Come Recommended's Best Advice for Job Seekers in 2010


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Best blog posts of 2010 for job seekers, as chosen by Come Recommended's staff.

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Come Recommended's Best Advice for Job Seekers in 2010

  1. 1. © 2010 by Come Recommended, LLCCopyright holder is licensing this under the Creative Commons License, Attribution3.0.> Please feel free to post this on your blog or e-mail it to whomever you believewould benefit from reading it. Thank you. 2
  2. 2. GENERATION Y: STARTING YOUR CAREER AT YOUR TIME Originally Posted on Sep. 08, 2010 by Martha G. ChavezA few weeks ago, the New York Times Magazine ran an article by Robin MarantzHening that made me feel like it was written to me. It was about Gen Y and the newlife phases and development we’re going through. It describes how more and moreyoung adults are taking their time transitioning from adolescence to adulthood.There was a letter to the editor written by Lindsey Pollock. She came to the defenseof 20-somethings, and further cemented the fact that times are a changin’.In her letter, Pollock says, “I consider it progress that every young person doesn’tfeel the need to complete school, leave home, marry and have a child by a certaindeadline. There is no ‘one size fits all’ adulthood.”This hit me at my core. I read this and was affirmed that things happen at their owndue time. And when I mean things, I mean my career. I’m a late bloomer in life. I’m inmy mid 20’s and have yet to experience a lot of career and life firsts. It took melonger to graduate from college. Not because I wanted to, but because for manyreasons, I didn’t have a choice.I graduated later, older, and with limited experience. When most of the people Iwent to high school with already working their way up the career ladder, getting 3
  3. 3. married, and even owning homes, I sometimes feel like I’ve missed the boat. I knowmany people feel the same way.That’s when I realized; I’m not like everyone else. So many of us aren’t. We live in adifferent time. Things don’t always have to happen at x times. Life always hits uswith curveballs, and we have to learn to take them.I’ve learned that age has nothing to do with the ability to learn, grow, and be a greatemployee. Us Gen Y’ers are optimistic, ambitious, and extremely hard working. Weare revolutionizing the workplace.I may not be 22-years-old, or have a minimum of three years work experience, yet.But I have motivation and drive. That will take me as far as I’m willing it to take me,and will make me and my fellow Gen Y’ers better professionals in the end. 4
  4. 4. 3 CREATIVE WAYS TO GET YOUR FOOT IN THE DOOR Originally Posted on Dec. 01, 2010 by Lisa AtufunwaWhile the holiday season is in full swing, job seekers are finding ways to heightentheir job search to end the year on a good note. While some job seekers areattending final networking events of the year and giving their resume and coverletters one more look over, other job seekers are looking for “outside of the box”ways to get a call back for an interview or a job offer. Job seekers are using creativetools to help them get noticed by employers, like The Google Job Experiment. Hereare ways to incorporation creativity into your job search.30/60/90Create a 30/60/90 plan. In one to three pages, write how you will be an asset to thecompany in the first three months. Creating this plan will show employers yourpreparation, that you have done your research on the company and showcases yourtransferable skills, i.e. writing. This article explains in detail how to create your own30/60/90 plan.Differentiate yourselfFind ways to that will make you stand out amongst the other applicants. Create yourown website, such as that targets the company you are 5
  5. 5. interested in and show why you will be a great candidate for their company. Somecandidates have gone the route of creating a video resume, a good way to showcaseyour communication skills. This job seeker created a musical video resume, showinghis creativity and outside talents.Be visibleThere are subtle ways to be creative during your job search. Being visibleconsistently will show employers your dedication and enthusiasm to your chosenprofession. Be vocal during open discussions at professional meetings, e.g. askquestions and provide your own opinions to key concepts. Volunteer withcommittee groups and showcase the skills you have learned at internships or inclasses. Those who are visible and doing outstanding work are memorable by keyprofessionals. 6
  6. 6. JOB VS. GRADUATE SCHOOL: WHICH ONE IS RIGHT FOR YOU? Originally Posted on Aug. 29, 2010 by Lisa AtufunwaAs seniors around the nation begin their final year (or semester) in college, thestress of classes and grades are almost over. However, the stress of post-graduateplans begins to form. Should you take your chances in the job market? Should youfurther your education and go to graduate, professional or medical school?Ultimately the choice is yours, but each choice needs time and thought to beexecuted. Here are tips that can help you begin the thinking and planning process.Is my college degree enough?Depending on the industry you are interested in pursuing, you may or may not needan advance degree. By doing research and talking to other professionals, you candetermine if it would be beneficial for you to go to grad school first or if you canwait a few years to further your education.MotivationFinding your first professional job and going to grad school takes motivation andheart. You have to determine where your heart and mindset are at currently. Itwould be a waste of time and finances if you feel forced or unmotivated to pursuesomething you know you do not want to do. 7
