Archive | May, 2016

When Someone Else Takes Credit for Your Work

May 26, 2016


8322120385_7b28b96325_zOf all the tough interview questions you may get, behavioral scenarios are some of the hardest to respond to, primarily because you can never know exactly which scenarios the interviewer will refer to. There’s always an element of surprise in these types of questions. Here’s one you may get an interview:

How would you handle it if you worked with someone who managed to ‘take credit’ for all your great ideas?”

You may know how you’d respond in theory, but what do you do when it actually happens? Here is one strategy for success.

Step One: Investigate.
Your colleague may not realize he/she is doing this. It could be an oversight! A good first tactic would be to give them the benefit of the doubt, but to carefully inquire about why this is happening. You might ask your colleague if they realize they’ve taken credit for something that you originally suggested in a meeting weeks ago. If the response is clear that they believe it was their idea, you may need to move onto a different tactic.

Step Two: Communicate clearly.
At this point, when you speak in groups or in e-mails about your idea, you will want to gently remind team members and make it clear that you were the initiator of this idea. Be sure to state when and where this occurred.

For instance, in a meeting you may say, “Two weeks ago I brought up an idea in our staff meeting for how to solve XYZ….” This type of communication will need to be subtle but also repetitive if it’s clear your colleague isn’t buying it.

Another way to communicate that often makes people see the error of their ways is to make sure you give credit to them when it is due. When speaking about a project to your team, call out your colleagues work or reference their ideas so they see how this process works. They should begin to realize you’re not trying to steal anyone’s thunder but to instead appropriately allocate the credit to those who deserve it. You are a fair team member!

Step Three: Establish Guidelines.
Discuss with your colleagues how you will go about presenting projects. One of your guidelines should be how you communicate who did what in a group project. The leader can discuss with each member on this to get agreement on who did what.

Image Credit: Cristian Carrara.

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13 Things You Should Never Do in an Interview

May 24, 2016

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Sometimes the most basic things are the ones we forget. If you haven’t interviewed in a long time it’s always good to remind yourself of the interview no-nos. Here are jut a few things you should NOT do during your next interview.

1. Be late.4864045598_ee7409fd43_z

2. Drink or eat anything (including gum).16022668089_8c827a53b3_z

3. Check your cell phone at all (assume it’s the movies and turn it off beforehand).4463082523_d8a338d7cf_o4. Ask to take a break to use the restroom.

5. Put on makeup, lipstick, chapstick, etc.

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6. Remark about the temperature of the room.

7. Lie.

8. Discuss vacation plans before an offer is made.17135346556_0b847f7725_z

9. Initiate a conversation about salary. 2829700156_cd9d0fee2f_z

10. Talk about politics, religion, or family.

11. Dress sloppy or underdress.

12. Talk about benefits unless it is initiated by the interviewer.13233834185_c02da5586c_z

13. Come without questions. 181939582_41fc6530dc_z


Image credits: 1.stefanos papachristou 2.Barbara Asboth 3. Ira Machefsky 4. Trevor Coultart 5.via GIPHY 6. via GIPHY 7. ldybug63 8. GotCredit 9. Evan Jackson 10.via GIPHY 11.via GIPHY 12. Nick Kenrick 13. Dennis Brekke 

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7 Most Reliable Resources for Job Seekers

May 19, 2016


2561885967_f5f0be5834_zHonestly, how did we find jobs before the internet? There’s no question that it makes the hunt ten times easier…but it’s also overloads you with about 100 times the information that you really need. Where do you even begin? And what sites and apps are really worth your time? Here are the few we believe job seekers can rely on most.

Job Search Sites
Glassdoor: More than just a job search engine! Besides following the companies you’re interested in, you can read employee-written reviews of the companies you’re applying for and can browse employee-submitted listings of actual salaries for real jobs.

LinkedIn: LinkedIn’s features are constantly being updated. Be sure to take advantage of all them. Publish a long-form post, add a link/video that showcases your work, and have your contacts recommend you based on your particular skills. Don’t forget that LinkedIn Premium is a paid service that increases your chances of being seen by hiring managers and recruiters.

Indeed: Sure it’s another job search engine, but there are also employee-written reviews of companies and they’re even broken out by category like work-life balance, culture, management, compensation/benefits, and job security/advancement.

Career Advice Blogs
The Muse: This site offers a combination of job advice, job coaching, a job board, and even a tour of the inside of your next employer’s office. If you want to explore a company’s internal culture before you apply, search for them here.

Career Sherpa: Your personal guide to all things job search, Hannah Morgan gives job/career advice, offers lists of resources for the job searcher. Her blog is well-organized and to-the-point, and easy to read. Hannah’s specialty is Infographics so her advice in this area is where you should look if you’re thinking of using an Infographic resume.

