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May 09
2016

Meet the Recruiter: Molly Belcher

  Molly works out of the CG New York office, where she spends her days connecting job seekers at the top of their game with leaders in finance, entertainment, tech, fashion and other dynamic industries. For the past three years,...
Apr 27
2016

7 Qualities That Respected Employees Have in Commo...

  The colleagues we enjoy working with most tend to be the ones we respect as well. According to Bill Murphy Jr. in a recent article for Inc., “the most respected employees often have a lot in common.” And it’s...
Apr 15
2016

3 Ways to Adopt a Career Success Mindset

    Your qualifications, education, and background are all important factors when it comes to career success. So is your capacity to develop qualities like charisma, likability, work ethic, and resilience. But perhaps the biggest key to success is your...
Apr 11
2016

5 Easy Online Classes To Sharpen Your Interpersona...

  It’s easy to assume that charisma, self-confidence, and emotional intelligence are genetic gifts, inherited at birth by a lucky few. Thankfully that isn’t the case – interpersonal skills can be learned, developed, and sharpened. And the great news for...
Apr 01
2016

4 Habits of Unforgettable Employees

  We all know people who are truly unforgettable. More often than not it’s their actions and attitudes that make them this way, rather than hard skills and brag-worthy accomplishments. According to Jeff Haden in a column at The Muse,...
Mar 29
2016

Why Peer Mentorship Can Help Your Career

Seeking regular feedback at work – especially outside of yearly performance reviews – may seem like a foreign concept. For some, the mere thought of spending additional time discussing past setbacks and potential “areas for improvement” may even induce stress...
Mar 21
2016

3 Ways to Get Noticed as a Business Innovator at W...

  As a strategic adviser, entrepreneur, and lecturer at Stanford Graduate School of Business, Amy Wilkinson knows business. Specifically, how to take a tiny seed of inspiration and turn it into a thriving and fruitful enterprise. Wilkinson has interviewed 200...
Mar 14
2016

3 Ways to Stay in the Career Fast Lane

  Every career has its ups and downs. And every now and then circumstances can push you into what Fast Company time management and productivity expert Laura Vanderkam calls “hunker-down mode” – a time when you slow down in your...
Mar 07
2016

3 Ways That Successful People Command Their Presen...

  Harvard psychologist Amy Cuddy is known as the person behind the “power pose,” or the practice of exhibiting confident body language in order to feel and even act more confident. In a 2012 TED Talk Cuddy explains that the...
Feb 26
2016

5 Secrets to Becoming a Top Performer

HR experts like Forbes columnist Liz Ryan see a lot when they’re zipping from department to department. For Ryan, it’s easy to differentiate between the employees who are hands-on and engaged versus the employees who stay cooped up in their...
Feb 19
2016

3 Practices of the Most Successful Job Candidates

  The days of working at one job and for one company are long gone. According to Forrester Research, the average person entering the workforce today will have more than 10 jobs over the course of their career. That’s why management...
Feb 09
2016

A Strategic Guide to Building Your Distinctive Per...

  In today’s high-speed world of work it can seem challenging to establish your reputation and set yourself apart from the competition. You may be tempted to work hard and keep your head down – especially at the beginning of...
Feb 03
2016

How to Stand Out in An Interview: 3 Foolproof Tips

  In an article penned recently for The Muse, CEO and best-selling author Alex Malley shares the key to making a lasting impression during an interview. “Here’s the big secret that has nothing to do with your resume bullet points:...
Sep 30
2015

10 Hot Jobs of the Week

Watch this space for a fresh batch of our most wanted jobs this week. All of these jobs will get filled fast – so if you’re that someone we’re looking for, apply ASAP via the links below. 1. Executive Assistant to...
Aug 07
2015

How to Set Ambitious Career Goals You Can Realisti...

Excerpt by Lea McLeod for The Muse: It wasn’t working for my client, Miranda. She’d gotten the degree and was doing well in her role at a Big Four accounting firm—but something was missing. Sure, she could keep going, receive generous...
Aug 06
2015

Salary and Market Trend Report - Los Angeles

Career Group is delighted to present our latest Salary & Market Trend Report for the administrative industry in Los Angeles. In a competitive employment market, this report will help you better understand the current marketplace and provide valuable insight for the future. Market Trend Report...
Jul 24
2015

Interview Tips: How to Make a Great Impression in ...

Excerpt by Emily Co for POPSUGAR: The first few minutes of an interview are crucial and can be a make-or-break factor. First impressions are really important and will last long after you leave the room. Learning how to make a memorable...
Jul 10
2015

How To Tweak Your Resume To Prove You're A Perfect...

Excerpt by Aja Frost for The Muse: You know you’re supposed to customize your resume for each and every job application. But sometimes, it’s not so clear how you can give the employers what they’re looking for—at least, not without...
Jun 29
2015

The One Quality Every Successful Person Needs

Excerpt by Jeff Haden for LinkedIn: Anyone can succeed without capital, without a business plan, without a mentor, and even without a great idea. But no one can succeed without one essential ingredient. There is one trait every successful person...
Jun 18
2015

3 Things to Consider Before Accepting a Job Offer

Excerpt by Robin Reshwan for US News: Selecting an ideal employer can be a tricky endeavor. It is easy to judge a company by the friendly interviewers, modern furniture and above-average perks. However, employment satisfaction requires a few more factors that...
Jun 12
2015

6 Ways to Learn About a Company’s Culture

Excerpt by Hannah Morgan for Inc: You want to do work you enjoy alongside people you like. Your happiness and success depend on both. In short, you want to find a place to work where you feel you belong. It...
May 29
2015

Restarting a Stalled Career

Excerpt by Joann S. Lublin for Wall Street Journal:  Even star performers sometimes stall. Where they once won regular promotions, they’re suddenly passed over–leaving them feeling stale and stuck. Their old ways no longer work. Yet they don’t understand why. If...
May 26
2015

7 People Who Will Help You Grow Your Career

Excerpt by Jayson Demers at Inc: Career paths are typically messy. The straightforward and commonly accepted conception of a career path is to start at some entry-level position in a given field, gradually work your way up the ladder, and...
May 08
2015

The 7 Best Tricks to Sounding Confident (Even When...

Excerpt from The Muse: Confidence can carry you through a lot in life. It can help you perform better in job interviews, appear more authoritative when addressing a crowd, and land more deals and partnerships in your business. Unfortunately, most of...
May 08
2015

How You Can Master the Perfect Modern Resume

Excerpt from Casey Fleischmann for Undercover Recruiter: Over time, the way people create, produce and present their resumes have changed. You need to do your best to impress hiring managers as it can be difficult to stand out from the crowd,...
Apr 01
2015

7 Job Interview Habits of Persuasive People

Excerpt from Peter Economy for Inc: A job interview is an opportunity to sell yourself. It is your opportunity to prove to the interviewer that you possess the skills necessary to take the company forward and that you are someone who...
Mar 18
2015

Practice Emotional Intelligence

Excerpt from Daily Muse: TalentSmart has tested more than a million people and found that the upper echelons of top performance are filled with people who are high in emotional intelligence (90% of top performers, to be exact). The hallmark of...
Feb 23
2015

Tips to a Successful First Interview

Excerpt from Robin Reshwan for U.S. News: When it comes to creating a list of favorite things to do, rest assured that interviewing (and maybe negotiating to buy a car) has never made the list. However, few things have as much...
Jan 06
2015

Be a Better Employee in 2015

Excerpt from Samantha Cole for Fast Company: Most of us start the New Year hoping to be better versions of ourselves. Our work lives, especially, are an easily quantified place to improve: We’re rewarded for jobs well done in promotions...
Jan 02
2015

How to Job Hop Without Hurting Your Career

Excerpt from Michelle Kruse for The Ladders. Most employers strongly value loyalty in their workers, but that trait doesn’t always pay off for the employees themselves. Staying with one company for an extended period of time might keep the boss...
Dec 29
2014

Interview Question: "Tell Me About a Time When..."

Excerpt from Lily Zhang for The Muse: You’ve reviewed your resume, practiced your elevator pitch, and reviewed a few stories you can share during the interview. All is well, and you’re feeling confident. And when the interviewer says, “Tell me...
Dec 19
2014

Questions to ask About a Company's Culture

Excerpt from Meghan Rabbitt for Fast Company: After hours spent meticulously fine-tuning your cover letter and résumé, you’ve finally scored an elusive interview with the employer of your dreams. At least, that’s what you think. In our eagerness to impress hiring...
Dec 16
2014

Common Career Advice You Should Avoid

Excerpt from Kelsey Manning for Fast Company: There is so much career advice floating around, but rather than trust the haphazardly doled-out opinions of self-appointed “leadership experts” and other dubious characters, let’s go straight to the top—men and women who...
Dec 09
2014

Recruiter Talk: Secrets to Landing a Job

Excerpt from Bethany Heinrich for Mogul: Have you ever wondered what the secrets are to landing your first job outside of college, and particularly in a city like New York? Our MOGUL team was curious and so we decided to...
Dec 02
2014

Recruiter Insights: Ace the Phone Screen

Excerpt from Jenny Foss for The Muse: Congratulations. Your resume (or LinkedIn profile) just captured the attention of a recruiter. Take a moment to high-five yourself, for real. Now what? Now, you will likely be invited to participate in a...
Nov 18
2014

The Video Interview

Excerpt from Catherine Conlan for Monster: Video interviews can be a great way to connect with a potential employer without having to travel, but they are full of potential pitfalls. So if you’re asked to participate in a video interview,...
Nov 11
2014

How to Get the Interview With Limited Experience

Excerpt from Alex Simon for Careerealism: In a recent article I was reading, the author explains the concept of the Permission Paradox. In plain terms, it is the contradiction of not being able to get a job without having experience,...
Nov 07
2014

Employment Report October 2014

Excerpt from Laura Lorenzetti for Fortune: The Labor Department released last month’s employment figures Friday morning, and the report shows that the U.S. labor market has continued to post steady gains while some stubborn weak points still exist. Here are some...
Oct 31
2014

Should You Make a Lateral Career Move?

Excerpt from Vicki Salemi for U.S. News: If you’re vying for that next position, which leads you closer to the corner office, more challenging responsibilities and (let’s face it) a bigger paycheck, you’re not alone. But what happens when the smartest...
Oct 20
2014

What a Recruiter Notices on Your Resume

Excerpt from Mashable: When recruiters look through a stack of resumes for candidate screening, what is the vital information they focus upon? I think this varies from recruiter to recruiter and also depends on the role for which you’re applying....
Oct 07
2014

Business Lunch Etiquette

Excerpt from Jacquelyn McGovern for LinkedIn: In recent years, I have found myself in careers that require me to have a business lunch. Last year, I was the one being taken out by vendors and salesmen. This year I am the...
Oct 01
2014

How to Handle Mistakes in the Workplace

Excerpt from Lynn Andriani for The Huffington Post: You will make a mistake at work (or two or three). Here’s how to clean them up gracefully, and even end up in a better position after you’re done. The One Thing Everyone Forgets...
Sep 23
2014

Does Your Resume Pass the ATS Test?

Excerpt from Donna Bradshaw for LinkedIn: Applicant Tracking System or ATS is a software tool that is increasingly used today by the Human Resources Departments of all major companies as well as online recruitment websites. ATS simplifies and speeds up the...
Sep 18
2014

Improve Your Communication Skills in the Workplace

Excerpt from Hannah Morgan for US News: Whether you are an aspiring leader or in a support role, developing your communication skills can impact your success. First, let’s take a look at the complexities of communication. It’s more than the words...
Sep 09
2014

Choosing the Right Resume Format

Excerpt from Marcelle Yeager for US News: Not all résumés are created equal – and they shouldn’t be. There are different formats out there that are accepted by recruiters. Consider your professional history carefully before deciding which one to use. Use the guide...
Sep 04
2014

Top Interview Questions and Tips for Answering The...

Excerpt from Guest for Undercover Recruiter: Not every job interview will be the same or follow a set format, although there are some frequent questions that pop up time and time again. Here are our top five most asked interview questions...
Aug 26
2014

Start Your First Day on the Right Foot

Excerpt from Phil Strazzulla for Careerealism: Everyone knows that first impressions are important. This is especially true at a new job where you’re meeting so many people for the first time, and most important of all, your new boss.   Because...
Aug 21
2014

Arguing a Point Productively

Excerpt from Laura Stack for TLNT: It’s been said that every person brings joy to others: some when they enter a room and some when they leave it. The latter disagrees just to be disagreeable. But no matter how good-natured people...
Aug 18
2014

What NOT to Say to a Recruiter

Excerpt from Nano Rodriguez for The Muse: As a recruiter, I talk to candidates all the time. It’s my job to get you to share your past experiences and a bit of your personality to see if you’d be a fit for...
Aug 13
2014

Six Steps to Asking for a Reference

Excerpt from Mary Sherwood Sevinsky for Careerealism: The references you provide to the employer for the job you REALLY WANT are more important than you imagine. A missing in action reference can really kill your chances of a job offer,...
Aug 06
2014

How to Use Positive Energy to Succeed

Excerpt from Christina Desmarais for Inc: Right now there’s an energy field or aura around you that others can feel. Without saying anything you can emit a sense of peace, calm and other positive feelings that can inspire, uplift and energize...
Jul 30
2014

Strengthen Your Social Capital

Excerpt from Erinn Bucklan for The Daily Muse: We all know how important networking is for our careers. Building and maintaining strong relationships is critical to your professional success, whether you’re measuring salary growth, promotions, or job satisfaction over time. But...
Jul 15
2014

Into the Mind of an Interviewer

Excerpt from Amalia Episkopou for LinkedIn: “So, which candidate should we choose?” How is this answer given? How are interviewers thinking? Some ask short open questions and then silence.. Some talk quite a lot.. Some are open for discussion, while others not.....
Jul 09
2014

3 Career Mistakes You Should Make

Excerpt from Avery Augustine for The Daily Muse: I know what you’re thinking: Isn’t the point of reading advice-based articles online to avoid major mistakes? But sometimes, lessons don’t really stick unless you experience that mistake—and all the consequences that result from it—first...
Jun 19
2014

The 5 Things Lucky People Do

Excerpt from Kevin Daum for Inc.: “The Luck of the Irish” is an American phrase that comes from the days of the gold rush in the 1800s.  Intolerant Americans figured the Irish people weren’t smart enough to find gold, and blamed their...
Jun 17
2014

How to Work 80 Hour Weeks and Not Burn Out

Excerpt from Maggie Zhang for Business Insider: Have you ever wondered how Wall Street professionals and management consultants somehow work 80-hour weeks without ever seeming to need a break? In a recent Quora thread, “How do people work 80-100 hours a week and...
Jun 12
2014

Prepare for Your Performance Review

Excerpt from Chrissy Scivicque for U.S. News: Review time can be scary, especially for those who are unsure of where they stand. If you’re not receiving regular feedback from your superiors, the performance review can come as a shock to the system. You may...
Jun 10
2014

The Questions You Should be Asking After an Interv...

