job interviews http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/12866/all en-US 6 Things Moms Should Do Before Returning to Work http://www.wisebread.com/6-things-moms-should-do-before-returning-to-work <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-things-moms-should-do-before-returning-to-work" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/working_mother_baby_000027889626.jpg" alt="Mom learning things she needs to do before returning to work" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Having a baby changes your life forever. It may sound banal, but it is also true. Many women realize this and choose to opt-out of their career for a while, in order to stay home while their children are young.</p> <p>Later &mdash; sometimes as soon as a few months and sometimes after all the children have left for college &mdash; some moms choose to return to work. A good number of them find that getting back into the workforce is hard. Even women who had a spectacular professional reputation before they took time off aren't always being greeted with open arms.</p> <p>If this is you &mdash; if you are staying at home with children now but want to go back to work, or are actively looking for a job this very minute &mdash; there are a few things you can do that will give you a better chance of getting hired.</p> <h2>1. Evaluate Where You Are Now</h2> <p>Some women know for sure that they want to go back to what they were doing before. Others, though, find that they would prefer a change. Consider where you and your family find yourselves. How much money do you need to make? Would you like to work full-time? Have you developed any new passions that you'd like to pursue?</p> <p>Answering these questions will help you figure out where you are and what jobs might be a good fit for you and your family. They will also help you get in touch with how you feel about going back to work, why you want to work, and what you really care about.</p> <h2>2. Look for a Job That Fits You</h2> <p>Once you've answered the questions above, decide what you want to pursue. If you need to, do some research to discover what's out there that might suit you well. See this as an opportunity to find a career that's right for you, rather than just going back to what you did before because it is what you know.</p> <p>If you aren't sure what you want to do, try finding a temporary job or, better yet, a temporary-to-permanent position. That way, you can &quot;try on&quot; a new career like you might try on some clothes, making sure that it fits before you're fully invested.</p> <h2>3. Make Sure Your Skills Are Relevant</h2> <p>Whether you decide to go back to work in the same field or find a new one, you will want to evaluate your skills based on expectations for the jobs you'd like to have. This can be as simple as making sure you know how to use the latest versions of Word and Excel, or as complicated as getting certified in new technology.</p> <p>There are many ways to update your skills. Take classes, get a certificate, volunteer somewhere, attend an industry-wide conference, or study on your own. Once you have met the minimum requirements mentioned in most job postings, you will be ready to apply.</p> <h2>4. Brush Up on Interviewing</h2> <p>Interviewing is absolutely a skill, and it is one that may feel foreign to you if you've been out of that world for a while. Being interviewed can feel particularly intimidating when you aren't sure how potential employers will view the gap in your resume.</p> <p>Fortunately, coming across well in an interview can be as easy as applying some basic tips. Dress up. Own your story and your skills. Speak clearly. Make appropriate eye contact. All of these things will help a potential employer know that you are ready to return to the workforce. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-essential-steps-to-take-before-a-job-interview?ref=seealso">10 Essential Steps to Take Before a Job Interview</a>)</p> <h2>5. Find Child Care You Trust</h2> <p>Most women opt-out of the workforce for a while because they love their children. When they opt back in, it's not because they love their children any less &mdash; but because the kids are older, or they need the money, or they need a change of scenery and some adult interaction. Whatever the reason, the love remains, and that means that you need to feel really, really good about wherever you're leaving your child.</p> <p>Some moms wait until their kids go to school to begin working again. This is great, if you feel good about the school and the before and after-care program offered. For younger children, make sure that you feel like your child will be loved well, whether you are putting the child in daycare or having a friend or family member care for him or her. This will free you to give more of yourself to a new job, and it will help you feel good about your decision to go back to work.</p> <h2>6. Make Peace With Imperfection</h2> <p>Most moms find it hard to hold all of the demands that being mom brings. This can be an even greater struggle for working moms, simply because they often have less time with their children than their stay-at-home counterparts.</p> <p>It helps to remember that no mom mothers perfectly, and that your kids will be okay. If you are tempted to spend a lot of time worrying about how your working will harm your children, though, you may want to reconsider returning to work right now. Your other choice is to make peace with your imperfection, to focus on loving your kids well when you are with them and to remember that you are also loving them by working. Only then will you be able to work without guilt, which will help you perform better both at work and at home.</p> <p>Rejoining the workforce can be scary, especially if you have been out of it for a long time. Take a deep breath and begin doing these things. Once you're moving forward, you will likely see that it isn't so scary after all. Not nearly as scary as bringing that tiny person home from the hospital, anyway!</p> <p><em>Have you returned to the workforce after having kids, or would you like to? What made or makes you nervous?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/sarah-winfrey">Sarah Winfrey</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-things-moms-should-do-before-returning-to-work">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-life-skills-for-working-moms">10 Life Skills for Working Moms</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/my-2016-budget-challenge-am-i-ruining-my-career">My 2016 Budget Challenge: Am I Ruining My Career?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-things-never-to-bring-up-in-a-job-interview">5 Things Never to Bring Up in a Job Interview</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-tips-for-my-career-clueless-college-self">5 Tips for My Career-Clueless College Self</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-resume-rules-you-should-be-breaking">4 Resume Rules You Should Be Breaking</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career Building Family job hunting job interviews resume building returning to work stay-at-home mom working moms Tue, 22 Sep 2015 21:00:14 +0000 Sarah Winfrey 1561943 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Things Never to Bring Up in a Job Interview http://www.wisebread.com/5-things-never-to-bring-up-in-a-job-interview <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-things-never-to-bring-up-in-a-job-interview" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_job_interview_000041648702.jpg" alt="Woman learning topics to never discuss in job interview" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Congrats on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-essential-steps-to-take-before-a-job-interview">scoring that interview</a>! You clearly deserved it based on your resume and cover letter, but don't blow the opportunity by prattling on about these five topics you should never discuss <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/16-major-dos-and-donts-at-a-job-interview">during a job interview</a>.</p> <h2>1. Dirt on Your Former Employer</h2> <p>When your interviewer lists what makes their company special, it's really tempting to take that as a cue to rail against your old employer. But you should definitely avoid dishing about your former boss' failings, missteps, or the company culture. That leaves a lasting impression of a negative and petty employee. As far as they know, you will probably do the same to them in the future, and who wants that? Keep talking about your old company down to what you learned and how you honed your skill set &mdash; nothing more.</p> <h2>2. Personal or Romantic Details</h2> <p>Your <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/master-these-15-interview-questions">interviewer asks you questions</a> like, &quot;Do you have other commitments or life events that might get in the way of your job?&quot; This is not the time to start listing all of your very personal plans. Your dating status should not be vocalized. Giving too much background information on your family is also bad. Did you mother get sick last year and you had to take care of her for a while? Sorry, you can't bring that up in an interview &mdash; it may look like playing the sympathy card. Basically, personal details not only make the interviewer uncomfortable, but they take the focus off of your competence in the workplace.</p> <h2>3. Benefits and Payment</h2> <p>Don't mess with the process: Asking about the finer details of payment and benefits during the interview will not only dock you points, but you probably won't even get an answer until after you've been offered the job (which is now slightly less likely if you asked too early). Don't risk looking impatient and greedy. Your most burning question has to wait until you've floored them enough to get the offer.</p> <h2>4. Your Other Job Interviews</h2> <p>It's only Tuesday and you've got six more interviews this week, but that's not your current interviewer's business. Don't let them force your hand, but don't let them think they are just another interview, either. <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-scary-thoughts-everyone-has-during-a-job-interview">Stay confident</a>, positive, and genuinely interested in the position you're interviewing for each time. Bringing up your other prospects won't help you unless you have a solid job offer with competitive pay and benefits to use as leverage.</p> <h2>5. Religion and Politics</h2> <p>Yes, that same bit of etiquette your mother taught you is especially important in your career. Unless you're interviewing for an NGO or a political think tank, politics and religion are not safe water cooler discussion topics nor are they worth broaching in the job interview. Think what a disaster it would be if your interviewer didn't agree with your views! How you vote or pray should not determine whether or not you're a good employee, so don't give them a chance to judge your values outside of the office.</p> <p><em>What interview topics do you consider taboo? Share them in comments here, instead!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/amanda-meadows">Amanda Meadows</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-things-never-to-bring-up-in-a-job-interview">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-things-to-do-before-your-first-day-at-a-new-job">5 Things to Do Before Your First Day at a New Job</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-resume-rules-you-should-be-breaking">4 Resume Rules You Should Be Breaking</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-unexpected-costs-of-a-higher-paying-job-offer">4 Unexpected Costs of a Higher-Paying Job Offer</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-your-wardrobe-is-holding-you-back-at-work">5 Ways Your Wardrobe Is Holding You Back at Work</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/long-hours-and-other-employer-demands">Long Hours and Other Employer Demands</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career Building employment interview etiquette job interviews professional work Thu, 27 Aug 2015 17:00:14 +0000 Amanda Meadows 1533316 at http://www.wisebread.com 4 Resume Rules You Should Be Breaking http://www.wisebread.com/4-resume-rules-you-should-be-breaking <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/4-resume-rules-you-should-be-breaking" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_shaking_hands_000023014132.jpg" alt="Woman breaking common resume rules" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>America is back, baby!</p> <p>With more and more U.S. cities <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-american-cities-with-the-highest-minimum-wage">raising their minimum wages</a>, job applicants are more excited about their employment prospects. Some people are even looking at changing their careers to chase higher pay.</p> <p>But before you start working on your CV, you should freshen up your resume writing skills. With the <a href="http://www.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.nr0.htm">unemployment rate still at 5.4%</a>, you're likely to face strong competition, so you need to do everything you can to stand out from the crowd. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-resume-mistakes-that-will-hurt-your-job-search?ref=seealso">10 Resume Mistakes That Will Hurt Your Job Search</a>)</p> <p>To prevent your resume from landing in the HR black hole, here are four resume rules that you should be breaking.</p> <h2>1. One-Page Resume</h2> <p>Just like the objective statement, the one-page resume rule is a habit that you picked up way back in high school. The idea behind the one-page resume is that hiring managers have very little time to review applications so you need to be as succinct as possible.</p> <p>However, forcing your resume into a single page ignores two key facts:</p> <ul> <li>The typical U.S. worker <a href="http://www.fastcompany.com/1802731/four-year-career">changes jobs every 4.4 years</a>. Assuming you land your first job at age 21, you would have switched jobs about five times by age 40.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>90% of companies use ATS programs as resume gatekeepers.</li> </ul> <p>If you have solid and relevant work experience for the position that you're applying for, feel free to showcase it using two pages. As long as you're telling a compelling story about your employment history, the extra page will be welcomed. And it will provide extra space to include keywords directly connected the job description, effectively increasing your chances of passing the ATS test.</p> <h2>2. No Contact With Hiring Managers</h2> <p>HR professionals often feel overwhelmed. For example, Starbucks attracted 7.6 million job applicants for about 65,000 job openings and Procter &amp; Gamble received close to one million applications for 2,000 job postings.</p> <p>In hopes of keeping their sanity, hiring managers set up as many hurdles and obstacles between them and applicants. The idea is that hopefully only the &quot;truly great candidates&quot; will be left once the application-process dust settles. The reality is that's very often not the case.</p> <p>To circumvent this &quot;resume black hole,&quot; former Fortune 500 Human Resources SVP and current HR consultant, Liz Ryan recommends to craft a <a href="https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/20130725040624-52594-forget-the-cover-letter-send-a-pain-letter-instead">compelling pain letter</a> to start a conversation directly with your target hiring manager.</p> <p>Ryan breaks down the pain letter into four parts:</p> <ul> <ul> <li>One to two sentence hook congratulating the hiring manager on a personal work-related achievement. For example, &quot;I was lucky enough to catch the tail-end of your presentation last week at the Miami Retailers Association and I couldn't agree more about your observation that&hellip;&quot;<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Discussion of a pain point that hiring manager is currently facing. For example, a payroll coordinator could be frustrated with improper tax deductions and reporting mistakes now that her department went from servicing 25 to 350 employees.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Your one to two sentence &quot;dragon-slaying story&quot; showing how you can alleviate that pain point. Ryan provides a specific example, &quot;When I ran the payroll system at Angry Chocolates, I kept the payroll accurate and in compliance and answered dozens of employee questions every day while we grew from 15 to 650 staff members.&quot; No jargon, no buzz words, just plain language showcasing results.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Short closing inviting hiring manager to set up a meeting time.