Archive | April, 2014

How to Have a Healthier Work Day

April 30, 2014

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We’ve all ready the articles lately on how sitting all day is killing us. But it turns out you don’t need to quit your job or invest in a $1,500 standing desk to live a longer life. There are many steps you can take (literal steps!) that will improve your health. This infographic by Courtney Spencer on Visual.ly illustrates a few solutions you can try today. Stand up once every 30 minutes. Go for a walk around the office every hour. Take the stairs to lunch. Sit on a yoga ball for an hour each day. Drink more water. These little improvements can help your body and mind feel better. Which step will you take today?

Screen Shot 2014-04-30 at 4.47.53 PMCheck out the full infographic at visual.ly.

 

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Remove These Faux Pas From Your Resume Immediately

April 29, 2014

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Resumes are tricky things. They’re short, but certainly not sweet. After all, you basically have to sell yourself and all of your skills in a one-page document. How does one translate years of experience and expertise into just a few sentences? Sometimes it’s easier to start with the process of elimination: what NOT to do.

We found a great article on 7 Things to Remove From Your Resume ASAP. Give your resume a once-over, get rid of these no-nos, and you can feel better about taking baby steps in the right direction. Here are is a summary of our favorite tips from the article:

Say goodbye to the third person.
We’re talking about the third person voice. When you refer to yourself as [insert your name here] — as if you’re writing your own biography — it comes off as a little conceited. And unfriendly. And silly. The same goes for your LinkedIn profile. It’s ok to have a personality and a voice when speaking about your career. In fact, it’s preferred.

Don’t include your current work email address.
We all know that unprofessional-sounding personal emails like “iluvcats4ever@hotmail.com” are not to be used for job search purposes. But neither is your current work email address. Even if you’re not job searching on company time, it’s going to look like it. And it’s just unprofessional. If you don’t have a career-appropriate personal email address, make one now. Heck, you can even make an email address specifically for your job search.

Get rid of all those unimportant positions from a million years ago.
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again — only list relevant positions on your resume OR be sure to tailor the position so it proves to be relevant. If it’s from decades ago and it’s completely irrelevant to what you do now, drop it. It’s just taking up valuable space and wasting the time of your recruiter.

Read the full article over at TheMuse.

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How To Leave Your Current Job…

April 24, 2014

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You’ve got an itch. You’ve been mulling it over for months. You’ve finally come to the decision: it’s time to move on. Whether you love or hate your current job, leaving is always hard. The comfort of a steady paycheck. The daily routine you’ve now perfected. The processes you’ve memorized. The projects you’ve mastered. So what do you do now? Follow through on your plan. Here’s how to begin:

1. Start the job search before you quit.
Brush up on our post about how to look for a job while you have a job. You may feel sneaky, but this is how the process works. Unless you feel comfortable abandoning your steady paycheck, you’re going to need to moonlight as a job hunter.

2. Lock down the offer before you put in your two week’s notice.
Get that signed offer in writing before you quit your current gig. A verbal offer might seem official, but it’s always best to get it in writing. You don’t want to find yourself quitting one job for an offer that doesn’t pan out.

3. Set up a meeting with your boss.
If possible, set up a one-on-one meeting in a private room or office first thing in the morning. Thank them for the great experiences you’ve had, then mention that you’ve decided to pursue new opportunities. Don’t blab on about the new gig too much. It’s OK to express some excitement but you always want to leave your current job on a good note. Be cordial.

4. Create a plan of attack for notifying others.
Your boss may set up a meeting with your coworkers or ask you to send out a mass email spreading the news. You’ll want to inform the most important people quickly, and start wrapping up any projects you can before you leave.

5. Stay in touch!
Pass along your personal contact information before you leave. Connect with former coworkers on LinkedIn and wish them well. Make future coffee or lunch plans with your favorite former coworkers so you can keep your network strong.

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The Myth of the Millennial [INFOGRAPHIC]

April 22, 2014

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Screen Shot 2014-04-07 at 5.59.27 PMAnyone who falls between the ages of 18 and 31 can be classified as a Millennial — you know, those righteous, lazy “adults” who still live with their parents, are taking too long to get married, and who haven’t bought a home. But it turns out, Millennials are pretty savvy even though they were dealt a tough hand of cards. They went through this little thing called the Recession that has had quite an impact on the traditional path to adulthood. Despite all the hardships, they’ve been called the most civic-minded generation since the 1930s and 40s.