Excerpt from Ritika Trikha for Mashable: It’s a query that can give an ill-prepared job seeker pause: So, do you have any questions for me? Interviewers will judge you by your questions. Almost all employers wrap up job interviews by turning the tables...
Jun 05
2014

What Do Your Emails Say About You?

Excerpt from Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic for Fast Company: Most of your work communications are probably over email. You likely email your colleagues and clients more frequently than you speak to them on the phone or meet with them in person. Unlike face-to-face communication,...
Jun 03
2014

The Right Way to Ask for an Introduction on Linked...

Excerpt from Forbes: An friend of mine emailed me the other day, irritated by a message she’d just received in her LinkedIn inbox. Sent by a recent college grad she had briefly met at a networking event a few weeks...
May 29
2014

Can a Potential Employer Check Your Credit Score?

Excerpt from Libby Kane for Business Insider: Your three-digit credit score is a go-to indication of your  trustworthiness that banks, credit card issuers, and car dealerships all use to  help predict the likelihood of you repaying a loan.  But it’s of little...
May 22
2014

Clever Technique to Remember Someone's Name

Excerpt from Vivian Giang for Fast Company: Sometimes one of the important aspects to career success can be something intangible like how likeable you are. That vague feeling of goodwill is often determined by how genuine you seem when interacting with others....
May 20
2014

6 CEO Productivity Tips You Should Know

Excerpt from Nina Tamburello for The Muse: Everyone knows that leading a company is one of the toughest gigs around. Whether running a small business or a multi-national corporation, CEOs have to manage time, resources, and multiple demands while finding the...
May 15
2014

How to List Temporary Work on Your Resume

Excerpt from Don Goodman for Careerealism: You may be wondering whether temporary work should have a place on your resume.  When job security is hard to come by and job openings are limited, employers are accepting that more applicants are keeping...
May 13
2014

Ten Personality Traits Employers Look For

Excerpt from Chad Brooks for Business News Daily: Technical skills aren’t the only things employers are looking for in new hires. More than three-quarters of hiring managers believe that less tangible skills associated with a candidate’s personality, such as a positive...
May 08
2014

7 Steps for a Successful Meeting

Excerpt from Marla Tabaka for Inc: You’ve just sent out the reminder for your weekly team meeting, and you receive one or more responses like this: “Do I really have to come to this meeting?” Or, “I’m just too busy to make it.”...
May 06
2014

Your Personality Could Earn You the Promotion

Excerpt from Mashable: When it comes to making decisions about whom to hire and promote, skills and prior work history are only part of the equation. As many employers know, a candidate’s attitude and personality traits play a huge role...
May 01
2014

Tackle Researching the Company Pre-Interview

Excerpt from Lily Zhang for The Daily Muse: You know that weird feeling between excitement and dread that accompanies an invitation to interview? It’s especially strong when you know next to nothing about your potential workplace. But, even if the first time...
Apr 30
2014

How to Deal With Silence After an Interview

Excerpt from Gerald Buck for eJobApplications.com: Not hearing back after a job interview is much worse than getting a call saying that you didn’t get the job. There is so much anxiety, confusion and the what-ifs to plague your mind...
Apr 24
2014

Follow-up With a Thank You Note

Excerpt from Carlos Baldizon Martini for The Work Buzz: During a recent career strategy consultation with a job seeker, I was talking about the proper etiquette of how to follow up after a job interview. This job seeker asked me...
Apr 16
2014

Change Your LinkedIn Headline

Excerpt from Elliott Bell for The Daily Muse: For some reason, it’s not well-known that you can change your LinkedIn headline. It will always default to your current position and company, and the vast majority of users leave it this way. Which...
Apr 10
2014

How to Ask for Interview Feedback

Excerpt from Levo League for Brazen Careerist: Job rejections have got to be one of the tougher forms of rejection. The more interviews you go on, the tougher it is to hear the news that a company “isn’t moving forward” or...
Apr 08
2014

Redesign Your Resume

Excerpt from Mark Wilson for Fast Company: It’s frightening. You’ll spend most of your waking life at a job, yet, according to a new study by The Ladders, the average recruiter spends just six seconds looking at your resume. By the end...
Apr 03
2014

What to Know About Working With Recruiters

Excerpt from Susan P. Joyce for The Huffington Post: Many job seekers are confused about how hiring works, and, specifically, about how to work with recruiters. It is important to understand their role and how the process works in order to...
Apr 01
2014

The Most Important Meal of Your Day

Excerpt from Whole Living: Your weekday breakfast is latte-only; your weekend breakfast is lumberjack-worthy. But each adds up to a cup (or heaping plate) of empty calories. Instead of starting off that way, reach for energy-boosting, nutritious, and tasty foods...
Mar 25
2014

Make Yourself a Morning Person

Excerpt from Stephanie Vozza for Entrepreneur: The early bird apparently does get the worm. Christoph Randler, a biology professor at the University of Education in Heidelber, Germany, found that morning people are often more successful than evening people because, as...
Mar 20
2014

The Perfect Sounds to Put You in the Work Zone

Excerpt from Lily Herman for The Daily Muse: There’s a reason that many of the greats write their best work in coffee shops: ambient noise is proven to increase creativity and productivity. Researchers have found that sounds around 50 decibels...
Mar 18
2014

What to Keep in Mind When Giving a Presentation

Excerpt from M. Nora Bouchard for Forbes: What do the best and most successful presentations having in common? No, it’s not an entertaining and lively speaker — though that helps. No, it’s not beautifully executed slides — though those help. No, it’s...
Mar 17
2014

Surprisingly Weird Productivity Tricks

Excerpt from Sarah Chang for The Daily Muse: Productivity tips have been around forever. And if you’re always on the hunt for ways to be more efficient, you probably feel like you’ve read just about everything out there on making better to-do...
Mar 13
2014

Lasting Impression

Excerpt from Jeff Vijungco for The Daily Muse: Over the course of my career, I’ve seen a broad spectrum of career successes. (And, well, failures.) And I’ve thought a lot about the causes of those outcomes. Why do some succeed...
Mar 11
2014

Treat Phone Interviews Like In-Person Interviews

Excerpt from Lisa Quast for Forbes: For many jobs, you must first get through a telephone interview before you’re invited to an in-person interview, so don’t discount the importance of it.  Read Quast’s amazing tips and ace your next phone interview, visit...
Mar 05
2014

Interview Secrets

Excerpt from Scott Dockweiler for The Daily Muse, published on January 9, 2014: We spend the better part of our lives giving you advice for your job search, but we’ll tell you a little secret – we don’t know everything....
Feb 27
2014

Snacks to Stash at Your Desk

Excerpt from Michelle Edelbaum for EatingWell: I’m a snacker, especially at work. When my mind is working hard, my stomach inevitably starts grumbling. While snacking can help me get in all the nutrients I need and curb my hunger so...
Feb 07
2014

Building a Productive Job Search

Excerpt from Hannah Morgan for U.S. News & World Report, published on January 22, 2014: Job search requires you to do more than scour job boards for job postings, but you already knew that. The old saying that finding a...
Feb 04
2014

The Art of In-Person Networking

Excerpt from Miriam Salpeter for U.S. News & World Report, published on January 23, 2014: You’ve probably heard that candidates referred by friends are much more likely to be hired. Statistics regarding how many employers fill jobs via their networks...
Jan 31
2014

Finding a Great Mentor

Excerpt from Lisa Quast for Forbes, published on January 6, 2014: January is National Mentoring Month, so I decided focus this blog on ways to find career mentors. Finding career mentors may actually be easier than you think, but asking someone...
Jan 23
2014

How to Ease the Job Hunting Process

Excerpt from Alison Green for U.S. News & World Report, published on January 13, 2014: Looking for a job is one of the most frustrating and anxiety-producing experiencs that we have in our adult lives, especially if the search stretches...
Jan 21
2014

Building your Personal Brand in 2014

Excerpt from William Arruda for Forbes, published on December 23, 2013: It’s that time of year when you’re measuring your success for the past twelve months and thinking about your goals for the coming year. While you’ve been pondering what...
Jan 10
2014

Get your Annual Career Checkup

Excerpt from Next Avenue  for Forbes, posted on January 6th, 2014: You go to your doctor once a year for your annual checkup (or ought to), so why not do the same for your career? A New Year’s review will reveal if...
Dec 31
2013

Find Your Dream Career in 2014

Excerpt from Arnie Fertig for U.S. News and World Report, posted on December 24th, 2013: “How are you seeing the new year? Is it a time of dread, highlighting  the ever-greater length of your job search? Or do you see...
Dec 26
2013

Building a Professional Network from Graduation Da...

Excerpt from Donna Fuscaldo for Glassdoor, posted on November 4th, 2013: “Recent college graduates have the advantage of growing up with technology but that same reliance on the Internet, mobile phones and tablet computers can hurt them when it comes...
Dec 23
2013

Boost your Job Search Before the End of the Year

Excerpt from Heather Huhman for Glassdoor, posted on December 8th, 2013: “For job seekers, it may feel like you can use December to take a break in your job search, but you absolutely should not. It’s almost the end of...
Dec 18
2013

Should you use a CV or a Resume?

Excerpt from Gerrit Hall  for Business Insider, posted on December 6th, 2013: Let’s say you were applying to an awesome new job the other day. It’s an online application and you’re happily filling in all the blank spaces. Name, address,...
Dec 13
2013

Remedies for a Holiday Slump

Excerpt from Jacquelyn Smith for Forbes, posted on December 2nd, 2013: We’re in the midst of the holiday season, and as you try to juggle parties, shopping, hosting, planning, traveling and work, there’s a good chance you’ll lose focus and...
Dec 06
2013

Networking During the Holidays

Excerpt from Caroline Ceniza-Levine for Forbes, posted on December 4, 2013: “The holiday season is a great time to network. Professional associations, companies, personal contacts — all are hosting get-togethers. Typical networking talk revolves around your job. This can be...
Nov 26
2013

The Dilemma of Multiple Job Offers

Excerpt from Heather Huhman for Glassdoor, posted on November 12, 2013: In an incredibly stressful job search, the idea of landing one job often seems impossible. What happens, though, when you’re so successful you receive multiple job offers? It sounds like a...
Nov 21
2013

The Importance of Interview Body Language

Excerpt from Forbes Careers: Your perfectly manicured résumé, flawless cover letter and brilliant responses to tough interview questions might make you a strong job candidate—but forget to smile, slouch in your chair or fail to make eye contact during the...
Nov 19
2013

Turning Your Holiday Gig Into A Dream Career

Excerpt from Jacquelyn Smith for Forbes, posted on November 14, 2013: Here’s some good news for the 11.3 million unemployed Americans still looking for work: According to a new CareerBuilder survey, 39% of retail hiring managers reported that they plan...
Nov 05
2013

Stay Positive During Your Job Search

Excerpt from the US News & World Report, posted on March 3, 2011: Rejections are an unavoidable reality during a job search. You’ll talk to many companies before you find the right fit. It’s discouraging, especially when you thought you...
Nov 01
2013

The Power of the Executive Assistant

Excerpt from the Wall Street Journal, posted on October 29, 2013: Anikka Fragodt is considered a celebrity in the realm of executive assistants. Until last March, she was Mark Zuckerberg‘s right-hand woman. For more than seven years, she planned everything...
Aug 14
2013

Looking for a New Job? Your Social Media Presence ...

Searching for a job? Your social media profile could make or break your search. A 2012 study* found that over 90% of recruiters and employers look for candidates on LinkedIn, with more than half using Facebook and Twitter. Below are...
Aug 05
2013

5 Words That Need To Be On Your Resume

With Recruiters and Human Resources Managers receiving so many applications, your resume needs to be at the top of the list. To make it through the screening process, incorporate key words into your resume that recruiters are looking for. According...
Jul 25
2013

Considering a New Career? 10 Important Factors to ...

Are you thinking about changing careers? Or are you ready to choose a career, but unsure which one is right for you?  If your answer is yes, then take a look at our list of important questions to consider: 1....

1

 

Molly works out of the CG New York office, where she spends her days connecting job seekers at the top of their game with leaders in finance, entertainment, tech, fashion and other dynamic industries. For the past three years, she’s been a valuable player on our East Coast team, specializing in administrative staffing for leading firms and high-profile individuals in New York City, Greenwich, and Los Angeles.

