here are no secrets to success — despite what the Internet may tell you.
Think about the happiest people you know. Other than your insufferable neighbor who has photogenic children and can’t shut up about his new Lexus GS Hybrid, the most fortunate people you know work hard and don’t take shortcuts. They don’t brag or boast. They measure progress in years instead of days. And they spend time building relationships and learning from mentors and leaders.
Here’s the real truth: The best recruiters will share their wisdom if you ask nicely.
The best recruiters are data-savvy sourcers.
Genuine recruiters get their hands dirty. They dig deeper, deconstruct boring job descriptions, and create profiles of ideal candidates. They are willing to perform very unglamorous activities such as cold-calling, researching Internet databases, and profiling candidates.
It’s not sexy. The greatest recruiters are experts in primary and secondary sourcing methodologies because they want to ensure that no stone is unturned in the quest to identify both active and passive candidates. Companies such as Stryker and Key Bank require their recruiters to think of themselves as data-proficient sourcers, which requires some knowledge of how to perform a Web search query.
Sound difficult? Good things come to those who work hard. Follow their lead and learn a little more aboutBoolean search operators. Once you learn the basics, a whole new world of recruiting opens up to you.
Top-performing recruiters display exceptional salesmanship.
I hate to break it to you: Recruiting is sales, although many recruiters don’t believe it. If you’re a recruiter who displays salesmanship, you are persuasive and confident. You understand human behavior without being an unbearable jerk who took a single undergraduate psychology class. You aren’t afraid to appeal to ego, either.
Do you want a passive candidate to leave her job? Do you want a hiring manager to increase the salary range so you can lock down an extraordinary candidate? The best recruiters possess the right mix of self-confidence, motivation, and persistence to move the needle. You can’t be a recruiter without being a sales professional. That’s how you make placements and exceed your organization’s expectations.
Strong recruiters have crucial conversations.
I’ve never met a recruiter who liked to waste time, and yet so many in-house and third-party recruiters are afraid to have important and courageous conversations. Don’t fear difficult conversations at work, because the most successful people in this world speak candidly. When it comes to recruiting, sometimes you have to call BS on an important requisition or a beloved candidate who is not the right fit for your organization’s culture.
Excellent recruiters are tactful and professional, but they are powerful advocates for the truth.
Successful recruiters don’t blame the technology.
Back in the day, recruiters blamed the telephone for all of their problems. Then it was the newspaper’s fault, until the fax machine came along. Now recruiters are in the habit of blaming the Internet, job boards, applicant tracking systems and applicants themselves for sub-standard results.
As my friend Ben Gotkin writes, please stop blaming your ATS.
No technology can replace the human-to-human connection required to motivate a job seeker to move from passive to active status, and no mobile device will overcome objections and help a nervous candidate accept a new role. The greatest recruiters know this, and although they have a mastery of the latest gadgets and platforms, they are mature enough not to blame the Internet, like a 14-year-old, when times are tough.
Want to be a successful recruiter?
Here’s what the best recruiters aren’t telling you: Successful people arm themselves with information, including the latest trends in talent acquisition and recruiting. They seek out new technology partners and recruiting systems. And when all is said and done, they get on with the business of recruiting.
The best recruiters get to work. In 2016, that’s what you ought to be doing.
By Laurie Ruettimann is a former Human Resources leader turned influential speaker, writer and strategist. You may know her as the creator of The Cynical Girl and Punk Rock HR, which Forbes named as a top 100 website for women.
Ruettimann has been published in a variety of places including Entrepreneur, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, US News and World Report and USA Today. She has lectured at business events around the world held by Harvard Business School, SXSW, American Marketing Association, MediaBistro and many others.
She is also recognized as one of the Top 5 career advisors by CareerBuilder and CNN.
With nearly 3 in 5 (57%) people reporting benefits and perks being among their top considerations before accepting a job, some employers are raising the bar even higher when it comes to benefits and perks they offer to help attract talent. But beyond free food and on-site gyms, what are some of the more incredible, unique and surprising benefits and perks that some employees are enjoying?
These 20 companies are just some that provide perks and benefits that go beyond the basics, with life coaching services, egg freezing, free amusement park passes and more. Check out the full results, according to Benefits Reviews on Glassdoor, shared by employees:
1. Netflix offers one paid year of maternity and paternity leave to new parents. They also allow parents to return part-time or full-time and take time off as needed throughout the year.
- Overall Benefits Rating: 3.7
2. REI encourages its employees to get outside by offering two paid days off, called “Yay Days,” a year to enjoy their favorite outside activity.
- Overall Benefits Rating: 4.0
3. Salesforce employees receive six days of paid volunteer time off a year, and if they use all six, they receive a $1,000 grant to donate to a charity of their choice.
- Overall Benefits Rating: 4.5
4. Spotify provides six months of paid parental leave, plus one month of flexible work options for parents returning to the office. The company also covers costs for egg freezing and fertility assistance.
- Overall Benefits Rating: 4.2*
5. World Wildlife Fund employees take Friday off every other week, also known as “Panda Fridays” at the nonprofit.
- Overall Benefits Rating: 4.5*
6. Airbnb, the Best Place to Work in 2016, gives its employees an annual stipend of $2,000 to travel and stay in an Airbnb listing anywhere in the world.
- Overall Benefits Rating: 4.6
7. PwC offers its employees $1,200 per year for student loan debt reimbursement.
- Overall Benefits Rating: 4.0
8. Pinterest provides a unique take on the parental leave policy by providing four paid months off, plus an additional month of part-time hours, as well as two counseling sessions to create a plan to re-enter the workplace.
