Tag Archives: IT jobs

5 Tips for Job Searches during the Holidays

 

Searching for a job is never easy, but searching during the holiday season can be challenging and discouraging.  Here are 5 tips for your holiday search:

Companies Do Hire in DecemberDon’t believe people who say that no one hires in December. While it’s true that some searches slow down or get put on hold, plenty of hiring still happens around the holidays. December is still a great time to get your resume out to companies and have interviews. Often, manager are scrambling to hire for open positions before January 1st, so the decision making process can be faster.

There is Less CompetitionMost job seekers get discouraged during the holiday season or choose to wait until the New Year. So, often your resume will get noticed faster during the holiday. In fact, some hiring managers report that job applications slow to a trickle around this time of year and they have trouble finding suitable candidates for jobs that must be filled quickly.3.

Remember to Be FlexibleOften companies that are trying to make a hire before the new year are often trying to move quickly but may have limited interviewing slots available because of the vacation schedules of those involved in the interview process You’ll have a leg up if you’re willing to juggle your schedule to make yourself available when they can talk. So, remember to be flexible and it will pay off.

 Be Prepared for the Holiday RejectionRealize that some rejection might come along with the mistletoe this year. If you are searching for a job in December, you could get a rejection near Christmas. Don’t let the possible rejection interfere with your holidays.

Take Advantage of Holiday NetworkingWe all go to holiday parties and events during this time of year. Most likely, you will be asked about your job search. So be prepared to make the most of these events and the opportunity to network.  Networking at any time is a great way to learn about new positions and job opportunities.

 

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What is Your Body Language Saying…At Work?

 

Body language reveals a lot about a person.  Your body language at work….how professional interact conveys a lot to your peers and manager.

So what does your body language say about you?

Body Language #1: Leaning back in your chair

What It Says About You:  It says you are leaving forward into a problem. Don’t lean backwards because it shows that you’re alienating.

 

Body Language #2: Crossing your arms in a meeting

What It Says About You: Crossing your arms shows you are cut off from receiving ideas…you are defensive.  If your body position is open, you are open to receiving new ideas and what people are saying.]

 

Body Language #3: Gesturing with your hands

What It Says About You: Gesturing with open palms shows you are honest and sensitive.

 

Body Language #4: Tapping your pen on the table

What It Says About You: This shows you are impatient or in discomfort

 

Body Language #5: Licking your lips

What It Says About You:  Chewing on your lips or licking your lips shows you are nervous and /or bored

 

Body Language #6: Stretching or yawning.

What It Says About You: Stretching or rubbing you head in meetings signals that you’re bored.

 

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Make Friends At Work….Easily

 

Having a group of friends at work definitely makes life easier.  When you have friends at work, you have people to talk to when you need a break and have people to make lunch plans when you want them. Often, work just feels more fun when you know you have some friends by your side, especially if you have a high-stress job.

If this sounds intriguing but you’re not totally sure how to foster work friendships and a team mentality, here are some tips to get you started.

  1. Be truly interested in someone— making a true effort to learn about your colleagues can result in great friendships. Try and learn how they got to where they are now, their family, their hobbies — is probably the best way to find out if you’re compatible as friends and also to signal that you’re interested in being friends.
  2. Offer to Help– If you see that a colleague is struggling with something or if they ask for help, make yourself available. Nothing forges a bond faster than showing you’re there for your coworkers when they need you.
  3. Be positive– When possible, maintain a happy, positive outlook at the office. It can be tough to relate to someone who is often upset or complaining about work, so try not be that person.
  4. Don’t overshare—While it is important to be yourself, if you try too hard to develop friendships, you can sometime share too much. Remember, while it’s important to be yourself if you’re trying to develop friendships, sometimes sharing too much can work against you and be a turn off in a professional setting. Let new work relationships develop over time and the personal detail of your life will be revealed in the right time.
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3 Resume Trends For Today’s Job Search

 

The resume strategy you used 10 years ago is not the same strategy used today. In fact, the resume you wrote even just a year ago likely needs to be updated. Here are 3 examples of how resume are changing.