This Southern-born talent matchmaker and music-loving Manhattan transplant specializes in placement for personal assistants, HR assistants, receptionists, marketing assistants and countless other titles, so she knows what it takes to stand out in a wide variety of job functions.

Molly took some time away from her busy desk to answer some frequently asked questions from the Career Group network:

1. What would you say are the top three qualities your clients look for in a candidate?

It varies depending on industry, of course — but I would say that personality is number one. My clients want someone who’s serious about work but also has down-to-earth, outgoing personality. Next, they are looking for candidates with drive — people who understand why a particular type of role interests them. They are not just looking for people who want change for the sake of change — they want people who are genuinely excited about the opportunity presented to them. Lastly, my clients believe an impeccable attention to detail is key — especially for administrative roles.

2. Describe the perfect interview outfit.

For both men and women, a well-tailored, full suit is always the best way to go – a pantsuit or a skirt suit. Go for a neutral color. When in doubt, stick to a look that’s more on the conservative side – something that won’t sway an interviewer’s judgement one way or the other. And for ladies, make sure your hair is pulled back out of your face and keep jewelry and makeup minimal.

3. What are some things a candidate should do to prepare for an interview?

Doing research on your company of interest is SO important. Check out your company’s website – if you know the names of the people you’re meeting with, check out their LinkedIn profile. It’s always good to know in advance if you share any commonalities with them. It’s also helpful to have an accurate understanding of what their role involves as well as the role you’ll be interviewing for.

4. What are your favorite things to do on the weekend?

I live right in Manhattan, so it’s always refreshing to get out of the city every once in a while and just be outside if it’s nice. Summer’s coming up, so I’m excited to head east to the Hamptons or Montauk and spend time at the beach. When I’m here in the city, I’m all about live music. I’m from the south, so I love country… but I like all kinds of music: folk, alternative, etc. It’s always a good time checking out new bands downtown or in Brooklyn. Travelling is my biggest hobby, though — if there’s ever a long weekend or holiday weekend, I’m usually exploring somewhere new or spending time back home with my family in Kentucky.

5. What is your favorite part of being a recruiter?

I love that my job is impactful. The fact that I can improve someone’s quality of life with a better salary or a better work/life balance is so rewarding. On the other side of that, knowing the vital impact that an amazing new hire is going to make for my client and their organization is extremely gratifying. I love the variety my job brings and being able to constantly meet such talented, interesting people all day is certainly a plus!

6. What advice can you offer to candidates reentering the job market?

Keep your LinkedIn profile up-to-date. LinkedIn is often the first place recruiters and HR managers look after receiving your resume. Make sure the information in your profile is complete and reflects the information in your resume. A professional LinkedIn profile gives the impression that you are serious about your career search, and ready to find your next position.

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The colleagues we enjoy working with most tend to be the ones we respect as well.

According to Bill Murphy Jr. in a recent article for Inc., “the most respected employees often have a lot in common.” And it’s no coincidence.

That’s because the coworkers we hold in the highest esteem are those who inspire us to approach our work with passion, dedication, and integrity. And they do it across the board, regardless of their job title or the company they work for.

Here are seven qualities that the most highly respected employees share:

They work for companies they believe in

The most successful employees understand that it’s easier to do your best work – and earn the trust and respect of your colleagues – when you’re inspired by the big-picture goals of your company. That’s why, “when they choose an employer, they make sure that the organization stands for something they can stand behind,” said Murphy.

They’re self-starters

The most respected employees tend to be highly motivated. And they earn respect by taking the initiative to tackle any task or project that needs doing, whether or not it technically falls within their official job description.

They make thoughtful recommendations

Even though they believe in their organizations’ core missions, the best employees are always looking for ways to make them even better. They aren’t afraid to make thoughtful recommendations to improve a company’s strategy, operations, or daily processes.

They’re the masters of their career destinies

Great employees recognize that in today’s world, it’s rare to work for just one company throughout the course of your career. According to Murphy, they therefore actively “nurture their networks and devote time to thinking about their next move.”

They pursue work/life balance

We also respect colleagues who cultivate their lives outside of work. These employees realize that neglecting things like their health, wellbeing, and relationships with family and friends will make them less likely to have successful careers in the long run.

They practice gratitude

The best employees are master relationship-builders. And they forge such strong connections with their coworkers and networks by acknowledging those people’s unique strengths and contributions. They know that “gratitude improves relationships and simply makes people happier and more productive,” said Murphy.

They bring in fresh talent

Because they’re passionate about their jobs and their employers, top employees are eager to spread the word about their organizations. While doing so, they always keep an eye open for new, like-minded talent to bring onboard.

Read more at Inc.

 

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Your qualifications, education, and background are all important factors when it comes to career success. So is your capacity to develop qualities like charisma, likability, work ethic, and resilience.

But perhaps the biggest key to success is your ability to approach various career challenges with a proactive, productive, and, above all, consistent mindset.

In a recent column at Inc., columnist Jeff Haden identifies a list of essential habits that successful people cultivate and practice. He notes that these qualities are especially common among those “who make a significant impact on the lives of other people.”

If you’re ready to set yourself up for career success, start practicing these three habits: 

1.       You heed good advice, no matter who’s giving it

We tend to pay attention to input and ideas from well-known thought leaders, innovators, and authority figures. And that’s okay as long as we don’t overlook good advice when it comes from somewhere (or someone) unexpected.

Successful leaders understand that everyone has something to contribute and they evaluate those contributions by separating them from their packaging and focusing on their merits.

“Good advice is good advice – regardless of the source,” Haden said.

2.       You aren’t afraid to test your ideas

According to Haden, “no idea is real until you turn that inspiration into action.” Seems like a no-brainer. But things like hesitation, uncertainty, and fear of failure can make us reluctant to take the plunge and act on our ideas – even the best ones.

While risk does sometimes lead to failure, an idea definitely can’t succeed if it remains untested.

“You won’t get it right all the time, but when you let an idea stay an idea, you almost always get it wrong,” Haden said.

3.       You own your mistakes – and learn from them

When you actively pursue success, you will make mistakes and some of your ideas will fail. But what matters more than the misstep itself is your ability to acknowledge and learn from it.

Owning up to a failure can be hard, but it’s also humbling and transformative. “If you’re always right you never grow,” said Haden.

It’s important to admit mistakes to others, but it’s even more crucial to admit them to yourself. Only then can you look closely at what didn’t work and why, incorporate that knowledge, and move one step closer to getting it right next time.

Read more at Inc.

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It’s easy to assume that charisma, self-confidence, and emotional intelligence are genetic gifts, inherited at birth by a lucky few. Thankfully that isn’t the case – interpersonal skills can be learned, developed, and sharpened.

And the great news for those of us with crazy schedules? You can even do it online.

Alyse Kalish at Mashable has compiled a list of cheap online classes that will boost your professional social skills in no time, whether that means chiming in confidently during a meeting or chatting up your new boss at the company happy hour.

“Even if the majority of your day’s spent in front of a computer screen, being better at interacting with human beings (face to face!) never hurts,” said Kalish.

Check out these 5 affordable and accessible online classes to get started:

1. 10 Soft Skills You Need To Be Successful (Udemy)

This course covers 10 skills – ranging from emotional intelligence to self-confidence to problem solving – and is ideal for professionals, managers, and leaders who want to improve their soft skills in order to connect with others and advance their careers.

Cost: $20

Length: 1 hour / 30 lectures

2. How To Win Arguments By Not Arguing (Udemy)

Using Socratic Jujitsu – a.k.a. the method of asking questions instead of arguing back – is a more effective way to win people over to your side. According to Kalish, “If you tend to get into long-winded arguments that don’t lead anywhere, you definitely need this class.”

Cost: $20

Length: 1 hour / 7 lectures

3. Inclusive Leadership Training: Becoming A Successful Leader (edX)

“A successful leader is not only motivating, but also inclusive,” says Kalish. Empowerment, accountability, courage, and humility are the four main skills needed to be an inclusive leader. This class will teach you how to apply them to a variety of situations and then keep practicing them while on the job.

Cost: Free without certificate

Length: 1-1.5 hours per section / 4 sections

4. Working With Upset Customers (Lynda)

Kalish says this hour-long class will give those of us who work with challenging clients or less-than-happy customers “ways to neutralize negative situations before and after they occur.” Topics include listening with empathy, helping the customer be right, and preserving the relationship.

Cost: Free with trial / $19.99/month unlimited membership

Length: 55 minutes / 3 lessons

5. Successful Negotiation: Essential Strategies And Skills (Coursera)

Because negotiation happens everywhere – on both the personal and business level – everyone should learn how to do it. This class goes over all the basics in a series of interactive videos that will improve your ability to negotiate and up your chances for personal and career success.

Cost: Free without certificate

Length: 8.5 hours / 7 lessons

Learn more at Mashable.

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We all know people who are truly unforgettable. More often than not it’s their actions and attitudes that make them this way, rather than hard skills and brag-worthy accomplishments.

According to Jeff Haden in a column at The Muse, employees who make lasting impressions “possess qualities that don’t always show up on paper but do always show up where it matters most: in the minds and even hearts of people who know them and will never forget them.”

Work on developing these 4 habits to become unforgettable:

1. Using periods of crisis and upheaval to your advantage

While most people are shaken by crises and react by waiting for them to blow over, unforgettable people take advantage of these moments to make positive and sometimes even radical changes.

It can be challenging to propose new changes when everything is running smoothly. Instability, on the other hand, can invite an opportunity to introduce new initiatives such as reorganizing a team, implementing a new process or adopting new technology.

Looking at a crisis as an opportunity for worthwhile change rather than an obstacle to overcome will encourage everyone around you to do the same, and your managers to remember you as a key player.

2. Showing your human side

To be truly memorable, it’s important to maintain your professionalism, while still showing your human side. Unforgettable people aren’t afraid to be real — they express enthusiasm, gratitude, and vulnerability. And that makes them more relatable.

“Professionalism – with a healthy blend of humanity – is inspiring,” Haden said.

It’s also uncommon, which in turn makes it all the more memorable.

3. Adopting a “no job is too small” attitude

Your past accomplishments are significant, but they don’t mean you can come to work with a sense of entitlement.

You’re more likely to get the results you want – and be remembered – if you’re willing to jump in and help wherever you’re needed and no matter the task.

Unforgettable people understand that you never stop paying your dues and that no job is ever too small.

4. Pursuing something bigger than business

The most unforgettable among us succeed in the business realm, but that isn’t all they do. The people we remember also pursue achievements that are bigger than quantifiable company goals.

These “bigger than business” objectives may include things like motivating and inspiring others, helping people develop both personally and professionally, and making valuable contributions to the community.

According to Haden, unforgettable people “know that while business is business, the best business is personal.”

Find out more at The Muse.

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Seeking regular feedback at work – especially outside of yearly performance reviews – may seem like a foreign concept. For some, the mere thought of spending additional time discussing past setbacks and potential “areas for improvement” may even induce stress or dread.

But according to Shana Lebowitz in a recent article at Business Insider, exchanging feedback on work performance with a peer mentor, or “someone who holds a similar level position as you,” is a necessary habit that will help put you on the fast track to career success.

The very act of seeking and being receptive to feedback will give you the skills and qualities that set leaders apart from the crowd. This is because to be successful in business you have to be willing to evaluate your achievements and failures in order to build momentum and move forward.

“Asking for feedback reminds us that leadership is hardly a one-person experience – instead, it’s a process that requires constant input and tweaking from others,” said author and CEO Susan Bates.

But peer mentorship isn’t just about seeking and incorporating feedback for your own improvement. And the most rewarding exchanges are built on the reciprocal seeking and giving of advice.

“The best mentoring relationships grow out of some mutuality. When it’s a two-way street, the relationship is more real and valuable,” said Bates.

Being a peer mentor also allows you to see yourself as a valued contributor to someone else’s success and professional development. If your peer mentor works in another department within your organization, or even at a different company, the relationship will most likely give you a broader understanding of your business or industry, as well as a deeper sense of commitment to it.

So what’s the best way to approach peer mentorship with a colleague or industry contact?

Simple. Reach out to someone you enjoyed collaborating with on a past project or initiative and express interest in learning more about their department, company, or area of expertise.

Read more at Business Insider.

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As a strategic adviser, entrepreneur, and lecturer at Stanford Graduate School of Business, Amy Wilkinson knows business. Specifically, how to take a tiny seed of inspiration and turn it into a thriving and fruitful enterprise.

Wilkinson has interviewed 200 business innovators behind some of today’s best-known brands and organizations – Dropbox, Tesla Motors, LinkedIn, Airbnb, and Chipotle to name a few. In a recent article at Levo she explains how she “drilled down through the latest academic research and applied scientific methodology to crack the code on what it takes to create and scale ideas in our rapidly changing economy.”

And she’s learned that no matter the industry or mission statement, these companies’ creative leaders have all honed a specific set of habits that are key to their success.

Lucky for us, Wilkinson says they “can be learned, practiced, and passed on.”

Here are 3 easily adoptable habits that will help you take your next concept from small-scale idea to big-picture reality and earn rewards from your employer in the process:

1.       Identify and meet unmet needs.

Business innovators are constantly on the lookout for fresh new ideas, gaps to fill, and other opportunities that are full of possibility.

According to Wilkinson, “creators tend to use one of three distinct techniques: transplanting ideas across divides, designing a new way forward, or merging disparate concepts.”

In order to identify and meet unmet needs at work, try asking yourself questions that will spark your creativity like how a technique that works in one area might be useful when applied to a different situation.

