The best time to look for a job is when you already have one. Why?Read More
Finding a new job can be overwhelming. There are so many things to consider. What should my resume look like? What content should be in my resume? Where should I look for a new job? And what about my LinkedIn profile? These, and many other questions, all need to be answered if you want to have a successful job search. Where do you find answers?Read More
A nationwide study conducted by CareerBuilder has uncovered the factors that influence a hiring manager beyond matching job skills. The survey included 2,076 hiring managers and human resource professionals across a variety of industries and it asked them to reveal which factors would make them more likely to choose one of two equally qualified candidates. The top responses were as follows:
A nice, professional photograph is a must for your LinkedIn profile. Take into consideration your industry and profession and use a photo that fits. For example, are you a graphic artist? A picture that’s a little more creative makes sense. Or are you an accounting professional? Something more conservative is probably the way to go. But a picture is a must. Having no picture results in a major hit to your credibility.
Choose individuals that know you well enough to speak knowledgeably about your professional and personal attributes. Select a variety of individuals such as a past boss, a colleague or co-worker, a vendor that knows how you conduct business, etc. Be sure to get permission before you provide someone as a reference.
Asking questions in an interview is one of the most important things you can do. It enables you to gather valuable information and also allows you to control the direction of the interview to a certain degree. Here are 9 questions you should ask an interviewer.
How would you define “success” for this position?
Showing that you don’t just want the job but want to know what it takes to succeed in the position is a must. The answer to this question will also give you information that can be used for later answers, in this interview or subsequent ones. Discuss examples of past accomplishments that match up with the interviewer’s definition of success for the position.
What are the prospects for growth and advancement?
This question shows you are thinking long term and want to be a valuable contributor to the company. The answer to this question may also help you determine whether the company is a good fit for your long term career goals.
What can I tell you about my qualifications?
Most interviewers won’t show all of their cards, waiting to see if you will provide them with the right information to justify making you a job offer. This question may draw out any information he/she is looking for that you haven’t yet discussed. It will also give you some insight into what is really important to the interviewer in terms of qualifications.
What are the biggest challenges the person in this position will face?
Taking on challenges is a key to success at work and life in general. And vocalizing, up front, that you want to hear the challenges the position presents demonstrates your willingness to take them on. It also allows you an opportunity to offer some potential ways you might deal with them. A win-win for you and the interviewer.
How would you describe the culture here? What type of people tend to really thrive, and what type don't do as well?
Another great question that will help uncover what makes for a successful employee at the company. Again, make sure you tailor your answers to highlight the ways that you would fit in with their culture.
How would you describe your management style?
Everyone likes to talk about themselves and interviewers are no different. Finding out a manager's style and then relating a story from your past work experience that demonstrates your comfort with his/her style can set you apart from the pack.
What would a successful first year in the position look like?
Similar to the first question, the answer to this question should give you some concrete answers about projects and goals. Be sure to take notes while the interviewer lists the projects and goals that should be accomplished in the first year. This is invaluable information for subsequent interviews with other stakeholders and follow up communications.
What have been the main characteristics of your favorite employees?
Everyone prefers to work with people that they like and managers are no exception. This question will go a long way towards helping you decide if your working style is a good fit with the manager.
What was the company’s most strategic decision made in the last year? Could you describe how they came to this decision?
Showing that you are interested in the big picture can set you apart from other candidates who are simply interested in the job. Every manager wants people working for them that understand how their position impacts the company as a whole. Demonstrating this in an interview will enable you to have discussions about the company that other candidates won’t be having.
Looking for a job can be a job itself. You’ll spend countless hours writing and formatting your resume, keeping up with job postings, practicing for interviews, researching companies, etc. It can be a lot of work to do it right. And while focusing on what you need to do to land that perfect job is a must, knowing what pitfalls to avoid is just as important. Here are seven things that are unacceptable during your job search.
1. Poor Grammar - There is absolutely no excuse for poor grammar, incorrect punctuation, or misspelled words in your resume, emails, or any correspondence. The Internet is full of resources and Microsoft Word has all sorts of tools to help you in these areas. Use them.