</li> </ul> </ul> <p>Hiring managers welcome messages, as long as they're hyper-personalized. Remember the Google Job Experiment? Alec Brownstein created Google ads for top advertising creative directors, so that when they would google their own names, they would receive a message from Alec asking for a job interview. By reaching out directly to the hiring managers in a creative way, Alec impressed the ad execs and landed a job at Young and Rubicam. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-6-craziest-things-people-have-done-to-land-a-job?ref=seealso">The 6 Craziest Things People Have Done to Land a Job</a>)</p> <h2>3. List Unemployment Gaps</h2> <p>Unemployed job applicants seem to never get a break.</p> <ul> <li>A study of 4,800 fake resumes at random for 600 job openings showed that employers would rather call back someone with no relevant experience and a few months of unemployment than someone with more relevant experience and <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2013/04/15/companies-wont-even-look-at-resumes-of-the-long-term-unemployed/">unemployment longer than six months</a>.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Anecdotal accounts from <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/18/nyregion/for-many-being-out-of-work-is-chief-obstacle-to-finding-it.html?pagewanted=all">unemployed job applicants in New York</a> support these findings.</li> </ul> <p>Whether employers do this intentionally or unintentionally, the reality is that listing yourself as unemployed may do more harm than good on you resume. However, this doesn't mean that you should lie. Misrepresenting any information on your resume may bite you back and make you subject to immediate dismissal.</p> <p>Functional resumes aren't viable solutions, either. HR veterans see them as major red flags because resumes in that format often hide lack of experience and don't provide enough information to employers.</p> <p>Instead, a resume expert at Monster recommends that applicants <a href="http://career-advice.monster.com/resumes-cover-letters/resume-writing-tips/leverage-volunteer-work-on-resume/article.aspx">leverage volunteer work</a> on a resume. While you may not having gotten paid for making traditional and online media buys for your local Red Cross, or preparing taxes at Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program, you definitely gained and demonstrated expertise in skills that employers want. Even better, you may also have professional references ready for employers.</p> <p>During unemployment periods, sign up for meaningful volunteer or internship opportunities so that you can prevent the employers' bias towards unemployment. This is a helpful technique for recent grads to avoid the challenge of having no experience.</p> <h2>4. Relying on a Traditional Resume</h2> <p>As many as 58% of employers have caught a lie on a resume. That's why more and more companies are ditching the idea of the traditional resume altogether.</p> <ul> <li>A New York venture capital firm recruits investment analysts by asking applicants to include links to their web presences, such as Twitter account or Tumblr blog.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Instead of reading resumes, a bumper and marketing stickers company uses an online survey to help screen applicants.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>By reviewing <a href="http://mashable.com/2013/11/16/hired-without-a-resume/">code posted on GitHub</a>, a web-based repository for coders, an educational technology company looks for programming candidates that have completed public projects.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Teams of recruiters for a large online lender perform &quot;road rallies&quot; in which they scout for talent at carefully selected groups of shopping malls.</li> </ul> <p>It goes to show that some resume rules are meant to be broken. If you believe that the hiring practices of your industry are outdated, there may be a company in yours or in another industry that agrees with you. That may very well be the key to landing your dream job!</p> <p>After all, nobody wants to work with a company that is completely inflexible and that prefers to stick with outdated resume rules.</p> <p><em>What are some resume rules that you broke &mdash; and still got the job? </em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/damian-davila">Damian Davila</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-resume-rules-you-should-be-breaking">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-things-never-to-bring-up-in-a-job-interview">5 Things Never to Bring Up in a Job Interview</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/crime-scene-cleaner-and-4-other-trades-that-pay-surprisingly-well">Crime Scene Cleaner and 4 Other Trades That Pay Surprisingly Well</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-10-best-high-paying-jobs-for-introverts">The 10 Best High Paying Jobs for Introverts</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-good-reasons-to-become-a-contractor">8 Good Reasons to Become a Contractor</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-write-a-resume-12-steps-to-your-next-job">How To Write A Resume: 12 Steps To Your Next Job</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career Building cover letters CVS employment job interviews resumes Tue, 02 Jun 2015 09:00:12 +0000 Damian Davila 1443454 at http://www.wisebread.com 4 Lies You Shouldn't Tell Your Interviewer http://www.wisebread.com/4-lies-you-shouldnt-tell-your-interviewer <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/4-lies-you-shouldnt-tell-your-interviewer" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/interview-96937492.jpg" alt="interview" title="interview" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>People who lie during their interview or on their r&eacute;sum&eacute; can get stressed out because it may lead to complications during the hiring process. They may also keep worrying about the interviewer finding out. It&#39;s always good to be honest, although perhaps you should wait until you&#39;re asked before volunteering certain information. Here are a couple of lies you should refrain from telling:</p> <p>RELATED: <a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/Interview-Follow-Up-Email-Template-19179139">Follow Up After a&nbsp;Job Interview With This Email</a></p> <h2>Why, yes! I do kind of live here.</h2> <p>If you&#39;ve used a different address on your r&eacute;sum&eacute; to tailor it to where the job is based, don&#39;t lie about it when it comes up in the interview. If your potential employer asks you where you live, tell them where you currently live, but let them know that you&#39;re willing to move for the job. The problem with this lie is you may have several rounds of interviews and you&#39;ll have to keep flying back and forth for them. If they think you live in the city, they&#39;ll probably give you short notice for interviews and those last-minute flights can be really expensive.</p> <h2>I make so much more than my real salary.</h2> <p>If your interviewer asks you how much you made at your last job, you may think it&#39;s a white lie to fudge the numbers a little. However, some employers ask for a copy of your W2, so you may want to be cautious about giving a fake amount because it can be construed as unethical. If you don&#39;t want to cough up your previous salary, let it be known that you don&#39;t think it has any bearing on this new job and cite the typical industry number. If you&#39;re pushed to give your previous income, tell them you won&#39;t consider an offer below $XX. This is a gray area that many have different opinions on &mdash; some like <a href="http://www.bargaineering.com/articles/lying-about-salary-during-interviews.html/" target="_blank">Bargaineering founder Jim Wang</a> don&#39;t think that there&#39;s anything wrong with a little inflation, while others vehemently disagree.</p> <h2>That&#39;s totally my GPA.</h2> <p>If you think that inflating your grade point average will get you the job, you may want to reconsider. Some companies request a copy of your transcript or verification with the school, especially those with job positions that require a minimum GPA.</p> <h2>No, I didn&#39;t get fired at my last job.</h2> <p>Given the bad economy, there are plenty of people that have been laid off so don&#39;t be afraid to let the interviewer know. Try not to go into the details, especially if you harbor resentment, and let her know what happened and what you learned from the experience.</p> <p>Remember, the general rule of thumb is to be honest during your interview. It&#39;s different for everyone, but if you get asked uncomfortable questions, there&#39;s always a polite way of refusing to answer.</p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-blog-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> You might be tempted to fudge the truth a little when you&#039;re interviewing for a job — but these little lies could get you in big trouble. </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-guestpost-blurb"> <div class="field-label">Guest Post Blurb:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com" style="border:none;"><img alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u921/POPSUGARrgb.jpg" style="height:95px; width:300px" /></a></p> <p><em>This is a guest contribution from our friends at </em><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/"><em>POPSUGAR Smart Living</em></a><em>. Check out more useful articles from this partner:</em></p> <ul> <li><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/Acceptable-Apply-Multiple-Positions-One-Company-1640702">Is It Ever OK to Apply For Multiple Positions at One Company?</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/Best-Time-Day-Send-Job-Application-3575883">What's the Best Time to Submit a Job Application?</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/How-Recover-From-Bad-Interview-32165848">How to Recover From an Interview Oops</a></li> </ul> <p>&nbsp;</p> </div> </div> </div> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/popsugar-smart-living">POPSUGAR Smart Living</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-lies-you-shouldnt-tell-your-interviewer">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-body-language-mistakes-that-sabotage-most-interviews">10 Body Language Mistakes That Sabotage Most Interviews</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/weird-job-interview-questions-and-how-to-answer-them">Weird Job Interview Questions (and How to Answer Them)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-crucial-job-searching-steps-most-people-skip">6 Crucial Job Searching Steps Most People Skip</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-questions-you-must-ask-at-your-next-job-interview">4 Questions You Must Ask at Your Next Job Interview</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-unique-ways-to-score-a-job-interview">12 Unique Ways to Score a Job Interview</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Job Hunting job interviews lying Thu, 19 Dec 2013 10:48:35 +0000 POPSUGAR Smart Living 1099034 at http://www.wisebread.com 4 Questions You Must Ask at Your Next Job Interview http://www.wisebread.com/4-questions-you-must-ask-at-your-next-job-interview <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/4-questions-you-must-ask-at-your-next-job-interview" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/interview-5307763-small.jpg" alt="job interview" title="job interview" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Job interviews can be stressful. Quite often you've focused so much of your energy on making a good impression that the last portion of the interview, when you can ask questions, can leave you with a deer-in-headlights look and make you feel like you've wasted any goodwill from the interviewer. Here are four questions to ask during an interview that will show your interest in the company and the position and demonstrate your potential as an employee. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-answer-23-of-the-most-common-interview-questions">How to Answer the Most Common Interview Questions</a>)</p> <h3>1. &quot;While Researching the Company, I Stumbled on X and Was Intrigued. Can You Expand on That?&quot;</h3> <p>This shows the interviewer that you've done your research on the company and have taken the time to learn about its history. Just make sure &quot;X&quot; is something they would want to expand on, not a scandal or embarrassing business moment. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-things-you-must-learn-about-the-company-before-your-job-interview">5 Things to Learn About the Company Before Your Interview</a>)</p> <h3>2. &quot;Do You Have Any Examples of Projects I Would Be Working On?&quot;</h3> <p>While this presents you as someone that is interested in diving head-first into the position, it also gives you a better idea if this is a role you can see yourself handling. Sometimes, the answer to this question can help you realize that this isn't the position for you.</p> <h3>3. &quot;Is This Position New to the Company?&quot;</h3> <p>While this question may not inherently seem useful, the follow-ups to it can give you some insight into the path for this position.</p> <p>If it's not a new position, ask: <em>&quot;What has the previous person gone on to do?&quot;</em></p> <p>This can help you find out if the job has been laid out and was the start of someone's ascent at the company, or if it was a dead end job where the last person decided to move on to something else. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-important-signs-that-your-job-sucks">10 Signs That Your Job Sucks</a>)</p> <p>If it's a completely new position, ask: <em>&quot;Why was the position created?&quot;</em></p> <p>Was it to help take some burden off of another employee? Is the company embracing new technology that you would be in charge of? Finding out the company's motivation for creating the position can give you some idea on how they will view you in that role.</p> <h3>4. &quot;What Does a Typical Workday or Workweek Look Like for a Person in This Position?&quot;</h3> <p>The answer to this can help you flush out what kind of work the company will expect from this position. Will you be involved in day-to-day, nitty gritty tasks, or will you spend a lot of time in meetings, getting to have your ideas heard? Also, it can help you understand if this position is very regimented or if there is room for you to have a more fluid role at the company. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/starting-a-new-job-3-rules-to-live-by">3 Rules for Starting a New Job</a>)</p> <h3>Topics to Avoid</h3> <p>In the preliminary interview, it's best to assume the company has no scandals or hidden skeletons in its history (even if you know better). Asking questions regarding proprietary information, competitive strategies, or asking about dark spots on their record may come across as inappropriate and endanger your chances of getting the job.</p> <p>Lastly, do your research on the company ahead of time. Sometimes bad questions are worse than no questions at all. Don't ask about basic information that is readily available on the company website or via Google.</p> <p>Stay positive about yourself, the interviewer, and the company. Good luck!</p> <p><em>What questions have helped you land the job?</em><em> </em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/megan-brame">Megan Brame</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-questions-you-must-ask-at-your-next-job-interview">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-answer-23-of-the-most-common-interview-questions">How to Answer 23 of the Most Common Interview Questions</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/13-ways-to-make-a-good-first-impression-at-your-next-job-interview">13 Ways to Make a Good First Impression at Your Next Job Interview</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-body-language-mistakes-that-sabotage-most-interviews">10 Body Language Mistakes That Sabotage Most Interviews</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/weird-job-interview-questions-and-how-to-answer-them">Weird Job Interview Questions (and How to Answer Them)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-depressing-jobs-that-arent-worth-the-money">10 Depressing Jobs That Aren&#039;t Worth the Money</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Job Hunting hiring job interviews jobs landing a job Thu, 19 Sep 2013 10:24:14 +0000 Megan Brame 986770 at http://www.wisebread.com What Not to Wear to a Job Interview http://www.wisebread.com/what-not-to-wear-to-a-job-interview <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/what-not-to-wear-to-a-job-interview" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/interview-5040282-small.jpg" alt="job interview" title="job interview" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>First impressions mean everything. That goes double for job interviews; many hiring managers will know who won't get the job moments after shaking hands, and may even have bumped candidates <a href="http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/9e92ae92-58e2-11e2-99e6-00144feab49a.html#axzz2WV5hqvpb" target="_blank">to the top of the line subconsciously</a>. You have to make sure that you're meeting the standards of the hiring manager that you're working with. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/five-interview-lessons-learned-from-horrible-interviews" target="_blank">Five Interview Lessons Learned From Horrible Interviews</a>)</p> <p>Of course, there's no one outfit that's guaranteed to land you a job. There are major differences in expectations across industries, not to mention that society expects men and women to wear different clothing. But there are certain things that can get you the boot immediately &mdash; things that you should avoid no matter what. Between knowing what not to wear and some intensive research into what's considered standard for the industry you're applying to and the level of the position you're shooting for, you can put together the right visual for your job interview.</p> <h2>Stained or Dirty Clothes</h2> <p>It can seem like a no-brainer that you should wear something clean, but I've seen plenty of interviewees who clearly had one outfit just for job interviews and who didn't dry clean their clothing between stressful meetings.</p> <p>Stained clothing is also out. Even in startup culture, where job applicants are expected to dress down and a suit can lead to a lost opportunity, your clothing should be neat, clean, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/16-ways-to-make-your-clothes-last-longer-without-spending-big" target="_blank">in good condition</a>, and otherwise of a decent quality.</p> <h2>Too Much Perfume, Cologne, or Lotion</h2> <p>With the number of people out there with sensitivities to strong scents, why even take the risk of wearing any? Keep any strong-smelling body products to a minimum.</p> <h2>Anything Too Revealing</h2> <p>Even if you've got the hottest body in town, it's best to keep it covered up during your job interview. There are a very few exceptions to this rule, but you're probably able to figure out what they are for yourself.</p> <p>Outfits that make it very clear what sort of underwear you've chosen should be avoided, whether we're talking about revealing holes or clothing that's just cut that way originally. I wouldn't consider myself a prude, but such an outfit telegraphs to a hiring manager that <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/stupid-things-to-put-in-your-cover-letter" target="_blank">you don't have the level of judgment</a> to tell the difference between a job interview and some fun with your friends.</p> <p><em>Have you ever worn the wrong thing to a job interview? Did it impact your chances?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/thursday-bram">Thursday Bram</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-not-to-wear-to-a-job-interview">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-body-language-mistakes-that-sabotage-most-interviews">10 Body Language Mistakes That Sabotage Most Interviews</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/weird-job-interview-questions-and-how-to-answer-them">Weird Job Interview Questions (and How to Answer Them)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-crucial-job-searching-steps-most-people-skip">6 Crucial Job Searching Steps Most People Skip</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-questions-you-must-ask-at-your-next-job-interview">4 Questions You Must Ask at Your Next Job Interview</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-unique-ways-to-score-a-job-interview">12 Unique Ways to Score a Job Interview</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Job Hunting common job search mistakes job interviews work clothes Fri, 21 Jun 2013 09:48:33 +0000 Thursday Bram 977396 at http://www.wisebread.com Weird Job Interview Questions (and How to Answer Them) http://www.wisebread.com/weird-job-interview-questions-and-how-to-answer-them <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/weird-job-interview-questions-and-how-to-answer-them" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/5125677289_c7e402e0ac_z.jpg" alt="interview with a lobster" title="interview with a lobster" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I once worked for a company that routinely asked interviewees how they would measure the height of a local building if given only a pencil, a piece of paper, a barometer, and a length of rope. Fortunately, I wasn&rsquo;t subjected to this question &mdash; but an editor is rarely asked to do much math.</p> <p>Weird interview questions seem to be a growing trend right now, but this isn&rsquo;t like the SATs; many of the toughest interview questions don&rsquo;t necessarily have right and wrong answers. What an interviewer is really trying to do is put candidates in the hot seat to find out kind of people they are, how they behave under pressure, and how they make decisions. (See all: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-answer-23-of-the-most-common-interview-questions">How to Answer 23 of the Most Common Interview Questions</a>)</p> <h2>Sorry...Can You Repeat the Question?</h2> <p>Why are some interview questions so off the wall? Having done some interviewing myself, I can say there&rsquo;s nothing I hate more than a canned answer. After all, if everything a candidate says is rehearsed, there&rsquo;s no way to know what they&rsquo;re really like. And encountering unexpected and frustrating situations on the job &mdash; any job &mdash; is pretty much a given. That&rsquo;s where a completely unpredictable question comes in handy. Does the interviewee panic? Get angry? Give up? No matter what an interviewer expects to learn from the question, no one wants to hire someone who is easily antagonized.</p> <p>Competition is another key aspect of the weird interview question phenomenon. Companies in ultra-competitive industries may get thousands of highly qualified applications for one job. Determining which applicants truly stand out from an exemplary bunch means putting each applicant through the wringer. Google is known for its off-the-wall interview questions, but as a company gets more than one million applications per year &mdash; and hires only a few thousand &mdash; it probably can&rsquo;t stand to do much less. (Check out some of the crazy tech interview questions in this article I wrote for <a href="http://www.techopedia.com/2/28186/it-business/it-careers/the-craziest-tech-interview-questions-and-what-they-might-mean">Techopedia</a>.)</p> <h2>Weird Interview Questions</h2> <p>Glassdoor compiles a list of <a href="http://www.glassdoor.com/blog/top-25-oddball-interview-questions-2011/">weird interview questions</a> every year. Here are a few of my favorites from the last few years &mdash; and some suggestions on how to answer them.</p> <p><strong>&quot;If you were shrunk to the size of a pencil and put in a blender, how would you get out?&quot; </strong></p> <p>This question reportedly came out of Goldman Sachs in 2010. This isn&rsquo;t a situation you&rsquo;d likely face at an investment bank, but you can bet that a high-pressure environment is part of the job. You could probably turn this around with a creative, reasonable answer about how you would get out &mdash; or use some humor. Hey, if you&rsquo;re a pencil, maybe you could just draw yourself a rope and climb on out!</p> <p><strong>&quot;If you could be any animal, what would you be, and why?</strong>&quot;</p> <p>Here&rsquo;s a question asked of someone interviewing to become a sales associate for Pacific Swimwear. What does this have to do with selling bathing suits? Probably more than you think. For this a swimwear sales job, the company needs someone who&rsquo;s friendly and outgoing, but also has a razor-sharp sense of sensitivity and tact. So which animal can explain which styles will flatter a woman&rsquo;s figure? Probably any animal that could be said to reflect the key qualities required for the job.</p> <p><strong>&quot;Are your parents disappointed with your career aspirations?</strong>&quot;</p> <p>Yikes! This one came out of an interview at Fisher Investments for someone seeking a position as a client service associate. The interviewer may be crossing the line into something too personal here, but then again, maybe not. Remember, this person doesn&rsquo;t know the candidate; if he or she automatically takes this as an insult, that&rsquo;s telling in itself.</p> <p>There&rsquo;s no need to get personal in an interview, but it pays to be honest. If your parents don&rsquo;t love your line of work, say so &mdash; and then explain what drove you to choose it anyway.</p> <p><strong>&quot;Out of 25 horses, pick the fastest 3 horses. In each race, only 5 horses can run at the same time. What is the minimum number of races required?&quot;</strong></p> <p>This question came from a 2010 interview at Bloomberg L.P. for a financial software engineer. This is a job that requires strong skills in math and logic, and this question puts interviewers to the test. Again, it&rsquo;s tricky question, and not just in terms of working it out. To answer it, the candidate has to make some assumptions, such as how to determine &ldquo;fastest.&rdquo; The <em>process</em> candidates use to do this is probably what&rsquo;s most interesting to the interviewer.</p> <p><strong>&quot;If you could be number 1 employee but have all your coworkers dislike you, or you could be a number 15 employee and have all your coworkers like you, which would you choose?</strong>&quot;</p> <p>This question comes from ADP, and it&rsquo;s clearly looking to determine what&rsquo;s important to the candidate. Most companies want ambitious employees with big goals. The reality, however, is that very few people make it to the top without having anyone on their side. Chances are, the best answer here falls somewhere in the middle. Not everyone in the office needs to like you, but if you&rsquo;re a fair, friendly, and reasonable person, most of them should &mdash; and that in itself should get you closer to the number one position.</p> <p><strong>&quot;What do you think of garden gnomes?</strong>&quot;</p> <p>Not all weird interview questions leave applicants in a cold sweat . Some may be designed to make you laugh &mdash; or test whether you have a sense of humor. That makes sense when you consider this question came from an interview for a team member at <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-things-other-grocery-stores-should-steal-from-trader-joes">Trader Joe&rsquo;s</a>, a company that brands itself as unconventional and dresses its employees in Hawaiian shirts.</p> <p>How to answer this one? Well, garden gnomes have been known to make people smile, which most retailers would consider a good thing...they also appear to be hardworking, cheerful, and adventurous. Or, perhaps you could say that what you think of them depends on what they're wearing!</p> <h2>There Might Not Be a &quot;Right&quot; Answer</h2> <p>A lot of people assume that there&rsquo;s a right way to answer questions in an interview. That&rsquo;s only partly true. The reality is that good interview questions are actually looking for a specific kind of person. If you aren&rsquo;t it, you probably won&rsquo;t get the job, and you probably <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/i-hate-my-job">wouldn&rsquo;t be happy working there</a> if you did.</p> <p>And as for the barometer? I later found out the interviewer wanted to know whether candidates would ask questions to ultimately discover that they didn&rsquo;t need to use all of the tools provided. Because this was an interview for an Internet company, &ldquo;Google it&rdquo; was also an acceptable answer!</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tara-struyk">Tara Struyk</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/weird-job-interview-questions-and-how-to-answer-them">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-5"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-answer-23-of-the-most-common-interview-questions">How to Answer 23 of the Most Common Interview Questions</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-body-language-mistakes-that-sabotage-most-interviews">10 Body Language Mistakes That Sabotage Most Interviews</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-crucial-job-searching-steps-most-people-skip">6 Crucial Job Searching Steps Most People Skip</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-questions-you-must-ask-at-your-next-job-interview">4 Questions You Must Ask at Your Next Job Interview</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-unique-ways-to-score-a-job-interview">12 Unique Ways to Score a Job Interview</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Job Hunting job interviews questions weird Tue, 27 Mar 2012 10:24:13 +0000 Tara Struyk 913177 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Crucial Job Searching Steps Most People Skip http://www.wisebread.com/6-crucial-job-searching-steps-most-people-skip <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-crucial-job-searching-steps-most-people-skip" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000009131941Small2.jpg" alt="Woman asking to be hired" title="Woman asking to be hired" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="146" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p><em>This series is brought to you by </em><a href="http://ad.doubleclick.net/clk;253156195;77023193;i"><em>TurboTax Federal Free Edition</em></a><em>.</em></p> <p>After making the decision to look for a new job, most job seekers put together a resumé and then start networking and marketing themselves to potential employers. Naturally, you hope to attract interest and win a job offer as soon as possible.</p> <p>Fueled with the desire to take positive action quickly, however, you may skip important aspects of your job search. Even if unhurried, you may not realize that figuring out what <em>you</em> want in a job and an employer helps you increases your chances of getting hired.</p> <p>Here are crucial steps that people often miss when conducting a job search. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-outdated-job-search-techniques-to-avoid">10 Outdated&nbsp;Job Search&nbsp;Techniques to Avoid</a>)</p> <h3>1. Defining Your Ideal Job</h3> <p>You may jump into a search without considering what&rsquo;s best for you because you do not want to limit job possibilities. But even when unemployment stats are high, defining your ideal situation helps to focus your job search.&nbsp;</p> <p>Specific areas to consider include:</p> <ul> <li>Work content and day-to-day responsibilities<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Expertise you hope to contribute<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Duties you&rsquo;d like to avoid<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Organization size, structure, and style</li> </ul> <p>Using this information, communicate career goals to your network as well as human resources managers and hiring managers.</p> <h3>2. Updating Your LinkedIn Profile</h3> <p>Many job seekers focus on polishing their resumés and cleaning up their Facebook walls, but neglect their LinkedIn profiles. Remember to do the following:</p> <ul> <li>Upload a recent, professional image of yourself<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Freshen your experience to include projects and accountabilities relevant to your job search<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Build and expand your <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/your-31-hidden-networks-that-can-help-you-land-jobs">network</a><br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Request and offer recommendations<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>List <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/standout-stuff-to-put-on-your-resume">stand-out stuff</a> about yourself to infuse your personality and drive for excellence into your professional online presence</li> </ul> <p>Your LinkedIn listing validates your professional experiences through connections with and recommendations from your bosses, colleagues, customers, vendors, and other relationships.</p> <h3>3. Researching Workplace Culture</h3> <p>Job seekers often fail to investigate the workplace style of potential employers. But having the right cultural fit is a key factor in your appeal as a job candidate.