Friday, October 21, 2016

Pro-ACTIVE Job Hunting

Face it. Job hunting can be a killer of time and ego. Staying positive after interviews that go nowhere or resumes sent and never responded to, can be hard.
That feeling of hopelessness is your ego speaking. It's telling you you're not great or capable or likable, but don't believe it. Our ego is full of is doubt, insecurity, and self hate and gets you nowhere. So, what do you do when you're sinking down that sucking ego drain?

Flip it into the back seat!

There's no room in the forefront of your life for negative people and there's no room for negative ego speak. Bash it, trash it and boot it to the curb.

When sending out that awesome email with the resume that you polished and shined give it the blessings of the universe and a wave and move on. If something comes of it - Great! Otherwise, don't give it a second thought. Move on and send out the next resume. Know the right one will come back to you.

Had an interview and thought you aced it but no one called. Their loss. You are awesome and the company you are destine to work at will call. Look to the next interview. Practice answering questions in the mirror. Look up more questions that could be asked on the Internet and practice those. Review what you say and decide if you're giving too much info or not enough. Practice makes perfect. Go on all the interviews you can get even if the job isn't quite what you're looking for, it's still good practice.

Plan your day.
Resumes can be sent out any time but if you're sending them out at 3 a.m., the HR person might catch that time when it comes into her email and wonder what you're doing up in the middle of the night. Try not to send them after midnight or before 5 a.m. Play the odds.

Maybe your resume needs a second look?
 A professional resume service might be out of your budget but ask your friends and family (those who have a good job) and get their opinion. Edits may be necessary. Spell and grammar check!
Read that resume out loud. You'll be amazed at the typos you can catch when you read out loud.

Got a cover letter? Make it short and sweet, hitting on your best selling points. (Yes, your resume and cover letter sells you. It's your marketing tool.) Read it out loud. Get someone else's opinion. Edit it a bit to fit the job you're applying for.

Now! Go forth and conquer! Be bold! Be unstoppable! Get the job!

Saturday, October 8, 2016

The Jobs are Out There...

I've taken jobs that were beneath my skill set, but I did it with a plan. I chose businesses with potential. I looked at the size of the company and found out they promoted from within. So, I took the leap. People who knew me, knew what I could do, thought I was crazy to devalue myself like that, but I had a feeling this company was a place where I could use my skills and eventually advance.
I wasn't wrong.

I interviewed, the interviewer.

I asked about room for advancement.
      The answer to this question is very important. When a company promotes from within it means they recognize talent. If you can get into a place where they promote from within, and have the skills they need, you will advance.

I asked when the interviewer started with the company and what they liked best about working there.
    Listen up! Do they like the environment? The challenges? Do they say anything negative at this point?

How many departments make up the business?
     This can be especially important when interviewing for a small business. Do they only have a front desk and you'll be it? (Still not a deal breaker, but important depending on your skill set) Could you start in the department that's open and maybe advance to where you want to be?

Factor in the following;
     Can you afford to put the work into a job with the possibility of moving up? Can you afford not to? Remember, taking this job does not stop you from finding another later.
     Is this a job/industry you can be happy with for a while? It may take a year or more to get where you want to be. Patience is required.

     Are you ready to go for it?

Monday, September 5, 2016

10 Things that Matter in an Interview

Walking into an interview for a job you really want can be a little scary...okay, down right terrifying.

You wear a suit, make sure you're perfectly groomed; hair combed, shoes shined. What else can you do?

It's the small things that matter and  here's a few to remember when you walk in that door;

