Tag Archives: note

4 Myths That Could Harm Your Job Search

Myths_march2012_webThroughout your job search, you’ve probably been given several nuggets of advice from research, friends and family, or expert opinions. While there are best practices when it comes to finding a job, many people have their own way, or style, of doing things. But over the years, some aspects of the job search have become assumed taboos in the job market.

There are certain actions that many job seekers believe will knock them out of the running. But little do they know, these things are not only acceptable, professional actions, but they are also what could make you stand out among your competition. Here are some common job seeking myths that could be holding back your job search.

Myth #1: Companies aren’t hiring during the summer or in December.

It’s true that hiring does pick up in the fall as most employers hammer out their next year’s budget and incorporate new hires, but giving up during the summer months could be a missed opportunity. The summer months are generally more of a relaxed time with fewer big projects and deadlines, which makes employers and other workers easier to approach.

In December, not only are employers still looking for help to bring in the new year, but workers are also in a more festive mood, which may give you more opportunities to network. They will be more relaxed and easier to talk to so you can connect with more people, which could result in more leads.

Myth #2: Don’t take notes in an interview.

You may think it looks rude to be writing down notes when you should be listening to the interviewer speak, but it’s impossible to remember everything without a photographic memory. If you’re in doubt, ask the interviewer if he or she minds you taking notes during the interview. There’s a lot to process and it can be in your best interest to take notes. Just remember to use abbreviations or short hand when applicable so that not taking doesn’t detract from the conversation.

Myth #3: Keep your résumé to one page.

The only time you should really try to keep your résumé at one page is when you’ve just graduated from college or are first starting out in the job market. Having a two or even three page résumé might not necessarily keep you out of the running for a job, just as long as you put your most relevant information at the beginning. Hiring managers take seconds to scan a résumé before keeping it or discarding it.

Myth #4: If interviewed by multiple people, you only need to send a thank-you note to your potential manager.

If several people took the time out of their busy schedule to help interview you, they deserve some recognition. Try to ask everybody you interviewed with for their business card and make an extra effort to let them know you appreciate their time.

Don’t let the stigma of hearsay stunt your job search. What works for some may not work for others. We are all a little different and have to find what works best for us. What are some job tips you’ve heard that turned out to be myths in the end?

If You Don’t Follow Up Now, You’ll Hate Yourself Later

Pest_march2012_webWhen it comes to following up after interviews, there is a fine line between being persistent and being annoying. Most people know the basics like sending a thank-you note and calling to check on the hiring process, but here are three new tips to stand out, in a good way, with your interview follow up.

1.  Ensure appropriate follow up.

This part of the application process begins during your interview. Be ready to take notes during the interview and ask specific questions about who is involved in the hiring process, what the steps are in obtaining a position, and the timeline looks. Make sure your follow up is in alignment with their process. Also, if during the interview you’re asked to take some additional steps in the application process, like taking a personality test, completing a drug-screening, or providing work samples, make sure you write down when you’re expected to do that by and how you are to touch base once that is completed. Often an interviewer will ask for more information on part of your work history or for you to provide a list of references. And sometimes, you’ll be asked to complete a task as part of the interview process. Your ability to complete the tasks as requested is also part of your interview, so take it as seriously as the face-to-face interview. Not following up as instructed could make the interviewer question your interest in the position and your ability to follow through.

 2.  Always add value when you follow up.

Instead of just sending a thank you note, include a highlight of what interested you most about the position and what you found exciting about the company. Share a thought of how you saw yourself working in the role. For example, if it’s a job in engineering, share specifics on design and technology developments you recently read about that you think would be applicable. Another way to provide value is to invite the interviewer to join you for an upcoming networking or industry trade event. If you’re active in a professional association, include something like, “I hope to see you next month at the downtown Society of Human Resource Management meeting. I’m excited to hear from the guest speaker on leadership traits and time management styles.” It’s always good to reinforce your personal professional development plan and encourage further networking.

  3. Network for the long term.

No doubt in your job search you’ll go on several interviews before the right job opportunity comes along. Think of the interview process as a way to build your network for two reasons. First, while you may not get the job you applied for, other openings may come up in the future that drive the company to return to their pool of already-interviewed candidates. Second, the person you interview with may move on to another opportunity and you could find yourself working with them somewhere else or interviewing with them again. A few ways to make connections with individuals you interview with include sending a LinkedIn connection request, keeping a personal file of names and contact information of everyone you’ve interviewed with, and following up with contacts after you’ve found a job. Once you’ve landed a new job, it is appropriate to send out an email or LinkedIn message letting people you interviewed with know where you’ve accepted a position and what your new role is. Be sure and thank them again for the time they spent with you. Additionally, if you hear that a company you interviewed with celebrates a milestone or receives an award, especially specific to your industry, make sure to reach out again to congratulate them.

Getting the interview is your opportunity to connect and shine, and following up after the interview is your opportunity to show your diligence and communication skills. In your career development, always be thinking of ways you can add value to other professionals, create a larger network, and develop your professional reputation.

What are some unique ways you’ve followed up after an interview?



By Rachel Rudisill

Six Job Search Rules You Should Never Break

When applying for a job, it’s everyone’s goal to stand out from other applicants and be noticed by employers. However, there are both good and bad ways to stand out. Be aware that there are certain rules you should never break when applying for a job to ensure you make a positive lasting impression.

  1. The résumé rule. A résumé is a must-have when applying for a job. There are creative ways you can design your résumé to help attract attention, but the key is to submit one. This is the top way, besides an interview, that an employer gets to know you. Just make sure that it’s not 10 pages long. The more work experience you have, the more understandable it is for you to have multiple pages, but aim for two pages or less. If you don’t have a lot of work experience, try to keep it to one page. And, when it comes to a résumé, make sure everything you include on it is true.
  2. The typo rule. If a potential employer finds several typos on your résumé, that is enough reason for them to throw your information out, no matter how great your qualifications are. ALWAYS take the time to proofread and run spell check before submitting. You might even have a friend or family member glance over it just to make sure everything looks good.
  3. The cover letter rule. It might seem old fashioned, but submitting a cover letter shows you’re interested in the available position and that you’ve put some thought into preparing your application. Going above and beyond what is expected will help you get noticed. Also, a tip to remember is to keep your cover letter formal. Don’t include jokes in your cover letter. Humor is better interpreted in person, so a joke-gone-bad on paper could cost you a chance at the job.
  4. The thank-you note rule. Following your interview, send a thank-you card within a few days to let the interviewer know you were grateful for their time and consideration, and that you’re eager to hear back about the job opportunity.
  5. The interview rule. Under no circumstances should you show up to an interview looking sloppy! Landing an interview is a big step and a good sign the company is interested in you. Be sure to look professional for every interview. Don’t show up in dirty, wrinkled clothes with your hair in a mess. This gives the employer the impression you don’t care, and they may move along to find someone who puts forth more effort. Remember, you don’t get a second chance to make a good first impression.
  6. The follow-up rule. If you feel you have to call the interviewer, you should have a valid reason to call. Don’t just call for the sake of calling. If you interviewed for a job, the employer knows you’re interested. It won’t score you any extra points to check in with them daily on the status of the position. If you haven’t heard anything back about the position within a week or so of interviewing, that is a valid reason to call and discuss the process. Calling multiple times each week or day could end up costing you brownie points.

Follow these simple rules to ensure your résumé makes it to the top of the pile, rather than the bottom. Be a standout job applicant!