</p> <p>Research organizational practices and ways of thinking in these and other areas:</p> <ul> <li>Encouragement of innovation and risk taking<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Expectations for workloads and extended workdays<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Commitment to employee development in terms of training, assignments, and promotions<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Decision-making styles, from empowering independent action to requiring multiple layers of approvals</li> </ul> <p>Talk with friends and acquaintances about their experiences with the company. Read news accounts. Look at job descriptions on your connections&rsquo; LinkedIn profiles. Check out employee reviews at career sites such as <a href="http://www.glassdoor.com/index.htm">Glassdoor</a>.&nbsp;</p> <p>Determine if a potential employer is a good match with your professional values and approach to getting things done. Then, use this information to articulate why you are a great candidate for the company during interviews with human resources staff, hiring managers, and potential colleagues.</p> <h3>4. Learning About Interviewers</h3> <p>In the excitement of winning an interview, job seekers often forget to gather pertinent information about those who are interviewing them. You may be reluctant, but asking questions often places you in a positive light with hiring decision-makers. Plus, you gather valuable information for interviews and follow-up activities.</p> <p>Find out these tidbits about your interviewers:</p> <ul> <li>Names and titles<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Contact information, including email and mailing addresses<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Positions (if not clear by title), such as who represents human resources, who is the department head, and who are potential colleagues</li> </ul> <p>Learn about each interviewer&rsquo;s background by looking at her bio on the company&rsquo;s website or reviewing her LinkedIn profile, noting career progression and special interests. This information can help you understand how to frame your responses, shape questions, and manage the flow of conversation during the interview. Plus, you&rsquo;ll have the details you need to send a thank-you note.</p> <h3>5. Uncovering the Difference Between Official and Working Job Titles</h3> <p>Many job seekers do not take the time to truly understand all the terms that companies use to describe openings within their organizations. Even the most discerning person may draw incorrect or incomplete conclusions about a position based on its title and job description. What&rsquo;s crucial is grasping that there is often a gap between your understanding as a job seeker and the intent of the employer, which may have an unusual organizational structure or quirky corporate lingo.</p> <p>So don&rsquo;t rely on job titles to identify positions for which you are qualified and don&rsquo;t assume that you are ill-suited for a job based solely on the written description. Do your best to vet opportunities by researching a company, its culture, and its representatives with whom you are interviewing. When you meet with hiring decision-makers, ask clarifying questions about work content so that you can be sure you understand the requirements. Then, use this knowledge to reference professional experiences, skills, and accomplishments most relevant to the job opening.</p> <h3>6. Sending Thank-You Notes</h3> <p>Many job seekers forgo sending <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-ways-to-say-thanks">thank-you notes</a> because they think that this step will not play a significant role in the hiring decision. While it&rsquo;s true that many companies call back candidates before a message can be composed and delivered, proper follow up contributes to success in a job search.</p> <p>Differentiate yourself from other candidates by thanking your interviewers. Craft a thank-you note that conveys your appreciation and solidifies your position as a strong candidate. In your written communications, reinforce the value of your capabilities and let the hiring manager know that you are truly interested in the opportunity. These messages increase the likelihood that you will receive an offer.</p><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/julie-rains">Julie Rains</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-crucial-job-searching-steps-most-people-skip">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-6"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/job-search-tips-that-will-get-you-a-job-in-2012">Job Search Tips That Will Get You a Job in 2012</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-body-language-mistakes-that-sabotage-most-interviews">10 Body Language Mistakes That Sabotage Most Interviews</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/weird-job-interview-questions-and-how-to-answer-them">Weird Job Interview Questions (and How to Answer Them)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-questions-you-must-ask-at-your-next-job-interview">4 Questions You Must Ask at Your Next Job Interview</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-things-you-should-never-do-on-linkedin">7 Things You Should Never Do on LinkedIn</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Job Hunting job interviews LinkedIn networking Wed, 21 Mar 2012 15:10:44 +0000 Julie Rains 911611 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Body Language Mistakes That Sabotage Most Interviews http://www.wisebread.com/10-body-language-mistakes-that-sabotage-most-interviews <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-body-language-mistakes-that-sabotage-most-interviews" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000004803829Small-2.jpg" alt="Businessman with a headache" title="Businessman with a headache" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p><em>This series is brought to you by </em><a href="http://ad.doubleclick.net/clk;253156195;77023193;i"><em>TurboTax Federal Free Edition</em></a><em>.</em></p> <p>Question &mdash; how much of what you &ldquo;say&rdquo; is actually interpreted through body language and tone of voice? Well, if we are to believe Albert Mehrabian, almost all of it.</p> <p>Professor Albert Mehrabian has stated that only 7% of a message is conveyed verbally, through words. The other 93% is split between tone of voice (38%) and body language (55%). In fact, it&rsquo;s widely known as the 7-38-55 rule.</p> <p>Now, you may take or leave that kind of statistic, as it clearly cannot be true in all cases. And furthermore, it cannot include the written word. If it did, authors would not sell books, and we would never sign contracts!</p> <p>But even so, it&rsquo;s true that tone of voice and body language can betray our real feelings. And in a job interview, it&rsquo;s important to take control of your body language as much as possible. After all, even though you may say all the right things, your body can be telling the interviewer a completely different story.</p> <p>Here then are 10 body language mistakes to avoid. Keep them in mind before your next interview, and keep them under control when you&rsquo;re in the hot seat. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/you-are-what-you-do-16-ways-to-improve-your-body-language">16 Ways to Improve Your Body&nbsp;Language</a>)</p> <h3>1. Don&rsquo;t Make a Feeble First Impression</h3> <p>It&rsquo;s been said that employers can spot the right candidate within 30 seconds, and that&rsquo;s all about body language. Be confident, but not arrogant. Walk in with a smile, without fiddling with anything you&rsquo;re wearing, and give a firm handshake. Firm, by the way, means just that; enough pressure to say you mean business, but not the Vulcan death grip that so many men (and some women) try and impose. Also, a floppy &ldquo;dead fish&rdquo; handshake is just as bad, if not worse. And if you&rsquo;re sweating from nerves (or something else), wipe your hands before entering the room. That sweaty palm will not do you any favors.</p> <h3>2. Stop Touching Your Face!</h3> <p>Did you see the movie <em>Contagion</em> by Steven Soderbergh? A doctor played by Kate Winslet states that the average person touches their face between 2,000 and 3,000 times every day! You&rsquo;ve probably touched it a few times while reading this article. Now, while you can&rsquo;t stop yourself from doing this all the time, you must stop during the interview. We&rsquo;re all guilty of touching our nose, our lips, and our forehead, but these all imply that we&rsquo;re either nervous or dishonest. Perhaps we associate nose touching and dishonesty with Pinocchio. Also, you&rsquo;re then going to shake hands again at the end of the interview. Any germophobics (think Donald Trump or Howie Mandell) will not be pleased that you&rsquo;ve had your hands on your mouth and nose for the last half hour.&nbsp;</p> <h3>3. Don&rsquo;t Do the Leg Wobble</h3> <p>Look around you today and see how often you spot the leg wobble. It comes in many forms. Some people will be seated at a table and will jiggle one leg up and down beneath it. Some will cross their legs and jiggle one foot. And some will have both legs going at once. It can be due to nervous energy, restless leg syndrome, or just bad habit. But whether you do it a little or a lot, do not do it in an interview. The message you&rsquo;re sending is loud and clear &mdash; I&rsquo;m anxious, and I can&rsquo;t wait to get out of here. And a potential employer does not want to know that you can&rsquo;t wait to be out of his or her presence.&nbsp;</p> <h3>4. It&rsquo;s a Cliché Because It&rsquo;s True: Don&rsquo;t Cross Your Arms</h3> <p>You&rsquo;ve heard it before, and you&rsquo;ll hear it again &mdash; and there&rsquo;s a good reason. When you cross your arms, you are saying that you are closed off, closed minded, defensive, or just plain bored. It doesn&rsquo;t matter if you find it the most comfortable way to hold your arms; this is an interview, and it&rsquo;s not a good idea to practice the most widely known negative piece of body language in front of a potential employer.</p> <h3>5. Don&rsquo;t Sit Up Too Straight, but Don&rsquo;t Slouch Either</h3> <p>Have you ever been sat opposite someone who sat up so straight that you just couldn&rsquo;t relax around them? It&rsquo;s a strange feeling. They&rsquo;re not really doing anything wrong; in fact, they&rsquo;re displaying good posture, but at the same time it just seems like they&rsquo;re being stiff and prudish. You don&rsquo;t want to seem this way in front of the interviewer, and you also don&rsquo;t want to make them feel uncomfortable around you, either. After all, who wants to work with someone who makes them feel awkward? So relax. Sit up straight, but not so straight it looks like you&rsquo;re craning your neck to the ceiling. And of course, don&rsquo;t be so relaxed that you slouch. This looks messy, disrespectful, and lazy.</p> <h3>6. Props Are for Magicians and Comedians</h3> <p>You may very well have your hands full when you enter the room. This can be unavoidable, especially when going from one interview to another. If you can, go to the interview with everything you need in one suitcase or bag. When you&rsquo;re called to the interview, rise gracefully and pick it up from the side of your chair, then sit it down beside you when you sit for the interview. If you&rsquo;re playing a balancing act with pens, organizers, your cell phone, resumes, and other paraphernalia, you look ill-at-ease, clumsy, and unprepared. And if you start dropping things, you make it even worse.</p> <h3>7. Eye Contact Is Good; Staring Is Not</h3> <p>It can be difficult to remember every point in a list, and some people will jot down memory aids and take them literally. One such point is &ldquo;maintain eye contact.&rdquo; Before you know it, you&rsquo;re staring down the interviewer with a gaze that could put a statue to shame. As with all things in life, do this in moderation. You don&rsquo;t want to have your eyes wandering the room looking for an exit, but you also don&rsquo;t want to fix a laser-like stare into the interviewer's soul. Janine Driver, a body language expert with the nickname &ldquo;the lyin&rsquo; tamer,&rdquo; suggests that 60% eye contact is ideal, looking at the upper triangle of the other person&rsquo;s face (this goes from the left to right eyebrow, crossing the bridge of the nose). If there&rsquo;s more than one person in the room, make eye contact with each person. And don&rsquo;t stare at the mouth or forehead. In fact, don&rsquo;t stare, period. Remember to blink, please!<b>&nbsp;</b></p> <h3>8. Watch Those Hands</h3> <p>If you&rsquo;re following rule number four and rule number two, you may be wondering what on earth to do with your hands. This can be especially true if you&rsquo;re someone who uses his or her hands a lot when talking, to express enthusiasm or to convey a point. Well, that&rsquo;s fine. After all, if it helps you elaborate upon what you&rsquo;re saying, and it&rsquo;s also a part of who you actually are, then don&rsquo;t mess with a good thing. But be careful. Mark Bowden, author of the book <em>Winning Body Language</em>, suggests keeping your hands and arms in the &ldquo;truth plane.&rdquo; Ideally, this is an area that fans out 180 degrees from your navel, stopping below the collarbone. Keeping gestures within this place keeps your hands away from your face, as noted earlier, and shows that you are calm, centered, and controlled. So, by all means use your hands, but don&rsquo;t go mad.</p> <h3>9. Don&rsquo;t Be a Nodding Dog</h3> <p>People often believe that nodding in agreement at everything the interviewer says will stand them in good stead. That&rsquo;s not actually the case. While it&rsquo;s all well and good to nod in agreement when you do genuinely agree with something, you need to avoid the &ldquo;nodding dog syndrome.&rdquo; Nodding in agreement with everything, regardless of the message, makes you look somewhat sycophantic, perhaps even spineless. Even worse, if you&rsquo;re not paying attention and then get <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-answer-23-of-the-most-common-interview-questions">asked a question</a> related to the issue you were nodding about, you could look like a real idiot. &ldquo;Why on earth were you agreeing with something that you had no idea about?&rdquo; Keep the nodding under control. Of course, on the other end of the spectrum, shaking your head should be kept to a bare minimum. No one wants to be sat opposite someone so disagreeable, and it&rsquo;s also a sign of trying to dominate others.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <h3>10. Don&rsquo;t Keep Your Distance or Get in Their Faces</h3> <p>In most interviews, you&rsquo;ll be sat on one side of a desk with the interviewer sat on the other. This is standard practice, but with body language you can change this dynamic with both good and bad outcomes. For a start, if you purposefully shift your chair away from the desk, perhaps crossing your legs, then you're putting more distance between you and your potential employer. This is a suggestion of distrust or nervousness. Similarly, if you bring the chair up too close to the desk and start leaning over, you are being intimidating and also showing that you have something to hide. So stay at a comfortable distance from the desk, showing enough of your upper body to indicate that you have nothing to hide. If there&rsquo;s no desk, follow the same rules. Don&rsquo;t get so close that your breath is in their face, but don&rsquo;t back off so far that you&rsquo;re clearly trying to avoid them.</p> <p>Of course, as with all lists, remember not to be so focused on this advice that you forget the main reason you&rsquo;re in the room. Practice <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-unique-ways-to-score-a-job-interview">before the interview</a>; don&rsquo;t jot this down on the palm of your hand and become a body language robot. Be relaxed, be natural, and for the most part, be yourself.</p><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-body-language-mistakes-that-sabotage-most-interviews">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-7"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/impress-the-future-boss-9-interview-mistakes-to-avoid">Impress the Future Boss: 9 Interview Mistakes to Avoid</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/13-ways-to-make-a-good-first-impression-at-your-next-job-interview">13 Ways to Make a Good First Impression at Your Next Job Interview</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-words-to-never-use-in-a-job-interview">10 Words to Never Use in a Job Interview</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/weird-job-interview-questions-and-how-to-answer-them">Weird Job Interview Questions (and How to Answer Them)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-crucial-job-searching-steps-most-people-skip">6 Crucial Job Searching Steps Most People Skip</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Job Hunting body language first impression job interviews Tue, 06 Mar 2012 17:00:23 +0000 Paul Michael 909690 at http://www.wisebread.com 12 Unique Ways to Score a Job Interview http://www.wisebread.com/12-unique-ways-to-score-a-job-interview <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/12-unique-ways-to-score-a-job-interview" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman-thinking-outside-the-box.