  1. Turn off your cell phone. Or better yet, leave it in the car. The interviewer will be able to hear it vibrate and yes, it will be a distraction. 
  2. Bring a folder with all necessary information; copy of your resume, list of references, copy of any additional certifications that may apply. (Do not rely on your cell phone to look things up - remember, you left it in the car.) Using a simple folder will keep your papers neat and organized.
  3. Smile. Put your friendly face on. Most places want to hire nice people. A smile reflects an amicable personality. 
  4. Remember your manners. Shake hands, say thank you where applicable. 
  5. Be nice to everyone you meet inside and outside the building. You never know who has the bosses ear. 
  6. Think before you blurt out an answer to the interviewers questions. Taking a few seconds to form the answer in your brain is okay. Don't leave them hanging for minutes, but considering your answer will help you give a more concise answer. 
  7. Study the hard questions. The Internet is full of practice interview questions to help you. Reading them and thinking of your answers will give you an edge when something like them comes up in an interview. 
  8. Be ready for that empty space in an interview. Seasoned interviewers will let you talk. They keep quiet and listen. Know this empty space, when you're doing all the talking, is where they get a lot of information. Be ready for it. It's your time to "sell" yourself. Keep your words positive and upbeat. 
  9. Why did you/are you leaving your last job? Be careful with this question. Never say anything bad about an ex-employer. Even if the work place was horrible, keep your words positive. Saying things like, "There was no room for advancement," or "I felt there wasn't an opportunity to fully used my talents," are better answers. Just be ready to back them up with facts. 
  10. Be ready for: Do you have any questions for us? Before arriving you should have Googled the company and done some research. At this point you can bring that up if you don't have any other questions. 
Good luck out there! 

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

You Wore WHAT to an Interview?

One of the biggest mistakes people make in an interview is their fashion choice.

Really, people? Shorts and a t-shirt? Is that the best thing in your closet?
Flip flops? You flopped.

In an interview, your clothing choice is a sign of respect. You cared enough to make an impression. Trust me, the person who came in to interview after you wore a suit or at least professional clothing, and got the job. Why? They looked like they were worth the time and money the company will invest in training the person for the job.

HINT: Dress like you want the job.

Throw on a suit jacket if possible and make sure your clothing is clean. (Yes, once someone came in with ketchup stains on their blouse.)

Pick your best pair of shoes. Make sure they shine.

QUICK TIP: Put a dab of Vaseline on a paper towel and rub it over your shoes. This will give them a quick shine and get you through the interview.

Don't own a suit?
Men; A button down shirt, tie and khaki's will work.
Women: A skirt or dress pants and a blouse will work.

The higher the salary, the better you dress. Want that executive position? Invest in the suit. Going for a construction job? Khaki's and clean polo would be acceptable. Just please, make an effort!

Go forth and Get that Job!

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

That Stand-Out Resume

What makes a resume stand out to a potential employer?
That's a great question because it could be different for everyone.

First; easy to read format. 

  • List your jobs with dates (or at least months; May 2012 - February 2015)
  • Under each job list your responsibilities for that position
  • Include any special skills (Excel, PowerPoint, Contractor/Machine skills)
  • End with education. (note to older crowd- you don't need the year a simple; Business BA, Computer BS is fine)
Cover letter? Think outside the box. 

When writing your brief cover letter think about why you're a good fit for the job. Is there a personal connection to this type of work? Did your family own a construction company so you know the business from the inside out? Have you been working construction since 1998? What will make your letter stand out among the 100's of others? 

Is a follow up okay?

Usually, giving a call to follow up after you send a resume isn't a bad idea. It shows you're interested. Just don't sound desperate and don't give ultimatums. 
Keep it simple, ask if they received your resume and if they have any further questions you can answer. End with a simple, "I'd love to come in and talk with you about the position."

Go forth and conquer! The perfect job is out there...and you will find it if you don't give up. 

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Tricks and Tips to Ace the Interview

Every interview is different because the people that are interviewing you have their own unique personalities and goals. Knowing how to "read" people will help you show the interviewer what they need to hire you.

  1. Do your research. Researching the company will go a long way in impressing those who interview you. Know what they do, how long they've been in business, and if there's anything that make them unique in the business. 
  2. If there are biographies of the staff are on the company website, take a few minutes and read them. There might be something you have in common with one of them that could help during the interview. It will also help you know who you're talking to at the meeting. The owner of a company I once worked for would often sit quietly in the corner during an interview. Most applying for the job had no idea who he was or why he was there.  
  3. Be a mirror. Research shows a way to build report is to mirror the other person's body language. If they have their hands folded on the table and are sitting forward in the chair, you do the same. If they lean back and are relaxed, notice and take that relaxed pose yourself. Read more about mirroring here. 
  4. If they're telling you something, don't interrupt. Don't think you know what they're going to ask (even if you do,) and cut them off to give your answer. Nothing is more annoying than someone who interrupts you.  
  5. Be a good listener. When the interviewer asks a question don't be afraid to think for a moment and give a concise and complete answer. 
It might see like a lot to remember when going in for an interview, but there are just a few things that will help you to come out ahead of the competition. 
Good luck out there! 