 

2.       Embrace small setbacks.

“Creators understand that experiencing a series of small failures is essential to avoiding catastrophic mistakes,” said Wilkinson.

By embracing an attitude that isn’t fearful of minor setbacks, you’ll be able to incrementally practice taking risks and pursuing new ideas. A big part of successful innovation is understanding that failure is one necessary step in the larger process.

 

3.       Pay it forward with kindness.

Kindness and generosity are often overlooked, but when shared they’ll put you on the path toward success in no time. That’s because these gestures are key to creating goodwill and fostering strong relationships. And those relationships are vital to both creativity and forward momentum.

In short, very few people have achieved success without support and collaboration.

“By gifting small goods, or offering small kindnesses in the workplace, you become the type of colleague that others want to work with,” said Wilkinson.

Learn more at Levo.

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Every career has its ups and downs. And every now and then circumstances can push you into what Fast Company time management and productivity expert Laura Vanderkam calls “hunker-down mode” – a time when you slow down in your career, focusing more on self-preservation than advancement.

If you’re through with hunkering down and ready to start challenging yourself again this year, follow these steps to remain on a forward-moving path:

1.       Volunteer to take on more responsibility

When we’re in “hunker-down mode,” we’re not often inclined to take on new projects and more responsibility. But accelerating your career means being an active participant – and saying “yes” more often than “no.”

“Get in the habit of raising your hand for opportunities. It may mean working a few more hours, so make the logistical arrangements in your life that would allow that to happen,” Vanderkam suggests.

2.       Be vocal and upfront about your actions

Taking on added responsibility is important, but it’s not sufficient in and of itself. According to Vanderkam, you also have to let people know you’re doing it. That’s because changing your behavior doesn’t automatically change how you’re perceived by others, especially if you’re known as the person who says “no.”

“You can’t just change your narrative with behavior because people selectively see behavior that supports what they already believe. Instead, you have to announce what you’re doing,” said Vanderkam.

Being vocal and upfront about what you’re doing – attending an industry event, for example – will make others start to perceive you as the person who says “yes.”

3.       Look beyond your organization

It’s easy to lose sight of the world outside of your organization when you’re focused more on self-preservation than pursuing a forward trajectory. But getting back in fast lane means keeping your finger on the pulse of your industry as well as paying attention to what’s happening beyond it.

Vanderkam recommends following five external organizations or thought leaders on Twitter in order to gain a broader perspective on your industry.

“Start broadening what you read so the new ideas start coming. The opposite of hunkering down is opening up,” she says.

 

Find out more at Fast Company.

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Harvard psychologist Amy Cuddy is known as the person behind the “power pose,” or the practice of exhibiting confident body language in order to feel and even act more confident. In a 2012 TED Talk Cuddy explains that the power pose works by using the mind-body connection to achieve a sense of calm self-assuredness – or “presence” – which in turn ups our chances of achieving career success.

“Cuddy defines presence as being attuned to and able to express your full potential. When you’re present, you approach challenges without a sense of threat,” career strategy columnist Shana Lebowitz said in a recent article for Business Insider. Presence is the topic and title of Cuddy’s new book. In it, she looks closely at this state of successful self-confidence and posits that power-posing is just one way to attain it.

“Whether you’re interviewing for a job or pitching your startup, people can tell right away if you’re present, and they judge you more positively when you are,” Lebowitz said.

Successful people understand the importance of commanding their presence when it comes to the interview process and beyond. Here’s how they do it: 

1. They stay true to their own story

When you believe your own story, you present it with enthusiasm and determination — which makes everyone else believe it too.

In her book, Cuddy describes a study she conducted in which mock interviews were held for participants. Each participant was asked to spend five minutes convincing interviewers that they were the right choice for the job while remaining 100% truthful about their qualifications. Meanwhile, the interviewers kept “completely neutral” expressions on their face. After completing the study, Cuddy found that “interviewees who were rated more present were also rated more believable and more hirable…[presence] told judges that they could trust the person, that what they were observing was real.”

2. They’re accepting of feedback and differing perspectives

“A truly confident person does not require arrogance, which is nothing more than a smoke screen for insecurity,” Cuddy said. Confident people demonstrate presence by being open to feedback and other people’s perspectives. Instead of feeling threatened and resistant, they integrate new ideas and points of view with their own. This inclusivity benefits everyone in the long run.

3. They keep verbal and nonverbal communication in line with each other

If your verbal and nonverbal communication is incongruent, it’s often a sign that you’re being inauthentic or intentionally deceptive by trying to impress others by acting and speaking the way you think they want you to. It’s human nature to self-adjust what you’re saying and doing to create the impression you think others want to see, but in most cases this isn’t necessary. When you’re fully present, your verbal and nonverbal cues will be in sync, and your interviewer won’t spend most of your time together  trying to figure out what “feels ‘off.’” Once this synchronicity happens, anyone will be more likely to put their trust in you, according to Lebowitz.

Learn more at Business Insider.

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HR experts like Forbes columnist Liz Ryan see a lot when they’re zipping from department to department.

For Ryan, it’s easy to differentiate between the employees who are hands-on and engaged versus the employees who stay cooped up in their offices with their doors closed all day. “Contrary to a lot of people’s opinion, being a top performer does not mean sitting at your desk with your head down cranking out the work all day,” Ryan said a recent piece at Forbes.

According to Ryan, employees who get the most done take a “high-altitude” view of their work — they focus on big-picture goals and don’t sweat the small stuff.

They’re also masters of flexibility and balance. “[Top performers] bob and weave as circumstances require. They stay awake and alert, and most of all they listen to their own gut,” Ryan said.

Here are five habits to adopt that will make you a top performer:

1. Set intentional goals each day

Top performers go to work each day with set goals in mind and they focus on achieving them. “They have lots of other things to do during the day…but they commit to handle the most important issues on their plates before they turn to other action items,” Ryan said.

2. Go with the flow

Having goals to guide your day is important, but so is having the flexibility to reshuffle priorities as needed. If a meeting gets cancelled, top performers know how to efficiently fill that new window of time. And if an unexpected issue comes up, they know what can wait for later.

3. Don’t take things personally

“Work is a human place, and people experience strong emotions,” Ryan noted. When something goes wrong, top performers don’t get sidetracked or lose their cool. Instead, they let other people’s emotions roll off their backs and they don’t hold grudges.

4. Focus on people instead of circumstances

Cultivate relationships instead of focusing on things like processes, schedules, and deadlines. Your coworkers will remember your words and your actions long after they’ve forgotten whether or not your team met a particular goal. “Top performers know that incidents and situations are temporary. Relationships are long-lasting,” Ryan said.

5. Consider your actions and words

Take the time to slow down after your fast-paced work day. Go for a walk around the building or do something else to help you reflect on the day and clear your head. If you can stop and reflect, you’ll gain more perspective on your job and your career as well.

Read more at Forbes.

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The days of working at one job and for one company are long gone. According to Forrester Research, the average person entering the workforce today will have more than 10 jobs over the course of their career.

That’s why management and leadership expert Peter Economy recommends that today’s job seekers cultivate a new set of habits for success during the interview process.

“It pays to get really good at developing great job-seeking habits,” Economy said in a recent column at Inc. “Start working on them sooner rather than later.”

These following habits are all guaranteed ways to stand out among tough competition: 

1. Know what the company stands for

Research the company’s mission by visiting the “About Us” or “Our Difference” page of organization’s website. Next, think about ways to demonstrate how your skills and experiences make you the perfect fit.

“When you know what the organization stands for, you can better picture how you will fit within its mission and culture,” says Economy.

2. Check out the company’s press

“Has the firm been active with product or technology launches or quiet for the past month?” Economy asks.

Read up on the company’s recent activity and performance to understand the direction in which it’s heading. That way you’ll be equipped to talk about the organization’s future and the part you envision playing in it.

3. Get acquainted with your future coworkers

Lots of companies provide information about their organizational structure and leaders on their websites. This is a great way to get to know them in advance so you’ll feel even more confident when you meet in person.

Economy also recommends using social media to your advantage.

“A quick search on LinkedIn will give you a good sense of whom you might be working with and what they value and how they position their professional experiences,” he says.

Read more at Inc.

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In today’s high-speed world of work it can seem challenging to establish your reputation and set yourself apart from the competition.

You may be tempted to work hard and keep your head down – especially at the beginning of your career or when starting out at a new company. But hard work will only get you so far.

That’s why experts like Industrial/Organizational Psychologist Dr. Marla Gottschalk recommend developing a solid strategy to brand yourself as a “high-potential contributor.”

“You need to set a projected path and make the most of every interaction. Whatever you are doing, make a commitment to do it well – no matter the task. Ultimately, it is your behavior, not the prestige of the task, that will identify you as something extraordinary,” Gottschalk said in a recent article for Ivy Exec.

Instead of just getting the job done, focus on your approach to the process. Aim to be unique. Aim to work with a purpose.

Here’s how to build a personal brand that stands out:

Know your strengths: Recognize and be able to sell the ways you add true value to your organization. Have an elevator pitch ready so you’re always prepared to underline your potential.

Become an expert: Read blogs, journal articles, and books to develop in-depth knowledge of your specific industry. Then take it a step further by initiating discussions with your manager, coworkers, and larger network.

Take the initiative: Curate a list of training and development opportunities to actively drive the trajectory of your career path.

Be a strategic listener: “Listening is a critical (and often neglected) workplace communication skill,” Gottschalk says. Know when to stay quiet and take in the knowledge around you.

Forge connections: Understand how your function (and your specific role) contribute to the success of your organization. Help build a collaborative work environment by committing to being an open communicator.

Read more at Ivy Exec.

foolprooftips

 

In an article penned recently for The Muse, CEO and best-selling author Alex Malley shares the key to making a lasting impression during an interview.

“Here’s the big secret that has nothing to do with your resume bullet points: Your strongest selling point, your best competitive edge, is yourself. Truly—no one can copy that.”

This may seem obvious, but what does it mean in the context of an interview?

According to Malley, it’s all about “demonstrat[ing] how you’re a unique candidate, and the value you’d add if hired.”

Read on for three tips that will showcase your authentic self and make you stand out when you’re up against candidates with equally impressive skills and credentials:

1. Give a “Borderless Leadership” Example

Employees who can think beyond their own role demonstrate that they make conscious decisions, keeping sight of the big picture by considering any possible effects their actions may have on company culture and productivity.

Showing that you can build relationships internally across department — as well as with external contacts — emphasizes your unique approach, stellar people skills, and eagerness to collaborate.

2. Highlight Your Passions

Discussing your passions — even ones that aren’t work-related — is a great way to both calm your nerves and connect with your interviewer on a deeper level.

Take it a step further by highlighting skills you’ve gained after hours, such as a collaborative mindset you may have developed from playing on neighborhood kickball team, or writing and marketing skills from promoting your personal blog.

3. Think Creatively About the Company

In an interview, do more than repeat facts and figures pulled from the company website. Up your game by researching the company’s big-picture objectives and making a connection to a current event or trend that could affect the business or influence its strategy.

Offering your personal take on the company will make you stand out as a creative thinker with a unique viewpoint, even if the interview doesn’t agree with your ideas.

Read more at The Muse.

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Watch this space for a fresh batch of our most wanted jobs this week.

All of these jobs will get filled fast – so if you’re that someone we’re looking for, apply ASAP via the links below.

1. Executive Assistant to Partner, Innovative Biotech Startup (SF)

Our client, an innovative Biotech Start-up is seeking a temp-to-perm Executive Assistant to support 2 senior executives. They are committed to promoting a culture that encourages creativity, embraces cutting-edge technology and sets the bar high.  (Read full job description)

2. Executive Assistant, Leading Fashion Brand (LA)

Our client, a leading Fashion Brand with offices on the Westside has an immediate need for an Executive Assistant. In this position, you will partner with a dynamic team whose enthusiasm, integrity and ‘big picture’ perspective have played a key role in this firm’s continued growth and success. The successful candidate will embrace new and exciting challenges as they take ownership of these executives’ urgent business priorities and coordinate logistics for their special projects. (Read full job description)

3. Front Office Coordinator, Digital Entertainment Firm (LA)

Rapidly-growing Digital Media Firm is actively seeking a Front Office Coordinator to join their team in Los Angeles. This is an excellent opportunity for a polished and enthusiastic team-player who enjoys delving into projects and taking charge of rewarding administrative duties to act as the face of a leader in the entertainment world. (Read full job description)

4. HR Generalist, Leading Global Marketing Brand (LA)

Our client, a well-known Global Marketing Company in Los Angeles focused on health and wellness, has an immediate need for an engaging Human Resources Generalist. This is an amazing opportunity for an experienced professional to have an immediate and long-lasting impact on this group’s outstanding corporate culture! This position will last through the end of the year with the potential to become permanent for the right candidate. (Read full job description)

5. Guest Services Associate, Prominent Museum (LA)

One of LA’s most Prominent Museums is actively seeking a Customer Service Associate to work part-time throughout the week as well as the weekends. This is a contract opportunity for the entire summer. We are looking for a bright, motivated, and personable team player who is available to work Wednesdays through Sundays. (Read full job description)

6.  Marketing Coordinator, Innovative Tech Startup (SF)

Our client, a rapidly-growing, innovative Tech Startup based in San Francisco is looking for a Marketing Coordinator. The candidate is required to have previous corporate administrative experience and a proven ability to meet deadlines, follow up on outstanding items, and manage multiple tasks. (Read full job description)

7. Social Media Specialist, Leading National Brand (SF)

We are seeking a Social Media Specialist located in San Francisco, CA. As the part of the Marketing team, the Social Media Specialist will be responsible for ongoing management of social channels and growth of the brand through calculated strategies and direction. This individual will be responsible for daily posts, responses to customers where necessary, and overall engagement with our consumers on social. (Read full job description)

8. Administrative Assistant, Prominent Entertainment Firm (LA)

Our client, a prominent Entertainment Firm based on the Westside has an immediate need for an enthusiastic and savvy Administrative Assistant with 2 years of experience on an agent’s desk. This is a fantastic opportunity to make an immediate impact on and evolve with this top-performing and exclusive firm. The Administrative Assistant will have a positive, warm, and personable demeanor and a strong desire to engage with the administrative operations and priorities of this firm. (Read full job description)

9. Administrative Assistant, Global Luxury Brand (NY)

Our client, a top international luxury brand is in need of a detail-oriented and conscientious administrative assistant to a small team of senior VPs in their Downtown LA offices. Candidates must have advanced Excel skills and 2 years+ administrative experience ideally out of luxury jewelry, fine goods, handbags, and/or accessories. In this role you will oversee heavy meeting coordination, organizing travel and coordinating expenses for the team while overseeing a small group of interns.  There will be lots of intricate project work, so attention to detail is critical. (Read full job description)

10. Shipping & Receiving Coordinator, Global Luxury Brand (LA)

Global Luxury Brand with offices in Los Angeles is seeking a sharp and agile Shipping and Receiving Coordinator. This is a 3-month contract position. In this position, you will streamline all operations pertaining to the firm’s busy mailroom. You will play an instrumental role in coordinating on-time deliveries as you sort outgoing corporate assets by priority, collaborate with Security to execute asset protection and tracking solutions when necessary, and assist all levels of staff with up-to-the-minute needs.  (Read full job description)

 

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Excerpt by Lea McLeod for The Muse:

It wasn’t working for my client, Miranda. She’d gotten the degree and was doing well in her role at a Big Four accounting firm—but something was missing.