Here are just a few noteworthy statisctics about Millennials and the Recession:

  • 8 million jobs were lost between 2008 and 2009.
  • 58% of hiring managers say they have no plans to hire a recent college graduate.
  • $26,600 is the average student loan debt of 2013 graduates (compared to $9,350 in 1993).

And our favorite points about Millennials in general:

  • 59% of Millennials have gone to college.
  • $22 billion is the approximate net worth of all the volunteer work of Millennials.
  • The 3 most important things to Millennials are being a good parent, having a successful marriage, and helping others in need.

Read the full infographic here. And if you’re a Millennial looking for experience, check out our internship program or our job listings.

Image via konradbak / 123RF Stock Photo.

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5 Reasons Why Suddenly Getting Laid Off Can Be Great

April 17, 2014

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It happens to the best of us. Occasionally companies have to go through a dreaded round of lay-offs and a handful of talented employees are let go into the world. It feels awful. And scary. Like nothing could get any worse. But here’s a few reasons why losing your job might be the best thing that ever happened to you.

1. It may be the kick in the butt you needed.
How happy were you in your last position? Oftentimes we settle into a routine. Before we know it, we’ve been working the same position for five years. How much can you grow if you’ve been working the same position for too long? Look at this as a great opportunity for you to switch up your routine and learn more about yourself.

2. It’s the perfect time to try something new. 
If you’ve always dreamed about switching careers, now is the time to do it. At the very least, apply for some positions that are out of your comfort zone and see if you get a call. Here’s a post on how to find focus in a jumbled resume — those skills you have may translate into another career easier than you think.

3. Your network is only expanding.
Leave every company on a good note. Connect with your former coworkers on LinkedIn and shoot an email with your new contact information to any employees you’d like to keep in touch with. When you accept a new position, you’ll get a new set of coworkers and even more connections who can help you down the road. Moving on is not always a bad thing.

4. Your skill set will grow.
Even if you end up taking a similar position at a new company, there’s new processes, people, and experiences that will help you grow personally and professionally. That will make you even more marketable the next time you’re searching for a new position.

5. You’re never going to lose that previous experience.
You may be sad to leave your company, but nobody can take that experience away from you. It will live on your resume and on your LinkedIn page forever. Those connections you’ve made will always remain. Don’t think of a lay-off as taking a part of your life away — think of this move as adding on a new chapter to your life.

 

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Do You Have Coworker Envy?

April 15, 2014

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He got the promotion before you. She landed a better assignment than you. They liked his idea more. Why didn’t they listen to you in that meeting? When will you get your recognition?

Uh-oh. Sounds like a case of coworker envy  — and that’s not good. Jealousy never helped anyone get far in life. Focusing on what you don’t have — instead of what you do — can really drag you down every day at work. A bad attitude is not good for your career or your health.

Brazen Careerist recently wrote a great post on why jealousy can hold you back in your career and what you can do about it instead. Here are our favorite points:

  • Stop focusing on all the negative things happening at work and instead focus on the positive. You’re successful. List off a few reasons why you’re great at what you do. Focus on how you can make the work you do even better.
  • Instead of feeling jealousy toward your talented coworkers, learn from them. What makes them successful? That jealousy can quickly turn into admiration — and that’s a much more positive feeling.
  • What goes around, comes around. Praise others and they’ll praise you. Help out others and they’ll help out you. Give them the cold shoulder and they’ll give you one right back.

Read the full article at Brazen Careerist.

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How to Take a Cue From Your Interviewer

April 10, 2014

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Even the most qualified candidates can lose out on a great opportunity if the interview doesn’t go as planned. It’s hard to land an offer after a failed face-to-face meeting. But we have one interview tip that may increase your chances of landing your dream job: take cues. You’ll have to be a good listener and you’ll have to be able to react quickly, but if you can pull it off, you’re one step closer to sealing the deal.

1. Really listen to each question that is asked.
What is the interviewer trying to discover by asking this question? Sure, you’re always supposed to paint yourself in the best light possible in an interview situation, but that doesn’t mean you should avoid the goal of the question. If you feel like you’ve missed any important points or left anything up in the air, don’t be afraid to ask, “Did that answer the question or would you like me to elaborate?”

2. Adapt to the setting.
Does this interviewer give off a fully-polished professional vibe or a more casual vibe? Does cracking a joke seem appropriate? Assess the interviewer’s personality and even the room you’re in. Make sure you’re not acting too uptight if you’re getting interviewed in a room with a ping pong table in it. And make sure you’re buttoned-up if you’re getting interviewed by a suit-wearing exec.

