Archive | March, 2014

How to Dress for the Job and the Interview

March 28, 2014

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When it comes to dressing for work — or for an interview — men have it much easier than women. Tie or no tie? Jacket or no jacket? That’s about the extent of the decisions that need to be made. Women have a lot of options, which is great, but it also leaves a lot more room for failure. Here are our favorite tips from this great infographic geared toward women who are both style- and business-savvy:

  • Keep perfume to a minimum. Your coworkers may be sensitive to certain fragrances.
  • Bangles can be distracting — if your jewelry announces your presence before you do, it means you shouldn’t wear it.
  • Dress for the job you want, not the job you have. That means being overdressed is OK!
  • Make sure your hair is completely dry before entering the workplace or an interview.
  • Dress like you care.

Read the rest of the infographic here.

 

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How to Land a Job on LinkedIn

March 26, 2014

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We’ve said it before — when it comes to social media, the mantra “If you build it, they will come” does not apply. Social media is a two-way street and it’s all about interaction.

LinkedIn pieced together this infographic based on LinkedIn users who successfully found jobs within three months. They studied their habits and shared their findings so that YOU could learn how to land a job with LinkedIn. Follow these seven steps and your profile will get noticed.

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Career Myths You Must Ignore

March 21, 2014

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In any aspect of your life, if you set the standard too high you will be disappointed. But sometimes the standard you have envisioned is not a reality. We’re here to beat down some career myths that may be making you unhappy and may be preventing you from reaching your full career potential. Listen up — especially if you are a young professional or a soon-to-be college graduate who’s just embarked on your job search.

Career Myth #1: My dream job is out there waiting for me. I just have to find it.
“Dream job” is a relative term. You may land the title you’ve been dreaming of, but it won’t feel like a dream if the hours are long, the pay is terrible, and your coworkers are mean. There’s a lot to consider when searching for a job. What will you be doing on a daily basis? What is the commute like? What are the benefits? Here are some questions to ask yourself before you start out on your job search.

Career Myth #2: As long as it pays enough, I’ll be happy.
Salary can affect your happiness. But studies have shown that “happiness” caps off at $50,000.  In short, our happiness is not determined by our income level. It’s determined by other factors like finding purpose in each day, forming healthy relationships, and living a healthy lifestyle. So don’t say “yes” just because the salary is through the roof and don’t turn down a great opportunity just because the number is a bit lower than you hoped for.

Career Myth 3#: My family says I should take this job. They’re probably right.
If you’re in the market for a job and there’s an offer on the table, most people will probably tell you to take it. Walking away is a risk. However, you’re the only person who knows whether or not you’ll be satisfied in a certain position. Make career decisions based on your beliefs and take any advice with a grain of salt. It’s your career, and only you are in charge of your success.

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How to Stay Motivated During a Long Job Search

March 19, 2014

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We love this advice from Karen Burns, author of the book, The Amazing Adventures of Working Girl: Real-Life Career Advice You Can Actually Useon how to stay motivated during a long job search. Whether you’re unemployed or just beginning your first job search as a recent college graduate, there’s a lot that every kind of job seeker can learn. Here are a few of our favorite tips pulled from her article:

  • Try a job search technique that you haven’t tried before. Maybe you’re not outgoing enough to set up an informational interview or you’ve never attended a networking event for your industry yet. Give it a shot! What have you got to lose?
  • Find someone who can keep you accountable for your job search goals. A friend, parent, spouse, or mentor can help keep you in line. You’ll feel obligated to try a little harder each day if you know you have to report your results to someone at the end of the week.
  • Expand your network each and every day. Instead of measuring your success by the number of interviews you land each day, measure it by how many new people you’ve met, talked to over the phone, or connected with on LinkedIn.

Read the rest of Staying Motivated During a Long Job Search.