Sure, she could keep going, receive generous compensation, and continue to advance. But deep down inside, no fireworks were going off; she couldn’t see herself on this path for the long term.

But like so many other employees who feel stuck, she didn’t know how to make a career pivot. On one hand, she wanted to reach for the stars, but on the other, she knew that she had limited experience in a specific industry and needed to be realistic about what she could pursue. Ultimately, she wanted to land a financial leadership role in the healthcare industry.

What Miranda learned is that if you want to change something—for example, chart a new path, ditch a boring job, or pivot in your career—you’ve got to start by setting a goal.

By working toward a goal, you end up getting much more than your desired outcome. Setting and achieving meaningful career goals provides three essential career nutrients: increased job satisfaction, higher self-esteem, and improved quality of your life.

But how do you form a right-size a goal that’s ambitious, but doesn’t overwhelm you? Here are a few tips.

You Need Clarity

Studies show you’re more likely to succeed when your career goals are specific. So, start by peering into the future and creating a vision for your ideal self and career. What would that look like in one, three, or five years?

Ask yourself: What’s your job like? What kind of skills and responsibilities do you have? Who is your employer, and what is your job like? What are you totally awesome at? What kind of team do you work with?

When you clearly visualize your desired outcome, you begin to see the possibility of achieving it—and you can start taking steps to build your plan.

Miranda wanted a role at a regional healthcare organization, where she would oversee financial planning and reporting as part of a dynamic, progressive team—one with a culture that valued and respected its employees. And she wanted that position by June of 2017.

It Has to Challenge You—But With a Realistic Outcome

If you’re in your second year of public accounting, and your goal is to become CFO of Apple by the end of next year, you have your head in the clouds. Although you may know the basics of accounting, you have a long road ahead of you before you’ll be the CFO of one of the world’s largest companies. Just sayin’.

Miranda realized that for her desired outcome to actually be realistic, she’d need to acquire more knowledge and additional skills. So she did the research, spoke with people in similar jobs, and realized that by taking a few additional courses and volunteering as the part-time CFO of a small nonprofit, she could start acquiring the skills and knowledge to achieve her goal. And that made it imminently more realistic.

You Must Be Committed

I’ve heard so many people say, “I hate my job and need to make a change.” But they take zero action to make that change happen. They’ll give you a hundred reasons why they don’t go after that change, but you can boil them down to one: They simply aren’t committed to that goal.

If you believe your goal is important and attainable, you stand a much higher chance of succeeding.

Miranda committed to her goal by adopting a mindset that set her up for success—she saw herself achieving her goal. She was clear in her desired outcome, and perhaps most importantly, she was willing to share her goal with others, which held her accountable to making progress along the way.

You get commitment only when you are convinced that the goal is important to you and that it’s attainable.

Feedback Is Essential

Miranda identified a couple of key mentors and coaches to share her goals with and committed to providing them with regular updates.

To make sure she could provide a significant update every time she spoke with these mentors, she broke her ultimate goal into more bite sized action steps, which required shorter timeframes. For example, she set a goal to have one conversation per week with someone working in her desired industry and role. From those informational interviews, she identified potential target employers and what it takes to succeed in that role.

Each time she made some progress, she shared her insights with her mentors, and they helped her make tweaks to her other action steps based on what she was learning. Having a feedback process allowed her to stay motivated, stay on track, and feel a sense of accomplishments throughout the entire process.

You Must Create the Right Conditions for Success

Successfully achieving your goal requires just two conditions: time and practice.

When Miranda set the goal to connect with one person a week, she did it for a good reason: It was a realistic goal that she knew she’d have time to accomplish. She could have said, “I’ll connect with seven people each week.” But given her current professional commitments, the complexity required to achieve that objective would have been overwhelming. By week two she likely would have fallen behind, become discouraged, and perhaps even given up.

To avoid burning out and quitting on unrealistic goals, create intermediate objectives that you have enough time to complete, given your real-life commitments.

Then, practice! Miranda was getting great relationship-building practice in her weekly networking meetings. She knew that would be essential for any career move she made. She was also getting great hands-on practice creating financial statements in her volunteer position. This gave her time to learn, experiment, and fail in a safe environment, while she kept moving her career plan forward.

I’m highly confident Miranda is going to achieve the career goal she set for herself. And when she does, it will be a huge win for her. Not only because she’ll achieve her desired outcome, but also because she’ll have built a fabulous winning experience on setting and achieving a career milestone—one step at a time.

Find more valuable career advice at The Muse

Career Group is delighted to present our latest Salary & Market Trend Report for the administrative industry in Los Angeles. In a competitive employment market, this report will help you better understand the current marketplace and provide valuable insight for the future.

Market Trend Report – Los Angeles

Excerpt by Emily Co for POPSUGAR:

The first few minutes of an interview are crucial and can be a make-or-break factor. First impressions are really important and will last long after you leave the room.

Learning how to make a memorable impact in a few minutes is a powerful tool that applies to all interviews. There may be a time in your job-hunting adventures when you come across a speed interview—the interview version of speed dating—in which you have a limited time span to convince an interviewer to hire you. Or perhaps you’ll bump into a manager hiring for a position at a networking event and need to sell yourself in a quick conversation. Here are 10 tips for a lasting impression.

1. Pick one good story that wows.

If you only have a few minutes to make an impact, prepare one really memorable story that displays the qualities the hiring manager is looking for. It should be something that showcases an instance when you went above and beyond and an example that is truly unique. It could be a women’s group you spearheaded at work or maybe even a pop-up restaurant you started on the side.

2. Get your posture right.

Posture is really important in an interview, and people can instantly associate negative traits with you if you slouch. Stand and sit up straight, and walk confidently into a room with measured steps.

3. Master the smile.

Be sure to smile to put your interviewer at ease, but be natural. Don’t smile too much, or you may seem nervous. Practice in a mirror to perfect the smile.

4. Have warm, dry hands.

Wipe your hands before the interview, and be sure to do it without the interviewer looking. You might want to rub your hands together as well to warm them up. Make sure you have a firm grasp when you shake hands, because you definitely don’t want a limp handshake.

5. Wear a pop of color.

If it’s appropriate, try adding some color to your outfit to make yourself stand out among the drab grays and blacks. Your whole outfit doesn’t have to be bright red, but you can choose statement earrings or a cute scarf to stand out.

6. Be concise.

One of the biggest mistakes to make during a short interview is rambling. Your interviewer may lose focus, and you might not be able to get to all your points if you’re not succinct. Practice making your answers as concise as you can.

7. Think in bullet points.

For every answer, try to think in bullet points. This will help you be more succinct and pace yourself with your answers. Pro tip: prepare for the interview questions by writing out the answers in bullet points.

8. Watch the time—but be subtle.

If you’re aware of the time, your answers won’t be rushed and you’ll be able to say everything you want to say during the interview. Try to time yourself when you’re practicing for the interview, and this skill will become second nature to you.

For more tips, visit POPSUGAR

 

Excerpt by Aja Frost for The Muse:

You know you’re supposed to customize your resume for each and every job application. But sometimes, it’s not so clear how you can give the employers what they’re looking for—at least, not without being in-your-face obvious.

For example, suppose the job description asks for someone who’s “highly motivated” and a “self-starter.” How do you say, “Hey, that’s me!” without saying, “I’m highly motivated and a self-starter?”

Here’s the short answer: You use your applicable skills and relevant experience to prove it.

For the full explanation of how to actually do this, read on.

If They’re Looking for a Team Player

Highlight the times you’ve worked successfully with other people. Note: Some people confuse teamwork skills with situations in which they were supervising a team. Don’t do that—peer-to-peer interactions are different than manager-employee ones. Make sure you’re using examples that demonstrate the former. (And save the latter for positions that ask you to highlight your leadership experience.)

For example:

Increased email click-through rate by 20% by collaborating closely with other members of design team Partnered with 6 other employees to plan and execute a 200-person corporate retreat Increased coding accuracy by 15% by using pair programming technique Key Words: Work with, collaborate, partner, participate, merge, unite, contribute, develop relationships with

If They’re Looking for a Leader

Here’s where you can demonstrate your ability to motivate, teach, and inspire. As you’ll see, it’s possible to demonstrate leadership skills even in an entry-level position. Just reference a circumstance in which you were giving directions—whether that was leading a seminar or actually managing a team.

For example:

Onboarded, trained, and oversaw 5 new employees in the analytics department Gave presentation on effective communication processes to 60-person company Mentored 3 PR interns, continuing the relationship after they returned to school Implemented new time management software system and taught 10 employees how to use it Supervised 4 direct reports Key Words: Facilitate, manage, supervise, teach, direct, delegate, mediate, recruit, advise, administer, moderate, instruct, guide, counsel, coach, arbitrate, liaise, coordinate, inspire, influence

If They’re Looking for Someone Who Thrives in a Fast-Paced Environment

Now’s your opportunity to bring up all the times you’ve juggled several tasks at once. (Every day, am I right?) Demonstrating you can handle multiple responsibilities at any given moment will give the hiring manager confidence that you’ll be able to stay calm and efficient, even when there are hundreds of assignments flying at you.

For example:

Planned and launched 3 simultaneous employee engagement programs, resulting in a 20% increase in reported employee satisfaction Answered 40+ calls per day while helping in-store customers and maintaining area cleanliness Identified and solved 20+ customer queries each week while researching and resolving payment discrepancies Key Words: Prioritize, expedite, organize, manage, multitask, dynamic environment, high-volume

If They’re Looking for a Strong Communicator

Here’s your place to discuss roles in which you wrote or spoke. In general, match the communication medium you use to the actual job description. If you’re applying for an HR position in which you’ll always be verbally communicating, highlight responsibilities that required speaking to other employees, clients, or management. If, on the other hand, you’re applying for a PR position, you’ll want to play up your ability to communicate over email and by phone.

For example:

Interacted with approximately 50 customers per day, improving their experience through warm, friendly demeanor, and eagerness to answer questions Negotiated partnerships with 4 new clients, helping company establish a strong position in emerging market Rewrote onboarding process for overseas contract workers, a 100-page document used to train approximately 500 employees each year Kept 10-member sales team focused and motivated by giving 15-minute weekly speech Key Words: Compose, write, present, speak, interview, lobby, persuade, negotiate, author, discuss, interface, clarify, articulate

If They’re Looking for an Analytical or Qualitative Thinker

Bring up the times you’ve made logical decisions or worked with data. Don’t worry if your role doesn’t involve numbers—career expert Lily Zhang has an excellent guide to quantifying any job.

For example:

Saved company $10,000 by logging and reviewing weekly employee pay logs and investigating pay discrepancies Developed and managed $500K budget for commercial activities, prioritizing key investments to meet in-market revenue forecast Designed and implemented A/B testing, using results to increase user engagement by 40% If They’re Looking for Someone Who’s Creative You should incorporate projects or ideas that you specifically developed. If you’re having trouble coming up with an example, you might want to broaden your definition of “creative.” It doesn’t necessarily mean “artsy”—for many jobs, it means being able to find an unexpected solution. Since every job comes with challenges, you’re guaranteed to have at least one “creative win.”

For example:

Proposed new “Green Living” vertical, doubling average time spent on site and enabling company to secure eco-conscious brand partners Created e-book landing page, allowing company to collect emails from 1,000 potential leads Generated 5% revenue increase by designing and implementing new merchandising solution for regional retail stores Key Words: Introduce, initiate, solve, create, implement, design, launch, pioneer, introduce, innovate

If They’re Looking for a Self-Starter

Point out the times you’ve been proactive or successfully worked on your own. In general, companies searching for “self-motivated,” “driven,” “passionate,” or “self-directed” workers want to know you won’t need to be micro-managed, nor will you do the bare minimum of what’s required of you.