  7. 7. Map it outList your goals; both short-term and long-term, and determined how work andschool will fit each other. Talk to family, friends, fellow students and professorsabout their choice of going straight to work or going to graduate school. Think aboutyour finances and other resources that you may need for your choices.Remember that ultimately it is your choice. Do not feel that you are being forced tomake one decision over the other because of your support system’s opinions. Toread more about grad school vs. work debate, check out this article here. 8
  8. 8. WHAT HIRING MANAGERS LOOK FOR DURING INTERVIEWS Originally Posted on Mar. 03, 2010 by Heather R. HuhmanPreparing for interviews to the best of your ability is time consuming but extremelyimportant. You must know and understand the interviewer(s), organization,clients/products/services and the industry itself—plus how you fit into that bigpicture.So, what exactly is the hiring manager looking for? No matter what field you are inor what position you’re applying for, there are some similarities across the boardthat all hiring managers seek in ideal candidates.1. Likeability. Do you get along with the hiring manager? Does the hiring managerfeel you will get along with his or her team? This is a big factor. I know when I seemyself in candidates, I find myself leaning toward them more than individuals whoremind me nothing of me. (That sounds self-centered, but hiring managers want acohesive team!)2. Strategic thinking. Are you thinking ahead about the future of the organization?Do you have a suggestion already in mind you’d like to brainstorm with the hiringmanager? In this economy—or any, for that matter—organizations want (and need)results. If you can show you’re a results person—or at a minimum thinking aboutresults—you will prove a strong candidate. 9
  9. 9. 3. Clear communication. Is your tone and word choice professional? Do you getyour message across effectively the first time? Chances are, you’re going to have tocommunicate with others in some fashion in order to do your job. Throwing in anytype of slang word, giggling or other methods of unprofessional communication willmake the hiring manager forget what you’re actually trying to say.Also, be aware of any strong accent you might have. For example, if you’re fromBoston or New York and you’re speaking to someone from Chicago, your accentmight be a little off putting. If you think it might be costing you jobs, there areprofessional speech therapists who can help you lose the accent.4. Professional appearance. If you’re interviewing at an organization where youknow the hiring manager will be wearing ripped jeans and a T-shirt, you canprobably get away with far less than a suit and tie. However, at most organizations,you want to not only dress the part for which you are interviewing, but one stepabove. Again, it’s these little things that stack up in a hiring manager’s mind aboutwhether or not to hire you.5. Enthusiasm. Be happy you are there! And not just because this is the firstinterview you’ve had in weeks (or months), but because you are genuinely lookingforward to the possibility of working at the organization. 10
  10. 10. 6. Good eye contact and “engaged behavior.” Don’t stare and not blinkthroughout the whole interview, but make sure you have decent eye contact. Also,lean forward slightly when the hiring manager is speaking—this is what I call“engaged behavior.” Both tactics show the hiring manager you are listening andinterested in what he or she has to say. 11
  11. 11. 5 STEPS FOR A SUCCESSFUL INTERNSHIP Originally Posted on May. 05, 2010 by Annie KohanekAs the days get longer and warmer, school is wrapping up and summer internshipsare underway. Whether this is a first internship or you are a veteran, here are sometips to make the transition to your new job go more smoothly.1. Mistakes are inevitable – what matters is your reaction. The company didn’thire you for your expertise. Say you mess up on an assignment or upset a client;instead of getting defensive, show your boss you both regret what happened andlearned from the experience. It won’t only save your job, but keep communicationbetween you and your boss open.2. Don’t be afraid to ask the seemingly simple questions. Your co-workers aregoing to throw a lot of information at you that after a few years of working thereseem basic. Don’t be afraid to ask them to slow down or repeat themselves later. Bylearning how to get tasks done during the ‘honeymoon’ part of your internship, yourjob will progress a lot more smoothly in the long run.3. Be proactive! Couldn’t stress this enough: during down time at your job, stayproactive and ask co-workers what you can do to help them. It not only keeps youbusy and learning, but you teach yourself how to be helpful around the office laterwithout asking your boss what to do. 12
  12. 12. 4. Be eager to learn. Similar to keeping proactive – if you take care to show yourcoworkers you are eager to learn, the more likely they will let you sit in and helpwith their more interesting projects.5. Take notes and sit in meetings. With the loads of information that will bedumped into your head, take notes of what’s happening to jog your memory later.Also, don’t be afraid to sit in meetings (of course ask first)! Chances are your bosswill forget to mention some things, and sitting in on meetings can help you learn theoffice dynamic and pieces of information your boss may have forgotten to share.The success of your internships is entirely up to you. By staying proactive,interested, and flexible to the difficult moments of transition, you’re experience androle in the company will quickly grow and prosper. 13
