Friday, August 28, 2015

References and Your Job Search

Obtain your references just ahead of starting a job search or right at the beginning of a “forced” job search.  Your first three to four references should always be professional, as what companies really want to know is how well you perform in the workplace.  For instance:  are you dependable, do you have the skills required by the potential employer, do you complete projects on time, do you manage your time well, are you a self-starter?, etc.  Personal references should also be someone who can talk about your work ethic, how you get along with others, and dependability.  They should not be your drinking buddy, the person you haven’t seen in 10 years, or an individual who can’t answer the “biggest weakness” question without torpedoing your candidacy.  Never use an individual as a reference you haven’t spoken with personally; no one wants a surprise call suddenly asking for a reference about you.  Quality references significantly improve your chances of being hired, so select them wisely.  To your job search success!

Friday, August 21, 2015

Phone Interview Tips

Phone interviews are incredibly important and there are several things you can do to have a more successful outcome.  First, before the call ensure you have all the information needed in front of you, including your resume and cover letter, job ad, and company research.  Second, have something to take notes on (and with) so you don’t distract the interviewer with the noise of the computer keyboard.  Third, take the call in a quiet room at home or in your car with no children, dogs, television or radio sound in the background.  Fourth and last, have some water at the ready since your nerves will most likely make you thirsty.  Try these tips before your next phone interview.  To your job search and interview success!

Monday, August 17, 2015

10 Tips for a Standout LinkedIn Picture

LinkedIn is such an important tool for career management, job search, and even for business owners, yet many hesitate to put a picture on their LinkedIn profile.  We don’t always like our picture, but having a shadow avatar is not the answer and keeps people from connecting with you and taking you seriously.  Here 10 tips to help you achieve a great LinkedIn photo!

--No Selfies:  You look like you took a selfie, and everyone knows it’s a selfie.
--Smile:  Many people on LinkedIn look angry or unapproachable, and it is simply because they don’t smile in their picture.
--Head and Shoulders Shot:  You do not want a full body shot for a photo, as the picture is fairly small, and no one will be able to see your face in a full length photo.
--Makeup and Hair Color:  Ladies and Gentlemen, if you don’t like your hair, get it cut, change the style, change the color, add some color, etc., and for women a little makeup will enhance your look and avoid a very pale or tired look in a snapshot (sometimes a little concealer can help the men too).
--Professional Looking Background:  No garage doors, Christmas trees, closets, plain walls, fountains, etc., in your picture background.  Whether you use a bookcase with books and decorative items that look nice, or a more standard photo background, the setting can matter almost as much as you.
--Professional Photographer:  If you have a relative or friend who takes wonderful pictures you may not need a professional headshot, but make sure whomever takes your picture gives you many photos to choose from and if necessary can fix an issue like red eyes or too much eye crinkle.
--Glasses or No Glasses:  If you like your glasses and wear them all the time, then please include them in your picture.
--No Photoshop Cutout:  Please avoid the cutout of you from another picture at the family reunion, church/synagogue/temple directory, family photo, or any other picture you would need to manipulate heavily.
--No Extras:  Your spouse, your child, funny signs, puppy dogs, parrots, or any other “stuff” with you in the picture can be seen as unprofessional.
--Promote You:  Use a photo of you, not another person, a cartoon figure, your dog, or anything else that isn't YOU!

Remember, LinkedIn is a professional social media venue, not a Facebook page.  To your career, job search and business success!

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Career Management Quotes of the Week

“Criticism of others is futile and if you indulge in it often you should be warned that it can be fatal to your career.”

Dale Carnegie

“Analyzing what you haven't got as well as what you have is a necessary ingredient of a career.”
Orison Swett Marden

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Interview Tip - What to do prior to an interview

Here are 10 tips to help you be more prepared prior to going into an interview. 

--Make sure you know where the interview location is, and if necessary, travel to the location the day before to ensure you can get there in the estimated time and find a close parking space.
--Bring nice copies of your resume and cover letter, on stationery (if possible), to the interview.
--Bring a bottle of water.
--Bring a notebook or portfolio to take notes during the interview.
--Bring a book, a real book not digital, to read. Choose a book with a business-related or motivational topic, no politics or religion, or anything like science fiction or romance novels.
--Write out questions you want to ask prior to the interview and take them with you.
--Arrive 20 minutes early.
--Turn off your cell phone and any other digital devices.
--Check your outfit and make sure it is clean and neat in appearance.
--Get rid of chewing gum, check for food caught between teeth, or lipstick smears around mouth or on teeth.

To your job search and interview success!

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Job Search Quotes of the Week

“There are costs and risks to a program of action, but they are far less than the long range risks and costs of comfortable inaction.”
John F. Kennedy

“The people who get on in this world are the people who get up and look for the circumstances they want, and if they can't find them, make them.”

George Bernard Shaw

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Career Management Quotes of the Week

“Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you too can become great.”
Mark Twain

“The decisions you make about your work life are especially important, since most people spend more of their waking lives working than doing anything else. Your choices will affect not only yourself and those closest to you, but in some way the whole world.”

Laurence G. Boldt