Monthly Archives: August 2016

Use Your Network and Skills to Land A Job


Are you asking “How do I get a job”?  If so, remember those referrals are so valued by companies that these companies pay referrals. These incentives encourage staff to bring in talented candidates to interview for open roles.

  1. Identify How You Stand Out

When you first start your job search, take some time to evaluate your experience.  Start by looking at your resume to determine what skills and experience you have that make you unique. Does your resume show your special skills, experience, and talents?

There are probably some changes you can make to better reflect your experiences. Make sure your resume includes quantifiable achievements.  When possible relate your successes to cost savings and business improvements.  Make a new list of your achievements, citing specific examples and stories that showcase how great you are at what you do. These will be an important tool throughout your job search.

2. Network
Use the research you did on social media to strategically make new connections with professionals in your industry. Attending networking events related to your dream job or industry is a great way to make connections regarding open positions.  Use social media to help find targeted events in your area.

Leverage your friends and family to get the word out about your job search. Everyone knows someone and getting the word out you are looking for a new job is important.  Remember that companies pay referral fees, so there is a personal benefit for your friends and network.

Once you establish that you’ve paid attention to their interests, you shouldn’t ask for a job right away. Instead, ask to learn more about what they do in their role, or what they like about working for their company. Put some effort into cultivating a mutually beneficial relationship. If you take the extra time, many people will be happy to help you apply for the role.

3. Ace your interview.

Landing an interview is the first hurdle in your job search, but then recruiters often use challenging interviews to find – and hire – the best talent.

Even if you’re faced with challenging or odd interview questions, use the accomplishment stories you developed earlier to engage the hiring manager. Your answers should reveal how you can solve problems, and why you’re the best person for the job.

4. Remember to Follow Up

It may seem old school in this age of technology, but a thank you note can go a long way. The note can be hand written or via email.

Thank your interviewers individually for the time they spent meeting you, and reference something specific you enjoyed learning from them during your conversation. This is the last key piece of the puzzle is to show your interest for the position and to ask for the job.



4 Ways to Survive An Open Office Space


If you hate your open office plan, you are not alone.  Surveys show that people who work in open plan offices are less satisfied with their workplace and jobs.  Experts claim the open office concept causes more distractions and lowers productivity.  So, if you are working in an open office how can you survive?

  1. Develop a “Do Not Disturb” Signal

One big complaint in open offices is the lack of walls.  This lack of privacy invites unwanted conversations.  To get sustained work done, you are going to have to develop a polite  (but firm) way to you are not interested in chatting right now.  Wearing headphones to show you do not want to be disturbed or putting a sign on top of your computer “Busy Right Now” are examples of effective and polite signals for your co-workers.

  1. Get Out of the Office

You cannot control the open office space, so schedule some time every day  to get away from the office.  A daily walk or lunch break will give some time away from the busy, often loud open office spaces.  If you don’t have breaks, consider taking advantage of an empty conference room or common area to get some quiet alone time.

  1. Design You Work Schedule During Off Hours

Every office has busy time when everyone is bustling around and other times when there is a quiet lull.  Use these patterns to your advantage.  Consider adjusting your work hours so you can take advantage of the quiet lull to help maximize your productivity.

  1. Block Out the Noise

Headphones are the new office wall.  If you work in an open office space, consider utilizing headphone and music to balance the unwanted noise with soothing music that helps your concentrate and be more productive.  Consider nature sounds, white noise and music without lyrics to block noise without distracting you from your work.


5 Questions You Should Ask During Any Interview


Sometimes interviews can feel like you are being grilled on a witness stand in a great courtroom movie.  However, the key to your success in an interview is asking the right questions.  The type of questions you choose to ask the interviewer can show your knowledge and help you evaluate the positon. This means the questions you chose to prioritize should be well thought out.

Here are 5 questions to that will help you impress the interviewer and help you evaluate the opportunity further:

QUESTION #1: What do the day-to-day responsibilities of this role?

The answer to this question should help you formulate your responses.  By tailoring your experience to the responsibilities of the role, you can impress the interviewer.

QUESTION #2: What is your favorite part about working at the company?

It’s important to get a sense of your interviewer’s opinions about working there. If enthusiasm flows easily, that’s a great sign. If it doesn’t, that is worth noting too.

QUESTION #3: If we were having lunch a year from now to celebrate my success in this role, what would we be celebrating?

It’s crucial to have a deep understanding of how a company measures success. This will help you understand the role, the success matrix for the company, and your interviewer’s management style.

QUESTION #4: What do you see as the most challenging aspect of this job?

Knowing the good things about the position is just as important as knowing the not-so-good. You want to understand the scale of the problems you’ll be dealing with when you accept the role.

QUESTION #5: Is there anything about my background or resume that makes you question whether I am a good fit for this role?

This question displays that you’re highly invested in the job and committed to understanding your prospects as a candidate. Plus, it will also allow you an opportunity to respond to any potential concerns the interviewer has regarding your skill or experience.




Do the Math: Calculating Your Salary


Find a job that you enjoy and fulfills you is important, but we all want to be fairly compensated for our work.  Calculating your salary can also help you decide between two job offers. In today’s job market, employers are willing to compensate those who have the experience and skills that they need.  Whether you’re job hunting or climbing the ladder, you should absolutely know your worth.

You can determine your salary with these 5 steps:

1. Assess: First, think holistically about what you need to earn. Is your career is on track to support the lifestyle you are currently living as well as the way you want to live in the future? Assessing your career versus your lifestyle is an important step to determining the salary you need.

2. Research: Now that you understand what you need, you can determine what you’re “worth” and if you’ve got the right skillset to earn what you’d like. Keep in mind that salaries for the same job do vary by region to reflect the cost of living in a particular area. Spend some time on the internet to use salary calculators, review job posting for roles that fit you background.  Certain positions and skills are more in demand than others too, and this is reflected in the high salaries and what companies are willing to pay.

3. Train: Depending on where you fall and if that’s above or below the average will help you figure out if it’s time to ask for more or whether you need to refine your skillset to become more marketable. If you lack certain key skills and your salary is lower than average, there are inexpensive ways to learn these. Look at online courses or videos, for example, or ask for a training class at work.

4. Evaluate: Remember that salary isn’t just about your paycheck. Consider the benefits and perks. You may have excellent health care, substantial vacation time and a great match on your 401k.  These perks, while not directly indicated in your paycheck, often represent saving for you.

5. Negotiate: In many industries, companies don’t adjust salaries to the market rate. If you feel you’re underpaid, then consider negotiating for more. Remember, in addition to negotiating salary, you can negotiate vacation, title, and even some benefits like expense reimbursement and working from home.  If you have determined that you are being underpaid, be sure to prepare for your conversation and remember to be confident!



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