  13. 13. ARE MILLENNIALS THE ‘VERUCA SALT GENERATION’? Originally Posted on Oct. 15, 2010 by Katie FarrellEarlier this week, Paul Carr at TechCrunch wrote a piece about why he’s relieved notto be a Millennial (if you haven’t read it, check it out here). He starts the article witha quote from Veruca Salt, the spoiled little girl featured in both versions of WillyWonka/Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (in one, she wants a golden egg; the other,a squirrel). Further along in the article, he says this about Millennials: There was a time when society would react with horror at the prospect of an entire generation of such whiny, spoilt little brats. For some unfathomable reason, though, instead of condemning this army of latter-day Veruca Salts, we’ve decided to pander to them.Unfortunately, there may be a few Millennials who fall into this category. But it’sunfair to categorize an entire generation because of what a few are doing.Take our founder and president, Heather Huhman, for example (if you didn’t know,yes, she’s a Millennial!), Even while working a full-time job in public relations, shewas still dedicated to building Come Recommended and spent much of her timehelping students and recent graduates find jobs.Being a Millennial myself, I don’t feel I fall into this generalization, either. From thetime I was 16, I worked a part-time job after school — often paying for my own 14
  14. 14. clothing, entertainment, car insurance and gas. During college, I worked diligentlyduring the summer and school year in order to afford being away from home, andpaid for half of my schooling on top of that. I was part of several volunteer groups atmy university, dedicating much of my time to promoting events and participating onan executive board of my peers.I’m sure there are plenty of other examples of Millennials defying this broadgeneralization of our generation. And I wouldn’t call any of them whiny, spoiledbrats. In fact, I’d say that many of these Millennials are: High achievers Well-educated • Successful entrepreneurs • Dedicated • Innovative • Passionate • Hard workers • •In fact, Tom Miesen wrote a whole post in defense of Generation Y that definitelydeserves a read. For statistics about Generation Y in the workplace, click here todownload our infographic. 15
  15. 15. 5 TIPS TO SEARCH FOR A JOB ABROAD Originally Posted on Sep. 28, 2010 by Lisa AtufunwaOne of my goals in life is to live and work abroad in my dream country. While I amstill researching companies here in the United States, I have thought of expandingmy long-distance job hunt further — across the ocean. Here are some tips I have runacross on how to pursue a job hunt for positions outside of the U.S.Study abroadIf you are still in school and know that you would like to move abroad aftergraduation, participate in a study abroad program. Studying overseas can help youestablish connections with professors or employers that you meet throughout theduration of your program. There are also programs that are specifically forinternships. Check out your study abroad office to see if there are programs for yourmajor in your choice of country or an internship program in that country.Travel therePlan a trip to your dream country. If you have the resources to travel to your dreamcountry, plan to stay an extended time. Gain an understanding of the city, housing,language, cost of living, currency exchange and the culture. Visit companies you 16
  16. 16. have researched and find out their job application process for internationalapplicants.Build your experienceGain experience first by working a few years or interning. Like the U.S., somecompanies in foreign countries will hire those who have work experience beforethose who just graduated without experience.Relocating programWhile you may choose to stay and work for a company in the U.S., some companieshave a job exchange program for employees who have worked at the company for acertain amount of years. Also, ask about openings or advancement opportunities inan office in another country.Tailor yourself to the countrySome companies in foreign countries may have different criteria when it comes tothe job materials you submit for a position. Learn how to format your resume andcover letters to their standards. Also, learn the interviewing process. If you know thelanguage, use it in your job materials and during your interview. It will help makeyou stand out and makes an excellent impression on prospective employers. 17
  17. 17. Research all the possibilities of relocating overseas. Know if you can withstandbeing homesick and moving without having someone within distance for support.Keep in mind of programs like the Peace Corps or teaching English to students canbe your ticket to working in another country. 18
  18. 18. HOW TO TACKLE TOUGH INTERVIEW QUESTIONS Originally Posted on Oct. 05, 2010 by Lisa AtufunwaYou’re in the middle of your interview, when the interviewer throws you a curveballand asks, “Tell me about yourself.” There is a long pause, staring at the interviewerwhile you think deeply on how to tell them about yourself.For some, answering interview questions can be a difficult task. However, it ispossible to answer these difficult questions. Here are the a few of the common toughquestions that are asked during interviews (in no particular order):Tell me about yourself.Keep your answer short and focused on why you are qualified for this position. Youranswer should be one to three minutes long. Do not fall into the habit of disclosingpersonal information, like where you are from, marital status, age, etc. Answer withyour targeted job skills that meet the requirement of the job posting, yourtransferable skills that make you a great candidate, and explain why you are exactlywhat the company is looking for in an employee. 19