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Fix Your Resume

Your resume is usually the first impression a potential employer will get of you.
It's an important the resume is properly formatted and free from spelling errors. Leave the fancy fonts for birthday cards and make it Times New Roman and 12 pt font. Basic, simple and to the point. You want them impressed with your content and not distracted by bold, crazy fonts.

So lets go! Build that resume;

Center on top your name address, phone and email. 
John Smith
00 Somewhere St
City, State Zip code

Right under that you can put a short statement but this is optional. I usually leave it off. 
Under that should be your experience. 


Place of Employment                                                        City, State
Position                                                                             May 2013 - June 2015

Write a couple of sentences about what you did here.
"Coordinated day to day work flow of the office with special emphasis on processing sales and maintaining database."
Then bullet your skills. 

  • Maintained sales database
  • Processed incoming contracts
  • Payroll
Do this for your last few jobs. After your experience comes education

BS in Business from Some College 

Do any community service? Volunteer work? Put that next.

Community Service
5K for Cancer
Ran food drive for animal rescue
Boy Scout leader
School volunteer

After that list any special credits you have. Win an award for anything? Do any online writing, publishing, 

Now the important part. SPELL CHECK! Read it over a few times. Read it out loud to be sure all your sentences make sense. Ask a friend or spouse to read it for you. Double check your email address and phone number. You want them to reach you so make sure that stuff is correct. 

Now that your resume is polished --->Go forth and conquer!   

Drop By for a Job Application

Dropping by a business to ask for a job application can be a good idea, but go dressed for success.

You never know who you'll meet when you walk through the door. Receptionist, manager, or janitor, everyone you meet matters. If the receptionist hands over your resume to the boss you don't want her to say, "He dressed in shorts and a tank top." If you wouldn't wear it to work, don't wear it to drop off your resume or fill out an application.

Go in dressed in clean, professional clothes. Even for a construction job, clean khaki's and a button down shirt go a long way in showing you want the job.

Make sure your resume is up-to-date, spell checked, and neat. Don't hand over a wrinkled, coffee stained piece of paper.

No resume? Ask to fill out an application.
Make sure you have information with you. Someone who will take the time to sit down and fill out the application will go further than the one who says, "Can I take it home?"  Applications will ask for your previous work history and references so make sure you can write them down. If you need to keep a list in your pocket or on your phone, do it. Be prepared. Fill it out neatly and make sure you know how to spell the names of the companies you've worked for and their information.

Be nice to everyone you meet at that place of business. You never know who has the bosses ear.

The Second Interview - How to ACE it!

You scored that illusive second interview. Great job! The company saw something in you and you are under serious consideration for the job. They liked you!

Now, it's time to wow them. Don't go in thinking you've aced it and are definitely in. I've seen more people blow this final step to the job than get it.  The questions might be tougher and some questions might be the same as last interview.

If they asked you to tell of an incident where your strength of customer service, organization, or handling difficult people showed through, don't use the same story you used in interview one. Make sure you have another event ready to tell.
I know sometimes it's hard to think on your feet when facing two or more professionals staring at you from across the desk. Prepare before you get there.

What are your strengths?
The second interview usually puts you in with bosses at a higher level. If they ask about your strengths it's time to list them. Not a time to brag, but state the facts. Are you good at computers? Organization? Selling? Tell them that and give some details. Why are you good at computers? Know Excel, Outlook, Publisher? What kind of databases have you worked in? Organizational skills? Do you put everything on a spread sheet? Believe in keeping accurate files so anyone can find things easily? How long have you been selling and what are your sales numbers?

That second interview can get you the job. Just make sure you go in prepared. Dress to impress, think over what you're going to say, and sell yourself!
Good luck out there!