an interview.

Have a Strong Tailored Resume and Powerful Cover Letter
Make sure your resume is specifically tailored and relevant to the position you’re applying for. And don’t skip the cover letter. This is your chance to tell the hiring manager exactly who you are and what you have to offer. A cover letter can say what a resume can’t, so include specific examples of instances where you have excelled, use this avenue to craft a picture of your expertise you want the prospective employer to know.

Follow Up
Communication is the key to landing a job interview. After you’ve sent in your resume and cover letter, follow up by sending an email to say thank you for their consideration, confirm that they’ve received your resume and cover letter, and ask where they are in the hiring process. Communicating with your potential employer will reiterate your interest and show them you’re serious about the job opportunity.

Don’t Forget to Be Yourself
Make sure everything you’ve provided is accurate and uniquely you. Although you may have received help with writing your cover letter or resume, be sure that every bit of information you share is truthful and allows your personality to shine through.

Network and Research
Get to know people who work where you want to work. It’s important to network with experts in the field you want to be in, so don’t be afraid to reach out and develop relationships with them. Begin by looking online and using social media networks to learn more about the company and industry you want to work in. Facebook Graph Search is a great tool to see if any of your Facebook friends work at the specific company or industry you want to work in.

Another way to learn more about your potential employer is by following them on Twitter and LinkedIn or by liking their company’s page on Facebook. Put your best foot forward by being active on their social media networks. Believe it or not, most recruiters, human resource directors, and hiring managers scan over candidates’ social media profiles before they begin the hiring process. So, remember to keep your social media sites clean and professional.

Have you recently landed a job interview? What are some tips you’d like to share? Let us know in the comments section below!

Resume Tips To Help You Get Lucky

Lucky_Resume_March2014When you’re trying to catch a potential employer’s eye, your resume has to stand out from the crowd. It has to have something extra, a little bit of magic that no other resume has. But, sometimes magic is hard to come by, and it can be difficult to find ways to make your resume distinct. So, in honor of St. Patrick’s Day, here are seven tactics to add some luck to your job search.

Give Your Resume a Pinch
Less is more, so cut unnecessary content, eliminate meaningless phrases, and shape it to fit each job opening in order to get noticed.

Find the Pot o’ Gold with the Right Style
What you bring to the job is unique, which means you need to pick the resume style that best matches your work history, skills, and qualifications.

Show What You Have to Offer
Apply some eloquence to that meaningless objective statement and shift the focus to what you’ll bring to the job.

Make Your Competition Green With Envy
Your work history is the core of your resume, so make sure it’s strong and sculpted for the most attractive resume possible.

Treat Your References Like 4-Leaf Clovers
If you say “references available upon request” in your resume, make sure you have great references prepped and ready to vouch for you.

Follow the Rainbow to the Perfect Format
Do your research to ensure you know which electronic resume format – Word or PDF – works best for you and the job opening.

Check for Overlooked Shamrocks
Hiring managers expect a resume to contain certain elements, so give it one final look to ensure nothing’s missing.

Getting lucky in your job search starts with taking the time to fix up your resume so it can work it’s magic. After all, employers will never know what an amazing job candidate you are if your resume doesn’t grab their attention.

What have you done to make your resume stand out?  Share your own tips for building a golden resume in the comments section below.

Don’t Let Spring Break Ruin Your Reputation

Spring_Break_Reputation_March2014Spring break is finally here, and students everywhere are in the home stretch of this semester! The time has come for many students to take a much needed week away from school. It’s a time for fun, relaxation, and a chance to recoup from late night study sessions and homework. As you begin planning for your spring break, keep in mind that it’s easy for your reputation to be tainted in a short amount of time if you’re not careful. Here is some trustworthy advice to remember before you start your spring break shenanigans.

Protect Your Online Reputation
How can you protect your online reputation? By keeping your social media profiles private and being aware of what others post to them can help guard your reputation. When you and your friends get together there will probably be some pictures taken, and with the accessibility of Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, you could find pictures posted you wish had never been taken. Your friends could also include you in posts or status updates, so it’s important to have strict privacy settings on your social media networks before Spring Break begins. According to a study by CareerBuilder, two in five employers use social media to screen candidates. So you never know when a prospective employer is searching for you. If they happen to find an inappropriate picture or see something that they don’t like it can impact your job search.

Spring Break Precautions
Most students don’t plan on getting into trouble on Spring Break. Of course you want to have a good time, but if you’re not careful you could find yourself tangled with the law, or worse. While a “YOLO” attitude may serve you well in the moment, take a pause to consider future implications of snap decisions.

Take Advantage of Spring Break
Spring Break is a great time to jumpstart your career. You may not be able to get a job or intern at a company in a short week’s time, but there is another alternative – job shadowing. Shadowing someone for a few days will provide you with great insight into the everyday aspects of a job. Ask your friends and family if you could tag along and learn what a day in their life at work is like. Instead of going on a trip or just staying at home, get out and learn more about the career you want to have.

Finding a job is a full-time job in itself, so get a jumpstart on your future this Spring Break! How are you planning to get started on your job search, or are you already in the process? Let us know in the comments section below.

Spring Clean Your Reference List

Spring_Clean_Reference_List_Feb2014Have you been using the same references for years? If so, what better time than now to spring clean your reference list? Cleaning up your reference list is just as important as updating your resume. Here are some tips to keep in mind when reviewing your reference list.