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p><em>This series is brought to you by </em><a href="http://ad.doubleclick.net/clk;253156195;77023193;i"><em>TurboTax Federal Free Edition</em></a><em>.</em></p> <p>These days, scoring a job interview is tough enough, let alone getting the position. With dozens (or sometimes hundreds) of applicants for every job, standing out in the crowd is more important than ever. And you&rsquo;ll also need a little help from lady luck, too.</p> <p>But, saying that, I&rsquo;m a firm believer in creating your own luck. There are always ways you can put the odds in your favor, and in some cases, have potential employers coming to you. Believe it or not, even in the toughest economy, truly valuable employees are still hard to find. Sadly, they often stay invisible by not doing what it takes to put a spotlight on themselves. And it&rsquo;s pointless being a rock star if you only sing in your basement.</p> <p>Here then are 12 unique ways you can score a job interview, based on my experiences in advertising and marketing. Try one or try them all, but do not use all 12 on the same employer. Remember, there&rsquo;s a fine line between being eager and annoying, and you don&rsquo;t want to be memorable for all the wrong reasons. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-answer-23-of-the-most-common-interview-questions">How to Answer 23 of the Most Common&nbsp;Interview Questions</a>)</p> <h3>1. Use Social Media to Your Advantage</h3> <p>If you&rsquo;re not using Twitter, Facebook, or other social media outlets, you&rsquo;re missing out on a great way to begin conversations with potential employers. These are the ways we all communicate, and they can be very effective in drawing attention to you. Start following the Twitter feeds of people you want to work for. Make insightful comments. Post links to articles you have written or pieces of work you have done. Become vocal in the social media world, and do it consistently. Sooner or later (hopefully sooner), you&rsquo;ll get the attention of someone who counts, and then when a job is posted, you can jump right in and let your Twitter or Facebook community know you&rsquo;re looking.</p> <h3>2. Create Your Own Direct Mail Campaign</h3> <p>A lot of people in advertising, design, or marketing use this trick, but there&rsquo;s no reason it cannot apply to you if you work in another field. A traditional resume emailed to an HR department will not stand out. But why not create something different and unique to your skill set that will help you get noticed? If you&rsquo;re an accountant, send your resume in a package with chocolate coins. If you&rsquo;re in the catering business, write out your resume on a cloth napkin, and send it in a napkin ring with your email address on it. There are always ways to stand out while being smart and doing something related to your profession. Creative resumes are not just for creatives. And don&rsquo;t do a one-off, either. Follow it up with something just as creative.</p> <h3>3. Follow in the Footsteps of Upcoming Bands</h3> <p>When a band is trying to make it big (or just get people to turn up to shows), they don&rsquo;t have the money for big advertising campaigns. They don&rsquo;t even have the money for small ones. But they want you to show up in droves, so they get creative. They cover walls with wheat-paste posters, they set up websites with music samples, and do whatever then can to spread the word. You can do the same. If you&rsquo;re in a creative field, be it advertising, art, design, baking, or anything else with a visual aspect, a website is a great way to get your work out there. Then, find ways to advertise that site as cheaply as possible. Put cards in local stores, especially ones where potential employers might visit. Create a buzz around yourself, and you may just get that all-important phone call.</p> <h3>4. Do a Public Relations Stunt</h3> <p>These stunts are often a great way for ad agencies to stretch the budgets of their clients. Buying media space in a newspaper, in a magazine, or on TV costs a lot of money. But if you can do a stunt that gets coverage, you can get massive exposure on a minimal budget. Think of a way to get yourself noticed that is relevant to your career path. For instance, take your design skills to the street and draw a giant, illustrated chalk resume outside of the building of a future employer. Who wouldn&rsquo;t notice that? It could even get news coverage. Remember, with the advent of 24-hour news, channels are always looking for stories. Do the easy part for them. Let them know where you&rsquo;ll be and why you&rsquo;re doing it. You could even spend some money buying your very own billboard. Of course, that takes a lot of money, but it may just pay off.</p> <h3>5. Ask For a Tour of the Building</h3> <p>Does the place you&rsquo;d like to work at have a nice building? Is it a manufacturing plant with interesting equipment? Does it have historical significance? Is it well designed, or has it been engineered to be very green? Is it none of the above? It doesn&rsquo;t really matter. There are always ways to get tours; you just have to find the right angle. In advertising, it&rsquo;s fairly easy to get a tour because the job itself is very interesting. You can say you admire the set-up and want to see how it&rsquo;s working so that you can make your own place of work better. And as you tour the building, drop a few hints that you&rsquo;re looking around. Leave your own flyers and business cards in prominent places. Be brave. And remember, all they can say is no&hellip;but they might just say yes.</p> <h3>6. Write an Article About the Prospective Employer</h3> <p>You don&rsquo;t need to be a big-name journalist to do this. With the Internet, blogs, regional newspapers, and so many other avenues for content, you can easily find a way to write an article and get it published. Even if it&rsquo;s on a blog you create, it&rsquo;s still legitimate, and it&rsquo;s a great way to get your foot in the door of a place you&rsquo;d like to work at. If the company does something you think people want to know about, then write about it. You may get to interview some senior people, and that could be a great chance to get your foot in the door and blow your own trumpet. And when the article is done (and hopefully positive in nature) send the company a link or a sample with your contact info.&nbsp;</p> <h3>7. Create Something That Goes Viral</h3> <p>YouTube is wonderful for many reasons, one being that you don&rsquo;t have to have money or power to become popular. Videos go viral, and when they do, millions of people see them. Now, if you happen to create one that also ties in with something you do for a living, or that targets a potential employer, that&rsquo;s when you could hit interview gold. A famous example of this is Justin Bieber. As a young boy, he posted a video of himself covering Justin Timberlake&rsquo;s &ldquo;Cry Me A River.&rdquo; We all know what happened to him. People in advertising have done this to score jobs at some of the world&rsquo;s biggest agencies, including Crispin, Porter &amp; Bogusky. YouTube works. You just need great content.&nbsp;</p> <h3>8. Improve on Something Your Prospective Employer Does</h3> <p>How does this work? Well, the most recent example is YouTube Instant, developed by Stanford student Feross Aboukhadijeh. After Google Instant launched, he saw the potential in it and developed the site. The CEO of YouTube was so impressed that he gave Feross a job (and Twitter also wanted him). Do you have a major improvement that employers in your field would kill for? Let them know a little about it, or build it yourself if you can.</p> <h3>9. Advertise Yourself Online</h3> <p>The Internet is full of ways to advertise. And it doesn&rsquo;t take a whole lot of money, either. Sites like Facebook, Google, and LinkedIn all offer ad spaces, and if you&rsquo;re smart, you can create ads that will get you noticed. How? Well, look at Alec Brownstein, a senior copywriter now working at Young &amp; Rubicam New York. He Googled the names of his favorite creative directors and noticed that there were no sponsored links by their names. So, he purchased their names on Google AdWords. And sure enough, when they Googled themselves (something we all do regularly) Alec&rsquo;s name popped up with a fun message asking for a job. Alec received multiple interviews and landed a job at his idea agency. The entire cost of his online campaign came to just $6! And he also received two major industry awards for his smart thinking in the self-promotion category.</p> <h3>10. Put Your Resume on Video</h3> <p>Times are changing; resumes can change, too. Why stick to the same old paper format, or something you print out from a website? Why not do something a little different and create a video for your resume? It doesn&rsquo;t have to be a production with a <em>Star Wars</em> budget. You can do some great things with movie-making software that often comes pre-loaded onto your machine. Think Ken Burns, and apply your own twist. While it&rsquo;s not applicable to everyone, a video resume sent on a flash drive or DVD may just be the edge you need to stand out and score an interview.</p> <h3>11. Make Employers Apply to You</h3> <p>Something that advertisers do well is turning something completely on its head to get attention. White is black, up is down, and in is out. When it comes to hunting for a job, why not make yourself the target and have employers look for you? Create a flyer that says &ldquo;Employer wanted, must have clean fingernails and a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-make-the-most-of-your-401K">401(k) plan</a>,&rdquo; or design a poster with the same idea. Don&rsquo;t think it will work? It already has for Andrew Horner, a young programmer who decided to stop looking for jobs and instead got employers to apply to him. His website, <a href="http://reversejobapplication.com">Reverse Job Application</a>, garnered very favorable results and led to many reverse applications and a job offer. So, think how you can get the mouse to come to the cat; it&rsquo;s easier than chasing it around.&nbsp;</p> <h3>12. Do Some Very Personalized Product Placement</h3> <p>Picture this. You&rsquo;re someone responsible for the hiring at a company. You go outside to get the newspaper from the driveway, and inside it is a full-page ad from someone looking for a job at your firm. It addresses you by name. Or you&rsquo;re doing the local shop and see a jar on the shelf with your name on it. Inside, there's a resume for a job applicant. If you think these are far-fetched ideas, think again. They've been tried with great success in the advertising industry, with creatives getting up at the crack of dawn to place an ad inside the newspaper of a creative director, or following the hiring manager around the supermarket and placing a product at eye-level with her name on it. This is very targeted, although some think it smacks a little of a stalker. But, done right, it can be both flattering and impactful. If you will go to those lengths just to get an interview, how far will you go to do a good job for the company? That&rsquo;s one heck of a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/making-a-good-and-memorable-first-impression">first impression</a>.</p><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-unique-ways-to-score-a-job-interview">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-8"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/job-search-tips-that-will-get-you-a-job-in-2012">Job Search Tips That Will Get You a Job in 2012</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-body-language-mistakes-that-sabotage-most-interviews">10 Body Language Mistakes That Sabotage Most Interviews</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/weird-job-interview-questions-and-how-to-answer-them">Weird Job Interview Questions (and How to Answer Them)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/lost-my-job-tips-for-the-recently-laid-off">Help! I Lost My Job!</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/i-hate-my-job">I Hate My Job! Now What?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Job Hunting creative thinking job interviews new job Tue, 21 Feb 2012 17:00:16 +0000 Paul Michael 899858 at http://www.wisebread.com Job Search Tips That Will Get You a Job in 2012 http://www.wisebread.com/job-search-tips-that-will-get-you-a-job-in-2012 <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/job-search-tips-that-will-get-you-a-job-in-2012" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/office_job_2.jpg" alt="Woman at an office job" title="Woman at an office job" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="188" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Unemployment has dipped to 8.6%, but there are still quite a number of people who are searching for jobs. Even among my circle of friends, I see that some of them are still facing layoffs or are struggling to find jobs. There really is a trick to job hunting, and interviewing is a skill you can pick up. Make sure you're not doing the wrong things by reading a roundup of the best job search tips we've featured in the past, and use those to get your dream job in 2012!</p> <p><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/How-Find-Unlisted-Jobs-12707416">RELATED: How to&nbsp;Get Jobs You Didn't Know Existed</a></p> <h3>Use Google Doc Templates</h3> <p>If you're job hunting, the <a href="https://docs.google.com/templates?pli=1">Google Doc Templates</a> gallery will be your BFF. You can download relevant templates and customize them to use for your application or your prep process. Here are a couple templates you might find helpful:</p> <ul> <li><a target="_blank" href="https://docs.google.com/previewtemplate?id=134jFx2NOjG_oMkbL3pFijooU-CkNoGpjyJEYBYWsxB8&amp;mode=public">Modern Résumé</a>: A very modern and clean looking résumé that has a simple design. It doesn't look too cluttered up and has just the right professional touch. <br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><a target="_blank" href="https://docs.google.com/previewtemplate?id=0As3tAuweYU9QcHlVM3hrY2tocEkyY3FvbXhoY0NBWFE&amp;mode=public">To-Do List</a>: When you're job hunting, you're going to have a never-ending to-do list for things like reaching out to contacts, going to events, sending résumés to a certain company. Keep your job search tasks organized in this Google template. <br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><a target="_blank" href="https://docs.google.com/previewtemplate?id=0Aako7Xi-nxN1ZGc0OHpqNXpfMTBmc2Q2aDZnZg&amp;mode=public&amp;pli=1">Job Interview One-Sheeter</a>: This is a great, great interview tool that will help you prepare. It's nice to have all your points located on a single sheet of paper so you can make sure you're covering all your bases. It's also handy because you can print it out and quickly look over for a refresher before an interview. <br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><a target="_blank" href="https://docs.google.com/previewtemplate?id=0Aqko7Xi-nxN1dFFudFhvU0xKWE9fVHhnVjVMaFpmWUE&amp;mode=public">Networking Tracker</a>: To keep track of the many people you'll come in contact with while networking for a job, use this sheet to stay on top of things. Note: Although the preview doesn't seem to be working, the template still downloads and works fine.</li> </ul> <h3>Send a Thank You Letter</h3> <p>It's very important to follow up after a job interview, because even if you think the interview went badly, keeping in touch may improve the interviewer's perception of you. It reflects persistence, and it's also polite to thank the hiring manager after the interview. Remember to also send the note within two days of the interview; although, if you've passed the two-day mark, a late response is better than no response.</p> <p>There is such a thing as being too pushy, so keep it light, cheery, and professional. Here is a sample of the kind of email you should send:</p> <blockquote><p>Dear Interviewer,</p> <p>It was great meeting you today, and I appreciate you taking the time to interview me. I'm excited to be considered for the (name the position) as well as all of the opportunities the company presents. I had a good time discussing my passion of (insert what you're passionate about) and really enjoyed learning more about (insert what new tidbit you learned about the company).