9 Easily Avoidable Interview Blunders

There is no shortage of articles “how to succeed” in job interviews. You can find advice on how to answer tough questions, suggestions on what to wear and everything else in between. But, sometimes looking at other people’s mistakes can be an even better lesson.

With this in mind, I asked recruiters and hiring managers to send me some “Interview Bloopers” things that made them stop and say “I can’t believe that he or she just did that!”  Having worked in the career field for over a decade I’ve heard a lot of stories about inappropriate behavior by candidates. But, some of the submissions, including one candidate’s obsession with reality TV, shocked even me.

While some of these stories may make you chuckle, they should also serve as cautionary tales.

Continue Reading →

5 Ways To Be Remembered (In A Good Way)

In our competitive job market, many candidates are competing for each position. There is only one winner and there’s no prize for second place.

Everyone looking for a job has heard that it’s important to send a thank you note. But the percentage who follow through is small.

That means, sending a thank you note is a sure way to stand out in a positive way.

It’s one of the quickest, and easiest, ways to get an employer’s attention. To keep you top-of-mind once the interview is over.

Here are 5 ways to make sure you continue to be remembered in a good way.

#1 Act Fast

Send a thank you ASAP. Try to email a note as soon as you can. Have a thank you template that you can revise as needed depending on the specific job interview.  Unless your handwriting is illegible you might want to follow up with a handwritten note as well. When was the last time you received anything besides a business letter in the office mail?

Continue Reading →

Highlight YOU With A Career Portfolio

Differentiating yourself from other candidates with similar backgrounds is essential in today’s job market. One way to do that is by creating a portfolio.

Portfolios are not just for creative folks. Wherever your field or industry, a career portfolio can help set you apart.

If you haven’t heard the term, a career portfolio is used to showcase your accomplishments, training, and experience. Your current level and target position will help determine the contents.

Certainly, if you’re in a creative field, you want to have samples of your work. If you’re an executive a summary of ventures you designed, implemented, and led might prove valuable. Copies of articles and/or white papers you’ve authored can be a good addition too.

Continue Reading →

Facing Age Discrimination? Be Prepared If You’re Over (Or Under) A Certain Age

One of the issues often raised when a group of jobseekers gets together is the question of age discrimination.

A few years ago,  I was invited to be a guest at Platform to Employment a program which was developed by The Workplace to address the needs of the long-term unemployed.

Originally started in Connecticut, the program has had such great success that it was expanded to ten other cities early 2014. You may have seen it featured on 60 Minutes.

Several days before my visit, I received a list of questions that the group was hoping I could answer from the recruiter’s perspective. Not surprisingly, a number of the questions addressed the problem of age discrimination.

Here are a few things I learned while working as a recruiter.

Continue Reading →

6 Common Job Search Myths (And How To Shatter Them)

28787095 - grunge rubber stamp with text myth vs reality,vector illustrationThere’s a lot of career advice online. I’ve certainly written my share. Despite all the easily accessible career information, several myths seem to remain.

The most obvious is that the best way to find a job is to apply for as many employment ads as possible. It’s not. Spending all day working the job boards is unlikely to land you a job.

Creating a list of target employers and strategically networking your way into the company will yield better results.

Here are 6 other long-standing myths that continue to persist.

#1 You can’t get a job through social media.

While you may not get hired by sending a tweet, employers are increasingly turning to social media for recruiting purposes. Corporate and contingency recruiters have been on social media for years. Many post jobs on LinkedIn, Facebook, and even twitter.

Continue Reading →

How To Write A Compelling Cover Letter – And Why You Need One

Today, there’s a lot of debate as to whether it’s worth it to submit a cover letter with your resume. Some recruiters and hiring managers say they never read cover letters. Others say a candidate’s cover letter can mean the difference between being contacted for an interview and not.

So when you submit your resume sending a cover letter may or may not make a difference.

But with today’s competition do you really want to take a chance?

I’m guessing not.

Recruiters who say they never read cover letters say that a good resume should stand on its own. That a cover letter is redundant. A compelling cover letter, however, will help sell you as a viable candidate.

Continue Reading →

5 Ways To Tap Into The Hidden Job Market

You’ve probably heard that many jobs aren’t advertised. That’s true. And even when jobs are advertised, candidates who come in as a referral have a better chance of landing the job. As the adage goes: People like to hire people they know and like.

So the best way to find a new opportunity is to have a strong, robust network. People who can help get your resume in front of your target employers. People who will think of you when the type of position you’re looking for opens.

Here are 6 ways to tap into that hidden job market.

#1 Target Employers

Yes, applying to jobs online should be 1 part of your job search. However, sitting at the computer all day responding to online jobs is not the most effective way to conduct a job search. Before you begin your job search, create a list of 10 to 15 target employers.

Continue Reading →

4 Ways To Increase Your LinkedIn Connections

LinkedIn connections are valuable for several reasons. Building your connections expands your network. Having a larger network means you have more 2nd degree connections which gives you the opportunity to view a lot more profiles.

And maybe more importantly, it allows a lot more people to view your profile as well.

For example, potential employers who might want to learn more about you.

Another reason to increase your number of connections is perception. If you work in sales, marketing, or public relations, for example, potential employers will be looking at the size of your network. If you have 154 connections on LinkedIn they may wonder how much of a network you actually have.

So how can you build your LinkedIn network?

Continue Reading →