1. Old Strategy: Including an objective
New Strategy: Today, objectives are viewed by most employers as outdated.  Instead of an objective, create a resume headline that helps you target jobs and employers.  This headline will help you brand yourself during your job search.

2. Old Strategy: A resume is just the facts
New Strategy: Today, resumes include details and context.  Successful resumes now include details and quantifiable results.  These details help prospective employers to better understand the value you will bring to their organization prior to an interview.

3. Old Strategy: Follow up the uploaded or emailed resume with a hard copy

New Strategy: You may need a printed resume during the interview process; however the initial focus of applying online and/or submitting your resume to a potential hiring manager or recruiter rarely requires a hard copy. The focus now is on digital presentation online.   Focusing on your online presentation, including resume, can help you stand out.

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5 Work Habits That Are Hurting Your Chances of Promotion

 

It’s always hard to identify our own bad habit, especially in the workplace. There are 5 common bad work habits that can be solved relatively easily once you acknowledge them.

1. Mixing Work and Pleasure

Meeting a partner at work may seem like the best thing ever—until it isn’t. While dating a colleague doesn’t always turn out badly, things can turn bad quickly and immediately affect your work life.

2. Gossiping

Gossip often occurs in the workplace when morale is low. When people are unhappy at work, they want something to talk about other than their own dissatisfaction with their job. However gossiping at the watercooler can quickly make its way to your boss.   Constant gossiping can distract from your tasks and often result in lower moral.

3. Showing Up Late

Coming to work late sends a message that your job is not a priority for you. Depending on where you work and what the company culture is like, this can be a major problem.  When it comes to meetings, it’s particularly important to be punctual and respectful of other people’s time.

4. Complaining

It happens…it, sometimes you have to do things at work that are less than ideal, but complaining won’t actually fix anything.  Instead, constantly griping could make your coworkers see you as a negative person.

5. Being Too Chatty

Whether it’s chatting with your co-workers directly or using messaging apps or texts, chatting with your friends all day is a surefire way to make sure you’re not reaching your full potential at work.  If you’re always making small talk with your coworkers instead of actually getting work done, you lose a lot of time. Overtime your boss can also notice.

 

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How to Quit Your Job Gracefully

Making the decision to quit a job is almost never easy. Deciding to quit your job is a personal decision often based on your career path and career objectives.  However, actually quitting a job is never easy.  Follow these 7 steps with help you quit your job with grace:

  1. Follow protocol

Speak to your manager face-to-face and give two- to three-weeks’ notice. This shows respect is advised unless your employer suggest you leave immediately.  Often positions that include personal or confidential information end immediately at the company’s request.  This is usually for security reasons only.

  1. Pack your things during off hours

Come in after hours to pack your desk and box up your personal items. The goal here is to not disrupt your coworkers.

  1. Be happy but not excessively happy

Keeping others in mind, don’t rub it in people’s faces that you’re leaving. Whether you’re departing for a higher-paying job or an entrepreneurial venture try not to show your glee.

  1. Continue to work

It is easy to feel like you can slack off once you give your two weeks’ notice.  However, continue to attend meetings and maintain.  Additionally, focus your work time  on tying up loose ends and transitioning responsibilities to colleagues.

  1. Prepare a transition document

Often managers will request you create a transition document.  This document should outline the projects you’ve been working on, key information and important contacts to pass along to your team or the person assuming your duties. This transition document is a great way to transition out of a role without burning bridges.

  1. Express your gratitude

No matter what the circumstances are of your exit from the company, thank your manager and colleagues for the years of collaboration, hard work, and achievements. Being appreciative when you exit a position will back off in the long run.

  1. Don’t linger

While it may be awkward to leave, you must stick by your decision to quit. Therefore, say your goodbyes and leave.  Your former team needs to get back to work and you need to move on to your next role.

 

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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.

 

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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.

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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.

 

 

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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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