Thursday, February 28, 2013
Wednesday, February 27, 2013
Standing out from a crowd of job applicants is as easy as 1, 2, 3...
1. Include a compelling cover letterWhen writing your cover letter make sure it and your Resume are aesthetically pleasing and consistent with each other. Take time to select fonts, heading styles, and look at examples of other Resumes to select a layout style that is pleasing to the eye and easy to read.
Remember to use the hiring manager's name in the salutation and create a strong opening paragraph that is dynamic and catches their attention. A good rule is to reference the position and provide a brief explanation of why you are applying.
2. Create a Resume websiteThis is a great way to build your brand and improve your job search. A well written blog with industry related articles is an excellent way to share your expertise and begin to build a positive reputation within your industry.
Further, it is a great way to build a networking community online.
Remember to include a link to your blog on your Resume.
3. Include Keywords on your ResumeThese days many Resumes end up in databases and Employer Applicant Tracking systems that scan Resumes for keywords relevant to the position. Using keywords may determine whether or not your Resume is selected.
The first step to ensuring your Resume includes the relevant keywords is to get hold of the Job Description. Go through this, highlighting nouns and phrases that relate to the job, skills, and experience. Remember only to include these keywords in your Resume if they are true - don't include skills and experience that you don't actually have!
It is also a good idea to brainstorm nouns and phrases that you would use to describe the job you are going for, and to incoporate these into your Resume.
Tuesday, February 26, 2013
Over time, your career path can take some pretty unexpected twists and turns. Like—when you suddenly find yourself trying to rejoin a company or team you once left behind.
If you’re lucky, you were approached by your old boss or co-workers—and they really want you back. But maybe you realized that you made a mistake by leaving in the first place; or, after spending time elsewhere for a few years, you see a great new opportunity available. No matter what the reason, though, that first step back to reconnecting with your former company is one that needs to be handled carefully.
So, how do you make the initial connection and interview a little less awkward and a lot more productive? In order to get some useful tips, I talked to a few professionals who were once in your very same shoes. And while their “return stories” were all a little different, their suggestions hit on some similar themes.
1. Review Your Resignation Letter and Exit InterviewHopefully, you left your former job on good terms and had a carefully crafted resignation letter—the last thing you want is HR pulling out your file and remembering your choice words about the company on your last day. (And frankly, if you didn’t leave on a good note, you need to really ask yourself if going back is worth it.)
But assuming your parting words were complimentary and thoughtful, they can be useful icebreakers when you apply or when you first contact those influential employees who can help you land an interview. For example, did you say that you were leaving to gain management experience at a bigger company, or mention that you would be open to certain kinds of opportunities in the future? Use that as an opener or a segue to more detailed discussion about your future responsibilities.
2. Treat the Interview SeriouslySo you’ve landed an interview with the company you once left behind—great! But don’t automatically assume you’re a shoo-in. Sure, your familiarity with the company is a huge plus, but keep in mind that you’re likely one of many other qualified candidates. Any one of them may have expertise that surpasses yours, and some of your company-specific experience may not be relevant anymore.
In addition, consider who you’ll be interviewing with. You may be meeting with newer employees (who will look at you just like any other “fresh” candidate), or interviewers who do know you but may not remember your former contributions. Make sure you not only describe your past accomplishments and responsibilities in detail, but that you also highlight any new skills you’ve gained since you left.
3. Be Prepared for the Tough QuestionsKeep in mind that those same interviewers who never knew you from your previous job (and even some who did) may be skeptical of your motives for coming back. There may even be some resentment, especially if you left them in a bind or if they had invested a lot of time and money into your career.
So it’s your job to assure everyone that you’re not a flight risk and convince them that you’re worth the investment once again. Be prepared for lots of questions about your departure, and have specific reasons for why you’re excited to come back. And when in doubt, be honest. If you made a mistake leaving the company in the first place, don’t afraid to admit that.
4. Address Your ConcernsThat said, while the interviewers need to be assured that you’ll be the right fit, don’t forget to ask them your questions as well. First, don’t assume that you already know everything about the company and its culture; company dynamics, policies, management, and more may have significantly shifted since you left. And if you were disappointed with the company when you quit, you’ll need reassurance that things have changed. Think back: What were the specific reasons you left? Was your career path limited? Were you unchallenged? Make sure that the interviewers can give you exact details on how these things have evolved so that you don’t run into the same disappointments again.
One last note: Even if the company specifically contacted you and only you for the gig, make sure that you thank your interviewers for the opportunity. Follow up with thank-you letters right after the interview and make sure you’re gracious to the people who believe in you enough to ask you to come back. If you make the right moves, your old company could be the start of a wonderful new chapter in your career.
Here is one of the last remaining career tips from our very own Jamie Starner...
For an interview, regardless of clothing trends and seasonal styles always dress in neutral colors and wear minimal jewelry. Your attitude, skills and background should get you a job not your outfit! Always dress conservative and you can never go wrong with a suit.
Good luck in your job search!
Monday, February 25, 2013
them in the beginning.
how the information will benefit them.
Include a few bullet points and images, but you should not be reading off of your slides.
more likely to remember what you talk about if you include associated images.
should still ask questions or find quick ways to encourage participation.
professional and include the company logo if you have access to it.
Jamie's Career Tip for this Monday!
Thinking about career transitioning? Take a look at your transferrable skills: start networking with new professional contacts in different industries, consider using a combination resume, and lastly, see what certifications and skills you can add or refresh.
Thursday, February 21, 2013
Today's Career Tip from Jamie:
Trust in yourself. YOU are your biggest advocate. It is okay to be assertive in an interview and show the hiring manager you have what the job requires. Be careful not to come across cocky or egotistical but instead confident.