  19. 19. What are your strengths and weaknesses?Talking about your strengths is easier than picking out your weaknesses. Both partsof this question should relay back to the characteristics and requirements for theposition. When you are talking about your weaknesses, be honest and turn it from anegative into a positive. For example, I have trouble with time management due towanting my work to be correct and superb, but I have received advice fromprofessionals and created a time management system for myself.Why should I hire you?In order to fully answer this question, you will have to do comprehensive researchon the company. Use the information to help you put together your answer. Explainhow your skills and experience will benefit the company. Do you know a way to saveor make the company money, how to get them more clients or a new way to buildthe company’s brand? Explain it to the interviewer. Show the interviewer you arepassionate and will be a dedicated employee.What are your salary requirements?Research what the company pays current employees using websiteslike If nothing on the company is listed, check what theircompetitors may pay their employees in a similar position. This will help youdevelop a range. During your interview, never mention a salary value. Ask the 20
  20. 20. interviewer what the salary range is for someone with similar experience as you.The rule with this question is whoever answers first loses.Remember to be honest and brief with your answers. Relate them back to thecriteria for the position. If you still feel nervous answering these questions or wantto know how to answer the other tough interview questions, read WiseBread’s Howto answer 23 of the most common interview questions and george’s employmentblawg’s Job Interview Advice: How to Answer “Tell Me About Yourself” and OtherTough Job Interview Questions. 21
  21. 21. 3 WAYS TO HANDLE ILLEGAL JOB INTERVIEW QUESTIONS Originally Posted on Sep. 22, 2010 by Lisa AtufunwaLast week, I read “When Job-Interview Questions Become Too Personal“ in The WallStreet Journal. After reading the article and comments, I got to thinking about what Iwould do or say if I were in that situation. Before this article, I have never heard ofthis topic (or have heard of it once and stored it somewhere in my mental file). Likemyself, some Gen Y job seekers may not know of these illegal questions, the rightsthey have as job seekers and how to answer such questions.What makes an interview question illegal?Questions that are about your age, religion, race, nationality, sexual preference,marital and family status, health, or political affiliation are illegal for an interviewerto ask you during an interview. If you filled out a formal application form or wereoffered a job, you will have to provide information for a few of these questions.However, during an interview, questions should be about the job, company andwhat you can offer to them as a potential employee.What to do if askedFirst thing is to stay calm and professional. You can answer the question a few ways: 22
  22. 22. 1. Refuse to answer the question. Ask the interviewer how the question is about the job opening or let them know that you are uncomfortable answering the question and that it was inappropriate. However, do not use the word “illegal” in your statement. 2. Answer a question with a question. Turn the question into a way to show the interviewer that it not an appropriate question to ask and getting the company’s concerns at the same time. For example, if they ask about your family status, ask the interviewer if they are concerned you will not be able to work overtime. 3. Answer the question — in the way it should have been asked. For example, if they asked if you are a U.S. citizen, answer that you are authorized to work in the United States. It is ok to provide truthful information to these questions. However, know that your answers could either hinder or help your chances of getting the position.Remember you are interviewing the company as much as they are interviewing you.Be watchful of the professionalism displayed during your interview. Prepare for allquestions that could be asked during your next interview, including the illegalquestions. For a list of these questions, read JobWeb’s article on interviews andWiseBread’s “How to recognize and answer illegal interview questions.” 23
  23. 23. 5 WAYS TO JUMP START YOUR JOB SEARCH IN 2011 Originally Posted on Dec. 15, 2010 by Lisa AtufunwaFor many, the New Year is a sign of new beginnings. For some, it may be thebeginning to their job search; while for others, it may be another year on the jobhunt. With 2011 around the corner, it is a great time to sit down and write downyour vision of your job hunt. Here are some ways to help you establish your jobsearch vision.Be an expertShow your skills in and knowledge of the industry in which you are looking foremployment or internship. Attend local and national seminars and conferences.Take classes and work toward getting a certification. Share your insight through apersonal blog or writing articles. Comment on other influential blogs that have animpact on your industry.Stay activeBeing active will not only help you continue to build your skills and network withprofessionals, but also it will keep you from sitting at home majority of the time andkeep your mind clear. Get involved with your community, volunteer your time witha committee for a local organization, or become a mentor. That way you have plenty 24
  24. 24. to talk about when asked what you have been doing while you were searching for ajob and a way to add experience to your resume.Short-term goalsYour ultimate goal is to find a full-time job or an internship. By creating short-termgoals, whether they are monthly or weekly, will help you stay on track of yoursearch and help you evaluate your progress. Accomplishing these goals willmotivate you to continue to reach higher milestones and learning new tips.Stay one step aheadYou want to find a way to stand out among other applicants. Create a websiteshowcasing your work and market yourself as a great candidate, similar to how thiscandidate markets themselves. Follow companies’ social media accounts to get up-to-date information, giving you something to talk about in your cover letter orinterview.Change things aroundEvaluate what may or may not be working for your job search. Try working with arecruiter to help you evaluate and pinpoint aspect of your job search that needsimprovement. Work on building your online brand if you have not done someduring this year. 25