</p> <p>Thank you for your consideration, and I look forward to following up with you.</p> <p>Best,</p> <p>Interviewee</p> </blockquote> <h3>Ask the Right Questions</h3> <p>A job interview is incomplete without a question and answer session that has you doing the asking. You should be prepared with relevant questions about the company, the job at hand, and your potential future with the organization. Keep your interview on the right track and your foot out of your mouth by asking questions the right way.</p> <p><strong>Don't Seem Entitled</strong></p> <ul> <li>Don't Ask: How long before I get a promotion?</li> <li>Do Ask: What are the opportunities for advancement, and do you typically promote from within?</li> </ul> <p><strong>Don't Make Your Interviewer Uncomfortable</strong></p> <ul> <li>Don't Ask: Is there anything about me that would prevent me from getting this job?</li> <li>Do Ask: What qualifications are you looking for in the person who fills this job?</li> </ul> <p><strong>Don't Be a Gossip</strong></p> <ul> <li>Don't Ask: I heard the CEO was involved in scandalous activity; is that true?</li> <li>Do Ask: While researching your firm I learned that the company recently [fill in the blank]. Can you tell me a little bit more about this development?</li> </ul> <p><strong>Don't Get Bogged Down in Details</strong></p> <ul> <li>Don't Ask: Can you break down my day in terms of hours spent doing A, B, C, D, etc.?</li> <li>Do Ask: Can you tell me what my average day would be like?</li> </ul> <p><strong>Don't Seem Greedy</strong></p> <ul> <li>Don't Ask: What kinds of perks do you get around here?</li> <li>Do Ask: What do you enjoy most about working here?</li> </ul> <p><strong>Don't Focus on the Negative</strong></p> <ul> <li>Don't Ask: What's the worst part about this job?</li> <li>Do Ask: Given my background and experience, what do you think will be the greatest challenge for me in the beginning?</li> </ul> <p><strong>Don't Ask Frivolous Questions</strong></p> <ul> <li>Don't Ask: How many other applicants are you interviewing?</li> <li>Do Ask: How soon do you expect to make a decision?</li> </ul> <h3>Bring the Right Items</h3> <p>Job hunting is a process more people are having to go through as companies undergo big layoffs in the face of a challenged economy. It's competitive out there and the little details matter more with crowded applicant pools. Make your case stronger by showing up prepared &mdash; check for these five items before you head out the door.</p> <p><strong>Interviewer / Company Phone Number</strong></p> <p>Even if you've allowed plenty of time for traffic the unexpected can always happen, like an accident that prevents you from getting to your interview on time. Have the phone number handy so you can call and discuss timing, and possibly reschedule your interview over the phone for another time.</p> <p><strong>Reference Sheet</strong></p> <p>Bring a sheet separate from your résumé that lists your professional references. It's usually a good sign when the interviewer asks for references, so eliminate any hesitation by providing your reference list on the spot.</p> <p><strong>Résumé</strong></p> <p>Print several out on nice paper and carry them with you in the same portfolio where you keep the reference sheet. Interviewers are usually prepared with their own printed version, but what if the printer ran out of ink just before you arrived? Eliminate hassle by supplying a copy of your own.</p> <p><strong>Notebook With Prepared Questions</strong></p> <p>It is inevitable the interviewer will ask if you have any questions for her. As long as you've remembered to bring the notebook where you outlined prepared questions, this part of the interview will be a breeze.</p> <p><strong>A Pen That Works</strong></p> <p>You'll need something to write down notes during your interview, for your own information and if there's anything that triggers questions you may want to save for the end. Just be sure to scribble before you leave the house so you're not stuck with a useless pen.</p> <h3>Have the Six Degrees Mentality</h3> <p>When you're slogging through those job applications and waiting anxiously by your phone, you must be thinking, there's got to be an easier way to do this. There is &mdash; having the six degrees separation mentality will help make the job hunting process a lot smoother. It's the theory that everyone in the world is connected to each other within six steps, so this means that if there's someone you're trying to meet, you're connected to him somehow, perhaps through a friend of a friend.</p> <p>The six degrees separation mindset helps when you're job hunting, because you'll know that somewhere, somehow, someone will be able to make introductions for you and help you get your dream job. All you need to do is to tap into your friend network and try to find someone who works in the industry or company where you'd love to be. A great way to figure out your connections is LinkedIn, because the social network maps out all your professional relationships for you. But the way that seems to help the most (at least when I was job hunting), is to ask everyone around if they know of anyone at the company or industry you are interested. Just start asking today, you'll be surprised at how small the world really is.</p> <h3>Fill in Résumé Gaps</h3> <p>You're looking for a job, but it's taking a while, and the gap in your résumé seems to be growing bigger as time passes. Your situation is pretty understandable, as this is a tough economy, so don't feel insecure about it. What you can do to make yourself stand out as an excellent job candidate is to prove that you've been making good use of your time. Here are some things you can do to fill the résumé gaps:</p> <p><strong>Volunteer</strong></p> <p>Don't shy away from stating your volunteer activities on your résumé, whether it be for a nonprofit for a cause you love or doing some pro <a target="_blank" href="http://www.popsugar.com/Bono" title="Latest photos and news for Bono">bono</a> work in your field. Both kinds of volunteer work make for great learning experiences.</p> <p><strong>Professional Organizations</strong></p> <p>Being part of an organization related to your field will help your résumé gap as well as aid you in your networking. Try to lobby for a position at a professional organization, and participate in activities that will give you a lot of face time with people.</p> <p><strong>Temping</strong></p> <p>We've given some tips on <a target="_blank" href="http://www.savvysugar.com/How-List-Temp-Jobs-Resume-13001451">listing your temp jobs</a> on your résumé. But do consider temping while you're looking for a job; it's a great way to earn cash, and maybe even a chance for you to get a foot in the company you're keen on working for.</p> <p><strong>Blogging</strong></p> <p>Blogging is a great way to release your frustrations and can be an interesting detail to put on your résumé. To make it more relevant, it would be great if you can blog about something in your field. You can also polish your web design skills so your employer knows that you have a lot of talent up your sleeve!</p> <p><strong>Classes</strong></p> <p>Taking some courses at a local college is a good way to learn new skills or polish up old ones, which will make you a more valuable job candidate. It will also show that you're really serious about continuously improving yourself.</p> <p><strong>Freelance</strong></p> <p>Start freelancing or even start your own company while you're out there looking for jobs. A lot of people start their own small business as a way to make extra cash, and even if it isn't related to your field, it shows a lot of initiative and creativity.</p> <h3>Organize Your Job Search in a Simple Way</h3> <p>Shooting out so many job applications that you're not spending time catering your résumé and cover letter to each position is simply counterproductive. However, an efficient job search includes dedicating several hours each day to the employment cause, and ideally this means applying for a handful of jobs each day. Keep track of your daily job search by creating log. Maintain a spreadsheet with the following details and update it at the end of each day.</p> <ul> <li>Applications sent &mdash; name of positions and companies.</li> <li>Where you found the job.</li> <li>Follow-up status.</li> <li>A section listing the job sites you visited that day.</li> </ul> <p>Organizing your job search will ensure that none of your efforts slip through the cracks, and looking at your full spreadsheet will make you feel accomplished.</p> <h3>Show You Care About the Company</h3> <p>When you're in an interview, try your best to show that you care about the company and how you want to help it grow. Asking questions about promotions or continuously focusing on what you can get out of this job position may be off-putting to your interviewer. Questions about career progression should be asked after you get the job, and after you've been at the job for a good while. The best time to address the topic of promotion is usually during a performance review.</p> <p>Remember, your interviewer has probably talked to a ton of job candidates, which means she pretty much knows what you're thinking when you ask questions with promotions in mind. She will know why you're asking her how long she's been at her position and how long it took for her to move up. Don't get me wrong, it's OK to bring it up briefly and with finesse, but you need to be really careful about how you phrase it. Be sure not to belabor the point and put less emphasis on what's in it for you, and more on what you can do for the company.</p> <h3>Become a Networking Whiz</h3> <p>There really is an art to networking, and don't worry if your efforts haven't been paying off &mdash; workin' your contacts is a skill that can be learned. In this poor job market, people might be a little jaded about strangers reaching out to them for a job, so make sure you're being smart about your approach. Here are some things to start doing in order to become a networking whiz:</p> <p><strong>Build Up a Relationship Before You Ask for Help</strong></p> <p>Don't get to know a person because you want to ask them for a job, work on building a relationship with the future possibilities in mind. And even if you don't get a job, perhaps your contact will be able to give you valuable career advice or maybe even make the right introductions. This is also known as having &quot;a knack for spotting future opportunities,&quot; Jonathan Kriendler, the <a target="_blank" href="http://management.fortune.cnn.com/2011/07/01/network-without-wearing-out-your-welcome/">founder of an online career management tools site</a>, says. &quot;...companies are like living organisms. Things change constantly. People retire or quit and new projects get launched, so new opportunities are always on the horizon...by putting yourself ahead of the curve, you find out about them in advance rather than after the fact.&quot;</p> <p><strong>Remember Details </strong></p> <p>Take note of conversations you've had with this person so you'll be able to reference back to them later.</p> <p><strong>Listen and Learn</strong></p> <p>Listen &quot;twice as much as you talk.&quot; If you're doing more listening than talking, you'll be able to recognize trends and take advantage of them as they're happening or even before they take off.</p> <p><strong>Share Your Knowledge</strong></p> <p>Go online and share your expertise with people. Build your name and reputation so others maybe start reaching out to you because of your visibility on the web. Answer questions on LinkedIn groups or check out Quora, which is sort of like a more professional version of Yahoo! answers.</p> <h3>Clean Your Social Media History</h3> <p>If you need a reason to watch what you tweet and Facebook, know that potential employers have their eye on everything you've ever published on social media platforms. Initially, we assumed people only had to be wary of their recent history, but this firms actually have the ability to <a target="_blank" href="http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/21/technology/social-media-history-becomes-a-new-job-hurdle.html?src=recg">get a record of your whole social media history</a>, which includes things you've posted on Craigslist, image-sharing sites, and YouTube.</p> <p>It's getting easier for firms to look up your history thanks to startups, which do the searching for them. There's one called <a target="_blank" href="http://www.socialintelligencehr.com/home">Social Intelligence</a> that neatly compiles a report of all your Internet activity in the last seven years and searches for things like &quot;online evidence of racist remarks; references to drugs; sexually explicit photos, text messages or videos; flagrant displays of weapons or bombs and clearly identifiable violent activity.&quot;</p> <p>Here's how to make sure your records will be squeaky clean.</p> <p><strong>Google Yourself</strong></p> <p>Thoroughly Google yourself to see what online footprints you've left on the web. Use combinations of your name and add keywords such as the companies you've worked for or the schools you attended.</p> <p><strong>Make a List of Emails and Accounts</strong></p> <p>You may have forgotten about old emails you had way back when. Make a list of the emails and try to access them to see if there are any websites or accounts for you to check up on. Then make a list of accounts, community boards, websites you've visited and participated in. For example, is there an old Xanga or Friendster account that you've forgotten about? Have you been a little loose-lipped on your Reddit account? Check them out to make sure that there aren't any red flags, or even delete them if you don't feel comfortable with the accounts.</p> <p><strong>Play Around With Privacy Settings</strong></p> <p>Consider making your Twitter private and play around with <a target="_blank" href="http://www.geeksugar.com/5-Things-Know-About-Facebook-Privacy-Controls-8576413">privacy settings on Facebook </a>so that users who are not your friends can only see very basic information, such as your name and your gender. Or, you can even make yourself unsearchable if you click on certain options. Remember to be cautious with new social media sites such as Google+ and make sure you're fully aware of their privacy settings before sharing too much on the platform.</p> <p><strong>Don't Put Up Anything Racy or Offensive</strong></p> <p>The best way to keep your record clean is to <em>be</em> clean on the Internet. Keep personal thoughts, pictures, and videos to yourself and don't write anything too controversial if you don't want it coming back to haunt you.</p> <h3>Make the Right Moves to Work in Your Dream City</h3> <p>You might dream of packing your bags and running off to make it big in New York City, but the fact of the matter is, it's extremely hard to get a call back from an employer if you don't live the same city. To raise your chances of succeeding, here are some things you should do:</p> <p><strong>Move There</strong></p> <p>The best way to find a job in the city you'd love to work in is to be on the ground, networking, and interviewing in the city itself. That will save you plenty of awkward questions about where you're actually living. However, this option is not ideal for everyone since it's going to be hard to cover the cost of moving and living expenses when you're not making any income. Although this is probably your best bet for getting a job in the city you want, it's also the most costly.</p> <p><strong>Find a Company Contact</strong></p> <p>Since your location is working against you, you need an extra edge to get an &quot;in&quot; at the company. Network through your existing contacts or through networking sites like LinkedIn and do your best to find an employee or a friend who knows someone at the company. It'll definitely increase your chances of scoring an interview despite your zip code.</p> <p><strong>Borrow an Address</strong></p> <p>Approach a friend and ask her if you can borrow her address for your résumé. I've heard from several friends that they only started hearing back from employers when they used a local address. Try not to make it a focal point during an interview, and remember if it comes up, be honest about where you live, and voice your plans to relocate.</p> <p><strong>Get a Google Voice Number</strong></p> <p>Sign up for a Google Voice phone number that has a local number so that you can list that on your résumé.</p> <p><strong>Enlist the Help of a Local Recruiter</strong></p> <p>Contact a local recruiter who specializes in your industry and use their services to help find you a job in that city.