Archive | March, 2015

4 Resources That Can Help You Land a Summer Internship

March 31, 2015


14408938623_7a857155f3College students know that a summer internship is an absolute must. The trick is finding one that’s right for your schedule and your career. Luckily, those four years of undergrad are the best time in your life for networking. Your campus is filled with resources to help you succeed and the world is filled with open doors for college students who are looking to learn. Here are the four places we’d turn for a summer internship opportunity:

1. LinkedIn
Even though you’re still a student, you should be signed up for this career network. Start building your network and your profile and you may even have recruiters reach out to you! There are also plenty of open opportunities to peruse within the site and applying is easy.

2. Your professors
It’s never a bad idea to get to know your professors. They’re connected to your industry and may be willing to put you in touch with some of their own connections for internships or even job opportunities.

3. Your college career center
Don’t overlook this campus mecca. At the very least they can help you brush up your resume and interviewing skills. Be sure to take advantage of those mock interview sessions and get rid of any nerves before your next interview.

4. Your own network
We’re not just talking about friends here. Reach out to family members and friends of family members too. Your network might not be involved in your industry by their network might be. And everyone is willing to help a friend.

Read about what Spectrum Brands internships are like, then view our open positions here. Good luck!

Image via citirecruitment.

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Mark Zuckerberg’s Favorite Interview Question

March 26, 2015


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To land a job at Facebook, you have to give the right answer to one question. But unfortunately, you don’t get to answer that question: only the interviewer does. For Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, hiring a new candidate all comes down to this: “Would I work for that person?”


At the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona Zuckerberg said, “What it does mean, in an alternate universe, if things were different and I didn’t start the company, I would be happy to work for that person. Or if Facebook just disappeared and I had to go find something else to go do, then I’d be happy to go work for that person.”

It’s a simple question and one that won’t be uttered out loud, but it’s a great thing to think about as you prep for your next big interview. The stakes are high in a job interview and this question proves it. Your interviewer is not only seeing if you tick the boxes on their checklist but they’re thinking about you as a potential coworker, manager, or business partner.

Craft your interview responses in a way that shows off your strengths and smarts in business and in life. Only then can an interviewer see your true potential. There’s one other way to think about this. Would you want to work for yourself? Hopefully the answer is yes!



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A 20-Minute Investment That Can Turn You Into an Interview Rockstar

March 25, 2015

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You may have taken silly personality quizzes, but have you taken a strengths test? It’s a multiple choice questionnaire that reveals your strong suits. It uncovers personality traits, how you communicate with others, what environments you best succeed in, and more.

These kinds of tests usually go into great detail about how your strengths are beneficial in the workplace and you’ll even get some insight into how to give a positive spin to a trait that others might view negatively upon. For example, if you’re an introvert. The results from these tests are basically a script for an interview and a scientific-like way of explaining your behavior to those who might not mesh well with it.

Next time you’re asked that guaranteed interview question, “What are your strengths?”, you’ll have an educated, rock solid answer. And when they follow up with, “Tell me about your weaknesses,” you’ll have a clear approach and a positive spin. What are you waiting for?

Here are some options for online personality and strength tests:

  • Gallup’s Clifton Strengthfinder Assessment: $10 but well worth the money and time as this test provides very detailed responses for your top five strengths and how to use these strengths to your advantage.
  • Archetypes: a free test that unveils your top three archetypes. While free, the answers are still relevant and helpful for both your personal and professional life.
  • a search for “free strength tests” brings up a plethora of options that will only help you build a narrative in your next interview.
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What We Can Learn About Leonardo da Vinci’s Resume

March 19, 2015




A 30-year-old Leonardo da Vinci wrote the above resume in 1482. And Marc Cenedella, who gives job search and recruiting advice, decided to analyze it in a recent post. You’d be surprised at how relevant this resume of yesteryear is today. Jump over to Cenedella’s post to read the translation of Leonardo’s CV. You’ll quickly learn that this is a skills-based resume that touts all of da Vinci’s talents. But that’s not all. He spins his talents so that they perfectly address the needs of his potential employer, the Duke of Milan, making himself an irresistible hire and instant problem solver.

Here’s what Cenedella says:

“You’ll notice he doesn’t recite past achievements. He doesn’t mention the painting of the altarpiece for the Chapel of St Bernard; he doesn’t provide a laundry list of past bombs he’s built; he doesn’t cite his prior employment in artist Andrea di Cione’s studio.

No, he does none of these things, because those are about his achievements, and not about the Duke’s needs.

Instead, he sells his prospective employer on what he can do for him.”

It goes without saying that Leonardo was smart but it turns out he was also a savvy job seeker. How will you apply this knowledge to your resume?

Image Courtesy of Leonardo3 from Hoepli edition 1894-1094 –

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Part Two: FAQs about Applying for a Job at Spectrum Brands

March 17, 2015

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Every company has a different process when it comes to job applications, interviews, and hiring. We try to be very straightforward with ours. Check out this slideshow outlining what our hiring process is like or read our complete list of frequently asked questions. Here are just a few common questions about our application process:

I know someone that works for you. Should I put them down as a referral when applying?