- Overall Benefits Rating: 4.7*
9. Burton employees receive season ski passes and “snow days” to hit the slopes after a big snowfall.
- Overall Benefits Rating: 4.0*
10. Twilio offers employees a Kindle plus $30 a month to purchase books.
- Overall Benefits Rating: 4.0
11. Twitter is well-known for providing perks such as three catered meals a day, but some lesser-known benefits include on-site acupuncture and improv classes.
- Overall Benefits Rating: 4.3
12. Accenture covers gender reassignment for their employees as part of their commitment to LGBTQ rights and diversity.
- Overall Benefits Rating: 4.0
13. Walt Disney Company wants its employees to enjoy the “Happiest Place on Earth” as much as their visitors by offering free admission to its parks for employees, plus their friends and family, as well as discounts on hotels and merchandise.
- Overall Benefits Rating: 4.0
14. Facebook provides $4,000 in “Baby Cash” to employees with a newborn.
- Overall Benefits Rating : 4.7
15. Evernote hosts classes through “Evernote Academy,” which offers team-building courses like macaroon baking.
- Overall Benefits Rating: 4.3*
16. Epic Systems Corporation offers employees a paid four-week sabbatical to pursue their creative talents after 5 years at the company.
- Overall Benefits Rating: 4.3
17. Adobe shuts down the entire company for one week in December and one week over the summer.
- Overall Benefits Rating: 4.6
18. Asana employees have access to executive and life coaching services outside of the company.
- Overall Benefits Rating: 4.9*
19. Zillow pays for employees who are traveling to ship their breast milk.
- Overall Benefits Rating: 4.5
20. Google provides the surviving spouse or partner of a deceased employee 50% of their salary for the next ten years.
- Overall Benefits Rating: 4.6
Does your company provide great benefits or perks? Share a review.
How Much Do Employee Benefits & Perks Really Matter?
There’s no doubt about it, employee benefits and perks do matter when it comes to recruiting and retaining talent, but the impact benefits have in the recruiting game versus the employee retention game differs.
When it comes to recruiting talent today, Glassdoor surveys show that nearly 3 in 5 (57%) people report benefits and perks being among their top considerations before accepting a job, while 4 in 5 people also say they would prefer new perks over a pay raise. This indicates that most employees value benefits and perks when making job decisions and determining which companies may be a great fit for them. Plus, it’s important to consider that when it comes to which benefits and perks matter most to people, we’ve found the top five include:
- Healthcare insurance (e.g., medical, dental): 40%
- Vacation/Paid time off: 37%
- Performance bonus: 35%
- Paid sick days: 32%
- 401(k) plan, retirement plan and/or pension: 31%
However, when it comes to what keeps employees at companies and satisfied on the job, it’s a different story. According to Glassdoor Economic Research, culture and values, career opportunities and senior leadership are the most important factors in cultivating employee satisfaction, which can directly impact employee retention. Thus, while benefits and perks are a great way to get employees in the door and interested in a company, they’re not among the leading factors that keep employees satisfied on the job and with a company long-term.
This list was determined by identifying some of the more unique benefits employees are enjoying at companies, based on the hundreds of thousands of benefits reviews shared by employees on Glassdoor since August 2014, when the Benefits Reviews feature launched. Rankings for this report do not reflect order of importance, but are included for simplicity of reporting. Each company’s Benefits Rating is based on at least 20 benefits reviews shared on Glassdoor by employees as of January 28, 2016. We include this data point in this report to show how employees rate each company’s overall benefits program.
Originally published by Glassdoor
Have you ever wondered how the potential candidates you reach out to on a regular basis actually prefer to be initially contacted? Would you like to know how they really feel about receiving emails, LinkedIn InMails, phone calls, Twitter replies, Facebook messages/comments, and text messages from recruiters?
I’ve compiled a number of surveys that provide significant insight into how people like to be contacted by recruiters, and the results might surprise you.
Stack Overflow’s annual Developer Hiring Landscape survey is quite powerful because it is backed by an impressive sample size of 26,086 responses with global representation from 157 countries. I know, I know – some of you don’t recruit software engineers, but I think the results of Stack Overflow’s survey are likely representative of any in-demand talent pool, I.T. or otherwise.
Take a look for yourself:
Email is Preferred, LinkedIn Liked
Unsurprisingly, email tops the charts for “great” as a way to hear about new job opportunities.
However, what many might find surprising is that LinkedIn InMails aren’t hated much as some would have you believe, and actually have pretty strong ratings for “great” and “tolerate.”
Stack Overflow didn’t publish the percentages, but I’d guess that less than 30% of the 26,086 survey respondents claimed they didn’t have a LinkedIn account – this means that over 70% do. Keep in mind these are software engineers from over 150 countries. I often hear from the LinkedIn-bashing bandwagon riders that software engineers aren’t on LinkedIn. Stack Overflow’s survey data tells an entirely different story.
Also of interest is that the number of people claiming to have a Facebook account was only slightly higher than the number of people who claim to have a LinkedIn account – they’re almost equal.
Phone Calls, Facebook and Twitter Hated Most
I have to admit I was surprised by the fact that developers hated being called about as much as they hate being pinged on Facebook about new job opportunities. However, it still looks as if about 25% of the respondents said the phone was “great,” and over 50% claim that receiving a phone call from a recruiter was either “great” or tolerated.
As you can see, it appears that about 33% of developers claim they don’t have a Twitter account, which is still pretty strong representation on Twitter in my opinion considering the sample size and the massively global reach of the survey.