</p> <h3>Negotiate Your Starting Salary</h3> <p>If you're job-hunting, don't start sweating when an interviewer asks how much you would like to get paid. Be aware that salary talk might come up during your interview, so make sure you're prepared. Just keep these five tips from Jim Hopkinson, author of <a rel="nofollow" target="_blank" href="http://www.amazon.com/Salary-Tutor-Negotiation-Secrets-Taught/dp/1455503274/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1313543207&amp;sr=8-1"><em>Salary Tutor: Learn the Salary Negotiation Secrets No One Ever Taught You</em></a>, in mind, and you're good to go!</p> <ul> <li>&quot;Defer all specific salary talk until you know that they want you for the job. That means evading salary questions on job applications (write &ldquo;negotiable&rdquo;) and during initial screening interviews (stress the need to learn more about the position first).&quot; <br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>&quot;As a job seeker, you should never be the person who brings up salary first.&quot; <br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>&quot;Once the salary question does come up, use the 'Right Back at Ya' method to put the ball back in their court.&quot; <br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>&quot;Use effective pauses in the conversation, as people tend to speak to fill the silence and may divulge important information in the process.&quot; <br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>&quot;There is more to a job than just salary. Remember that other benefits may also be negotiable &mdash; a better title, more vacation, flextime, bonuses, education reimbursement, and paid travel to conferences.&quot;</li> </ul> <p>Remember, salary negotiation at the start of your new job is very important, because it will affect your future earnings. One of the main reasons why women earn less than men is because they don't negotiate at the start of their new job. Keep these tips in mind when you're interviewing!</p> <h3>Improve Your Résumé</h3> <p>Your résumé might be a single piece of paper, but that document is an extension of you. It's one of the first ways employers evaluate your potential to fill an open position, so even if you're confident in your interview abilities, you won't get an invitation to show them off unless your résumé is compelling. Here are some ways to improve it.</p> <p><strong>Make It Current</strong></p> <p>Before you make any other changes to your existing résumé, add any accomplishments you've scored recently. You'd be selling yourself short to leave out anything important, so stay on top of the game by updating your résumé on a regular basis.</p> <p><strong>Delete What's Irrelevant</strong></p> <p>Somewhere down the road, someone told us that we should include fluffy language in our résumés. Things like, &quot;good communication skills and multitasker,&quot; are just taking up space and won't mean anything to the person reading it. These qualities should speak for themselves through the professional experience you spelled out in your cover letter and résumé.</p> <p><strong>Organize</strong></p> <p>It's been said that hiring managers spend less than a minute to make a judgment about your résumé. Get them to absorb as much information about you in a short time by using an easy-to-read format. You don't need fancy design skills; you just need to know how to use bullet points for separating thoughts and clear headers to announce distinct sections.</p> <p><strong>Self-Edit</strong></p> <p>If any of your bullet points require multiple breaths to read aloud or contain sentences within, you have a pretty good indication that you're being too wordy. Ask yourself what the main point is for each of your bullets and write down your immediate answer. Some things might need to be condensed, while others might just require another bullet point.</p> <p><strong>Be Verb-Smart</strong></p> <p>Think nothing is worse than a spelling error? I'd argue that using incorrect tenses is just as bad and tells your interviewer the same thing &mdash; that you're sloppy. Triple check that each of your points begins with a verb in its proper tense (i.e., use current tense for your current job or activities and past tense for your previous positions).</p> <p><strong>Showcase Your Experience</strong></p> <p>There comes a time in a young professional's life when she has enough experience to make it the first thing a recruiter sees on her résumé. Education is still important, but it's not as important as your professional experience after you've spent some time in the real working world. After you've landed your first job after college, it's time to push the education section below experience (this is true in most professions but can vary for specific careers).</p> <p>Discover more résumé improvements <a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/How-Improve-Your-Resume-6229164?page=0,0,0#6">here</a>.</p> <h3>Find Out Why You Didn't Get the Job</h3> <p>So you got rejected from a job, but you got an email from your interviewer telling you that you were great, they loved your résumé and interview answers, and think you're a perfect match for their company, but it's just that they can't find the right position for you. However, they'll keep you in mind for the future. Maybe they even called you to tell you that. They seemed so sincere and actually made the effort to tell you, so they must be telling the truth right? Well, there's a chance that it might be the case, but sometimes they are just trying to soften the blow. After all, the firm can't tell you the real reason for not hiring you because the company may get into legal trouble. The risk for them to tell you why you lost out to another candidate is great &mdash; you might see it as discrimination.</p> <p>The best way to find out why you didn't get the job is to do some mock interviewing with your friends or professional contacts. If you're getting all positive feedback and aren't learning anything new, perhaps you need to pick different people to practice with. Try prepping with your best friends, because good pals don't shy away from telling you the truth if it'll help you.</p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-blog-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Make this year the year when you get a new job — or even your dream job — with this comprehensive collection of suggestions, resources, and more. </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-guestpost-blurb"> <div class="field-label">Guest Post Blurb:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p style="text-align:center;"><a style="border:none;" href="http://www.savvysugar.com"><img alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u4/savvysugar-300-small.jpg" /></a></p> <p><em>This is a guest contribution from our friends at </em><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/"><em>SavvySugar</em></a><em>. Check out more useful articles from this partner:</em></p> <ul> <li><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/7-Job-Hunting-Sins-Avoid-5657179">7 Job Hunting Sins to&nbsp;Avoid</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/Interview-Preparation-Tips-Time-Line-20892485">10 Essential Steps to Take Before a Job Interview<br /> </a></li> <li><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/How-Anonymous-LinkedIn-20683027">How to Stay Invisible When&nbsp;You're Browsing LinkedIn</a></li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/popsugar-smart-living">POPSUGAR Smart Living</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/job-search-tips-that-will-get-you-a-job-in-2012">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-7"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-crucial-job-searching-steps-most-people-skip">6 Crucial Job Searching Steps Most People Skip</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-unique-ways-to-score-a-job-interview">12 Unique Ways to Score a Job Interview</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-tax-deductions-job-hunters-can-t-afford-to-overlook">6 Tax Deductions Job-Hunters Can’t Afford to Overlook</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-body-language-mistakes-that-sabotage-most-interviews">10 Body Language Mistakes That Sabotage Most Interviews</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/weird-job-interview-questions-and-how-to-answer-them">Weird Job Interview Questions (and How to Answer Them)</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Job Hunting job interviews networking new job resumes Thu, 19 Jan 2012 11:36:15 +0000 POPSUGAR Smart Living 870809 at http://www.wisebread.com Impress the Future Boss: 9 Interview Mistakes to Avoid http://www.wisebread.com/impress-the-future-boss-9-interview-mistakes-to-avoid <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/impress-the-future-boss-9-interview-mistakes-to-avoid" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/bigstock_Woman_applicant_worrying_durin_13110221-2.jpg" alt="Worried woman at a job interview" title="Worried woman at a job interview" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>A job interview is one of those few formal moments left in a world that is becoming less and less formal. Understanding just how much we need to up our game to ace an interview can be tough. If you&rsquo;ve gone to all the effort of landing an interview, present your most poised and polished self by avoiding these nine mistakes. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-answer-23-of-the-most-common-interview-questions">How to Answer 23 of the Most Common Interview Questions</a>)</p> <h2>1. Arriving Late</h2> <p>Plan for contingencies. If you&rsquo;re interviewing in a new city or a new part of town, it&rsquo;s easy to get lost or make a wrong turn. Maybe you hit traffic or can&rsquo;t find a parking space. Life happens. Prepare for the worst-case scenario and give yourself plenty of room to make it on time. It&rsquo;s always better to be 20 minutes early and sit in your car preparing than 10 minutes late and arrive apologizing.</p> <h2>2. Keeping Your Cell Phone On</h2> <p>Silence that cell phone before you even enter the building and keep it off until you&rsquo;ve left. A ringing phone shows lack of respect for your interviewer&rsquo;s time and shows that you&rsquo;re a novice in handling the basics of business etiquette.<b> </b>To be safe, don&rsquo;t rely on vibration mode to do the trick &mdash; a buzzing briefcase is just as bad as a ringing one.</p> <h2>3. Offering a Limp Handshake</h2> <p>There is an art to shaking hands properly. Etiquette dictates that you should let your interviewer extend his hand first. Return the shake with one that&rsquo;s firm and confident. Don&rsquo;t be too passive; don&rsquo;t be too aggressive. If you&rsquo;re worried about it, try a few test shakes with a friend beforehand.</p> <h2>4. Not Bringing a Copy of Your Resume</h2> <p>Your interviewer may not have your <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-write-a-resume-12-steps-to-your-next-job">resume</a> on-hand. Maybe she&rsquo;s passing it around to colleagues or fitting you in between meetings and has misplaced your paperwork. In these moments, it&rsquo;s nice to pull a freshly printed resume from your<b> </b>bag and not make your interviewer run and retrieve the original.<b> </b>This shows forethought and preparation, and it&rsquo;s a great way to start an interview.</p> <h2>5. Ignoring Body Language</h2> <p>Exuding confidence is never a bad thing in an interview &mdash; but confidence goes beyond your resume, your qualifications, and your suit. Make eye contact with your interviewer, especially when you&rsquo;re answering a question. Stand and sit up straight, smile, and speak clearly &mdash; make this brief time your time to shine.</p> <h2>6. Being Too Chatty or Too Casual</h2> <p>Interviewers are trained to put you at ease, and that&rsquo;s a good thing. Just don&rsquo;t get too comfortable. Remember, the occasion is still formal; the interviewer is gauging not only your qualifications, but your demeanor and your ability to fit in with the rest of the group. Avoid personal stories or negative talk about past employers.</p> <h2>7. Not Doing Your Research</h2> <p>Expect questions from your interviewer that are designed to gauge your knowledge of the company. In the Internet age, research takes all of 15 or 20 minutes of effort online. Learn some facts about the company &mdash; when it was founded, new acquisitions it&rsquo;s made, who the main competitors are, etc.</p> <h2>8. Ignoring Table Manners</h2> <p>More and more interviews take place over a meal. Remember, even though a restaurant atmosphere may be more casual, the interview isn&rsquo;t. Don&rsquo;t order complicated or messy food, don&rsquo;t order something more expensive than your interviewer, and don&rsquo;t ever order alcohol. Treat the wait staff at the restaurant especially well, and brush up on those <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/reclaiming-etiquette-dining-basics-for-young-professionals">basic table manners</a>.</p> <h2>9. Not Sending a Thank-You Note</h2> <p>The post-interview thank-you happens in two stages: first, in person at the conclusion of the interview, and then with a hand-written note that you send in the mail. Yes, it may seem archaic to send a note via snail mail, but it conveys a sense of propriety, professionalism, and follow-up that just might set you apart from the competition.</p> <p>None of these tips will come naturally at first, especially for new graduates just entering the working world. Interviews are admittedly a dog-and-pony show, and sometimes the level of formality can be stifling. But knowing how to navigate that formality to showcase your strengths and qualifications will take you from interviewee to interviewer much more quickly.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kentin-waits">Kentin Waits</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/impress-the-future-boss-9-interview-mistakes-to-avoid">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-9"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-body-language-mistakes-that-sabotage-most-interviews">10 Body Language Mistakes That Sabotage Most Interviews</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/weird-job-interview-questions-and-how-to-answer-them">Weird Job Interview Questions (and How to Answer Them)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-crucial-job-searching-steps-most-people-skip">6 Crucial Job Searching Steps Most People Skip</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-questions-you-must-ask-at-your-next-job-interview">4 Questions You Must Ask at Your Next Job Interview</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-unique-ways-to-score-a-job-interview">12 Unique Ways to Score a Job Interview</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Job Hunting body language job hunting mistakes job interviews Wed, 30 Nov 2011 11:24:44 +0000 Kentin Waits 801548 at http://www.wisebread.com Want to Get Hired? Be Memorable. http://www.wisebread.com/want-to-get-hired-be-memorable <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/want-to-get-hired-be-memorable" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/memorable_0.jpg" alt="People with facepaint" title="People with facepaint" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="155" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>There is a lot of great, useful advice out there about how to get hired. Spending time on your resume, researching the company, dressing sharp...they're all important.&nbsp;But there's one piece of advice that I feel like has personally helped me the most in my hiring experiences that I don't see often enough in articles about getting a job &mdash; be memorable. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/stupid-things-to-put-in-your-cover-letter">Stupid Things to Put in Your Cover Letter</a>)</p> <p>When I say be memorable, don't take this as an excuse to be ridiculous (&quot;Yes, this is a bright purple suit with a red shirt; thank you for noticing!&quot;), brash (&quot;You will hire me &mdash; I am more talented than the entire cast of <em>Glee</em>&quot;), or other kinds of stupid (&quot;Thanks for interviewing me; I brought you roses&quot;). Those examples might be a little over the top, but I think (or, at least, very strongly hope) that you get the gist.</p> <p>What I mean by memorable is providing information that sticks out in people's minds without overshadowing your qualifications or making you seem, uh, crazy. Let me give you an example from my own experience. When I was in high school, my summer job was working at a small amusement park. I performed in shows, ran rides, and did my share of cleaning bathrooms, but I also regularly performed as Cinderella (yes, I know I'm a brunette &mdash; trust me, the thing kids care about the most is a pretty dress). Before I garnered enough professional experience to bump it off my resume, I always included my work at the amusement park. And at the first few &quot;adult&quot; job interviews I ever had, every single person I spoke with brought up Cinderella &mdash; often in the context of &quot;when we saw that, we knew we had to bring you in.