Organizational Apps
Pocket: The premier app for saving all the things you want to look at, but can’t get to it right away! Scanning through pages on LinkedIn, Twitter, videos on YouTube- save them all in the Pocket app. It is free and doesn’t require an internet connection. What a perfect way to save all your job leads and resources as you search!

Evernote: This app has a free subscription as well as a low cost yearly option. For a job searcher, it’s a good organization tool for all the jobs you’re applying and interviewing for. You can clip pages from the web, drag images and files, copy and paste, take pictures, and record audio and video. Evernote’s filing system is perfect for organizing your job search notes, contacts, dates, job descriptions, resumes, cover letters, etc.

Image via Jeffrey Beall/Flickr.

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How to Get Over Rejection During a Job Search

May 16, 2016


23391316560_d5a8565059_zLet’s be honest: anything that can result in rejection is a little bit depressing…. and we all know job searching can end in rejection, time and time again. Knowing and admitting this up front is your first step to battling any little signs of depression that creep in after a “thanks, but no thanks.” Here are a few other tips that can help you get over rejection during the job search.

Let yourself wallow (but only for a little bit).
Give yourself a day (15 minutes…or an hour…whatever works for you) to feel awful after a rejection. Then, get back on the horse and either make more connections or respond to more job openings. The more positive steps you can take after a rejection letter, the better you will feel. In a situation like job searching, it’s always better to have more than one iron in the fire (or in this case more resumes in the hands of recruiters).

Find some closure.
Another option for your first move after receiving a rejection letter could be to respond to it. Depending on how they wrote the letter, you may want to ask for feedback on your interview/experience or even email with a “thank-you, but please keep me on your short list in case  similar jobs open up.”

Get back in the ring.
View your job search as a job in and of itself. If you don’t at least see it as a part-time gig, you may never make it happen. Creating a routine to follow and some short term goals to meet is always a good way to start the process. You can re-assess your routine after a few weeks to evaluate how it’s working for you.

Remember, you’re not alone.
Remember, you are not the only one looking for a job. Although it can be easy to take things personally, do this instead. Picture the hundreds of other people that may be looking for jobs in your field. They are also getting rejection letters and trying to figure out their best course of action. If you can see it as others going through the same process, it can make it easier to digest and understand. This is also one more reason why you want to make sure and practice follow-up communication, whether it be after a rejection letter or after you just applied for a job.

Image credit: Topher McCulloch/Flickr.

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Following Your Fear

May 12, 2016


11964924366_fe0b8f8f8d_zGoing after what you really want isn’t always easy. There’s this little thing called FEAR that sometimes gets in the way. Job searching can intensify your fears because the process itself can be overwhelming, uncertain, and uncomfortable. Although we shouldn’t take a submissive role during a job search, and assume we are without any power, that’s oftentimes what happens. However, when your fear of the search interferes and creates resistance, there are positive ways you can deal with it.

Author of the War of Art, Steven Pressfield, has this to say: “The more fear we feel about a specific enterprise, the more certain we can be that that enterprise is important to us and the growth of our soul.” It turns out that being a little scared is good! It gets your endorphins moving and gives you a good kick in the butt. Treat your “fear” of the job search as your motivation. Acknowledge your nerves, go through the motions, and then reward yourself when you’ve moved through the fear and found yourself on the other side. 

Learning to shift your mindset and embrace the fears you have about job searching can definitely make the process more doable and ultimately successful. Kate Erickson of ZZZZ discusses the fears that get in the way for entrepreneurs and they are no different than what most of us feel when job searching:

  • Comparing yourself to other people
  • Telling yourself that it might not work
  • Not confident about what you know
  • Afraid of what other people will think or say about you
  • Wondering if anyone will value what you have to say

Erickson points out a few different ways to alter your mindset so as not to let these fears take hold. For example, she suggests using your community for support and focusing your thoughts outward toward what you could be doing vs. inward and what you can’t do.

Read more about facing your fears over at The Muse.

Image via Sean MacEntee/Flickr.

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3 Things to Consider Before Dressing for Your Next Interview

May 9, 2016

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2429491152_735a015cb1_zYou feel the pressure to look perfect for your interview, but what is exactly perfect anymore? Are you supposed to look like the other company employees or a step better? Is there a new “hipster” way of dressing for an interview? Are the expectations of twenty years ago still there today?

If you haven’t job searched in years, don’t fret: the 411 on dressing for a successful interview hasn’t changed a whole lot. Here are some of the new things you may want to consider in addition to being well-pressed and well-dressed, but not overdone. Remember, all things being equal, the way you dress could be the tie-breaker on who gets the job offer. Don’t ignore it!

Suit or No Suit: The conservative dark suit is still the thing for industries that have a formal dress code, i.e. law, finance, and government. For other industries, the style of suit has changed. You may notice a difference in the slimmer cut of men’s pants, the patterns on trendy shirts, and slimmer, funkier patterned ties. These are options for you, but don’t overdo the patterns and colors. Simple and sleek is best. And never forgo a consultation with the tailor. For women, there’s more of an option for mixing and matching these days. An all-black suit is not necessary anymore. You may try a skirt, a nice blouse and a blazer, or even a classic dress with a cardigan or blazer.

