Monthly Archives: March 2017

Job Search Tips For the Newly Laid Off

In the current economy, a lot of people are doing a job search who haven’t done so in decades. If you thought you were going to be with your former company until you retired and are now facing the pounding of the pavement, it can be really rough. Here are some helpful tips for you:

Take advantage of career counselling

Many companies who lay off employees will offer career counselling as part of your severance package. You might think it’s unnecessary but with the reality of some job postings receiving hundreds of applicants, you need every opportunity possible to stand apart in a crowd. Career counselling can help you get from the tall pile to the short list of resumes when the perfect job presents itself. They’ll help you with resume preparation, interviewing tips, job search, etc.

Interviews are Good Practice

Some people are so panicked about getting a job in their job search that they send out so many resumes in the hopes for an offer that they suddenly find themselves getting calls for jobs they’re really not all that interested in. If you get called for an interview for a job you’re not all that gung-ho about and it’s early days of job searching, consider going on the interview anyway. Every interview you do will help prepare and fine-tune your interviewing skills and your resume.

If it has been many years since you had an interview, it’ll do good to answer questions, especially if you’re not all that interested in the job. The good thing about going on a job interview you don’t think you really want the job for is that you won’t be overly nervous.

Open-mindedness

Of course you don’t want to be unfair and waste anyone’s time but you never know — once you get in the room with the human resources specialist, you might find that you actually are interested in that job after all. Open-mindedness can be essential in reinventing yourself after losing a job. Fear and trepidation about being the new guy or gal can be overwhelming but with each interview, you’ll get a better sense of how to position yourself so that you do get a second interview or an offer letter.

Read resumes / CV’s

Reading through other peoples’ resumes (many job search sites list resumes as well as job postings) can help you fine tune your own. Today, most resumes are only a page or two with a short cover letter. Even if you’ve got thirty years of experience in your trade, you’ll need to condense that so that you can grab the attention of the person scanning dozens of resumes for things that stand out as extraordinary. There are websites and books dedicated to helping you put together a winning resume that’s not too boastful and not too inflated while also being attention-grabbing.

Being laid off is a difficult life-event that more people than ever are having to face. Your job search efforts may be difficult for you but there are many tools and resources that are designed to help you through the process.a

Job Interview Preparation Tips From an Experienced Manager of Sales Job Interviews

Job interview preparation can be the difference between success and failure at sales job interviews. These job interview tips come to you from an experienced manager of interviews and assessment days. They will help you to prepare the evidence of your experience and skills to match the job you are applying for. Follow these tips and you will match your answers to predicted interview questions and avoid common mistakes that many job candidates make.

Candidates are going to a meeting that may dramatically increase their income and give them a greater lifestyle. They could gain the benefits of job satisfaction, and actually be happy at work. And yet I see so many candidates that obviously haven’t prepared. It starts to impact on their chances of success in the first few minutes and shows that they haven’t invested in effective job interview preparation.

What I don’t want to see in an interview is a candidate struggling to answer basic questions that they should have expected and prepared for. They will not know the exact wording of every interview questions they will be asked. But they can predict 90% of the topics of the interview questions. They can also prepare how they will present their interview answers and their evidence that they match the role on offer. A basic job interview tip that every applicant should use is to gather all the information they can about the job, the company, and the industry and market place. This information can come from the job description, the vacancy advert, the Internet, people that already work there, and don’t be afraid of contacting their publicity department.

Once you have all the information you can write a list of all the question topics that may be asked in the job interviews. Pay special attention to all the information you have about the job role. They are looking for someone that can present evidence of their skills and experience to fill this role. So write your list of interview questions that could be asked to discover if candidates have what the role requires. Once you have your list you can match your skills and experience to the predicted questions. Start with the areas of the role that you are strongest in. These will be the easiest to answer. Then work through to the weakest areas. Remember you will still have to answer questions on areas where you have no, or little, evidence to offer. You still need to present your answers confidently and communicate well. Don’t just say you haven’t done that, or you have no experience in this area. Put a positive spin on your answer and tell them how you could quickly pick up any training you are given, and then use a similar experience of learning as an example of your capability to learn new skills.

When you have covered all the job skills and experience requirements start looking at the attitudes and personality traits the interviewer could be looking for. For example: A sales job interview with a company that build its business on customer service will be looking for a different type of person than a business that makes one off sales and is sales target driven. Look for the indicators in the job description of where the company sits on the scale between customer service and sales is all that matters. You can get an idea of the company focus from their adverts. Are they price driven with continuous sales and reductions, or do they focus on quality and service.

Now picture what type of person an employer with a high focus on sales will be looking for compared to a company that advertises quality and service. With a clear picture of these differences in your mind, assess the company you are going for an interview with and what they will be looking for in you. Then look at your experiences, both personal and work related, and choose the ones that you want to present that will match the image you have of the ideal candidate. These should be experiences and examples of how you meet the personality type, and have the attitudes the employer is looking for.