While the survey results clearly show that a large percentage of people hate being contacted through Facebook about new job opportunities, I know many people who successfully leverage Facebook to reach out to potential candidates. If I had to guess, I would say most people using Facebook to contact people in their target talent pool are probably not doing a very good job in their initial approach and messaging which produces not only a lack of response, but also a negative sentiment towards being approached unsolicited on Facebook.
I am not sure why so many developers would hate being contacted by recruiters on Twitter given that Twitter is a very public/open platform, and I would not think many people would think of Twitter as a “private” place like many people likely feel about Facebook. Do you have any thoughts on this?
What about Text Messaging?
We all know that text messages have a ridiculously high open rate, and I’ve been in some spirited online debates over text messaging people as a first point of contact from sourcers/recruiters. What better way to bolster my opinions than provide some data to back it up?
SIA’s 2015 Temporary Worker Survey asked participants to compare how they feel about text messaging vs. email and phone calls as a preferred method of communication about jobs. You have to be a corporate member to review the report, but I will briefly summarize the results here: In short, less than 10% of survey respondents said text messaging was their preferred method of communication about jobs, and that percentage steadily decreased as compensation increased, to a mere 1% for people making over $60/hour.
Okay, but surely younger generations prefer text messaging, right?
SIA found that less than 10% of people aged <25 to 65 preferred text messaging, with a variance of only 2% between the <25 and 55-65 age groups.
Okay, so maybe people aren’t crazy about receiving text messages as an initial outreach from recruiters. What about using text messaging for following up with candidates?
Software Advice’s 2015 text messaging report found that people prefer emails and phone calls to text messaging, even for scheduling interviews and following up. Similar to SIA, they also found that only 7% of people surveyed preferred text messaging for initial outreach from a recruiter. This is especially telling given that Software Advice’s methodology involved screening their sample to only include respondents who were currently looking for a job. I feel it’s safe to assume that for those who aren’t currently looking for a job, fewer than 7% would prefer receiving an unsolicited text message from a recruiter.
Also of interest is that 32% – 37% of the survey respondents aged 18 – 54 felt that using text messaging in recruitment was unprofessional. Check out the full findings of the survey here.
LinkedIn’s 2015 Global Recruiting Trends Survey found that 75% of people aren’t looking to make a change from their current employer, but most of these folks are open to talking to a recruiter and would consider moving jobs.
Even if you don’t recruit software engineers, you’re probably aware that they are very difficult to recruit because they are so highly in demand. However, you might be surprised to know that Stack Overflow’s survey of over 26,000 software engineers around the world found that 59% are open to new job opportunities, and 69% would consider moving jobs.
This means that the majority of some of the most in-demand talent in the world is open to making a change.
So why are they so hard to engage?
First, you may be using methods to contact them that they hate. See above.
Second, your messaging may not be as good as you think. If a highly in-demand person who isn’t actively looking for a new job receives 10-20 (or more!) messages from recruiters every day, why would they respond 1) at all, and 2) to you specifically out of all the others? If your messaging strategy effectively addresses and answers both of those questions, you’re in good shape.
Lastly, I would not use the above data to suggest you should never call someone because surveys show most people prefer email, or that you should not use Facebook or Twitter to reach out to potential candidates. The reality is, beyond the safety net of email, you never know what any particular person’s preferences are for being contacted (phone, Facebook, etc.), and using the phone and social media can be a great way to humanize you, allowing you to stand out from faceless “just another recruiter” status to a real person who has earned a response.
By Glen leverages
Glen leverages process and technology to identify and hire more of the right people more quickly. He loves to work on solutions that are powered by workforce/data science, big data, and predictive/prescriptive analytics on a global scale, as he firmly believes they will power the “Moneyball Recruiting” effect, empowering companies with a true competitive advantage. Glen has served as the thought leader for sourcing/social/recruiting strategies, technologies, and processes for firms with over 70,000 hires annually; plus played a key role in ATS/CRM and resume parsing/search/matching solution implementation and customization. He has hired, trained, developed, and managed large local, national, and centralized sourcing and recruiting teams, including a National Recruiting Center that now has over 300 associates. When not working a recruiting desk, he has recruited, trained, and managed highly productive teams of up to 24 recruiters responsible for 700 – 900 hires per year. In his current role, he trains hundreds of information technology, finance and accounting, clinical research, and health information management recruiters nationally who are responsible for over 10,000 hires annually. He is extremely passionate about leveraging technology (applicant tracking systems, social networks, job board resume databases, and the Internet) for talent identification and acquisition and is considered a thought leader in Boolean and semantic search techniques. In his personal time, he is the author of www.booleanblackbelt.com where he shares his thoughts and theories.
“Freelancer”, once a resume code word for “unemployed”, has quickly evolved into the staffing of the future, especially among millennials. Recent grads, seeking the autonomous freedom of self-employment, but feeling the financial constraints of student loans, have embraced freelancing as a promising career opportunity. Freelancing allows one to enjoy many of the perks of self-employment, but opportunities to participate in “big-business” as an independent contractor. Bigger companies are also welcoming this staffing trend with open arms, as it fosters lower labor expense by transforming a historically fixed cost into a more accommodating, variable one.
Challenged to adapt my always entrepreneurially-inclined professional pursuits to my husband’s transient military service demands, I quickly feel in love with the opportunities freelancing offers. While we were never able to stay in one place long enough for me to open my “dream biz”, The Hanna Banana Ice Cream Emporium, freelancing allowed me to take advantage of many entrepreneurial opportunities with super cool, change the world start-ups—all the excitement without the investment!