Please do. We encourage our current employees to refer people that would be an asset to Spectrum Brands. Be sure to let us know they have referred you through the “source” drop down on the application.

The application asks for a current salary. How should I answer this?

This will be asked during the interview process and confirmed during a background check after an offer is extended so it is important that you answer honestly.

Do I need to create a new profile each time I apply for a job?

No, if you apply through our website you will be asked to create a profile that includes a username and password. This will save your personal information in our system for future use.

Read Part One here.

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How to Tell If You’re Sabotaging Your Own Job Search

March 12, 2015


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Self sabotage. Have you heard of it? It’s a weird thing we do to ourselves sometimes. Perhaps we do it because we’re scared of failing. Or scared of succeeding. Or we’re just feeling lazy. Who knows? But when it comes to the job hunt, there are enough variables in your path without you standing in your own way. So start supporting yourself during your job search and make sure you’re not guilty of any of these self-sabotage tactics.

1. You say “no” too early.
Whether it’s because you’re too proud or too close-minded, don’t immediately turn down an opportunity just because it wasn’t exactly what you’re looking for. At the very least, you can meet a new connection and get some interview practice — or maybe even an offer! You can always turn down an offer if it doesn’t feel like the right fit in the end.

2. You don’t know what YOU want.
During a job search, it’s easy to take advice from others. From your friends and relatives to your significant other to a recruiter or head hunter, everyone has some advice to give. But when it comes down to it, all that matters is what you want out of your career. That’s what you need to figure out. And it’s not always an easy task.

3. You’re too self centered.
Salary, vacation time, and commute time are all extremely important — but these are lifestyle quesitons to ponder privately post interview. During the interview, you should focus on what you can do for the company, not what the company can do for you.


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When to Say “We” vs “I” in an Interview

March 10, 2015

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14485059353_8d009d4eb3_zYou. Me. We. Such little words but they can have a big impact, especially during an interview. Fortune recently wrote a piece on “The two most important words in a job interview.” You guessed it — they are “we” and “I.” It turns out that recruiters and interviewers are not only paying attention to the answers you give during an interview but also dissecting them for verbal clues that can give a glimpse into your work ethic, personality, and potential.

One way to do this is to pay attention to how many times you say “we” in an interview versus  how many times you say “I.” Too many “I’s” and not enough “we’s” means you may be self-centered and like to take too much credit. Too many “we’s” means you might not take the blame when things go south. Here’s a quick guide to when you should say “we” or “I.”

When talking about failures… say I.
Accept accountability for when things went wrong. Don’t place the blame on everyone or everything except yourself. There are always extenuating circumstances that may be out of your control but make sure you keep the “we” to a minimum.

When talking about successes… say we.
Of course you’ve had individual successes in your career, but there were others who likely helped you along the way. Give credit when deserved and you’ll show off that you’re not only a team player but potentially a future leader.

Learn more about this topic over at Fortune.

Image via 드림포유/Flickr.

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Hacks for Staying Organized During Your Job Search

March 4, 2015


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If you’re doing the job search right then you’re networking like crazy and applying for more jobs than one — but how do you keep track of it all? It’s easy to completely forget about a position you applied for or forget why you reached out to a certain person to network. You don’t want to get caught like a deer in headlights when a phone call for an interview comes through. You don’t want to let a missed networking opportunity slip by especially when it often takes a few follow ups before you get a response. So what’s a job seeker to do? Here are our favorite organizational tips and tricks.

1. Google Sheets
Spreadsheets are perfect for job searching. Google Sheets is free and can be accessed from your phone or desktop. Create multiple tabs within a sheet for keeping track of companies and positions you’ve applied for, connections you’ve reached out to, and any follow-up conversations you’ve had.

2. Boomerang
This Gmail extension allows you to schedule when you’d like your email to be sent. That means if you’re job searching or networking late at night or on the weekends, you can choose a different time for your mail to be sent. Perhaps first thing Monday morning. Or during the afternoon slump mid-week. It’s your call.

3. Sidekick
This email app keeps track of whether or not your emails have been opened and whether or not the links within it have been clicked. No more wondering if that recruiter saw your message. You can also schedule emails with Sidekick, similar to Boomerang, and even send reminders to yourself.

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FAQs about Applying for a Job at Spectrum Brands

March 2, 2015


5397530925_87102f74b2_zEvery company has a different process when it comes to job applications, interviews, and hiring. We try to be very straightforward with ours. Check out this slideshow outlining what our hiring process is like or read our complete list of frequently asked questions. Here are just a few common questions about our application process:

How do I know if my application is received?

If you applied through our applicant tracking system located on the Spectrum Brands Careers page, you will receive a system-generated email stating that your application has been submitted successfully. Please be sure to check your spam filter if you do not feel you received this message.

How do I follow up after I apply to a position?

Our goal is to respond to each application. However, we ask that you be patient as we review all applications. Candidates will be selected and contacted on the basis of the qualifications of their applications. While we encourage you to continually review our current openings, your information will be retained to ensure that you are considered for future opportunities.

Will I be notified if I am not selected?

Yes, if you are not selected you will receive a notification from our recruitment team. Please continue to review our careers page for future opportunities.

Image via photosteve101/Flickr

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