Maintain a Good Relationship with Your References
When is the last time you talked to your references?  If you’ve listed supervisors you’ve worked for in the past, do you know if they’re still employed at the same company? Touch base with your references and let them know they’re still on your list. If your supervisor is no longer employed with your previous employer, consider deleting him or her off your reference list. Although you should look for senior-level co-workers or leaders, you don’t have to strictly include supervisors in your reference list. Find a co-worker or manager who knows your work ethics and will give you praise.

Always Ask
Don’t forget to ask your references if it’s okay that you continue to use them as a reference. Each time you apply for a job and use references, make sure you give them a heads up and time to prepare. Not only is it polite, it’s practical. Your potential employer could be calling them and they may not pick up if it’s a number they don’t recognize.

Choose Your References Wisely
Your references should be professional colleagues. While family and friends would be great spokespersons to tell of your success and accomplishments, you need to use professionals as references who can speak of your work experience. Having a variety of colleagues that know you from different perspectives will give a diverse and positive statement to your future employer.

Coach Your References
It would be a shame to have worked so hard job searching and getting your resume together only to find out that you didn’t land the job because of a bad reference. Coaching your references will help avoid this. Write an email to your references or give them a phone call reminding them of your job search. Let them know about the job you’re applying for and give them the description so they can be ready to tell about your qualities and skills that fit that specific job. Give them a copy of your current resume so they can speak to your abilities.

What’s been your experience in asking for references? Have you ever had a reference that was the deciding factor in whether you were hired or not? Let us know in the comments section below.

Lucky Words for Your Resume

Lucky_Words_For_Resume_Feb2014On average, a hiring manager will look over a resume for only six seconds, and if they don’t see something that stands out, you may not end up landing an interview. Knowing this fact can add even more stress to the job search process, but don’t let it. Resume writing is easier than you think. Writing a precise resume is key to securing a job, so it’s important to pack the right words in your resume to showcase your skills and abilities. Your resume doesn’t need to tell your life story, but it does need to get the hiring manager’s attention.

Resume Word Choices
It’s important to use words in present tense when writing about your current job and use past tense when referring to a previous job. Employers aren’t only looking for skills, but also certifications, degrees, job titles, and company names. They are also looking for keywords that highlight your experience, personality, and abilities. Some of these keywords include:

Information-related

  • Administered
  • Analyzed
  • Compared
  • Compiled
  • Gathered
  • Organized
  • Prepared
  • Recorded
  • Researched

People-related

  • Coached
  • Coordinated
  • Consulted
  • Evaluated
  • Instructed
  • Managed
  • Negotiated
  • Persuaded
  • Scheduled

Objects/Material -related

  • Arranged
  • Assembled
  • Created
  • Inspected
  • Maintained
  • Operated
  • Repaired
  • Sold
  • Tested

Be careful not to be repetitive in your word usage. You can easily spice up your resume to convey similar actions by using different words. What are some keywords you’ve used in your resume? Share with us in the comments section below!

4 Questions to Uncover If Your Workspace is Out of Control

out_of_control_desk_Feb2014When was the last time you paused and took a good look at your desk? Sure, you’re busy and work is crazy – we get that. But an out-of-control workspace is only going to make it worse. Your environment impacts your own productivity, efficiency, and attitude, as well those of your co-workers.

So how do you objectively determine if your workspace is just a little untidy or a complete mess? First, you have to stop running from one project to another and spend some time in your workspace. Take a good look around. Then ask yourself these four questions to uncover if it’s out of control.

How does your workspace make you feel?
As you gaze across your desk, how do you feel? If the state of your workspace leaves you feeling assured, confident, and in control, then you’re probably in good shape. But, if the sight of your workspace induces feelings of panic, uncertainty, or insecurity, then it’s probably out of control.

Does your space hinder your productivity?
Now think about how you work in your area. How often do you waste time searching for files, digging for a pen, or sifting through papers? In a Forbes article, Susan Kousek, a Certified Professional Organizer, said, “For many people, it’s difficult to focus when their desk is filled with papers, phone messages, business cards, magazines, and newsletters, especially when the layers are inches high.” A workspace that’s out of control can take a toll on your efficiency and productivity.

Are your visitors and co-workers comfortable?
Unless you work alone at home, your workspace impacts others. You need to consider if visitors and co-workers are at ease when they stop by your desk. Are they able to focus on you and the task at hand? Or are they too busy dodging stacks of folders and being distracted by the clutter? If you’re brave enough, you might even ask the next person who stops by if they think your area is out of control.

Does it come across as unprofessional?
Your workspace says a lot about you and your work ethic. And the number one thing you don’t want is for it to come across as unprofessional. According to the Huffington Post, a messy desk is “often associated with disorganization, thereby giving others around you the impression that you may not have your work (or life) under control.” Don’t let your co-workers, superiors, or customers get the wrong idea about you based on an out-of-control workspace.

Based on those questions, is your workspace out of control? If the answer is yes, don’t panic. Just take it a step at a time, and before long you’ll have a tidy workspace. Organizing your desk and work area might take a little effort and time, but the end result will be a workspace that inspires feelings of confidence, productivity, and professionalism for everyone who enters.

How out-of-control has your workspace gotten? What tips do you have for organizing and maintaining your desk and workspace? Share your experiences below.

Poll: What do you think the impact on jobs will be if the minimum wage is raised?

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How would an increase in minimum wage affect jobs and hiring? The debate has been circulating for a while over whether a higher minimum wage will cause more people to accept the current job openings or whether those jobs will be eliminated by companies due to the increase in cost to their business. Let us know what you think by voting in our poll.