3. Treat it like a conversation.
Think “conversation” and not “interview.” Conversations are a two-way street and that’s exactly what an interview should be. If you approach it like a conversation — albeit a professional one — you’ll feel a little more comfortable. You’ll pay attention to each question that’s asked, you’ll take emotional cues from your interviewer, and you won’t be afraid to ask questions back to the interviewer.

Read more interview advice on the Spectrum Brands Careers site.

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How Twitter Can Help You Find a Job

April 7, 2014

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Perhaps you’ve dismissed the 140-character social network known as Twitter. Good. That’s just more jobs for the rest of us!

Social media is a powerful tool for connecting with people personally as well as professionally. Where else can you instantly reach out to leaders in your industry and recruiters without even being introduced to them first? It’s kind of amazing. Companies tweet out job listings, recruiters give job advice, and heads of companies network with those who look up to them. It’s time you give your career a boost in take part in it.

While Twitter can be overwhelming, there’s an easy feature that will cut through the clutter and it’s easy as pie: the search button. The best thing to search for is hashtags, which are essentially just key words that users tack onto their tweets so other people — like you — can find the information. Convenient, right? Sign up for Twitter now then try searching for these hashtags:

General hashtags for job listings:
#nowhiring
#hiring
#jobs
#careers
#joblisting
#jobopening
#jobposting
#jobhunt
#jobsearch
#graduatejobs
#employment

Specific hashtags for your field:
#marketing
#HRjobs
#webdesign
#accounting
#legal
#salesjobs
#financejobs
#admin
#exec

Popular hashtags for career advice:
#careersuccess
#careeradvice
#careerchat
#jobtips
#resume
#interview

When you’ve mastered the hashtag, think about joining a tweet up like #JobHuntChat. It takes place on Monday nights from 10 PM to 11 PM ET. Just log into Twitter at that time, follow @JobHuntChat, and search for the #JobHuntChat hashtag to participate in the conversation. You never know who you’ll meet or what you’ll learn.

P.S. Find us on Twitter @Spectrum_Brands.

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How to Deal With a Big Mistake at Work

April 4, 2014

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I hope you never find yourself in this situation, but one day you will: you’ll mess up at work. Big time. And it won’t be pretty. Maybe it’s a missed deadline, a blown budget, or an angry client. Before your heart begins to pound and your palms begin to sweat, there’s one thing to keep in mind: everyone makes mistakes. The company won’t come crashing down, you won’t lose your job, and everyone will not hate you — especially if you follow a few of these steps to right your wrong.

Step 1: Fess up.
Don’t brush your mess under the rug, and don’t wait around to see what happens. Address your mistake immediately. It’s even better if you can bring your boss’s attention to the issue before they notice it themselves. This isn’t the time to make excuses either. Just explain what happened and apologize. That’s all there is to it.

Step 2: Come up with an action plan.
You were part of the problem, but hopefully you can be part of the solution as well. If you don’t have a Plan B, at least offer to be a part of the action committee who will fix your mistake. It’s likely that more work has been created because of your error. Don’t let others work late on this problem unless you’re working late too.

Step 3: Make sure it won’t happen again.
Maybe there is too much leeway for error in the process. Maybe the mistake could have been easily avoided if you had known more information. Whatever the issue is, find it and figure out a way to prevent a déjà vu situation. Your boss will be happy to hear that you’re proactively preventing another disaster.

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Your Secret Interview Weapon…

April 3, 2014

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So what is it? What is it? The daily news.

Not what you expected? Well, if you’re not up on the latest industry trends, you could really flub up an interview question. Not to mention the fact that you could look inexperienced or unqualified. But if you know exactly what’s going on in your industry, you’ll stand out among the rest and prove that you’re truly passionate about this position — and about your field. Why wouldn’t you want to impress your interviewer? Exactly.

We loved this recent post by SimplyHired that outlined how to incorporate industry trends and timely topics casually into your interview. Think about it: you always need to start an interview with a bit of small talk — how great would it be to bring up something that’s actually relevant to this position or this company? Industry trends could also have affected your career trajectory, whether it helped you grow in your last position or it was the force that pushed you into looking for a new opportunity.

It’s one thing to say you’ll keep up with the news, but it’s another thing to do it. Keeping up with the latest trends can be a full-time job. But thanks to some cool websites and apps, you can create focused streams of content that are more digestible and customizable to your wants and needs. Simply Hired also broke down a few sites like Scoop.it and Topsy that will make your busy life a lot easier when it comes to interview prep.

Read the full article here.

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