  25. 25. 2011 is a whole new slate to work on moving your job search to a new level andeventually getting your dream job. 26
  26. 26. 4 THINGS TO CHECK ON YOUR RESUME Originally Posted on Dec. 08, 2010 by Lisa AtufunwaAs we approach the holidays, one of the things to do during the break is work onyour resume. While you do so, remember some key tips that will help make yourresume stronger and stand out amongst the other applicants.Me, myself & IIt is already implied that the resume is about you, your experience andaccomplishments. Remove personal pronouns from your resume. Re-work yourbulleted points to show what you did, without saying the word “I.”Challenges, actions & resultsEmployers want to see a beginning, middle and end to the tasks that you list on yourresume. Use CAR to show employers how your accomplishments can benefit thecompany. What challenges did you have to face? What actions did you take? Whatwas the result of the challenge? 27
  27. 27. Quantify your accomplishmentsWhenever it is possible, quantify your accomplishments. It shows employers yourresults with facts and figures. Here are examples of how to quantify youraccomplishments from Miriam Salpeter’s article, “Quantify Accomplishments onYour Resume to Stand Out in a Crowd.”Up-to-date & relevantIs your resume current? If you finished an internship or job, double-check to makesure the dates are correct and your resume does not still indicate you are currentlyat the position. Include any other tasks you have completed at each position. Makesure that the information listed on your resume is relevant to the job descriptionand company. 28
  28. 28. 3 EASY WAYS TO HANDLE JOB REJECTION Originally Posted on Sep. 21, 2010 by Martha G. ChavezRejection never feels good. We’ve all had those moments when we go to aninterview, feel we did a great job, and come to find out later, we didn’t get the job. Iknow this feeling all too well. It’s depressing.Job searching is probably one of the hardest and most frustrating experiences you’llever go through. Being rejected does a number on one’s self-confidence andmotivation, but I’m slowly realizing that how you deal with rejection can make youcome out on the other side stronger and more prepared.Don’t take it personallyEveryone wants to be liked; it’s human nature. When you’re going on interviews youobviously want to be liked and nab the job. When I didn’t get the job, the first thing Ithought was, “They didn’t like me. Why? What did I do? Did I say something wrong?”I took it really personally. You shouldn’t. You shouldn’t place your worth on the factthat you didn’t get the job. There are so many people looking for a job right now.Some are looking for the very same one you are. Unfortunately, only one person canget it. This doesn’t mean you’re not a good professional, it just means you may nothave been the right fit for that particular job. 29
  29. 29. Knowing is learningIf you didn’t get the job, ask why. Send the person who interviewed you a thank youand ask for some feedback. Most employers are very willing to get back to you. Askhow you could’ve been a better candidate. Maybe there are small things you’redoing that you’re not noticing or meaning to do.This should all being taken as a means to make you more aware of things whenyou’re interviewing. It’s a learning experience that will only make you better.Don’t give upAfter several rejections you may feel like just throwing your hands in the air, givingup, and just having a pity party for yourself. Trust me, I’ve felt that way many times.There are so many of us in the same position.I know it’s rough, and it’s easy to get discouraged, but there is a job out there foreveryone. You may just have to go through several trials before you get to it. Workon the areas you may need some improvement on and be ready for next time. Keepyour chin up and keep searching. Soon enough, the right job will come. 30
  30. 30. 3 SIMPLE WAYS TO BUILD YOUR LEADERSHIP SKILLS Originally Posted on Dec. 08, 2010 by Claudia HualdeEmployers are not only looking for a candidate with experience and good grades. Ina competitive market, you must also have activities on your resume that showcaseyour leadership skills. In today’s workforce, you have to be able to lead and takecharge. With busy lives and schedules, this may be hard to do. But it may also be thefactor that will give you a competitive advantage. Take a look at these three simpleways to build your leadership skills:Take leadership in the classroomA good place where you’ll find ways to start building your qualities as a leader is inthe classroom. Throughout college, we are given group projects in which there was adesignated group leader. From now on, that’s going to be you. With these projects,you can start practicing your time management skills, relationship building skills,and delegating practices. I have learned to work with many different personalities,schedules and the art of prioritizing through group projects. Being responsible for ateam says a lot about your determination and ability to lead a project to success.This looks great on your resume and it will give you something to talk about in yournext interview. 31