Wednesday, February 20, 2013
- Brainstorm talents and skills that you have. Ask yourself “What do I enjoy doing? What am I good at doing? What will people pay me to do?” Once you have an answer that fits into all 3 questions, pursue it.
- Define your mission in life and write it down. What do you want people to remember you for?
- Define your values that you will adhere to while you work toward your mission.
- Create short-term and long-term goals that tie to your mission.
- Put together a plan and place it where you can see it.
- Tell someone about your plan and have that person help hold you accountable.
- Take action.
Sheila is a Human Resources / Training Consultant and Career Coach who guides organizations and people in setting and reaching their goals and achieving their definition of success. She has worked with Fortune 500 companies, medium sized, and small companies including Target, Apollo Group, University of Phoenix, Corporate Psychologists, Knight Transportation and Auckland Museum.
Tuesday, February 19, 2013
Monday, February 18, 2013
THINK for a moment about your typical workday. Do you wake up tired? Check your e-mail before you get out of bed? Skip breakfast or grab something on the run that’s not particularly nutritious? Rarely get away from your desk for lunch? Run from meeting to meeting with no time in between? Find it nearly impossible to keep up with the volume of e-mail you receive? Leave work later than you’d like, and still feel compelled to check e-mail in the evenings?
Friday, February 15, 2013
Reposted from Daily Muse website
WomenCentric attending an American Express OpenForum Small Business Conference, when the company’s brochure showed up in my swag bag. While I had no interest in the other things I was given, I purposely held onto the brochure, curious to learn more about this women’s professional organization.
And here’s what I discovered: WomenCentric aims to “build a better LinkedIn as a business networking hub, an inspiration, and an education resource for working women around the world,” says founder Pattie Simone. While it initially launched in 2005 as a group of speakers and training professionals who wanted to learn from and support one another, the company has since become so much more, offering a platform where women worldwide can share resources, list their services or products, and connect with other like-minded and ambitious women.
But WomenCentric wasn’t Pattie’s first entrepreneurial venture. After leaving a career in textile production, she dove head first into starting a retail business from scratch with her sister-in-law partner. While she had hoped the home furnishing and gift shop was her ultimate dream job, it turned out it was the beginning of her entrepreneurial adventure. After seven years the store closed because it was not able to provide a real income for the sister-in-laws and their growing families.
Luckily, by this time, Pattie had learned plenty of lessons from her first venture to help her out as she began her second. Read on for what she’s learned along the way.
How did you find the courage to start your own business?Earlier in my career I had a bunch of different jobs, including working in advertising, customer service, and production. When I was pregnant with my second child, I started dreaming about other possibilities and feeling that there was more to life than what I was doing. My situation at the time was not allowing me to expand my skill sets, and I knew that I was capable of more—even though I wasn’t yet sure what that “more” was.
After my second child was born, I tried going back to work at my production job. And I really gave it a good shot, but I was miserable. Finally, I thought I needed to try something new, to be closer to home and to my children, so I opened up a retail shop with my sister-in-law. Initially, we had no idea what we were doing but—because we didn’t know what we didn’t know—we went for it anyways. I thought, we’re young enough, let’s give it a try. Our families were behind us as well, which was critical.
How do you think you’ve grown as a person since becoming an entrepreneur?As time goes by, you evolve naturally. I don’t believe I’m “reinventing” myself, it’s more about discovering what’s beneath the layers. We all have layers of our lives, but we get caught up in our daily routines, our own expectations, the expectations of people around us, so a lot of stuff gets buried. I don’t think it’s “reinventing,” I think it’s tapping into talents and interests that are already there. If you take a step out of the hubbub of your life, then you have a better chance of outlining what you’re good at and, more importantly, what you love to do. That was part of my journey.
For example, I realized how important it is for me to be able to quickly make decisions and implement them. When I worked for other companies, there was nothing more frustrating than having to talk about something, table it, revisit it, and get more people’s feedback on it. I say, let’s act! It’s such a thrill to me to make these decisions and be totally responsible for whatever the outcome is.
I’ve taken risks that have allowed me to realize dreams or develop valuable skill sets, but I’ve also made some really big mistakes—and learned from them. To be able to meet challenges you don’t expect and navigate through them is a real “wow” moment. Plus, you learn that failing is part of winning.
What advice would you give to other women who have always wanted to start their own business, but are scared to make the leap?First, it’s important to make sure you know what you’re getting yourself into. My sister-and-law and I were jumping without a parachute when we first started out—and while sometimes that can work out okay, I wouldn’t advise it. You ultimately don’t want to put yourself or your family in jeopardy in terms of financial hardship. Take small steps. We can all achieve our huge dreams, but it’s better to think of it as a journey, rather than a leap. Think realistically about what you can accomplish, think about it in a bigger context, and take it one step at a time.
Second, don’t be afraid to ask other people for their opinions, advice, or help. You don’t have to go through it alone. I found my calling by attending networking events, where I met groups of vibrant and intelligent women. I realized we could get further faster by collaborating. If we had a way to band together and share our skill sets we’d all win. And so the idea for WomenCentric was born. There are many organizations—WomenCentric, chambers of commerce, women’s entrepreneurship networks such as Savor the Success—that can help you and give you sensible feedback, tips, and resources. Don’t think it makes you any less strong if you ask for help. It makes you stronger, and it leads to many great relationships that can foster better success for you, your business, your peers, and new strategic partners.
Finally, think of the “no’s” and the failures as fuel to move forward. When you hit a brick wall, know there’s a reason. One week I was CEO of a retail store, but my big dreams of success were dashed when we had to close. The next week I was helping out a friend as a waitress in a pizzeria. That was a big shock, but there was a reason for it happening—it ultimately led to a much more exciting and fulfilling path.