Here’s short video on how a good reference can go bad, and what to do if that happens…
I recently spoke with writer, Michele Vrouvas, about job interviews. We discussed insider tips and secrets, things that HR people look for in candidates and some of the ‘unwritten rules’. Our chat became the foundation of this article for Study.com, a site that provides high level learningtools for students and teachers~
If you have contacted the ResuMAYDAY office in the past two years, there’s a good chance that you’ve spoken to my lovely assistant, Sz’Moyne. Her favorite part of the job is talking with job seekers and helping them solve their problems whenever and however she can. And it’s with that positive attitude that she approached me with a few ideas to share with our clients about their summer job searches. So without further ado, I’d like to introduce a new segment to the ResuMAYDAY blog: From the Desk of Sz’Moyne Arnwine…
3 Summer Job Search Tips:
Now that summer is here, most job seekers will think that it’s a good idea to place their search on hold until the fall. While it’s true that some companies don’t extend offers until the fall, keep in mind that they interview before the offers…in summer. Here are three reasons not to believe that myth that it’s a waste of time to launch a job search in the summer:
1. Going to a pool party or summer event? You never know when you will run into a hiring manager or an industry professional at a picnic or other summer event. Make sure you have perfected your elevator speech, and drop a few business cards in your beach bag. If you find yourself with some summer free time, spend a few minutes making sure your LinkedIn profile is updated with your current career goal, all the right keywords and a good-looking profile picture. Summer is also a great time to conduct informational interviews with others who also have down time. Remember to think strategically, and act opportunistically.
2. Sometimes no news is good news. We have all been there before. You apply to a position but you don’t hear anything back right away so you assume that you aren’t qualified. Guess what? All bets are off when summer schedules take over. With summer in full swing, HR may be working with a reduced staff or the decision maker may be out of the office. Expect that it’s going to take a little longer to hear from someone. Be patient and don’t assume the worst.
3. Set small, obtainable goals that work with your schedule. Yes, it’s summer. You’ve earned some downtime, so go for it! Just be sure that you are setting aside time to fit in a few job search activities. Set a schedule of days and times that you can commit to your search. If you don’t do this, a week off can quickly turn into a month. Before you know it, the entire season can be behind you, with no job search progress to show for it. Small, obtainable goals will help keep you on track.
In conclusion, be proactive and take advantage of the season. Summer downtime and parties provide great opportunities to network and add momentum to your search. Be prepared! You never know what’s around the corner!
Sz’Moyne Arnwine is the Client Relations Manager at ResuMAYDAY. She loves learning about job search and business strategies, and generously shares them with the ResuMAYDAY community.
Interviewing well is such an important skill. You could have a great resume but if you can’t close the deal in the interview, your resume really doesn’t matter. So I wanted to take a moment to share some insights with you.
Generally, there are two types of interview questions: Traditional and Behavioral.
Traditional = What is your 5 year plan? What are your weaknesses? Why should we hire an external candidate like you, rather than promoting from within?
Behavioral = Tell me about a time that you failed while on the job. Tell me an unpopular management decision you made and how your team handled it. Tell me about a time that you had to manage conflict between two or more colleagues.
Job seekers have a much better chance of selling their skills and talents to an employer when behavioral questions are asked. Behavioral questions enable the candidate to bring the interviewer (figuratively) into the candidate’s previous work experience to show how they handled a specific workplace event. Traditional questions prompt canned, outdated and predictable answers. This isn’t the right way for an employer to find their next superstar! My advice to employers is ask behavioral-based questions in their interviews. My advice for job seekers is when an employer asks a traditional-based question, answer in a behavioral-based manner.
Q: “Why should we hire you, an external candidate, rather than promoting from within?”
A: “Well, I think a lot of candidates at this point may say that an outside person will bring a fresh perspective. I don’t agree with that; your employees don’t exist in a vacuum or a protective bubble. So while I don’t know the internal candidates who might be campaigning for a promotion, I can tell you that I have learned everything I can about your company and that I have a strategic plan that can get this department’s sales team to break the $1MM threshold. I’ve done it before for companies who don’t have as strong as an infrastructure as you do. Here’s my plan…”
What you’re doing is bending the conversation to your advantage, without sounding condescending to the interviewer. Afterwards, the interviewer will probably pat him or herself on the back for conducting such a great interview! But you and I will know the credit really goes to you…and the job offer probably will, too.
If you’re a job seeker and you want to improve your interview techniques, give us a call and we’ll set up an interview skills session. We even offer a FREE interview skills assessment!
If you’re an employer, reach out to us to learn more about behavioral interviews and how this technique will vastly improve your hiring results.
If you have a job seeker in your life, consider giving that person a holiday gift that will boost their job search. The ResuMAYDAY team put their heads together and came up with ideas for great gifts that will work for any job seeker, from entry-level to executive:
1. Gift the services of a career coach or resume professional. While this may seem a bit self-promotional, the difference between a DIY resume and a professionally written resume can make all the difference in the world. Here’s a tip: offer to gift a specific amount, without choosing the company for your job seeker. Working with a resume writer or coach is a very personal choice and should be directed by the person who will use those services. Let the job seeker ‘interview’ a few service providers to make sure the one that ‘best fits’ is chosen and to ensure the job seeker is ready and motivated to use these services.
2. Make introductions to influential people. Invite your job seeker to a networking coffee or after-hours cocktail with hiring managers, human resource people or recruiters that are already in your network. Sharing your connections in such a personal way is a generous, low-cost, high-impact gift that not many people think of doing.
3. Pay the annual dues to an important business association or professional group. Memberships are crucial to connecting with industry experts and potential employers.
4. Pay for an enhanced LinkedIn membership for 3 or 6 months. A paid LinkedIn membership will give your job seeker more and easier access to recruiters and employers. Likewise, it ensures that their profile is easily accessible to recruiters and employers.
5. A good book never goes out of style. Every year, ‘What Color is Your Parachute?’ comes out with an updated print version and online supplement. Our clients find this one to be very helpful. Another good one is ‘StrengthsFinder 2.0′. It’s chock-full of great information. But these aren’t the only two out there. Take a look at career/job search books at your favorite bookseller and read the reviews. You’re sure to find something to help point your job seeker in the right direction, and these books don’t cost a lot of money.
6. Consider gifting something wearable, such as a power tie or pretty bracelet. This can be the perfect token to show your support, and boost your job seeker’s confidence in an interview.
7. Lastly, pick a gift that rewards their hard work. Finding a job IS a job, if you’re doing it right. Gift your job seeker with dinner and a movie, a manicure or something else that brings a bit of fun and relaxation to their schedule.
Here’s a news clip of Lauren Milligan, from ResuMAYDAY, DISCUSSING THESE IDEAS with Ray Cortopassi over at Fox 59 in Indianapolis. Is Ray on the Naughty or Nice list? Find out!