For example:

Took the initiative to form Facebook page for store’s employees, improving internal communication and teamwork Proactively reached out to clients when their orders were going to be late, reducing number of canceled orders by 20% Volunteered on company Employee Success team; independently planned 6 quarterly events for employees Key Words: Independently, anticipate, identify/resolve, offer, volunteer

Next time you read a job description and think, “This position would be perfect for me,” use the relevant experiences and key words to prove it. You’ll be one step ahead of the candidates who expect hiring managers to connect the resume dots themselves—and one step closer to landing the job.

For more resume writing tips, visit The Muse.

Excerpt by Jeff Haden for LinkedIn:

Anyone can succeed without capital, without a business plan, without a mentor, and even without a great idea.

But no one can succeed without one essential ingredient. There is one trait every successful person possesses:

Irrational optimism.

Why? To be successful you must embrace belief, which means pushing aside all those self-doubts: Feeling you aren’t smart enough, dedicated enough, adaptable enough, or simply that, in spite of your best intentions and best efforts, you won’t succeed.

Often other people make it even harder to maintain that belief. Family and friends tend to shoot multiple holes in your ideas, not because they want to bring you down but because they care about you and don’t want to see you fail.

That’s why people rarely say, “Hey, that’s a great idea. You should go for it!” Most people aren’t wired that way. Most people — myself definitely included — are a lot better at identifying and listing potential problems. We like to play devil’s advocate because that makes us seem smart.

And that’s why you need to be irrationally optimistic: Not because the odds are stacked against success, but because irrational optimism helps you succeed in ways capital, business plans, and marketing savvy can’t.

Of course you can take irrational optimism too far — but then again, maybe you can’t.

Think about sports, the ultimate zero-sum game. Only one individual or one team can win, but great athletes still go into every game believing they will win — because if they don’t believe they can win, they’ve already lost.

Is complete self-belief irrational? Sure. Is it also a requirement for high-level athletic success? Absolutely. Great athletes push aside doubt and disbelief.

So do successful people in every other field.

If you listen to the naysayers you’ll never start a business, never get promoted, never work and struggle and overcome — and never succeed. If you don’t believe in yourself, however irrationally, you will not succeed.

Although no amount of self-belief is enough to ensure success, the smallest bit of doubt can ruin your chances.

In Bounce, Matthew Syed quotes Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger, one of the most successful football (soccer) coaches in the English Premier League, on how athletes must approach competition:

To perform to your maximum you have to teach yourself to believe with an intensity that goes way beyond logical justification. No top performer has lacked this capacity for irrational optimism; no sportsman has played to his potential without the ability to remove doubt from his mind.

The same is true for everyone. Be smart, be logical, be rational and calculating, and never stop trying to improve your skills. But most important, be irrationally optimistic.

Why? Belief in yourself will take you to places no external forces ever can.

Learn more at LinkedIn.

 

Excerpt by Robin Reshwan for US News:

Selecting an ideal employer can be a tricky endeavor. It is easy to judge a company by the friendly interviewers, modern furniture and above-average perks. However, employment satisfaction requires a few more factors that may be challenging to assess. Here are some things to consider before saying “yes” to a job offer:

First, is the position something you truly want? Of course, there are some roles you take because you need to be employed. For the purpose of this article, let’s assume you do not need to take a specific job. Rather, you are looking to upgrade or alter your current role.

Take a little time to ponder what you desire in a career. Consider the tasks and duties you enjoy and make you feel successful when completed. Think about your professional goals, both for the immediate future as well as three to five years down the road. Also, factor in environment, culture, management style and the company’s future, as well as other lifestyle priorities, such as work-hour flexibility and commute.

While there is no such thing as just one perfect position, knowing your criteria gives you a reasonable scale by which to grade potential opportunities. Look at how the position matches immediate and longer-term desires and goals.

This process can be very similar to selecting where you want to go to college. Truly career-minded students evaluate schools on both the experience of actually attending the college as well as how their education will impact their professional life after graduation. An ideal university can be really enjoyable to attend and set you up for life in the real world. The right job can do the same.

Second, what are the perks, and what are their trade-offs? If you are fortunate enough to have an offer in process with a firm that has perks, calculate the true value of these benefits. Employers offer perks to increase their ability to attract and retain highly competitive employees and to boost productivity or minimize nonwork distractions.

In a recent Silicon Valley Business Journal article titled The Best Things at Work Are Free: Revving Up the Race for Perks, reporter Angela Swartz writes how Google, a clear leader in providing on-campus benefits, offers perks to minimize the need to complete mundane tasks typically done after work or on the weekend, such as dry cleaning, grocery shopping and getting haircuts. The logic is that if you can get these done at work, you can go home and relax. By the way, if you work a 50-to-60-hour-plus workweek, you probably won’t be able to accomplish many of those tasks if they weren’t provided at the office.

Perks seem enticing. All forms of compensation, perks included, are offered for a reason. Before overvaluing a benefit, determine what the trade-off is for receiving the benefit and if it is something you really want or need. If it is, great. If not, make sure to adjust accordingly when comparing the payoff for a specific role.

Learn more at US News.

Excerpt by Hannah Morgan for Inc:

You want to do work you enjoy alongside people you like. Your happiness and success depend on both. In short, you want to find a place to work where you feel you belong.

It comes down to finding a company with the right culture for you. Company culture is a hot topic among companies and individuals, but it can be difficult to define.

So what is company culture?

The best way to describe it is to talk about the “artifacts of culture,” or the examples of culture, says Josh Bersin, founder and principal at Bersin by Deloitte, a provider of research and advisory services focused on corporate learning. Culture can be represented by the company’s facilities, charismatic executives annual events or awards received.

And as difficult as it is for a company to define its culture, it’s even more challenging for a candidate to learn about it. Bersin says the best way to discover the authentic company culture is to observe it:

Learn a lot by looking around. Bersin often tours companies he consults with and says he can tell in less than two minutes what the culture of the company is like. “Culture is something you can feel,” he says. Do people look excited? Are they talking and collaborating? Does it look like the company is investing money in the facility? Look around. Are there people your age who you would enjoy working with? As a candidate, pay close attention to these types of details as a way of assessing your fit within the company.

You’ll also need to ask questions to learn more about the company. “Candidates should have their own set of questions. Early in your career, sometimes it can be intimidating” Bersin says, but he adds that there are many questions to help all levels of employees uncover the company culture.

Question if the company understands your needs. Early in your career, look for an organization that understands your unique needs. Bersin suggests looking for companies that have programs for young careerists, such as onboarding and career development programs for new people. Bersin also recommends asking questions such as: What does an early career look like here? How will I be evaluated? What have other people my age done during their first two or three years here? Some progressive employers even offer rotational development programs.

Later in your career, Bersin says you may want answers to these questions: Is this a company that builds leadership? What can I do at this stage? Can somebody come in from the outside and instantly build enough credibility, or does he she have to be here a long time?

Talk to employees. There is no better insight than speaking with someone who works in the company. Bersin recommends asking the recruiter or interviewer if you can talk to other people who work there. If so, ask them how they got ahead and what developmental experiences they had. Other questions to ask: How easy is it to make friends? What assignments and projects were you able to take on? What do you do when things don’t go well around here?

Technically, you can also identify employees in advance of a formal interview, by researching the company on LinkedIn, and ask those same questions.

Ask: What will I learn? It isn’t just the warm and fuzzy stuff that matters. One question that Bersin recommends asking is: What am I going to learn in my career two to three years from now as a result of working for you? It should go without saying that you commit to giving the company 100 percent of your effort. Bersin says he can look back on each job during his career and “point to exactly what I learned during those periods of time and contributed to who I am today.”

If you are new in the workplace, understand that your job isn’t just about how much money you’ll make, the fun you’ll have or if you enjoy the work. “You want to look back knowing what you got out of that experience,” Bersin says.

Don’t fear asking questions. Do you feel like asking too many or too tough questions could turn off the interviewer? Don’t worry about that. Bersin says he likes being asked questions that challenge him or that he may not be able to easily answer. It shows you are interested, serious and actually did some research.

Bersin uses the example: If you ask about the patterns of successful leaders, a recruiter might say, “That’s a great question; let me connect you with someone who can answer that.” This can result in the opportunity to speak with a person you normally wouldn’t have met.

Read more at US News.

Excerpt by Joann S. Lublin for Wall Street Journal: 

Even star performers sometimes stall.

Where they once won regular promotions, they’re suddenly passed over–leaving them feeling stale and stuck. Their old ways no longer work. Yet they don’t understand why.

If this sounds like you, it’s time to take action and revive your trajectory. Plateaus are inevitable during the decades of a work life. But as businesses raise expectations for managers’ performance, even a little coasting can kill a career, leadership experts say.

Plateaued executives commonly struggle to adapt to change, according to the nonprofit Center for Creative Leadership, which has amassed three decades of research on why some people’s careers derail.

“Executives hope their stalled progress will heal itself, but they often end up retired in place,” warns Craig Chappelow, a senior faculty member.

David Wager, president and owner of Foster & Wager Inc., a small vendor of computer hardware and software, says his company let go two plateaued executives in 2013. They resisted his approach for reaching sales goals, he recalls.

“You have to continue to grow in your career,” Mr. Wager explains. “Otherwise, you’re going backward.”

Executive coaches typically encourage stalled stars to undergo rigorous self-assessments, including aptitude tests.

A focus on the future can help. Coach Connie Kadansky urges plateaued clients to set specific new goals by sitting down and writing the next chapter of their life story.

Next, choose the catalyst “that will get you to where you want to get to,” says Rory Clark, another  sales executive coach. The introverted counsellor reports he recently cured his own career malaise – “I didn’t want to climb one more mountain”—after he fell in love with an energetic extrovert. She gave him “a reason for living and achieving,” he remembers. They married in October.

Advised by Mr. Clark, Brian Q. Davis quit as general manager of North America for a British e-commerce startup last spring because he suspected he had reached a plateau and would not rise further at the company.

The executive became a vice president of Scorpion Healthcare LLC, a unit of an Internet marketing concern.  Mr. Davis says he no longer worries about stalled career progress because his new coworkers encourage him to keep raising his game. “If you are playing on a court with Michael Jordan, you’re going to play up,” he notes.

Job hopping may mean a demotion, however.  A sales manager for an information-technology storage business concluded he wouldn’t advance after the top brass launched a year-long attempt to sell the company.  In early 2014, he accepted a salesman’s position and sizable pay cut by joining one of his employer’s distributors.

It was a step down, but he already has been promoted twice.  He’s currently regional vice president of sales.

To make such a move work, “you have to broaden your vision, take risks and be prepared to work really hard to establish your credibility with the new employer,” observes Tony Beshara, an author of career books and president of placement firm Babich & Associates. (Mr. Beshara knew the executive from prior searches.)

Yet there could be a simpler solution than jumping ship. First, talk to your boss about the steps required to realize your ambitions, recommends Annie Stevens, a managing partner at ClearRock Inc., an executive coaching and outplacement firm. She believes it’s wiser to ask, “What are my gaps?” rather than “Why am I plateaued?”

By 2010, Marc B. Lautenbach had run the North American sales organization atInternational Business Machines Corp. for five years.  “I was ready to make a step forward,” he recollects.

Rather than elevate him to a global role, IBM wanted him to lead its North American consulting unit.  The new assignment seemed like “a step sideways,” Mr. Lautenbach says.

He ultimately accepted the consulting job, hoping to round out his experience.  Two years ago, Mr. Lautenbach left IBM to take command of the mail and document-services company Pitney Bowes Inc. The chief executive now realizes that his lateral IBM move “was only the beginning of a new chapter.”

Other tactics, such as acquiring new skills or credentials, may put a plateaued career back on the fast track.  A senior program manager at a major defense contractor says she started a part-time masters’ degree in project management two years ago when she felt she wasn’t moving forward.

While attending night classes, she remained plateaued. “I was very frustrated as to how my career was progressing,” adds the woman, who wished to remain anonymous because she is not sure her future career plan includes her current employer.

The woman obtained a project management certificate this summer, and in December, the company made her a solutions manager – one rung below its executive ranks. When she finishes her degree in 2016, “I am definitely going to raise my hand for something higher,” she vows.

Efforts to polish your portfolio won’t pay off unless colleagues start viewing you differently, too.  To demonstrate an interest in fresh approaches, try opening meetings with, “Why don’t we…,’’ proposes Laurence J. Stybel, president of Stybel Peabody Lincolnshire, a Boston leadership consultancy.

Read more at Wall Street Journal

Excerpt by Jayson Demers at Inc:

Career paths are typically messy. The straightforward and commonly accepted conception of a career path is to start at some entry-level position in a given field, gradually work your way up the ladder, and eventually retire once you’ve found satisfaction somewhere at or near the top. Most of us will never follow this path, and that’s probably a good thing. Instead, we’ll be restarting from the bottom, jumping between industries, starting a business, failing, starting again, and possibly revisiting those options multiple times.

Changing or growing your career is exciting, but it’s never easy. Acquiring new skills, exploring new options, and finding alternative paths are all difficult to do alone, and making a final decision is even tougher. Fortunately, there are many types of people that can help you find the right resources, gain the right skills, and make the right decisions for your future. You just have to know where to find them:

1. Mentors.

Mentors are ideal contacts for any emerging professional because of what they bring to the table: experience. In most cases, your mentor has been in your position already, and he or she knows exactly what types of frustration and what kinds of conflict you’re facing. They’ve made hard decisions and have seen the impact from those decisions, and you can use their experience to put your own situation in perspective. Mentors will give you advice for free, and they might even have industry contacts who can help you in achieving your career goals–whether that means finding a new position or using new resources in your current job.