With cultural utilization of mobile technology and today’s “connected” society, freelancing is now easier than ever. If you’d like to ride the wave of the freelance economy, check out the following tips for launching your career as fabulous freelancer:
While I may boast my badass clogging abilities, or extensive education regarding biochemical fermentation processes, those skills don’t receive high demand on the freelance market. However, my social media savvy combined with start-up promo experience gets quite the response from new companies seeking affordable talent, thus leading me to “brand” myself as a start-up marketing consultant.
We all have a few “special talents” up our sleeves. Identify your top five; take a skill inventory assessment and brainstorm your strengths. Bring in the crowd; ask your friends and family, “What am I good at?” and jot down their feedback. Others often have a more objective perspective of our talents than ourselves. Review your results. Identify what “tools of the trade” you offer that may be in high demand, and define your unique brand.
Never underestimate the power of a “cold call” (or in today’s world, “cold e-mail”) to a company you find interesting. Taking the initiative communicates A LOT to your potential employer/client; it says you’re self-motivated, prepared, and resourceful.
Do your homework before the intro; find out as much as you can about the company’s mission, its founders, and its market. Snoop out direct points of contact (LinkedIn!). Research the founder’s alma mater, past press releases, supported causes, top competition, etc. Know everything you can about who and what makes their company great, before you approach them. This is your chance to shine, so make it count!
When identifying potential clients, I simply make lists of start-ups that I think are cool, and whose strategy appears to be lacking in the area of my particular expertise. Be prepared to present key points of what skills or strategies you will bring the company upon initial contact. Don’t show all your cards, just a few “teasers” to demonstrate your value.
Few companies are going to “seal the deal” on first point of contact, so closing the first convo, be prepared to route them to more info regarding your background and expertise. In today’s tech-oriented world, you’re going to need more than a business card and resume on $2/sheet paper. Get visible on LinkedIn and/or invest in an online resume—a website displaying your professional pursuits in detail Upload Your Resume. Like promoting a product, a freelancer must make their product—themselves–accessible and appealing to potential “purchasers”.
Most employers are nervous to pay freelancers an hourly wage, and quite frankly, I don’t blame them: 1) Freelancers are usually operating without direct supervision (i.e. from their own home or local Starbucks), and 2) the contracting company may have no prior experience working with you, thus very little reassuring rapport has been established. To make yourself more appealing to companies, consider structuring your compensation requirements within one of the two following guidelines—flat rate or performance based.
If you’re delivering a completed project, such as: web page, brochure design, editorial services, consider proposing a flat rate, or per job, fee. Contracting companies will not be happy if conclude your gig with “surprise” charges—additional hours, overestimate costs, etc. Put their mind at ease by negotiating a flat rate fee before starting on a project. Such an agreement puts the “risk” on the freelancer.
Performance based compensation—music to an employers’ ear. While such an arrangement may not be applicable to all skill sets, anyone with abilities that will yield quantifiable results, such as: increased sales, increased website traffic, etc., should consider how a performance based compensation scale might work for them. This communicates the freelancer’s confidence in their own abilities, instilling good faith in the client.
Start-ups and distressed businesses are the #1 utilizers of freelancers that I have encountered. Such organizations are often forced to make lightning speed changes, and operating on a shoestring budget. When freelance marketing for a start-up, I presented an aggressive, tactical, (and expensive) marketing campaign comparable in scale to that of their competitors. Instead of receiving a round of applause for my B-school approved strategy, I was met with quizzical looks. The CEO finally broke the silence with a curt, “We don’t have money for marketing. Figure out a way to promote for free.” He was serious!
While freelancing may require you to be exceptionally innovative, don’t forget that it often provides you the same degree of flexibility it may require. Freelancers often set their own hours, don’t have to deal with annoying co-workers, and can work from anywhere (the beach is my personal fav). However, don’t fall into the trap of viewing your freelance gigs as the “corporate” experience pajama-style. Freelancing will require you to bring your A-game—organized, efficient, and professional—and those delivering results will be rewarded.
Incorporate these tips into your freelancing strategy and enjoy the freedom and unique opportunities the diverse freelance market has to offer.
By Hannah Becker
Hannah Becker, serial entrepreneur and MBA student, is author of The Motivated Millennial: An Entrepreneurial Guidebook for Generation Y. Passionate about entrepreneurship, Hannah is committed to encouraging millennials to pursue their entrepreneurship dreams. When not rolling out a new marketing plan, or re-vamping product development, Hannah can be found attempting to ride dressage on her Friesian mare, Miss Scarlet. Visit www.themotivatedmillennial.com for more information and resources to aide your entrepreneurial journey.
Here you are in the interview you have been dreaming about. Now what? Will you nail the interview by making a great impression mastering artful responses to behavioral questions being asked? Or will this be another unsuccessful attempt at getting to your dream job.
The following S.O.A.R. Answer Model is helpful for preparing for interview questions as well as keeping you focused in the interview while answering questions, especially behavioral questions.
You begin by briefly providing context using a real life situation you experienced. This is the “before” picture which illustrates what was happening “at the time” of the situation.
For example – “I was newly promoted to department manager. The department had doubled in volume growth but was experiencing higher than average turnover.”
You then articulate the issues or define the problem. This gets the interviewer’s attention regarding what it is you had to overcome.
For example – “Employee turnover was over 50%. The newer staff required training and coaching. The senior staff were overworked and stressed. Work wasn’t getting done and this was creating regular customer complaints.”
You then explain the action you took to resolve the situation.
For example – “I identified and prioritized the immediate action I needed to take. I analyzed the workflow and matched the work to the people who could best get the job done. I then made sure each of the employees had job descriptions. I set up a regular coaching schedule with each employee so I could monitor progress. I had the newer staff job shadow the senior staff and had the senior staff mentor the newer people. We had regular team meetings to ensure we were all communicating results and progress with each other.”
