10 Questions To Ask During An Informational Interview
Lots of jobs sound great. You may think you know what a position entails by reading a job description on sites like the Occupational Outlook Handbook or advertisements for open positions on job boards or company sites.
Truth is, you probably don’t.
For years I wanted to be a writer. I went to school nights and worked days pursuing my dream. When I graduated I found a job as an assistant editor of a national four-color trade magazine. I was in heaven.
Turns out, I did get to do a lot of writing. I worked for a boss who was also a mentor. She taught me how to be a professional writer. I got to do cool things like work with the photographer during shoots for the magazine cover. I also got to type the shipping labels for the products when it came time to return them to the manufacturers. One at a time. On a typewriter.
While I loved that job, it was hardly as glamorous as I thought it would be. You may find that about your dream job too.
Job Search (And Life) Lessons Learned From The Martian
Last weekend, I went to see The Martian. Since I didn’t have time to read the book, I didn’t know anything other than it was about a man stranded on Mars. Without giving any secrets away, one of the astronauts is hit by debris during a storm. Based on the evidence, he is presumed dead and left behind as the rest of the crew evacuates the planet.
Well, the movie was awesome. Viewing it in 3D was an experience, worth every extra penny.
The movie has many underlying themes like the significance of character, friendship, and loyalty. It demonstrates how essential, sometimes critical, it is to be open to new ideas. However, the most powerful theme was the indomitable strength of the human spirit.
Later that day as I was thinking about the movie, I realized that many of The Martian’s lessons would serve job seekers as well. Looking for a new job can sometimes make you feel alone and overwhelmed.
Here are five ways to get back on track. (Don’t worry if you haven’t seen the movie, there are no spoilers here.)
5 Things NOT To Include On Your Resume
There are dozens of articles on how to write a winning resume. I’ve written many myself. But, what every professional resume writer knows is it’s also essential to understand what NOT to include.
HR professionals, for example, don’t want to see photos because they’re concerned about possible discrimination charges down the road. Unless you’re a recent grad, there’s no reason to include your college and/university graduation dates. Doing so will advertise your age. Here are five other things not to include on your resume.
It should go without saying, but typos can be the kiss of death. One misspelling may not take you out of the running, but several probably will. Read your resume several times. Read it backwards to catch any words that don’t fit, like Microsoft Office Sweet.
Fluffy statements and generic wording won’t get you far. No need to say you’re highly educated. One of the first things a recruiter will look at is your education. Same goes with clichés like “excellent communication skills” and “team-player.” Instead, give examples that demonstrate your communication skills, like “successfully negotiated faster payment terms . . .”
How To Connect With Your Target Employers
A slew of questions came in after a recent presentation on resume writing. Most of them were specifically related to the participant’s job search. But one stood out for its relevance to everyone who’s looking for a new opportunity.
The question was, “How do I get in front of the employer?”
Of course, the short answer is network your way in. But how?
Here are a few ways to connect with people at your target employer.
Today many companies have corporate Facebook pages. This is a place where you may be able to find job postings and maybe even connect with recruiters. Some companies have pages specifically to reach out to potential candidates. A review of Citibank’s Citi Jobs page found several positons and information about their presence at a career fair.
3 Ways To Keep Your Job Search A Secret
One of the good things about being unemployed is that you have plenty of time to look for a job. One of the bad things is that being unemployed makes you less attractive to some employers. While it may not be fair, many employers prefer to hire candidates who are already employed.
But looking for a job while working full-time has its own set of obstacles. Because looking for a new opportunity is a job in itself, one challenge is finding enough time. But, perhaps the biggest problem is making sure your boss doesn’t find out. But there are ways to keep your job search a secret.
5 Ways To Improve Your Executive Resume
While it’s true that in resumes “content is king” most of us are very visual. Because of this tendency a boring, poorly formatted resume isn’t likely to attract the attention of recruiters or hiring managers. Let alone the new HR associate who may be the first person to see your documents at all.
You don’t need to be a professional to make your resume easy-to-read and add a little punch. Here are five easy ways to transform your resume from muddled to refined.
Resume content should be presented in sections that are delineated in some way. For example Professional Experience, Education, Skills, etc. separated by lines. This can be done easily by using the Borders & Shading function in Microsoft Word.
Adding some formatting to your resume will make it easier for recruiters and hiring managers to read.
5 Great (But Not As Well Known) Sites For Job Seekers
Everyone knows the BIG, popular career sites like Monster, CareerBuilder, and Glassdoor. They all provide great information for job seekers. But, there are a many other albeit lesser known resources that can help you move your job search forward. Here are 5 of my favorites.
When I was working as a vocational counselor we had a copy of this in our office. That was in 1998. Now it’s available for free online. OOH has information on 100’s of careers: Accountants to Paramedics.
How To Make A Great Impression During A Phone Or Skype Interview
The goal of every job seeker is to get in front of a potential employer. To have the opportunity to sit down and sell yourself to the hiring manager. However, you’re probably going to have to navigate two to three virtual interviews before you’re invited in for a face-to-face.
Today the interview process usually begins with a 20 to 30 minute phone screening either with a third-party recruiter or a human resources associate. The goal is to learn more about you.
Until the first “meeting” you’re just another resume and/or LinkedIn profile.
Creating A Resume For An Internal Promotion
The only time most people think about their resume is when they’re looking for a new opportunity with a different employer. But, that’s not the case. A winning resume can increase your odds of success when applying for an internal promotion.
If you’re competing with outside candidates, you already have one thing going for you. You’re already there. When you have a history with the employer, they don’t have to worry whether or not you’re a culture fit.
Hopefully, you also know some, if not all, of the players that might include the hiring manager, the HR team, and anyone else with influence.
That said, you still need to sell yourself to get the job.
4 Questions To Ask Before You Accept A Job Offer
Finding a new job isn’t easy. Finding a new gig that’s also a good fit is even more difficult. It takes time, tenaciousness, and a little bit of luck.
If you hate your job, despise your boss, or have been out of work for six months or more it can be tempting to jump at the first job offer that comes along. But taking a job without doing your due diligence can end up being a big mistake. BIG mistake.