2. Alumni.

Your university’s alumni association is an invaluable resource in building your career. Because you’ll be working within a tight network of peers with a diverse career background, you’ll be exposed to a number of different potential career paths, industries, and backgrounds. By interacting with other alumni and regularly reading alumni publications, you’ll be instantly exposed to a range of new potential opportunities. Even if you choose not to actively participate in your school’s official “alumni association,” you can network with your former classmates and professors to learn of new opportunities and exchange ideas.

3. Networkers.

In most major cities throughout the U.S., there are dozens of professional networking groups dedicated solely to enabling people to meet new people–and most of them are free or inexpensive. You never know who you might meet at one of these events, but therein lies one of the greatest benefits networkers have for advancing your career–diversity. By interacting with other professional networkers, you’ll learn about new industries, new approaches, and how other people have built and managed their respective careers. If you’re looking for advice, or just some perspective, networking events are a great place to go.

Find out more at Inc.

Excerpt from The Muse:

Confidence can carry you through a lot in life. It can help you perform better in job interviews, appear more authoritative when addressing a crowd, and land more deals and partnerships in your business. Unfortunately, most of us don’t feel confident 100% of the time, and when we do feel confident it doesn’t always project outward in ways that enable us to succeed.

During the course of conversation, there are several tricks you can use to make your words sound more authoritative and to address your audience with greater overall confidence. Here are seven of them.

1. Speak More Slowly

Some of us speak faster when we’re nervous. Some of us are naturally fast talkers. Regardless of your motivations, conscious or subconscious, speaking too quickly indicates a lack of authority or a lack of confidence. In addition, while speaking quickly, you’re more likely to make mistakes in your enunciation, and you have less time to think through your words. Focus on speaking more slowly in your conversation, allowing your words to draw out and giving your sentences a weightier rhythm. Your audience will have more time to digest the words you’re speaking, and you’ll be less likely to make any critical errors that compromise your speaking integrity.

2. Use Pauses to Your Advantage

Using pauses is another strategy that can help you speak slower, but it’s effective in its own right. Work on creatively using pauses to give more impact to your speaking. For example, if you have an opening for a public presentation that’s eight sentences long and you make a significant point after sentence three, throw in a sizable seconds-long pause. It will add more weight to whatever your last sentence was and give your audience time to soak it in. It also gives you a chance to collect your thoughts and prepare for the next section of your speech, adding to the total amount of authority and confidence you project.

3. Avoid Asides

In a scenario that allows for preparation, such as giving a speech to a public audience, asides are fine. You have advance time to prepare them, determine if they’re relevant, and include them if they are. In more natural conversations, however, improvised asides can be damaging. For example, if you’re in a job interview and you answer a question directly, then spiral into a related story about something that happened to you a few years ago, it could be a sign that you’re nervous and looking to fill conversational space. Instead, focus only on what’s immediately relevant.

4. Lower Your Vocal Range

Take a look at some of the most famous speeches throughout history, at currently popular politicians, and even at local newscasters. You’ll find that most of them have lower tones of voice, and this is no coincidence. People tend to view speakers with lower speaking voices as having more authority and confidence. As much as you can, practice speaking in a lower tone of voice. Don’t force yourself or you’ll sound unnatural, but if you can get yourself a tone or two lower, it can make a real difference.

5. Improve Your Posture

Body language is just as important in conversation as the words that leave your mouth. Whether you’re sitting or standing in front of your audience, work to improve your posture. Stand or sit up straight with your shoulders back, and keep your head held high. This will make you appear bigger and more confident, and will help you feel more confident as well. Plus, you’ll get the added benefit of aligning your body so you can breathe—and therefore speak—more efficiently. Posture can demand a lot of work, so make sure to practice in advance.

For more tips, visit The Muse.

Excerpt from Casey Fleischmann for Undercover Recruiter:

Over time, the way people create, produce and present their resumes have changed. You need to do your best to impress hiring managers as it can be difficult to stand out from the crowd, especially when so many other people have applied for the exact same dream job that you wanted. There is competition and your resume needs to be the best it can be.

So what should you do to perfect your resume and what shouldn’t you be doing?

Statistics 1 in 4 HR managers receive 50 resumes per job listing. 77% of HR managers are looking for relevant experience. 48% of HR managers are looking for specific accomplishments. HR managers look for keywords in resumes. 56% look for the words problem solving. 44% look for the word leadership. 40% look for the words oral/written communication.

Do’s Include contact information. Make sure your resume is machine readable. Limit your resume to text only as a photo is not necessary. Customise your resume specifically to the position that you are applying for. Make your font professional and easy to read.

Don’ts

Do not exceed 3-5 bullet points per section. Do not use an unprofessional email address. Do not make any grammatical errors. Do not come across as having multiple personalities.

For a full list a helpful infographic, visit Undercover Recruiter

 

Excerpt from Peter Economy for Inc:

A job interview is an opportunity to sell yourself. It is your opportunity to prove to the interviewer that you possess the skills necessary to take the company forward and that you are someone who can be trusted.

The most important persuasion tool you have in your entire arsenal is integrity.–Zig Ziglar

If the interview was successful, then you have clearly communicated what you have to offer, and have gained another friend–and hopefully a new job.

Persuasive people know how to prepare for and excel at interviews. Here are 7 things super persuasive candidates do to gain the trust and enthusiasm of the interviewer.

1. They study up

Prior to the interview, learn everything you can about the job you are applying for and the company. You can be far more persuasive when you understand and discuss how your skills align with those of the position you are interviewing for and the company’s mission and future vision.

2. They make the first seconds count

Researchers say you have about 7 seconds to make a great first impression. When you’re doing an in-person interview, you need to look your best–dress professionally.Brush up on good body language practices. Always enter the interview with a cheerful, genuine smile along with a firm handshake. And, always greet the interviewer by name.

3. They develop a relationship

Tap into your emotional intelligence for interviews. Follow the lead of the interviewer and mirror his or her emotions. Is the interviewer shy or outgoing? Tone it down for the more reserved person and pump it up for the go-getter. Empathize with the interviewer and communicate your thoughts clearly. Strive for a relaxed, open and honest, friendly conversation as if you are speaking to a friend. The fact is, most people would much rather work with someone they personally like.

4. They zoom in on skills

Answer questions confidently and include specific examples of the skills you bring to the table. What is it that makes you special? How have you solved issues, handled customers, or worked alongside your co-workers in the past that demonstrate to the interviewer that you have the ability to be productive and an asset? Through your descriptive examples of past contributions and working relationships, you will draw a picture of the kind of person and worker you will be.

For more interview tips, visit Inc.

Excerpt from Daily Muse:

TalentSmart has tested more than a million people and found that the upper echelons of top performance are filled with people who are high in emotional intelligence (90% of top performers, to be exact). The hallmark of emotional intelligence is self-control—a skill that unleashes massive productivity by keeping you focused and on track.

Unfortunately, self-control is a difficult skill to rely on. Self-control is so fleeting for most people that when Martin Seligman and his colleagues at the University of Pennsylvania surveyed two million people and asked them to rank order their strengths in 24 different skills, self-control ended up in the very bottom slot.

And when your self-control leaves something to be desired, so does your productivity.

When it comes to self-control, it is so easy to focus on your failures that your successes tend to pale in comparison. And why shouldn’t they? Self-control is an effort that’s intended to help achieve a goal. Failing to control yourself is just that—a failure. If you’re trying to avoid digging into that bag of chips after dinner because you want to lose a few pounds and you succeed Monday and Tuesday nights only to succumb to temptation on Wednesday by eating four servings’ worth of the empty calories, your failure outweighs your success. You’ve taken two steps forward and four steps back.

Since self-control is something we could all use a little help with, I went back to the data to uncover the kinds of things that emotionally intelligent people do to keep themselves productive and in control. They consciously apply these 12 behaviors because they know they work. Some are obvious, others counter-intuitive, but all will help you minimize those pesky failures to boost your productivity.

1. They Forgive Themselves

A vicious cycle of failing to control oneself followed by feeling intense self-hatred and disgust is common in attempts at self-control. These emotions typically lead to over-indulging in the offending behavior. When you slip up, it is critical that you forgive yourself and move on. Don’t ignore how the mistake makes you feel; just don’t wallow in it. Instead, shift your attention to what you’re going to do to improve yourself in the future. Failure can erode your self-confidence and make it hard to believe you’ll achieve a better outcome in the future. Most of the time, failure results from taking risks and trying to achieve something that isn’t easy. Emotionally intelligent people know that success lies in their ability to rise in the face of failure, and they can’t do this when they’re living in the past. Anything worth achieving is going to require you to take some risks, and you can’t allow failure to stop you from believing in your ability to succeed. When you live in the past, that is exactly what happens, and your past becomes your present, preventing you from moving forward.

2. They Don’t Say Yes Unless They Really Want To

Research conducted at the University of California in San Francisco shows that the more difficulty that you have saying no, the more likely you are to experience stress, burnout, and even depression, all of which erode self-control. Saying no is indeed a major self-control challenge for many people. “No” is a powerful word that you should not be afraid to wield. When it’s time to say no, emotionally intelligent people avoid phrases like “I don’t think I can” or “I’m not certain.” Saying no to a new commitment honors your existing commitments and gives you the opportunity to successfully fulfill them. Just remind yourself that saying no is an act of self-control now that will increase your future self-control by preventing the negative effects of overcommitment.

3. They Don’t Seek Perfection

Emotionally intelligent people won’t set perfection as their target because they know it doesn’t exist. Human beings, by our very nature, are fallible. When perfection is your goal, you’re always left with a nagging sense of failure that makes you want to give up or reduce your effort. You end up spending your time lamenting what you failed to accomplish and what you should have done differently instead of moving forward excited about what you’ve achieved and what you will accomplish in the future.

4. They Focus on Solutions

Where you focus your attention determines your emotional state. When you fixate on the problems that you’re facing, you create and prolong negative emotions that hinder self-control. When you focus on the actions you’ll take to better yourself and your circumstances, you create a sense of personal efficacy that produces positive emotions and improves performance. Emotionally intelligent people won’t dwell on problems because they know they’re most effective when they focus on solutions.

5. They Avoid Asking “What If?”

“What if?” statements throw fuel on the fire of stress and worry, which are detrimental to self-control. Things can go in a million different directions, and the more time you spend worrying about the possibilities, the less time you’ll spend taking action and staying productive (staying productive also happens to calm you down and keep you focused). Productive people know that asking “what if? will only take them to a place they don’t want—or need—to go. Of course, scenario planning is a necessary and effective strategic planning technique. The key distinction here is to recognize the difference between worry and strategic thinking.

6. They Stay Positive

Positive thoughts help you exercise self-control by focusing your brain’s attention onto the rewards you will receive for your effort. You have to give your wandering brain a little help by consciously selecting something positive to think about. Any positive thought will do to refocus your attention. When things are going well, and your mood is good, self-control is relatively easy. When things are going poorly, and your mind is flooded with negative thoughts, self-control is a challenge. In these moments, think about your day and identify one positive thing that happened, or will happen, no matter how small. If you can’t think of something from the current day, reflect on the past and look to the future. The point here is that you must have something positive that you’re ready to shift your attention to when your thoughts turn negative, so that you don’t lose focus.

For more tips on how the emotionally intelligent stay productive and in control, visit Daily Muse.

Excerpt from Robin Reshwan for U.S. News:

When it comes to creating a list of favorite things to do, rest assured that interviewing (and maybe negotiating to buy a car) has never made the list. However, few things have as much impact on your career options as your ability to interview well. Like it or not, acing the interview is a must if you want to get hired. Here are five tips for interview success:

1. Show up in the office five minutes before your appointment time. Although that sentence looks simple enough, it has two powerful and often overlooked components: “in the office” and “five minutes.” This does not mean park five minutes before the interview or get in the building security line with five minutes to spare. It means walk through the office or suite door five minutes before your appointment.

While it is crystal clear why running late or cutting it close are not good strategies, the same goes for walking into the office more than five minutes early. Not every company has a huge lobby or waiting area. Arriving too early may mean that you are staring at the person who will interview you and have now obligated him or her to start your meeting earlier than planned.

If you arrive earlier than intended, hang outside the building or even in the bathroom before your ideal time. The extra few minutes will give you time to prepare and ensure that you don’t impose on your interviewer. 2. Do not, under any circumstances, bring a coffee beverage to the interview. I know it is increasingly common to walk everywhere with some sort of coffee drink in hand, but never bring one to an interview. While you may get lucky and the interviewer or receptionist may offer you a coffee or water at the office, do not bring your own beverage.

It is, however, totally OK to have a small bottle of water neatly stashed in a briefcase or bag out of sight. Interviewing is nerve-wracking, and a well-timed sip of water can work wonders for dry, pasty interview mouth.

3. Look great. For you well-dressed people, I’m sure you’re rolling your eyes at those two words, because you assume everyone knows that. However, after interviewing thousands of people for more than 20 years, I can assure you that the majority of job seekers are not fully aware of the impact of their image.

Having a great image does not require expensive outfits. It means selecting clothing, accessories, makeup and a hairstyle that command respect in your targeted industry. To portray this image, you have to think about the fit of the clothes, make sure they are wrinkle- and stain-free, look modern and are both age- and profession-appropriate.

Also consider fragrance, or lack thereof. A very light neutral scent, like baby powder or vanilla, can work well, but anything stronger could be an issue if the interviewer doesn’t have the same preferences as you.