Lastly, you share the result of your actions. Sharing the quantifiable as well as qualitative outcomes.
For example – “Employee turnover dropped to 10% within the first year. Morale improved significantly. Customer complaints stopped coming in. The department became the most efficient and productive department in the division.”
HERE ARE SOME BEHAVIORAL QUESTIONS.
Practice using the S.O.A.R. Answer Model to develop your own responses.
- Tell me about a time when you had to deal with a difficult client or coworker.
- Tell me about your most significant achievement in your last job.
- Tell me about the most significant mistake you have made, how you handled it, and what you learned from it.
- Give me an example of when you had to sell your boss on a new product, service, system, or program.
- Give me an example of a problem you faced on the job and how you handled it.
- Give me an example of how you dealt with an employee who was not performing up to expectations.
- Give me a recent example of how you went about motivating your coworkers and subordinates.
- Recall for me a time when you challenged your boss and/or company policy.
- Tell me what you did in your last job to help build teamwork.
Make sure you take the time in advance of the interview to develop some strong answers to each potential question. The better prepared you are to answer questions, the more likely you will make a strong impression on your interviewer, become a master interviewee, ultimately landing that dream job.
By Linda Cattelan
Linda Cattelan, Career & Life Coach and the President of Results Catalyst Inc. – a professional coaching and training company focused on individuals and teams to maximize human potential and to achieve personal and professional success. Linda shares over 25 years of corporate experience, much of it at the senior executive level. A superior track record coaching and mentoring senior managers, executives and entrepreneurs to consistently achieve outstanding results Linda is brilliant at using various self discovery techniques to facilitate getting at core issues instrumental for personal and professional breakthrough.
Holding a Masters Degree in Business Administration, Linda is a Certified Trainer and Master Practitioner in Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) and a Certified Professional Co-Active Coach. Linda is a regular guest of radio and television and a Contributing Author of the inspirational and informative networking book, The Power of Women United.
You spent ages tailoring your resume, you put your full effort into writing a top-notch cover letterand you put your most charming self forward in your job interview. They’d be silly not to hire you on the spot, right?
Unfortunately, even when you feel like you’ve done everything you possibly could have to land a job, it doesn’t always pay off. This doesn’t necessarily mean that there’s anything wrong with you or you’re entirely unemployable, so there is no point beating yourself up! There may just have been somebody in the running who is better suited to the role, or perhaps you didn’t champion your most valuable qualities as much as you could have.
Receiving a job rejection can be pretty disheartening and it’s tempting to give up there and then; however it’s better to see it as a learning opportunity. Always ask for feedback after a job interview, so you know where you may have gone wrong or how you came across in the interview, as you may be able to improve on these areas next time round.
If you look at rejection in a more positive light, here are a few lessons that you can learn from it:
1) Be confident yet humble
A level of confidence is certainly a good quality to demonstrate in an interview, as the interviewer wants someone who is self-assured and can communicate professionally; however there is a line to be crossed between confidence and arrogance. Don’t enter the interview with the assumption that you’ve got it in the bag or that they would be silly not to take you on, as this kind of attitude isn’t very attractive in a potential employee and you are likely to rule yourself out of the running! Though it is important for you to share your top skills and achievements, be modest when discussing them, as no one likes a show off!
2) Don’t be afraid to show your personality
While you want to demonstrate that you have the qualities that the company is looking for, they also want to learn a bit about who you are as a person and how you would fit in with the rest of the team. Be genuine and show your personality. If they then decide that you wouldn’t suit the culture of their company, then trust their judgement as they could well be right and you don’t want to end up in an environment that makes you unhappy.
3) Know your strengths and weaknesses
In the large part, job interviews are about learning about your strengths and what you could bring the job; however it is also quite common for interviewers to quiz you about what you feel your weaknesses are, so be prepared to provide them with an answer that is honest, but you can turn into a positive. Being able to identify your weaknesses is a good thing, as it demonstrates self awareness and the motivation to improve yourself.
4) Be curious
Always ask questions in a job interview. It should be a two way process, so that you can learn everything you want to know about the role and the company and it demonstrates that you are truly interested in the job. Though you will be given the opportunity to ask questions at the end, asking questions throughout the interview will show that you are listening to what your interviewer is saying and also allows you to take a bit of control over the conversation, to steer it in the direction you would like.
5) Share information that isn’t on your resume
If you’ve been invited in for an interview, they have probably already read your resume, so there’s no need to repeat it word for word. They want to learn more about you and what you are capable of, so elaborate on your past experience and achievements in more detail and share specific examples and stories that they could not learn from a document. They also want to get an idea about your communication style and work ethic from your interview, so try to come across and approachable and professional.
6) See the positives in a negative situation
Rather than seeing a job rejection as purely a negative experience, try to look at it in a more positive light. For example, if you were rejected on the basis that the interviewer didn’t think you were a good culture fit, they may have saved you from starting a job where you would struggle to fit in. And if you were turned down based on a mistake you made, you know what to avoid in your next interview! Not every job that you interview for is going to be a good fit, so think positively and get back on the horse! Sometimes rejection is a blessing in disguise anyway!
7) Don’t put all your eggs in one basket
Don’t just assume that the job is yours after a seemingly successful interview. You may be a good candidate, but there could always be an even better candidate competing for the job and other factors such as a decision to delay the hiring or scrap the role entirely could also lead to a rejection. So if you’re looking for a new job, try not to pin all your hopes on one role and make use of the time waiting for a response by looking for other opportunities. There’s nothing wrong with keeping your options open and the more jobs you apply for, the higher your chances of being offered one.
