Archive | June, 2013

The Ultimate Resume Roundup

June 27, 2013

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The Ultimate Resume RecapBookmark this post. We’re about to share the links to all our recent posts about how to make your resume the best it can be. Before you send in another application, give your resume a run-down based off these tried and true bits of advice. Trust us — the bit of time it takes to study up on these posts will be worth it. Job interviews, coming right up!

5. Revamp your resume with our favorite go-to tips for a complete makeover.

4. Avoid these common job search grammar errors and these ones too — even more common grammar errors.

3. If you’re a recent graduate, you’ll want to read this post laced with resume tips especially for you.

2. Are your job experiences as unorganized as a teenager’s bedroom? Learn how de-clutter your resume and find focus in your varied background.

1. Don’t pass on this one — the best resume tip we’ve ever given.

Image via Elliot P/flickr.

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5 Ways to Stay Focused at Work

June 25, 2013

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5 ways to stay focused at workTechnology makes life and work easier, faster, and better. But the mobility of smartphones means we carry a tracking device with us wherever we go. Anyone can reach us — or interrupt us — at any moment. And we all know that it takes more than a few minutes to find our focus after losing it. Here are five ways to stay focused during your workday:

1. Turn off email alerts.
When you need a high-power work session, check your email settings and disable the pop-up boxes or noises that alert you each time a new email arrives in your inbox. Do a full hour of work and then check your email. Don’t feel bad about it.

2. Put your phone away.
Especially when it comes to meetings, you’ll be more alert — and productive — if your phone isn’t there to distract you. Vibrations and glowing screens will take your attention away from the matter at hand. You can check your email later.

3. Pop in your headphones.
This isn’t a guarantee, but your coworkers may be less likely to interrupt you about inconsequential details when they see that you’re in the zone at your desk. Maybe they’ll send an email instead or just know to catch you at a later time.   

4. Block off your calendar.
If you know your week is going to be crazy, be greedy about your time. Block off an afternoon or that precious hour between meetings. Meetings can especially impede on your workday and every good worker needs “me” time to catch up at your desk.

5. Leave the social networking for later.
If it’s not blocked at work, don’t even tempt yourself for “just a few minutes.” Your whole morning will be gone before you know it.

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The Best Questions to Ask in Your Next Interview

June 20, 2013

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Questions to ask in the interviewAn interview is not an interrogation. It’s a two-way conversation. And in order to do make your interview an interesting and intelligent meeting of two individuals, you’ll have to pull your own weight. Fear not! We’ve pulled together a list of general interview questions that will highlight you as a superstar candidate. Memorize these questions, tailor them to each interview, and — most importantly — listen to the responses. Ask relevant follow-up questions to keep the conversation flowing

  • What are some qualities you’re looking for in the ideal candidate?
  • What where some great qualities of the previous person who held this position?
  • What do you consider the biggest challenges of this position?
  • How can this position best help the team –and the company — succeed?
  • What is expected of this position beyond the job description?
  • What are the goals of this position? Of the department?
  • What is the career track for this position?

For the advanced interviewer, here are the difficult questions you can dive into regarding the history of the position and the company. For beginners, find even more conversation-sparking inquiries by reading our post on 5 questions to ask during an informational interview.

Image by bpsusf/Flickr.

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The Beginner’s Guide to Acronyms Every Business Professional Should Know

June 18, 2013

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There’s no doubt about it — your company probably has a million acronyms, abbreviations, and nicknames. When you started in your current position, you probably heard employees spouting off strings of letters and numbers that made absolutely no sense to you. If you’re lucky, you were given a manual or a cheat sheet outlining the important ones. If you weren’t so lucky, you better start asking and memorizing (flash cards, anyone?). The good news is that we’ve broken down some general acronyms for you right here:

EOD
What it stands for: End of Day
How to use it: “I’d like to see the completed project by EOD if possible.”

Q1, Q2, etc.
What it stands for: First quarter, second quarter, etc.
How to use it: “Our Q1 results will be released today.”

B2B or B2C
What it stands for: Business to business or business to consumer
How to use it: “We sell our services to other businesses so we’re B2B but they sell their products directly to customers so they are B2C.”

CEO, CMO, CFO, CIO, COO, etc.
What it stands for: Chief Executive Officer, Chief Marketing Officer, Chief Finance Officer, Chief Information Officer, Chief Operating Officer
How to use it: “The CEO called a meeting with all of the senior executives including the CMO, CFO, CIO, and COO.”

RFP
What it stands for: Request for proposal
How to use it: “They just turned in the RFP for our latest project.”

P&L
What it stands for: Profit and loss
How to use it: “Check the P&L statement for the results.”

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How to Make Your New Boss Happy

June 13, 2013

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How to make your boss happyWe’ve touched on new hire etiquette and tips for succes as a new employee, but we’ve got some more advice for you. After all, you don’t want to go from hired to fired before you can even celebrate your new gig. Here are three things to avoid if you want your new boss to let you “pass go” at the end of your probationary period, which can be anywhere from a few weeks to a few months.