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Easy Ways to Help Your Job Search in Only 5 Minutes

March 13, 2014

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We love this post from Career Builder’s WorkBuzz blog on 11 easy ways to help your job search in just five minutes each. Whether you’re just starting your search and don’t know where to begin or if you’re in the final stages and just want to give your search that extra oomph, these tips are all quick and easy — and will make a big difference. Here are our favorite picks:

  • Record a more professional-sounding voicemail for your cell phone.
  • Update the objective statement at the top of your resume.
  • Join industry associations or groups on LinkedIn.
  • Proofread your resume, cover letter, or LinkedIn profile.
  • Gather your references and create a document with their information.

Read 11 Ways to Help Your Job Search in 5 Minutes over at CareerBuilder. 

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3 Biggest Mistakes You Can Make In an Interview

March 11, 2014

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Don’t look like newbie in your next interview. Show that you’ve been around the block and know how to play the game by avoiding these top mistakes:

1. Obsessing over salary.
Unfortunately, the interview is not the place to discuss salary. Salary discussion and negotiations are often left for the final offer. Until then, you might be kept in the dark about your potential paycheck. But it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t give your all in the interview. Even if you’re concerned about the pay rate for this position, your main goal in an interview is to get the job offer. Then you can discuss the green stuff — and pass up the opportunity if need be.

2. Focusing on what the company can do for you instead of what you can do to them.
Yes, a company gives you benefits and a paycheck, but in reality it’s all about what you can bring to the table. Save the “What can you do for me?” conversation for a later date. This interview is all about showing why you’re the best fit for the position. Once the company knows how great you and your talents are, they’ll be more likely to work with you when it comes to salary and benefits.

3. Not doing your research.
When we say “research,” there’s a lot we’re referring to. Do you know all about the company? Are you caught up on industry trends? Are you prepared with some well-thought out questions regarding the position thanks to an informational interview you previously set up with an employee? There is much homework to be done before an interview. Don’t skimp! It’s time well spent.

Read our ultimate interview recap for more interview advice.  

 

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The Only Interview Question That Matters

March 7, 2014

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The research has been done. The results are in. There’s only one interview question that matters — so you better have a good answer for it. Are you ready? Here it is:

What single project or task would you consider your most significant accomplishment in your career to date?

So, what’s your answer? Did something immediately pop into you head? Did multiple examples fill your brain? Or did nothing come to mind? There’s a reason why interviewers love to ask this question. It can spawn dozens of follow-up questions, which is why you better have a well-thought out answer. You could be talking about this topic for another 20 minutes so your story has to be good.

When deciding on which example you should give, think about all aspects of the project. Why were you the perfect fit for this project? How did you succeed? Where did you fail? How did you grow during this project? How did it affect the company’s bottom line? What did you learn from it? Every interviewee ought to have one solid example of a career achievement where they can really go in-depth into the details. If you don’t have one, perhaps it’s time to create one.

If you still currently hold a job, raise your hand for a new project or pitch an idea to your manager. If you’re currently between positions, volunteer for a local organization or start freelancing a passion project for a local business. It’s never too late to create career success. Your accomplishments are in your hands.

Get into the mind of a recruiter and see exactly what follow-up questions you can expect over at Inc Magazine.

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7 Cover Letter Secrets

March 5, 2014

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FastCompany recently ran a fantastic article outlining seven secrets for cover letter success given straight from a successful recruiter. Be warned: if she hates the cover letter, she’s not even going to glance at the resume. The same can be said for most recruiters. The cover letter can make or break a candidate’s application. Here’s our summary of some of this article’s key points:

  • Immediately open with why you’re excited about this job and why you’re the perfect fit for this position.
  • Generic openings do not catch a recruiter’s attention — and risk being skipped.
  • Those with an internal referral — who mention it early on in the cover letter — will catch a recruiter’s attention.
  • Applicants with an internal referral may have a higher change of getting an interview and getting hired, so start networking!
  • Ditch the “To whom it concerns” opening. With a little online research, you can find out at least one name to address the cover letter to.
  • Set the right tone in your letter. Is this a goofy, laid-back start-up or a traditional corporate environment?
  • Set up an informational interview with an employee beforehand so you can learn more about the  position — and then tailor your cover letter perfectly.

Read the full article over at FastCompany.

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