8) Don’t give up
Not everything is meant to be, so don’t get yourself down if you aren’t offered the first job that you interview for! Most people will face rejection and some point or another, so persist with your job hunt, take on board any feedback you have received and your time will come!
Sophie is an Account Executive at Link Humans in London.
I spoke with Andy Teach, a corporate veteran and author of From Graduation to Corporation: The Practical Guide to Climbing the Corporate Ladder One Rung at a Time, Melanie Holmes, a former vice president at ManpowerGroup, Marjie Terry, VP of business development and client service at Great on the Job, and Al Coleman, Jr., author of Secrets to Success: The Definitive Career Development Guide for New and First Generation Professionals, to find out about the best times to start a new job search. Here’s what they said.
1. When you’re ready.
“I think that once a job seeker decides they want a new job, that’s the best time to look for a job,” Teach says. There’s no time like the present–so as soon as you think you’re ready to start looking; do it. In fact, it couldn’t hurt to start looking before you’re ready, Coleman says. Just don’t wait until it’s too late.
2. When you have enough time on your hands.
Terry says you need to make sure you have enough time on your hands to manage your job search well and make great impressions on the contacts you’re forming. “If you’re not going to be able to do your current job well, you might want to wait until you have a bit more time on your hands, or make sure your search is scaled back to meet your current availability,” she says.
3. When employees aren’t on vacation or tied up in other things.
Certain times of year are better than others for job hunting. It may depend on your specific industry or job, but the summer and the winter holiday season tend to be the slowest for hiring. “The end of the year tends to be a slower time for new hires,” Holmes says. “Initiatives are wrapping up and budgets are maxed out. For companies on a calendar year financial schedule, new budgets start in January, which can mean funding for new positions.”
Terry also advises that you stay away from the formal part of the job search during the summer months, as many people are on vacation or putting off non-essential tasks in favor of getting out an hour or two early at the end of the day or week. “There’s no reason, however, to abstain from the research and networking phases during the summer, that way you can hit the ground running come fall,” she says.
4. After you’ve done your research.
Even in a great economy, there’s no point in looking for a new job or career if you haven’t done your research. “It’s imperative that you know what you want to do and for what company,” Teach says. “You must be prepared, which means knowing where to find out about jobs, having a totally complete LinkedIn profile, conducting informational interviews, anticipating interview questions, knowing exactly what the job entails, and doing as much company research as possible.”
5. When the company or industry you’re interested in is healthy and hiring.
If you find out that your dream employer has implemented a hiring freeze or is having a tough quarter, you might be wasting your time pursuing a job there. “Research the financial health and stability of all potential employers,” Holmes suggests.
6. When you really don’t need a new job.
Perhaps the best time to look for a new job is when you don’t need one; you just want one, Teach says. “There’s a lot less pressure on you because your current job isn’t too bad and there’s no rush in getting a new one. You can take your time and if a great opportunity comes up you can take it if you want or you can wait for the next one.” You’re in control. If you think you’re about to be fired, start your job search immediately.
7. Before you hate your current job.
Some people wait until they hate their current job before they start looking for a new one. The problem is that they become stressed out and unhappy, and this comes across in subsequent job interviews, Teach says. It’s best to start looking if you can see “the writing on the wall” at your current job, but before you become so miserable that it affects your job search in a negative manner.
8. After you’ve completed a major project for your present company.
Perhaps you’re preparing for an upcoming sales meeting in a month, Teach says. “If you’re an integral part of the preparation and you start dividing your focus between your current job and on a potential new job, or leave before the sales meeting, you run the risk of burning some bridges.” Try to avoid this if possible.
9. After the New Year.
Sometimes, there’s a psychological boost when you start looking for a new job in January, Teach says. You feel like you’re starting over and it’s out with the old and in with the new. “Also, it’s possible that some hiring managers will be more focused on filling positions now that the holidays are over,” he says. “New year; new job; new outlook on life.”
10. After you’ve taken that big vacation.
If you have a big vacation coming up, it’s probably best to look for a job after you come back. You don’t want to get into a situation where you’re being considered for a job and then you have to inform them that you’ll be out a week or two right after you start your new job, Teach says. “The hiring manager isn’t going to want to train you for a few days or weeks and then have to stop until you get back.” However, if an amazing opportunity presents itself just before your vacation, you should pursue it, and put your personal plans on hold, if necessary.
11. After a major life change (not during it).
For the same reason you don’t want to start a job right before you go on a big vacation, you probably don’t want to start a job search while you’re pregnant, going through a divorce, or some other life change. If you’re currently employed and the job hunt can wait a bit, hold off until your personal life calms down. “Starting a new job requires an extra investment of time and effort,” says Holmes. “You need to prove yourself to your new employer, and that may require extra hours and limited flexibility until you’ve built trust and proven that you can deliver. That being said, if a personal situation will prevent you from investing appropriately, you may want to stick with your current role.”
By Liz Ryan
So, you found a job you’re excited about applying for and took your best whack at tailoring your resume to it. Great! It’s important to go the extra mile for something you care about.
But, it’s even more important to make sure that extra mile is worth it. When you’re at this stage of the process, the changes are not usually drastic. You might be wondering if they’re even noticeable. Trust me, they are! The easier you make it for the hiring manager to see you’re a fit, the more likely you’ll get through to the next round.
So, to ensure you spend your time wisely, here are three quick ways to check if your resume’s really ready to go.
1. Play the Matching Game
This first step is pleasantly straightforward. Basically, you’re looking for keyword matches between your resume and the position’s description. Highlight the parts of the original posting that stand out to you or seem important, then look for the same words in your own resume.