Company Culture: Kim Zoller, CEO of Image Dynamics, says, “You have to know your audience.” It’s critical that you do your research on the companies you are interviewing with. The worst case scenario is showing up to an interview in clothing that is completely unrepresentative of their culture. For instance, some companies are proud of their casual culture and a suit-and-tie could be a big turn-off in an interview. Don’t be afraid to ask your HR contact what’s the best attire for an interview. A “hack” is to ask what the employees wear to work and dress just one step above this.

Comfort: Do yourself a big favor and wear something that makes you feel good about yourself. That’s one less thing to worry about in an already nerve-wracking setting. Don’t overlook comfort. If you’re wearing an outfit that’s new or that you’ve haven’t worn in years, give it a test run and make sure it’s not too constricting, too tight, or even too baggy. How you’re feeling will show on your face and in the way you move. If what you’re wearing causes discomfort, it can negatively impact your interview. And don’t forget to apply this rule to your shoes! Practical, comfortable, and stylish shoes aren’t hard to find. After all, you want to put your best foot forward–not a sore one!

Image via audiophilia/Flickr.

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Why Summer is a Great Time to Job Search

May 5, 2016


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Summer is fast approaching and although you may want to take a vacation from your job search, DON’T. The summer offers a different set of opportunities for job searchers. They are yours for the taking, so relish the possibilities that other job searchers may be missing out on.

Don Straits, CEO and Dragon Slayer of Corporate Warriors, sums it up when he says,  “Hiring takes off like a rocket at the end of summer. The job seeker who has been pursuing opportunities during the slowdown will be first on the list when hiring accelerates in September.” Here are some more reasons why summer job searching is great.

Company atmosphere is a bit more casual and relaxed in the summertime. Some organizations have shorter work-weeks or allow Friday hours. This oftentimes spills over into the attitude of the hiring managers as well. They may be more open to scheduling interviews–informational or otherwise.

Time can be on your side during the summer. Although hiring managers may be out on vacation, which makes scheduling interviews more difficult. But that could also mean that when a position is open, the process is put into overdrive. Don’t be surprised if you are asked to hurry up and wait, or possibly asked to make a decision on a job within less than a week.

Summertime offers a lot more opportunities for networking. People are out and about and engaging in social events all summer long. Any block party, festival, bbq, or sporting event that you attend should also be viewed as a chance to gain important contacts. Similar to a company’s culture during the summer, people in general seem to carry a much more casual attitude and will likely respond in kind if they are approached respectfully.

Image via Image Catalog/Flickr.

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6 Online Resources for Job-Searching College Students

May 3, 2016


7658298768_e4c2c2635e_zYou’re new to the job hunt! There’s no shame in that.  But to snag your first job out of college you’ll need to learn the ropes. With a plethora of resources out there that can help with all your job-search needs, it’s tough to know which ones are the best. Let’s take a look.

  1. Pocket:  The premier app for saving all the things you want to look at, but can’t get to right away! Scanning through job listings, career advice, and more? Save them all in the Pocket app. It’s free and you can peruse all your saved items without an internet connection. What a perfect way to stay on top of your search.
  2. College Info Geek:  A millennial himself, founder Thomas Frank created a site that connects with college students at the start of their journey. His blog speaks to the most basic topics like “how to get to bed on time,” to more complex topics like “how to get into medical school.” Podcasts include interviews with successful students, public figures, and experts. He also focuses on how you can build a successful brand and promote yourself in the work world.
  3. Mint: A money management resource that will help college students see all their accounts in one place, set a budget, pay down debt, and learn ways to grow their wealth. This tool is great for college newbies or college grads. Another important feature is the ability to check your credit for free and learn how to improve it.
  4. Lindsey Pollak:  This blog gives tips and tricks for millennials in the workforce. From communication skills to negotiating to learning how to work with friends, Lindsey Pollak is the expert on the generation that is  changing the face of the workforce. Forbes named her blog one of the Top 100 websites for career advice.
  5. Evernote: This bookmarking app has a free and paid option. For a job searcher, it’s a  good organization tool for all the jobs you’re applying and interviewing for. You can clip pages from the web, drag images and files, copy and paste, take pictures, and record audio and video. Evernote’s filing system is perfect for organizing your job search notes, contacts, dates, job descriptions, resumes, cover letters, and more.
  6. Life After College:  Jenny Blake created a website with all types of topics that will appeal to graduating college students: money, career, blog, coaching, and more. Her well-organized and easy-to-read site also gives information on managing your happiness and relationships.Image via CollegeDegrees360/Flickr.
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