  31. 31. Join on-campus organizationsFind an organization that shares the same values and goals as you. You need anorganization that will help you gain the tools you need to be successful. Once youfind it, seek ways to become a leader. Look for opportunities with the professionalchapters where you can showcase your initiative and determination to be a betterleader. These organizations, depending on which one you join, will host luncheons,workshops and other activities where professionals may be invited. Theseprofessionals are potentially your future boss. You want them to know you areinvolved, and you want them to remember that you are taking initiative to furtheryourself. These are all steps that will help you be a better leader.Participate in local & national competitionsIf you have some extra time and imagination, this is a great opportunity to buildupon your leadership skills and work with people from different places. Variousorganizations are often times affiliated with corporations that are willing to givestudents a shot at working with their projects. Now nobody likes to lose, but thisisn’t just about winning, this is about you taking an opportunity to lead a groupthrough a competition. Leaders must be relatable, have good decision makingabilities and good time management skills. This is what employers are looking for.Those qualities translate from the resume into the workplace. 32
  32. 32. Not only should you be a leader, but also you have to strive to a be a good leader.Not everyone can lead a country to independence or take sales to an all-time high.But leaders never give up. And by taking into consideration these three tips, you aretaking the opportunity to be a good leader and learn from some mistakes. Let’s faceit, nobody wants to make mistakes in their first real life job right after college. Takethe time you have now to make mistakes and learn from them so, for the rest of yourcareer, you’ll only become that much better. 33
  33. 33. HOW TO CLOSE A JOB INTERVIEW SUCCESSFULLY Originally Posted on Oct. 21, 2010 by Lisa AtufunwaYour interview is drawing to a close. You feel you did a wonderful job answering theinterviewer’s questions and portraying yourself as a great candidate. While how youbegin your interview is the first impression interviewers make outside of yourresume, how you end your interview leaves a permanent impact and could be thelast memory an interviewer has of you as a potential employee. How you end yourinterview can allow you to figure out if you are interested in working at thecompany and make final statements of why you should be hired.Do you have any questions?At the end of an interview, most employers will give you the opportunity to askquestions. Not having any questions prepared to ask for your interview comesacross that you were not prepared or not an independent thinker. There isn’t amaximum number of questions to an employer, however a good range of questionsto prepare is 5-8 questions.Final statementExpress your enthusiasm about the company and the position. Make a finalstatement of your strengths and what value you can bring to the company. Your 34
  34. 34. closing statement should be 2-4 sentences long. Restate some of the strong pointsexpressed during the interview and patch up any concerns the interviewer mayhave about you.What’s next?Find out what’s the next step in the application process. Ask if there is any finalinformation that you need to provide to the interviewer (i.e. writing samples,references or transcripts). If you are asked to provide additional information,follow-up with the interviewer within 24 hours of the interview. Establish atimeframe for the hiring process, if possible.A gracious candidate is a good candidateThank the interviewer for their time at the end of the interview with a firmhandshake. Ask them for their business card to follow-up with them. Write a thankyou note, express your interest in the company again, and one thing you and theinterviewer talked about during the interview.Remember to be confident and enthusiastic. End your interview on a positive lastingimpression. How do you want the interviewer to remember you once you leave theiroffice? 35
  35. 35. 3 WAYS TO DITCH THE ANXIETY & ACE YOUR INTERVIEW Originally Posted on Sep. 02, 2010 by Martha G. ChavezCongratulations! Your resume impressed, and now you scored an interview. Youhave only one chance to impress prospective employers.Successful interviewing is essential in grabbing that dream job you’ve alwayswanted. People freeze up and tense with the mention of the impending “I” word, butwith preparation and research you can have the confidence and handle to go inthere and impress your future employer. Here are just a few tips to help you have aseamlessly smooth interview.ResearchThe first thing you need to do is research the company you’re interviewing with.Find out as much as you can about the company and the person interviewing you.Researching keeps you up to speed about the company and their history. A lot ofquestions during the interview deal with your knowledge of the company.Employers expect you to know about them and why you want to work there. If youdon’t know what you’re talking about it will show. 36
  36. 36. Practice makes perfectGo over the typical questions asked during an interview. Most interviewers ask thesame set of “getting to know you” questions. Two common questions are, “What’syour biggest strength?” and “What’s your biggest weakness?” Pick something youreally do well and state it simply. You don’t want to seem cocky or overconfident bylisting out how perfect you are. Some career books tell you to pick another strengthand present it as a weakness. Please don’t do this. Using a strength and presenting itas a weakness is deceiving, and just makes it seem like you’re dodging the question.Talk about a real weakness and show what you are doing to overcome it.Put them in the hot seatRemember, they need you just about as much as you need them. Don’t be afraid toask why this position is open. Toward the end of the interview, when they ask if youhave any questions, take the opportunity to find out what the future of the positionis, if there is room to grow with the company, how the person interviewing you gotwhere they are. Being vocal shows interest and ambition. Employers are not onlylooking for someone who can do the job, but also someone who’s genuinely excitedand interested in the job.There are no repeats or second chances when you interview. Being prepared willhelp you feel calm and give you the confidence to win over any employer. 37