Keywords signal to people that you have relevant experience and that your application should be given a bit more time—and in a world where these pieces of paper get all of six seconds, a little more time can be quite valuable.
2. Get Straight to the Point
You’ve found all the keywords on your resume. Excellent. Next, you need to check if they’re buried in too much text. If they all tend to be at the end of your bullets, then that’s no good. Or maybe they’re hidden away at the bottom in your skills section. Again, that’s a no-go.
You want these relevant words and skills front and center, close to the top, and toward the front of your bullets. Edit accordingly. Ideally, you don’t want the person reading to have to think too hard about whether to put you in the pile for phone screening. Make it obvious.
Of course, if you’re a career changer or you’re leaning on experience from several different jobs to count as being qualified for this one, that makes things trickier. You might want to consider a summary statement as a way to get those keywords closer to the top.
3. Interview Your Resume
The first two steps involve getting hiring managers to spend a little extra time on your resume. The next step is to make sure they find what they’re looking for now that you have their attention. Take the job description and come up with interview questions. Can you answer these questions with just the information on your resume?
For example, if the posting states that they’re looking for a team player, you’ll want to “ask your resume” if it can tell you about a time when you proved you were a team player. Then, you’ll want to make sure one of your bullets starts with something like, “Collaborated on a team of four to…”
This last step is the most in-depth and it’s the final test to see how much you were able to connect the dots. No, you don’t necessarily have to address everything mentioned (it is only one page, after all), but this is a good gauge to see how personalized you’ve managed to get it to this particular job.
Get through all three of these steps, tack on a stellar cover letter, and your application will speak for itself. Onward to interview prep!
By Lily Zhang
Lily Zhang serves as a Career Development Specialist at MIT where she works with a range of students from undergraduates to PhDs on how to reach their career aspirations. When she’s not indulging in a new book or video game, she’s thinking about, talking about, or writing about careers. Follow her musings on Twitter @lzhng.
Originally published on Themuse
Some career experts say that the day you start a new job you should begin planning for your next job. And you know what? You should! Just make sure that you stay focused enough on the job you were hired for that you succeed and excel in that position before looking for the next one.
Promotions are not a given. It used to be that workers progressed along specific career paths during their careers, but the impact of technology, globalization, and flatter organizational structures, has changed that paradigm. Today, employees have to create and manage their own career paths — through one or multiple organizations. And remember that a promotion is not always an upward path. Sometimes — especially in today’s business environment — you may need to make a lateral move to position yourself for a later upward move.
How do you develop your promotion plan? Incorporate these 10 strategies into your plan.
1. Develop Mentoring Relationships
One recent study found that in four out of five promotions, those promoted had a mentoring relationship with someone higher in the company who helped spread the good word about them. Some companies have formal mentoring programs, but even if your company does not, there are still ways you can build relationships with people in higher positions in the company. Mentors can also be great sources for information and career guidance.
2. Quantify Results
While promotions are not necessarily based on your past performance, you can certainly make a much better case for a promotion by showing detailed information about your past successes. Those who get results get ahead.
Keep a record of everything you do that enhances the company’s bottom line, that puts the company or your department in a good light, that is creative and innovative, and that shows your loyalty and commitment to the organization.
3. Practice Self-Promotion
We’re taught by our families that modesty is a virtue, but just as with job-hunting, if no one knows how great you are, you simply won’t get ahead. Be a known quantity. If you have had major accomplishments or created new or award-winning programs, make sure people know about them — especially the people doing the promoting.
Sell yourself — and let it be known that you are seeking a promotion. One professional we know sends out a monthly email to his boss and his boss’s boss to keep them updated on his progress on various projects — and to share any accomplishments and accolades that occurred in the previous month.
4. Establish a Bond with Your Boss
It might help to think of your boss as one of those border guards between countries. S/he can either be raising the gate and waving you onward and upward to your next position within the company, or s/he can be keeping the gate down and blocking you from any movement within the company. Use all opportunities to make your boss a key supporter of your promotion.
Use professional settings to seek counsel and stress your interest in staying with the company. Use performance appraisals not just to go over your accomplishments, but to talk with your boss about potential roadblocks to a promotion — and how to overcome those roadblocks.
Some experts also suggest building rapport with your boss by learning more about his or her outside interests and hobbies — and then chatting about them during conferences, parties, or other informal activities.
5. Acquire New Knowledge and Skills
It goes without saying that one of the best ways to succeed in getting a promotion is to expand your knowledge and skills sets in areas that are critical to the organization. As technology and other environmental forces change rapidly, you need an ever-increasing skill set not only to perform your job, but to stay marketable.
Experts also suggest that employees who want to get ahead should not only keep current with industry news and events, but to also pay attention to trends and events outside their specialty.
6. Build Your Network
The more people who know you, know your strengths and abilities, know your value to the organization, and know (at least some of) your ambitions, the more likely your name will be discussed when opportunities arise.
An added benefit of networking is that you will learn much more about the company if you network with people in other areas of the organization. Learn more about networking here.
7. Ask for More Responsibilities
Volunteering to help out other departments or teams — or simply asking for more responsibilities — increases your value within the organization. Asking for more work shows your interest and desire to help your department and company to succeed — as well as putting a spotlight on your value to the organization.
8. Act Professionally at All Times
Earn a reputation for being dependable, professional, and cooperative. Act and look the part.
- Dress professionally and neatly — even on business casual days.
- Ask questions when you aren’t sure how to do something.
- Dare to be different — make yourself stand out from the pack.
- Keep a positive outlook on things, even when in tough situations.