&quot;</p> <p>While the amusement park hasn't been park of my resume for several years, there are other ways I've made an effort to be memorable. On most resumes I've sent out &mdash; I'm a firm believer in editing your resume for each job you're applying for &mdash; I've included a &quot;special skills&quot; section. I typically use this section to highlight a mix of skills that could be useful for the job, such as &quot;conversational Italian,&quot; and skills that are interesting or unique, such as &quot;puppet construction and manipulation&quot; or &quot;cake decorating.&quot; Don't overload the section with a laundry list of hobbies, just pick a couple of interesting skills that could stick out in a hiring manager's mind.</p> <p>Another technique that I had a lot of success with when I was <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-find-freelance-clients-part-one">freelancing</a> full-time was playing with the subject line of emails. When I wrote ones like &quot;Writer Available for Web Copy Job,&quot; my hear-back rate was pretty low. But after I changed my line to &quot;Professional and Spunky Writer Available for Web Copy Job,&quot; responses shot up &mdash; and they'd often cite how unusual it was to see &quot;spunky&quot; as part of the response.</p> <p>Tricks like this aren't magic bullets, and they definitely aren't a replacement for hard work, preparation, and a good attitude. But they can be what separates you from the rest of the job hunters.</p> <p><em>What do you think? Do you have something you use to make yourself memorable when applying for jobs? If so, what?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/meg-favreau">Meg Favreau</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/want-to-get-hired-be-memorable">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-body-language-mistakes-that-sabotage-most-interviews">10 Body Language Mistakes That Sabotage Most Interviews</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/weird-job-interview-questions-and-how-to-answer-them">Weird Job Interview Questions (and How to Answer Them)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-crucial-job-searching-steps-most-people-skip">6 Crucial Job Searching Steps Most People Skip</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-questions-you-must-ask-at-your-next-job-interview">4 Questions You Must Ask at Your Next Job Interview</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-unique-ways-to-score-a-job-interview">12 Unique Ways to Score a Job Interview</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Job Hunting job interviews online job applications resume writing Tue, 20 Sep 2011 10:24:16 +0000 Meg Favreau 712287 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Resume Reading Tips http://www.wisebread.com/small-business/5-resume-reading-tips <div class="field field-type-link field-field-url"> <div class="field-label">Link:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="http://www.openforum.com/articles/5-resume-reading-tips" target="_blank">http://www.openforum.com/articles/5-resume-reading-tips</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/small-business/5-resume-reading-tips" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000014457029Small.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If you post a job listing, you&rsquo;re likely to receive a flood of resumes in return. It&rsquo;s generally easy enough to sort through the resumes that aren&rsquo;t relevant at all. But making a decision between those candidates who aren&rsquo;t obviously bad choices isn&rsquo;t as cut and dry.</p> <p>That said, focusing on a few key characteristics that will differentiate the truly good catches from the so-so folks can help you cull through the pile even faster.</p> <h3>1. The Resume Looks Right</h3> <p>There are thousands of resume templates online, so putting one&rsquo;s work history in the right format should be routine. Spell check only takes a minute and even those errors that spell check doesn&rsquo;t catch should be caught by a friend reading over the resume in question. If an applicant can&rsquo;t get a resume right, it&rsquo;s a warning sign right off the bat that maybe she doesn&rsquo;t want the job or wouldn&rsquo;t be a particularly good catch.</p> <h3>2. Clear Advancement on Paper</h3> <p>One of the most important characteristics a resume can show you is that the candidate keeps moving forward. It&rsquo;s rare that you want to hire someone who can&rsquo;t &mdash; or won&rsquo;t &mdash; advance in your company or grow in their own career. You can see from a glance at the job titles listed on a resume if a potential hire has simply moved sideways at each company she&rsquo;s worked for or if she has moved up the ranks.</p> <p>It&rsquo;s worth noting that, especially with younger job applicants, advancement often requires moving to another company. While job hopping may be a sign that the applicant has trouble sticking with a job, it may also signal that she is able to move on to bigger responsibilities quickly and has been able advance with each hop. In fact, advancement by job hopping isn&rsquo;t uncommon when you consider that many managers expect employees to put in time in the trenches before a promotion.</p> <h3>3. At Least a Little Diversity</h3> <p>Diversity can be a crucial strength for companies; great ideas are often generated by teams whose members have different viewpoints and experiences. However, racial, ethnic, or gender diversity aren&rsquo;t the criteria you&rsquo;re looking for &mdash; you don&rsquo;t want to tangle with a suggestion of that kind of discrimination &mdash; but there are other types of diversity to look for. If you can find good applicants with different educational backgrounds or hobbies or career paths, you can bring a wider range of viewpoints into your company.</p> <p>Assuming that the applicants you&rsquo;re considering are equally qualified in other respects, it&rsquo;s worthwhile to make a list of some of the qualities your current employees have. That will provide you a point of comparison to check whether a new hire will bring a new point of view to your business.</p> <p>It&rsquo;s worth noting that many companies immediately disqualify resumes that mention information that could potentially be used to discriminate between candidates &mdash; information about race and other protected classes. If you have any questions about what information you can use to make a hiring decision, consult with a legal professional who has experience in human resources issues.</p> <h3>4. A Way to Learn More</h3> <p>Not all jobs require a portfolio or a list of references, but a good resume should at least give you an idea about how to learn more about your candidate&rsquo;s abilities. That may take the form of a website or a portfolio or a second or third page of the resume, but the best hires will always anticipate your needs and make it easy for you to move past their resume.</p> <p>It&rsquo;s rare that a resume tells you everything you need to choose an employee. Interviews are a standard part of the process, but when you can look at examples of a candidate&rsquo;s work, or even follow some of their ideas on a blog, you can tell much faster if you&rsquo;ve found the right person.</p> <h3>5. A Cover Letter that Explains Oddities</h3> <p>There are few job applicants who have had careers that are tailor-made for sharing through a resume. If I applied for a job tomorrow, my resume would likely make some human resource managers cringe &mdash; I&rsquo;ve been self-employed, held overlapping jobs, and generally haven&rsquo;t had a career that could be summarized in a neat list on a piece of paper. <a target="_blank" href="http://www.openforum.com/articles/resume-quirks-to-embrace-and-avoid-1%22%3e">Resume quirks</a> don&rsquo;t have to stop you from considering a good candidate, especially if you&rsquo;ve got a cover letter that clarifies the situation.</p> <p>Explaining big gaps, non-work experiences, and other relevant parts of one&rsquo;s background are indications that an applicant has thought through potential problems, as well as why she would still be a good fit for your company.</p> <h3>Going Beyond the Resume</h3> <p>Just because the resume is a perfect fit for your business, it&rsquo;s worth remembering that no candidate is just the piece of paper he sent your way. It&rsquo;s always worth double checking the information, as well as doing a trial run with the applicant to see if she can live up to her resume. Or maybe a <a target="_blank" href="http://www.openforum.com/articles/hiring-the-best-go-beyond-asking-questions-in-an-interview">game of chess</a> will help you decide.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/thursday-bram">Thursday Bram</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/small-business/5-resume-reading-tips">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-10"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-questions-you-must-ask-at-your-next-job-interview">4 Questions You Must Ask at Your Next Job Interview</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/250-tips-for-small-business-owners">250+ Tips for Small Business Owners</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-resume-mistakes-that-will-hurt-your-job-search">10 Resume Mistakes That Will Hurt Your Job Search</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-you-should-do-if-youre-stumped-during-an-interview">What You Should Do If You&#039;re Stumped During an Interview</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-credit-cards-for-small-businesses">The 5 Best Credit Cards for Small Businesses</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Small Business Resource Center hiring job interviews new employees resume small business Thu, 23 Jun 2011 21:48:50 +0000 Thursday Bram 572760 at http://www.wisebread.com The Etiquette of Calling for References http://www.wisebread.com/small-business/the-etiquette-of-calling-for-references <div class="field field-type-link field-field-url"> <div class="field-label">Link:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="https://www.openforum.com/idea-hub/topics/lifestyle/article/the-etiquette-of-calling-for-references-thursday-bram" target="_blank">https://www.openforum.com/idea-hub/topics/lifestyle/article/the-etiquette-of-cal...</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/small-business/the-etiquette-of-calling-for-references" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000011086631Small.jpg" alt="Angry man with phone" title="Angry man with phone" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>When you're hiring a new employee, it's standard practice to ask for references. Those references&nbsp;may represent the closest you come to running a background check of any kind on your prospective employees, making it crucial that you get as much information out those references as possible. Of course, you'll be talking to people who will only want to say nice things and who you don't know well enough to dig very deep with. How do you really make the most of a phone call to a reference, especially while remaining polite?</p> <p><strong>Asking for Negative Information Without Causing Problems</strong></p> <p>When you call a job applicant's past employer, expect to only hear nice things. It has become very difficult to get anything but a positive reference &mdash; even for an employee that a company was glad to leave. Partially it's a matter of some references just not wanting to give a negative reference, but there have also been many situations where a company chose not to hire an applicant on the basis of a negative reference &mdash; and then the applicant sued his or her former employer. Some companies have simply instituted a policy of either only giving positive references or refusing to do anything more than confirm dates of employment as a result.</p> <p>But you have to get the full picture if you want to make sure that you're truly finding the best applicant for a job. There are ways to get a better sense of an employee's history, even during a short phone call. The secret is to ask open-ended questions: Asking a former supervisor to describe how an employee handled certain tasks can help you get at least a sense of the situation, especially if you can ask about specific examples. You may not get a negative review, but with a little practice, you can get a sense of when a reference has to dig for something nice to say or if a supervisor is holding something back.</p> <p><strong>Avoiding Even a Hint of Discrimination</strong></p> <p>Asking a former supervisor or another reference about anything that could contribute to accusations of discrimination should be avoided. This goes far beyond asking about an applicant's ethnicity, religion, or other matters of obvious discrimination. Asking about whether an applicant made adequate child care arrangements can be enough to cause problems (it is illegal to discriminate against applicants with children).</p> <p>As a prospective employer, you can only ask questions that relate directly to a candidate's ability to perform the job he or she is being considered for. The same rule applies when interviewing an applicant &mdash; you simply don't want to have any information that could be the basis of an accusation of discrimination later on.</p> <p><strong>Making a Reference Call a Simple Matter</strong></p> <p>A past supervisor may get a whole slew of requests for references for the same individual at the same time, depending on how hard that person is looking for a new job. Taking that fact into consideration can make your call go a little easier. Simple etiquette, like making sure that it's a good time for the person offering the reference to talk, can dispose her in favor of offering you more information about your prospective new hire.</p> <p>Ask as many questions as you can: This may be your only opportunity to really check up on a candidate. It may be appropriate to write out a list of questions before you make the call, so that you can be sure that you get any truly important answers. Some businesses use forms to guide reference calls, but such an approach can put constraints on the call that make it harder for you to get all of the information you need to make a hiring decision.</p> <p><strong>If You Can't Get a Reference</strong></p> <p>It's not always a simple matter to get a reference. Sometimes a company has a policy about giving references for past employees. Sometimes a supervisor has moved on and there's simply no one else who worked with your candidate.&nbsp;</p> <p>It's generally worthwhile to offer candidates the chance to provide a few other references (or at least try to find new contact information for the names you've already received). Even a simple check online can often provide you information. With social networking sites, it's becoming more common to be able to find individuals online and to verify the validity of an applicant's references.</p> <p>Ideally, getting a reference for an applicant you're considering hiring should just be a matter of calling a few numbers and listening to past employers tell you how great this particular individual is. Sometimes, though, you need to put a little more work into it. After all, if you're going to trust a new employee as a part of your business, it's important to get as much information as you can to help you choose the right person for the job.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/thursday-bram">Thursday Bram</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/small-business/the-etiquette-of-calling-for-references">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-11"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-questions-you-must-ask-at-your-next-job-interview">4 Questions You Must Ask at Your Next Job Interview</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/250-tips-for-small-business-owners">250+ Tips for Small Business Owners</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-credit-cards-for-small-businesses">The 5 Best Credit Cards for Small Businesses</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-body-language-mistakes-that-sabotage-most-interviews">10 Body Language Mistakes That Sabotage Most Interviews</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-things-never-to-bring-up-in-a-job-interview">5 Things Never to Bring Up in a Job Interview</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Small Business Resource Center business etiquette hiring job interviews references small business Sun, 23 Jan 2011 21:51:23 +0000 Thursday Bram 473846 at http://www.wisebread.com