2. Showing Up Late - There is no excuse, ever, for being late to an interview. Plan ahead, leave early, and make no other commitments that day. Plan your route and check traffic ahead of time. There really is no excuse for being late to an interview other than poor planning.
3. Ignorance - By the time you show up for an interview you should be an expert on the company. Read their website, multiple times. Know what makes them different from their competitors. See if they have a blog and read it. Check their LinkedIn and Facebook pages. Read everything you can find about the company. Showing up to an interview with little or no knowledge about the company is unacceptable.
4. Don’t Ask Questions - If you’ve done number 3, then asking questions during an interview should be easy. It’s a great chance to show off your knowledge of the company and start a conversation that will impress. Not asking questions may seem polite, but in reality, it simply shows your lack of preparation and interesting the job. Always ask questions, always.
5. Poor Taste on Social Media - Your image on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube will be associated with the company's image if they hire you. According to ZDNet, 56% of employers check an applicant's social media presence. Would your social media presence reflect well on your prospective employer? If not, you might be out of luck.
6. No LinkedIn Profile - LinkedIn is THE social network for professionals and there is simply no good reason not to be on it. In addition, you must actively build and maintain your network of connections. Anyone who doesn’t do this appears out of touch and borderline unemployable. You need to be on LinkedIn.
7. No “Thank You” Follow Up - Common courtesy and good manners should never be optional but during your job search they are even more critical. Don’t drop the ball at this stage of the game.
Thirty years ago we used cassette tapes, pay phones, giant camcorders, paper resumes, VCRs, and we watched ALF. All of these things were an important part of daily life in the 1980’s. Only one is still around thirty years later. And unfortunately, it's not ALF.
The standard paper resume doesn't work in a digital world. Human resources, recruiters, and hiring managers still sort through stacks of resumes, trying their best to whittle down the numbers to manageable level for conducting interviews. And even then, most people that do the whittling hope they haven’t overlooked someone because the candidate’s resume didn’t accurately portray who they really are. Software like Microsoft Word and resume parsers may have moved some of this activity to the computer, but it’s basically the same process. Volume of resumes in, whittle down, and conduct interviews. In a world of rovers on Mars, driverless cars, and iPhones, one would think we’d have come up with a better approach. Here are some companies that are trying.
Salary is usually the most sensitive aspect of entertaining a new job offer. Through the entire interview process, one of the main things anyone wants to know is “how much does the job pay?” But everything you read regarding finding a new job says to never discuss salary, and if you do, don’t be the first to bring it up.
So when salary does eventually come up, many times you are so invested in getting the job, you happily take what is offered. But it doesn’t have to be this way. Salary is always negotiable. And when its done in a respectful and well informed way, can actually gain you respect. So how do you negotiate a salary for a new job?
1. It’s important to realize that the company wants you. They made you an offer so they clearly view you as the best candidate for the position. Many job hunters don’t realize the time and effort that has gone into a hiring decision. The company has vetted you and other candidates and views you as someone with value. Don’t sell yourself short by settling for an offer that you feel is not reasonable.
2. Do your research. Know what the position pays in the city where you will be working. There are many sources for researching salary information including payscale.com, Glassdoor, and CareerBuilder.
3. Be prepared to justify your salary request. Any successful negotiation should include both parties being present with accurate and timely information so that the best decision can be made. Salary negotiations are no different. List out ways that you will bring value to the position and company. Do you have management experience, what problems have you solved for other companies, is your education unique, do you have certifications, etc. Anything and everything from your work and education history should be presented and considered.
4. Greed should never be the driving reason behind your request for a higher salary. Always emphasize throughout the negotiations that you want to settle on an amount that makes sense for both parties. This amount should accurately reflect your value to the company and have nothing to do with your mortgage, car payment, or desire to buy a boat. An employer doesn’t care about the salary that you need or want. They care about getting value for their money.
When it comes to salary negotiations for a new hire, companies rarely give their best offer right out of the gate. Don’t be afraid to negotiate. But do it in a way that is honest and respectful, keeping both parties interest in mind. It will not only make you feel better about your new job, it may actually gain you immediate respect from your new employer.