Remember this important job interview tip: You cannot be all things to an employer. You cannot use a shotgun approach and project an image that portrays you as both a caring, customer service focused account manager, and a hard-nosed, sales means everything, high achiever, all at the same time. Only by investing in the right job interview preparation and giving yourself the information to be successful can you score highly in a sales job interview.

Tips For Getting and Keeping Up With A Second Job

I’m going to start this post by providing a real life case scenario of a friend of mine who has been working two jobs for the past four years. The tips for getting and keeping up with a second job will actually be conclusions withdrawn from this example. Let’s call this friend of mine James.

The Example

James’ first job was in real estate, to be more specific, he was (and still is) a field agent for a real estate company in a big city. Evidently, this job requires him to drive around the town and show his clients various properties, negotiating prices, persuading them to purchase, closing deals and taking care of specific paperwork. Now, since he has always been gifted with the pencil and also has a degree in graphic design, he took his second job at a Manga magazine, as a character graphic designer.

His first job, as a real estate agent, is a full-time job, 5 days a week, 9 hours a day, with a one hour lunch time break. For his second job, as a graphic designer, he works 6 hours per working day, and 8 hours on each Saturday. Therefore, he is still free on Sundays, to spend quality time with his family.

When I asked him how can he keep up with both two jobs, he replied that he considers his second job as a break from the first job. That the work as a designer relaxes him by a lot and he couldn’t be happier with another job than that.

Obviously, he made a wise decision when he took the second job.

Now, based on this example, here are a few tips regarding the choosing and keeping up with a second job.

The Tips

1. Consider the risks, downsides and benefits of a second job. Obviously the main risk regarding this matter are extreme fatigue, and the primary downside is the lack of time for other activities. The main benefit is the extra cash. So, before even selecting a second job, you should ask yourself a couple of questions. For example:

– Will I have enough time to spend with my family?
– Will I have enough time to sleep?
– What level of stress will I be exposed to?
– How will this affect my health?
– Is the extra money worth the effort and the risk?

2. Consider a second job that is opposite from your main job. To put it differently, if your first job requires you to do office or sedentary work, your second job should require physical work, or activities where you can at least benefit from some fresh air. It’s a good idea to search for a job with flexible hours, a job that’s less psychically stressing. Jobs that usually fit to this profile can be found in food and hospitality industries.

3. Calculate the extra amount of money that you would need and figure out how many extra working hours will be necessary. You may not even need to work full-time for your second job, to gain the extra money that you need.

4. During the interview for your second job, avoid mentioning that you already have a job, unless the interviewer specifically asks you this. Not many would want to hire someone who has all the chances to work only at half capacity. And if you do mention that you already have a job, your skills and experience for the second job would better be outstanding.

5. Plan everything, especially your sleeping hours. Since free time or sleeping time is going to become very precious, planning each and every mundane activity, even meals, is of the essence. Having a full schedule for every week is a good idea. And whatever you do, make sure you sleep at least 5 hours a night.

5 Simple Yet Effective Job Interview Tips

Are you ready to find a new job? If so, now is the best time to get your job search started. Even though you are just getting started, you should focus on the interview. This interview is your big chance to land a well-paying position. For the best luck, please keep these five job interview tips in mind.

1 – Be Prepared

One of the best job interview tips you’ll ever hear is to be prepared for the interview. What should this preparation entail? For starters, it is important to be dressed nice and professionally for your big day. Then, it is vital that you arrive on time. Another good method of preparation is to do a few practice interviews at home. Whether it be in front of a mirror or with someone who can provide honest feedback, run through a few common job interview questions so that you can work on formulating your answers ahead of time.

2 – Don’t Worry

It is hard not to worry about a job interview. It is okay to be nervous, but don’t let that nervousness overwhelm you. Otherwise, your nervousness is likely to shine through and result in some mistakes. Speaking of which, what if you do make a mistake? What if you slip up or describe a job duty wrong? No big deal! Brush yourself off and move on; get through the rest of the job interview.

3 – Be Honest

Some individuals make the mistake of thinking it is okay to stretch the truth or outright lie during a job interview. Why is this done? Well, they think it will improve their job search success. Will it? Likely not. Always remember that it is usually as easy as one phone call to your old employer to verify all the information you said. If you are truly qualified for the job, just be honest.

4 – Don’t Vent or Rant

Since you are looking for a new job, something might have gone wrong at your old job. Maybe you got fired? Maybe you quit because you didn’t like your boss? Regardless, be sure to tread carefully. Employers want an employee who is not only a team player, but a strong and professional worker. Ranting or venting about your job, your boss, or your coworkers is likely to create some awkward moments that can hurt your chances of landing a job.

5 – End on a Thank You

Ending a job interview with a “thank you,” seems like common sense. However, remember the nervousness? It is easy to forget something as simple as a “thank you” since you want to leave as soon as possible and take one big huge breath. Still, utter that all important phrase and end the job interview with a firm handshake.