  37. 37. HOW TO CREATE A PERSONAL BRAND WITHOUT BEING A JERK Originally Posted on Aug. 10, 2010 by Joshua WaldmanThere are those talking about personal branding who are nothing more than ego-maniacs used to leading their high-school click. Personal branding is NOT the sameas being the center of attention or creating a cult of your own personality.In fact, a good brand is quite the opposite. Let me explain what I mean.Your personal brand, their emotionsThink about Steve Jobs. What emotions come to your head….I think: “innovative,”“polished” and “underdog power.”On the other hand, think about Paris Hilton. What emotions come to your head…Ithink: “conceited,” “spoiled” and “lost at sea.”Now, think about yourself and how you want others to remember you. What threeemotions come to your head?Demanding popularity will typically get you enemies. However, being authentic,honest and real gets you respect. 38
  38. 38. But I don’t want to put myself out thereThere isn’t much of a choice. People who deny they have a personal brand simplyend up with a very bad one. But people who proactively manage it are ahead of thegame.I was at a project managers networking event the other night. Project managersremind me of engineers…technical, to-the-point and not necessarily comfortablenetworking. And that’s exactly why they are so good. They get their jobs done, don’tlet emotions get in the way of delivery and don’t waste time.During one conversation, a man told me that even just coming to this event was ahuge challenge for him. And that running his job search around building a personalbrand was WAY outside his comfort zone.So I explained that a personal brand doesn’t mean you have to jump around theroom pretending to be something you are not. Think about Spock from Star Trek. Hecertainly has a brand: “meticulous,” “professional” and “straight to the point.”What qualities do you have that can help you do your job well? How do you want tobe remembered by potential employers? 39
  39. 39. How to start creating a personal brandBy reading and following the suggestions in Personal Branding for Job SearchSuccess: How to Uncover, Align & Pitch Your Brand So You End Up in the ‘Yes’ Box, youhave already differentiated yourself from the other 299 people applying to yourdream job. Click here for a preview. 40
  40. 40. WHY WEAK TIES ARE ACTUALLY BETTER THAN STRONG ONES Originally Posted on Jun. 16, 2010 by Annie KohanekWho have you turned to during your job search? Your family? Your best friend’sparents? Your teachers? That’s all well and good – all these people are strongresources when looking for a job, but you may be missing out on a lot moreopportunities than you realized.Consider the power of your weak social ties (i.e., those who you aren’t related to orvery close with). Old high school classmates, friends of your previous employer,even old volunteer colleagues. All of those who fall under the category of distantacquaintances – these people are the ones who may very well be offering you yournext job.Family members and friends are great support, but not necessarily great jobsources. Sure they are easy to approach for help, but the numbers are small andyour opportunities are limited to their immediate resources. Especially if you’reinterested in a different career, these strong social ties are pretty limited.Searching for jobs without any networking is plausible, but daunting. Thanks to theInternet, it’s possible for job seekers to hit the Google button and search for postedjobs without any network ties. However, with hundreds of other people doing the 41
  41. 41. exact same thing, the likelihood of actually landing the job borders on near-mythicalstandards.What’s so special about weak social ties? While initially more difficult to maneuver,your weak social connections provide both a real person to contact about jobs,while at the same time, allows you to branch out of your immediate social circle tofind greater employment opportunities.Thanks to social networking groups like Come Recommended, linking up with theseweak social ties has never been easier. Keep in touch with infrequent, brief, e-mails.There are so many different jobs out that that you may not have even heard of, andsending out brief letters with your qualifications and job goals is a way to send a lineout there to check if anything bites. Networking doesn’t end when your friends orfamily don’t produce job leads, get out and create a greater job search network withany and everyone you can. 42
  42. 42. 3 LITTLE THINGS YOU MAY NOT KNOW EMPLOYERS ARE LOOKING FOR Originally Posted on Nov. 16, 2010 by Martha G. ChavezWe’ve been through this before. We know how important it is to be prepared forinterviews. When you go into an interview, you want to not only be prepared for thequestions they throw at you, but also you should stop for a second and think aboutthe bigger picture.Yes, you obviously want to stand out from the sea of other candidates and sellyourself with the oodles of experience you have, but don’t forget that employers alsowant to make sure you’re someone who will fit in their work environment. Are youfriendly? How well do you work with others? How do you handle office situations?These are all vital questions. Here are a few more things employers are looking for.Communicate effectivelyMake sure you have a clear tone and be loud (not too loud). I know you’re going tobe nervous, but it’s not very appropriate to crack jokes or be a chatty Cathy. Youdon’t want to carry on and on. Just keep it simple. This shows how well you’ll beable to communicate, which you more than likely will in some sort of manner, withothers. 43