DON’T Be a Know-It-All.
You were hired because of your expertise, there’s not doubt about it. But don’t get overly confident. You are the new kid on the block, which is a tough place to be. Act humble and take in any advice you can get. Think twice before making rash statements about how the business is run — you don’t know the full story yet.

DON’T Expect a Pat on the Back at the End of Every Day.
It doesn’t mean your boss doesn’t appreciate your work. In fact, it might be a good thing if nothing is said! That means things are running smoothly and you’re fitting right in. Try setting up a monthly check-in with your boss to get some general feedback then remember those glowing comments when you are feeling under-appreciated.

DON’T Burn Yourself Out.
This is a marathon, not a sprint. Your new boss wants you — the shiny new employee — to perform at a top level. And you can’t do that if you’ve overextended yourself. Acclimate to your new position slowly but efficiently. Ask the right questions before diving into a project that will get you over your head. Be smart about it and you’ll do great.

Image by Kumar Appaiah/Flickr.

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How Volunteering Can Help Your Career

June 11, 2013

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Regardless of what stage of your career you are in, volunteering can have big payoffs. And there are plenty of opportunities out there. Sites like Volunteer Match or Serve.gov can help put you in touch with a local organization that needs your help. Or just pick up the phone and offer your services to someone in need. Here’s how volunteering is a win-win situation:

If you’re a college student…
Recent graduates need to have real-life work experiences and beyond internships, volunteering is the best way to get this. Not only does it show dedication and commitment, but you may be able to offer your time to a non-profit in a way that can directly help your career. I’ll scratch your back if you scratch mine! They can offer you a great reference, and you can offer them great work.

If you’re mid career…
Think of volunteering like exercise for your mind. A weekly or monthly commitment will improve your mood and may even inspire your work — or increase your productivity level. You may learn a new skill, make a new connection, or find a new passion. You may even want to get your family involved.

If you’re an experienced career person…
As a higher-level executive in your company, why not organize a company-wide volunteering event or program? Not only will you be helping the community, but you’ll also get to know employees from different departments in a new setting. Teamwork and a breath of fresh air might be exactly the kind of inspiration your office needs.

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How Reliability Can Help You Keep Credibility at Work

June 7, 2013

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Be reliable. It’s our number one tip for new hire success. How do you do it? Why should you do it? If you’re reliable, you’ll build your credibility. And vice versa. Both are key attributes in getting you your next promotion and the respect your hard work deserves.

Reliability, credibility, and respect. Some will argue that you only need two of the three to find success: if you produce great work and meet your deadlines, it’s OK if you’re kind of a jerk to work with. If you are really easy to work with and always meet your deadlines, it’s OK if the final product isn’t perfect. And if you produce great work and are really easy to work with, it’s ok if you miss a few deadlines.

We’re going to argue that you should strive for all three of these qualities. Here’s how you can do it:

Be Reliable.
Meet deadlines. Consistently suggest interesting solutions for problems. Be engaged and interested in conversations and coworkers. Reliability brings trust which brings respect. And it’s hard to be successful without it.

Be Credible.
Produce good work. Do you research. Talk to the right people. Check off all the boxes that need to be checked and follow all the rules. Everything you touch should have your star of approval — and that approval should have a very high bar.

Be Respectful.
Awareness of people’s time and feelings is crucial in the workplace. Everyone is busy, so if you’re invited to a meeting show up on time and engaged — regardless of how stressed out you are. The same goes for each work day. Life is hard, but you have a job to do. So do it right.

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10 Tips for New Hire Success

June 5, 2013

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10 Tips for New hire SuccessIf you’ve already followed our new hire etiquette, then good for you. You’re well on your way to success. But the professionalism can’t stop after the first month. If you can maintain an aura of hard work and politeness for a whole year, people will start to recognize you. Coworkers will respect you. And most importantly — your boss will love you. Here are 10 tips that all new hires should follow — especially recent grads:

10. Don’t engage coworkers in useless chit chat while they’re working hard at their desks.
9. Politely decline a request for useless chit chat when you’re the one trying to get work done at your desk.
8. Don’t join in conversations that you’re not apart of. Let people do their business — or their gossip — on their own.
7. Turn your cell phone on vibrate when at work, and keep it hidden during meetings.
6. Be aware of your surroundings — that means keeping your voice down when on the phone or when talking to a coworker.
5. Don’t become a slave to email. Respond in a timely manner, but know that you don’t need to respond instantly every time.
4. Participate in meetings instead of mindlessly responding to emails on your phone.
3. Consistently arrive on time in the mornings. And on time for meetings.
2. Get your work done on time — if you’re staying late every night, your productivity or your workload needs an adjustment.
1. Be reliable. Do what you said you’d do when you said you’d do it!

What else would you add?

Image by Hey Paul Studios.

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