Resume Writing Tips For Frequent Job Changers

Switching jobs is much more common these days than in decades past. The days of a person getting a job and staying there until retirement are basically over. Job seekers change jobs for a number of reasons- they want a shorter commute, they want a higher salary, or they hate their supervisor. The reasons for people changing jobs vary, but it is very common to see multiple companies in an individual’s job history.

A recruiter is obviously looking to hire an excellent employee who will be devoted to the company. The process of hiring, training, and acclimating a new employee is a costly undertaking, so the recruiter is looking to hire a person who will be loyal to the company. There is nothing worse for a company than to spend the time and resources training a new employee just to have them leave after a few short months.

Having this viewpoint in mind, it becomes clear why a “job hopper” might cause a bit of concern with recruiters. Recruiters will probably not throw your resume out immediately, but they will be a little worried about why you have changed jobs so frequently. They may worry that you will leave their company within six months of hiring you.

The following are some tools and tips that you can utilize on your resume to aid with the situation:

1. Make reference to the job changes in your cover letter

If you have held multiple jobs in the last couple of years, use the chance to explain your story in your cover letter. If you explain your circumstances, it may keep recruiters from thinking “no way, this person can’t commit to a job” when they look at your resume.

You need to be cautious when using this method. You want to mention your reasons very briefly, in only one or two sentences, then move forward. You don’t want to to dwell on the topic and draw more attention to your job hopping, and you also don’t want to bring up any old baggage or dirt. Recruiters don’t want to hear your sob stories about mean bosses, nightmare positions, etc. The following are a few sample first sentences for your cover letter:

Jobs have taken me across the U.S. from Washington to Pennsylvania, but now I am prepared to settle down here, in Denver, Colorado.

I had to try on a number of hats in order to find the perfect fit.

My career path has been a long winding road, and I never realized the number of skills I could gain by taking the scenic route.

2. Throw out any jobs that are not applicable to the job you are seeking

For instance, if you had four jobs in 2008, it is not necessary to mention the temporary job you took waiting tables for three months.

3. Concentrate on the positive

Changing environments and jobs often equips you with many abilities that employers are looking for: resourcefulness, versatility, experience, and flexibility. Highlight the wide array of experiences and skills that you have gained by working for a number of different companies.

If you are not happy in your current job, you don’t need to remain miserable for two or three years just because you don’t want to be viewed as a job hopper. Just use some of the tips listed above on your resume to make the best of your situation.

Job Interview Tips For You

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Being asked to a job interview is always good news, but it often brings with it the dreaded nerves! I’ve compiled some simple job interview tips that will hopefully help you beat the nerves and land the job!

Research research research!

Even before you fill out an application or hand in your resume, hit the books and find out what you can about your new potential employer. Find out a few facts, and always try to go the extra yard. The candidate that can prove they have done the most research will often get offered the job. Once you have your researched info about the company, you can use it to write a tailor made resume or application for them. This is an essential job interview tip. Nothing impresses more than a resume that’s a perfect fit.

Sell yourself in your cover letter-

In 99.9% of cases, the cover letter is the first thing that gets read, so it’s where you make your first impression. A lot of people think they don’t even get read, but why would they ask for one if they weren’t going to read it? The cover letter is the perfect place to get your hooks into the recruiting department. Always remember to try and make yours individual, and have as strong an opening as possible. Most cover letters begin: “Dear Sir, I have seen your vacancy for xxx advertised and would like to apply.” With most people being uncreative like this it’s easy for us to stand out, eg-“Your company has advertised for a top performing sales person, and I am applying because I have been salesman of the year for my current employer for the last five years.” See how that would get their attention? As well as paying attention to the content of the letter, don’t forget the housekeeping-spellcheck spellcheck spellcheck. Would you employ someone who sent an application with errors? Me either.

Prepare for the questions-

One of the most important job interview tips is to prepare for the questions. Fortunately, many job interviews use the same or similar questions, so preparing for this part of it is pretty simple. Use your own past interview experience to visualize questions you will be asked, and also their answers, and there is also a wealth of info on this on the internet. Just remember to tailor your answers specifically to the role you are interviewing for. This is why we did so much research at the start!

Prepare some questions of your own-

You need to know about them as much as they need to know about you, so take some time beforehand to think up some of your own questions. A great job interview tip is to try to think outside the box a little here. Most interviewees will ask the same questions, so making yours different can really help you stand out. It’s also a good idea to make a note of your questions beforehand, and when the questions stage comes around, pull your pad from your inside pocket and read the questions from there, making notes as they answer. This little piece of social engineering will make them feel like you have made a lot of effort with your preparation.

Give them proof-

One of the most fundamentally overlooked job interview tips is that of giving them proof. Anyone who interviews for a job will make claims of being a highly efficient worker, super motivated, high achieving employee etc, but you can really set yourself apart if you can prove these things. Before the interview take some time to visualize your past working achievements, and how you can prove them. Once you have done this, you just need to work raising these points in the interview itself.

Job interviews really don’t need to be a big scary problem for people-if you can learn to follow and apply simple job interview tips like these, you can banish your interview fears for good.