  43. 43. Show some interestYou applied for the position because you want to work there, right? I hope so.Employers are looking for someone who knows their company, so make sure youknow who they are, some important or relevant facts about the company, even anybig names. You want to let them know you’re genuinely excited about being thereand a part of their team.Confidence, confidence, and more confidenceThe more confidence you show, the better for you. Now, this doesn’t mean you needto be arrogant and cocky, but you should let whoever is interviewing you know youare confident in yourself and your abilities. This doesn’t have to be all verbal, either.Eye-contact, a good, firm handshake and bright smile go very far in the confidencedepartment. 44
  44. 44. 3 LITTLE THINGS TO REMEMBER POST-INTERVIEW Originally Posted on Dec. 14, 2010 by Martha G. ChavezYou’ve done your research, gussied yourself up, aced those tough questions, and arenow exhaling a huge sigh of relief. You made it through the interview. Yay!But wait, you’re not done, my friend.The interview process is not completely over once you leave. There are still things tobe done. Remember, nothing is set in stone until you get the official offer. Until then,here are some things to do after your interview.Say thank youThis is the most important thing you need to do after your interview. A simple thankyou for your time goes very far. Make sure to send it that evening after youinterview or the next day at the latest. A thank you projects an image of a grateful,well-mannered applicant who is serious about getting the job. Mention that youenjoyed learning more about the position and why you’re the right candidate for thejob. 45
  45. 45. Follow-upThere is nothing wrong with wanting to know your status after your interview, justbe tactful about it. If your interviewer does not tell you what the turnaround time isfor the decision to be made, ask. Wait until then to call. Some employers like thesefollow-up calls as you are showing your determination. But don’t turndetermination to annoyance. One call, or even e-mail, is good.Keep the search rollingIt’s not over till it’s over. An interview does not guarantee you the job. When I firststarted interviewing, I thought I would automatically get the job. Well, severalinterviews later, here I am still without a job. How silly of me! You weren’t the onlyone interviewing for the position and there may be other equally qualifiedcandidates. So until you receive that phone call congratulating you for being chosento work for the company, continue sending those resumes. Keep looking out for jobvacancies and submit applications ASAP. It’s always better to have multiple offersthan to wait to see if you just get that one. 46
  46. 46. 3 LITTLE TIPS TO HELP GET YOUR RESUME NOTICED Originally Posted on Nov. 23, 2010 by Martha G. ChavezWhen it comes to finding a job, everything starts with your resume. You have onechance to sell yourself on one page.Now, your resume is always going to change, as it should, as you gain moreexperience, but don’t forget to change it as your career search marches on. We’re allnot finding jobs super fast these days. It’s essential that as you volunteer, intern,blog, etc., you keep your resume updated.Making an impact with a single sheet of paper may sound terrifying, but it doesn’thave to be. I remember when I graduated from college and started to re-vamp myresume. I just stared at it for minutes (felt like hours) not knowing what to do. Hereare a few little tips that’ll help your resume get you noticed.It’s about results, not tasksThis was a major opportunity on my resume. When employers look at your resume,they don’t really want to know what you did at your previous job or internship. Theywant to know what you achieved there. Make sure to use quantities and statistics ifavailable. 47
  47. 47. To objective or not to objective?Putting an objective has always been a touchy subject in resume writing. I don’t findit necessary. If you’re applying for a position, then that is your objective. You want toget the job. Instead, write a list short summary of your qualifications. Again,employers want to know what you can do for them.Visual appealBe aware of what your resume looks like at first glance. Is it neat and streamlined?Is it cluttered? If there is too much on there, chances are it’s going to be tossed rightout. Clean up the design and be sure to use relevant information. Essentially, youwant to keep your resume one page. You don’t want to overwhelm whoever reads it.Keep it to the point, and you’ll see it’ll make a difference. 48
  48. 48. Have you applied for countless entry-level jobs and received no responses? Or perhaps you are getting interviews but no job offers? We understand how frustrated you are. What if you could give your job search a complete overhaul for a little as $2?How iMarketYourCareer works:Days are sold at +$2 per day. November 1, 2010, starts at $2, and the price increases$2 each day after. November 2 is $4, November 3 is $6, November 4 is $8, and theprice continues to increase by $2 each day until December 31, 2010. The pricingresets to $2 on January 1, 2011, and again on July 1, 2011.What you will get: 1. A job search plan 2. Specific direction for improving your cover letter and résumé 3. Tips and techniques for networking online and offline — and contact information for people with whom you should start connecting 4. Recognition on our social networking sites, and a blog post promoting you BOOK YOUR DAY NOW 49