- Don’t whine or complain – or blame others — when things don’t go your way.
- Make a name for yourself in your industry through conferences, articles, speeches.
- Don’t be a clock-watcher.
Finally, be a problem-solver. Don’t go to your boss with problems. If a difficult situation arises, be sure to come up with at least one solution before seeking your boss’s blessing for dealing with the situation. Problem-solvers get promoted. Complainers who expect the boss to solve all their problems don’t.
9. Be a Team Player
Because so much of work is now accomplished through teams — departmental or cross-functional — it becomes even more important to share successes with your team and to avoid pointing your finger when there are failures.
And by being a team player, you only build your reputation and increase your value to the organization.
10. Create Your Own Opportunities
After studying the needs and challenges of the organizations, if you see an area that has been neglected — and you have key skills in that area – write a proposal for a new position.
And even if the company does not go for the new position, you have again shown your initiative, creativity, and value to the firm — and these things can only help you the next time you request a promotion.
Surefire Ways Not to Get Promoted
- Don’t plan your day. Go to work each day without a plan in mind.
- Do the minimum. Have the attitude of “they don’t pay me for that.”
- Rely on your current base of knowledge. No need to learn new skills.
- Voice your complaints. Be vocal about what you don’t like at work.
- Don’t share the credit. Put your name alone at the top of successful projects.
From Dr. Donald E. Wetmore’s The Productivity Institute
By: Dr. Randall S. Hansen
Dr. Randall S. Hansen is founder of Quintessential Careers, one of the oldest and most comprehensive career development sites on the Web, as well CEO ofEmpoweringSites.com. He is also founder of MyCollegeSuccessStory.com andEnhanceMyVocabulary.com. He is publisher of Quintessential Careers Press, including the Quintessential Careers electronic newsletter, QuintZine. Dr. Hansen is also a published author, with several books, chapters in books, and hundreds of articles. He’s often quoted in the media and conducts empowering workshops around the country. Finally, Dr. Hansen is also an educator, having taught at the college level for more than 15 years. Visit his personal Website or reach him by email atrandall(at)quintcareers.com. Check out Dr. Hansen on GooglePlus
Most people attend networking events to gain something: job leads, referrals, exposure, connections, opportunities to grow their business. Having organized more than 50 networking events over the past 10 years, I’ve seen plenty of these people leave disappointed, dismissing networking as a complete waste of time.
But I’ve also seen the opposite. I’ve seen people walk out with a handful of business cards feeling happy, inspired and excited. The major difference between these two groups of people is this: the people who leave on a high note are those who attend with just one goal in mind — to figure out how they can help others in the room.
True networking occurs when there’s an understanding that everyone in the room has equal value. In its purest form, it’s about people enjoying other people, communicating passions and connecting with others who share those passions. It’s about listening, figuring out what others need and connecting them with people you think can help, without any designs for personal gain. The most successful networkers build genuine relationships and give more than they receive. They go beyond thinking, “What’s in it for me?” to ask “How can I help?”
To follow their approach, here are eight ways to network successfully and have fun doing it.
Start networking before you need it.
Seasoned networkers can smell the stench of desperation from across the room. People can sense when someone is only out to help himself. Tip-offs ranging from a panicked look in the eyes to a portfolio brimming with resumes will send them running in the other direction. On the other hand, by networking when you have no ulterior motive, you can begin to build relationships and a reputation for being generous rather than self-serving.
Have a plan.
Since every person has value, it’s essential that you know what yours is. Before you attend any networking event, get clear on what talents, strengths, skill sets and connections you can bring to the table. Map out what you want to talk about, particularly how you may be able to help other people, either now or in the future.
Forget your personal agenda.
While you may be tempted to network just to land a job or talk to people you normally wouldn’t have access to, that’s a mistake. Instead, make it your goal to be open, friendly and honest, and to forge connections between people who may be able to help each other. Generosity is an attractive quality and it’s something special that people will remember about you.
Never dismiss anyone as unimportant.
Make it your mission to discover the value in each person you talk to. Ask questions and listen with interest. Don’t make the mistake of discounting people due to their titles. Someone you meet may “just” be a clerk, but they may have valuable connections or knowledge you’d never learn about if you’d dismissed them.
Then, when the conversation ends, remember what that person has to offer as you move to the next.
Connect the dots.
Once you begin to listen to people and learn what they can bring to the table, you’ll start realizing how one person in the room may be able to help another. Make it a point to connect people you feel have something of genuine value to each other. When you go out of your way to make those potentially promising connections, you’re doing your part to make the networking event a success.
Figure out how you can be useful.
Before any conversation comes to a close, be sure to ask, “How can I help you?” Because it’s done so rarely, you may encounter a surprised look, but it will most likely be accompanied by an appreciative smile. While the person may not have an answer for you that night, they may have an idea later. Always close by saying something like, “If you need anything, please reach out to me or connect via LinkedIn” and present your business card.
Follow up and follow through.
If you told someone you’d get in touch with them, do it and reaffirm your intent to assist in any way you can. If you promised to introduce someone to a person you know, take the time to do it. Everyone is busy these days with jobs, families, events, commitments – even so, it takes no more than a minute to shoot off an email to introduce two people you want to connect. They can take it from there and do the work — just enjoy being the bridge. Little things like that mean a lot to people and just one introduction can end up changing someone’s life for the better. I’ve seen it happen dozens of times and it’s quite gratifying.
Believe in the power of networking.
When you believe that the true value of networking lies in helping others and you do your part, you’ll soon discover magic happening all around you. The beauty of this approach is that you never know when that magic may cast its spell on you.
By Andrew Vest