4. Arrive prepared. Bring a pen, notebook or portfolio with paper, several résumé copies and a list of questions you would like to ask the interviewer. Many interviews start first with a request for your résumé. Removing a neat, unfolded version from your notebook is an excellent first step.

Next, all interviewers like to know that they have said something useful enough for you to write it down. Jot notes throughout the meeting, no matter how positive you are that you will remember everything. Writing not only tells the interviewer you value her input, but it also gives both of you a break from staring at one another. Furthermore, it can give you a chance to glance at the notes you prepared before the meeting regarding key strengths you want to reference or questions you want to ask.

Finally, remember to look up at least as much as you look at the paper. Writing notes is important, but active eye contact tells the hiring authority you are paying attention.

For all five tips, visit U.S. News.

Excerpt from Samantha Cole for Fast Company:

Most of us start the New Year hoping to be better versions of ourselves.

Our work lives, especially, are an easily quantified place to improve: We’re rewarded for jobs well done in promotions or raises, and given formal reviews.

But what about the more vague aspects of your career—like why you’re always showing up exhausted, or can’t seem to focus deeply on what’s most fulfilling? In the last year, we’ve tried to get to the bottom of those areas for improvement, too. The interpersonal soft skills and self-care are what make the more tangible successes shine.

We’re starting 2015 by sharing 10 ways you can be better at your job this year:

1. Make a better to-do list

Whether you’re jotting a list on sticky notes like Jim Koch, or in a typed and well-annotated creation like Barbara McCann, your to-do game can ramp up in 2015. Get out your pen and paper and start practicing your list-making skills by writing these tips down.

2. Stop glorifying “busy”

Buying into the “culture of busy” is not only making you dumber, it’s keeping you from your best work. If 2014 felt like it flew by in a constant state of overwork, change that this year—and start bragging about how efficient you are, instead of how many hours you spent chained to a desk.

3. Change your bedtime routine

You can’t be a better employee if you’re still dragging into the office an hour late and half-asleep. If you find what makes you bound out of bed like it’s Christmas morning. But that’s only part of the solution. Starting a better bedtime routine—like reading an inspiring book or writing down question that need answers—can make you more creative, and less drowsy come 7 a.m.

4. End your procrastination habit

Show up, do the smallest possible step, just get started. We’ve covered procrastination extensively, from reasons why you’re afraid to fail, or setting a too-high bar. Start knocking out that to-do list by simply doing.

5. But if you must, procrastinate wisely

Distractions happen. Sometimes, distraction can even be productive. It sounds counterintuitive, but procrastination and productivity can work together, when you’re trying to solve a difficult problem or coax your creativity out of its hiding place. A little busywork, and even Internet surfing, could do the trick. If your boss asks why you’re on Facebook, send her this article.

For more tips on how to be a better employee, visit Fast Company.

Excerpt from Michelle Kruse for The Ladders.

Most employers strongly value loyalty in their workers, but that trait doesn’t always pay off for the employees themselves. Staying with one company for an extended period of time might keep the boss smiling, but it could result in various kinds of stagnation for the employee. Besides the potential for professional boredom, there’s also the danger of missing out on growth — both in terms of salary and responsibility — that could come from moving on.

Whether you’re a seasoned job-hopper or you’re simply thinking about becoming more mobile in your career, there are a few important things to keep in mind so you don’t come off as unreliable to potential employers. Keep these things in mind to make job-hopping work for you.

Don’t Over-Hop. So we’ve established that job-hopping isn’t necessarily negative. But there’s still the danger of over-hopping. If you’re switching jobs every few months, most recruiters will assume that you can’t or won’t stick around when the going gets tough. It’s a good idea to stay at each job for at least two years to show that you are willing and able to commit a respectable amount of time to each position.

Explain Yourself. There’s a good chance that recruiters will have some questions about shorter stints on your resume. Why did you only stay there for six months? Why’d you switch to that job? It’s critical that you be prepared with an answer that will put their doubts about your suitability to rest. Stay positive when you talk about past employers — even if it was a nightmare experience — and explain your reasoning honestly and concisely. And concisely is key here; an overly detailed explanation may come off as too defensive. Keep it short and sweet.

Stay on a Steady Track. If your resume seems too scattered, potential employers may question your commitment to your career. If you’ve worked jobs in various unrelated fields or you’ve moved up, down, and back up again between levels, you won’t come off as a worker with a clear sense of what you want. If, for whatever reason, you have jumped around in a questionable way, be prepared to explain why. For instance, you may have wanted to strengthen your skills in a particular area in order to further your career down the road, or you felt that understanding a parallel industry would make you stronger in your field.

For more, visit The Ladders.

Excerpt from Lily Zhang for The Muse:

You’ve reviewed your resume, practiced your elevator pitch, and reviewed a few stories you can share during the interview. All is well, and you’re feeling confident. And when the interviewer says, “Tell me about a time you disagreed with your supervisor,” you are ready to go and launch straight into a story about that one time you bravely confronted the director of marketing at your previous company about a new campaign you had a bad feeling about.

Okay, so maybe that doesn’t sound like you—yet. Let’s take a step back and talk about how you can get there.

Pick the Right Story

All these “Tell me about a time when…” questions require stories. As a hiring manager, it’s incredibly unsatisfying to interview someone who has no stories to share. After all, how can someone know what you can do if you can’t talk about what you’ve done? Don’t be that job candidate.

So, how do you find the right stories to share? Go through the job description and highlight all the soft skills that are featured. You’ll likely find things like “ability to work on a team and independently,” “comfort with multitasking,” or “strong communication skills.” Then, come up with an example of a time you demonstrated each of these traits—though keep in mind that you don’t necessarily need a different example for each. In fact, it’s better to come up with stories that are flexible, since you’ll likely have to adapt them to the exact questions anyway.

There are, of course, a few things that interviewers frequently like to ask about that will not be on the job descriptions. Be prepared for “negative” questions, like “Tell me about a time you had to deal with a conflict on your team” or “Tell me about a time you failed.” It’s not that interviewers are out to get you—how you handle conflict and failure are good things to know—it’s just not the best idea to put “must deal with frequent team conflict” in a job description.

Finally, brainstorm a few more questions that could potentially come up based on the position you’re applying for and your particular situation. For example, if you have a big gap on your resume, you’ll want to be prepared to talk about why you’re no longer at your previous job (more on that here), or if you’re coming into a newly merged department, you should be prepared to discuss a time you’ve been part of a big change.

Make a Statement

Once you have your stories, it’s time to think a little deeper about why these questions are asked in the first place. What does the interviewer actually want to know?

Take a few seconds to think about this before you start answering the question—even if you have the perfect story prepared—so that you can make an appropriate introductory statement about essentially what the moral of your story is going to be. The reason for this is that even though the interviewer is specifically asking you to tell a story, the idea is that he or she will learn something about the way you do things. The problem with this is that what the interviewer gleans from your story could be very different from what you were hoping to share.

For example, say you tell that story about standing up to the director of marketing when asked to talk about conflict with a previous supervisor. You eloquently move through the story about how you shared your hesitation about the new marketing campaign to no avail, but once the initial numbers came in, it was clear that you were right. You triumphantly showed the performance to the director, and she agreed to scrap the campaign. While this story is definitely suitable, there are actually a few different ways it could be taken the wrong way. The interviewer could hone in on the fact that you really didn’t do anything until it was too late or that you were unpersuasive or a poor communicator the first time you raised concerns about the campaign.

To make sure your stories are as effective as possible, make a statement before you start telling the story. In this particular example, it might be something like this, “I learned early on in my professional career that it’s fine to disagree if you can back up your hunches with data.” Now, when you tell your story, it’s not about the various ways you could have approached the situation better, but about how you learned from that experience and how you use it to inform future disagreements.

For example, say you tell that story about standing up to the director of marketing when asked to talk about conflict with a previous supervisor. You eloquently move through the story about how you shared your hesitation about the new marketing campaign to no avail, but once the initial numbers came in, it was clear that you were right. You triumphantly showed the performance to the director, and she agreed to scrap the campaign. While this story is definitely suitable, there are actually a few different ways it could be taken the wrong way. The interviewer could hone in on the fact that you really didn’t do anything until it was too late or that you were unpersuasive or a poor communicator the first time you raised concerns about the campaign.

For more, visit The Muse.

Excerpt from Meghan Rabbitt for Fast Company:

After hours spent meticulously fine-tuning your cover letter and résumé, you’ve finally scored an elusive interview with the employer of your dreams.

At least, that’s what you think.

In our eagerness to impress hiring managers and potential future bosses, many of us come fully prepared to sell ourselves in a job interview—but neglect to ask key questions of our own. You know, the kind that can help reveal if it really is a dream to work at a given company.

“Most of us go into an interview like we would a beauty pageant, where we sit there feeling judged,” says Suzanne Lucas, a human resources veteran and blogger at EvilHRLady.org. “And we’re okay with this because we have this idea that of course we’ll be happy if we’re offered the job. But learning about an organization’s culture is so important because you’ll only be happy—and thrive—at a company if it fits.”

When it comes to learning more about a company’s office culture, we’re not just talking about free-flowing snacks and whether or not you can bring Fido to work on Fridays, either. It’s about much more than that—like whether the management team values all staffers’ opinions as well as fosters communication among coworkers.

And while you could come right out and ask your interviewer what the company’s culture is like, experts say you’ll get more honest and less-canned responses if you pose subtle questions—like these six asks.

Culture Question #1: What’s the difference between a good employee in this role and a fantastic one?

Lucas loves this question because it’s a covert way to get a glimpse into whether a company’s core values, like innovation or creativity, are aligned with yours. “Most jobs can be done 100 different ways, but a company’s culture—or even a specific department’s culture—often dictates what’s important,” she says.

So what should you hear? Answers that involve working well with others, being a great communicator and being an effective leader.

As for red-flag responses to watch out for, be wary if an interviewer mentions traits that sound like unattainable personal victories—such as winning a lot of awards and being chummy with the CEO—or the ability to exceed results-driven expectations at all times.

If your interviewer says that rookie mistakes happen to the best employees, and everyone at all levels is coached on how to improve and learn, it indicates that the company’s culture is supportive.

Culture Question #2: What’s the process for on-boarding employees, and how do you handle beginner mistakes?

Asking about the kind of support that’s provided to new employees can give you a sense of the organization’s commitment to helping the workforce grow and learn.

If your interviewer doesn’t really tackle the latter part of the question, follow up with something along the lines of, “what is the process for managing an employee who makes a mistake?”

“If your interviewer says that rookie mistakes happen to the best employees, and everyone at all levels of the organization is coached on how to improve and learn, it indicates that the company’s culture is supportive and encourages professional development,” says Nicki Morris, a Toronto-based business consultant and coach.

But beware of any interviewer who says something along the lines of, “Are you planning on making mistakes?” or “Well, we really hope people don’t make mistakes.”

“It indicates that the company may not be supportive when it comes to learning or taking risks,” Morris says.

Culture Question #3: What are some ways the company focuses on team development?

According to one Gallup poll, not only do close work friendships boost employee satisfaction by 50%—but those with a best friend at work are also seven times more likely to engage fully in their job. So make sure to ask your interviewer about how the organization fosters such relationships.

“If an organization offers interesting and unique perks that encourage employees’ growth and teamwork, the person interviewing you will love to talk about them,” says Carol Cochran, the director of human resources at career site FlexJobs.com.

Maybe your interviewer will mention off-site brainstorming meetings, clubs meant to help develop employees’ skills or even the company softball team. “But if they skirt this question, that tells you a lot about their culture … or lack thereof,” Cochran says.

Culture Question #4: What do you love about working here—and what do you dislike?

Along with the usual questions about what your specific tasks will be, it’s a good idea to ask your interviewer a few personal questions about his role at the company.

“The catch is to really listen and try to figure out whether your interviewer gives you a rehearsed, company-spiel kind of response,” says Matthew Reischer, CEO and hiring partner at LegalAdvice.com.

For example, if your interviewer says she loves running the company’s town hall meetings, where employees get regular updates on how the business is doing, it’ll show you a lot about the kind of open communication that’s valued at the company.

But if the answer is incomplete—for instance, she flatly says she’s “fulfilled” and “challenged” by her work—you might follow up with, “what are the most challenging aspects of working here?”

For more excellent questions to ask your interviewer about the company’s culture, visit Fast Company.

Excerpt from Kelsey Manning for Fast Company:

There is so much career advice floating around, but rather than trust the haphazardly doled-out opinions of self-appointed “leadership experts” and other dubious characters, let’s go straight to the top—men and women who have worked their way to massive career success—and ask them. What strategies actually worked for them? Which career buzz phrases should be ignored completely? Here are a few pieces of career advice that you should never follow.

1. “Always have a five-year plan.”

Haven’t you heard? Five-year plans are out, pivoting is in. Having tangible goals is awesome and necessary, but trying to plan out the next five years of your life is neither. The best opportunities are often those that you don’t see coming. Being too stuck to your “five-year plan” inhibits you from taking opportunities as they arise, and pivoting in new directions.

2. “Don’t be a job hopper.”

There are worse things to be. Namely, the quiet loyal workhorse who never leaves or makes the money she deserves. It’s a new economy people, job hopping is becoming the norm. These days, employees who stay in companies for longer than two years earn 50% less over their lifetimes. So yes, be gracious and respectful to each and every one of your employers, but certainly don’t stay in a position for fear of being labeled “a job hopper.”

3. “Follow the money.” / “Just do what you love and the money will follow.”

Equally bad advice, from opposite ends of the spectrum. Following the money with complete disregard for your interests is a surefire path toward a soul-sucking career doing something you hate. It may not even be the best financial move in the long term. On the other side of that coin, doing what you love with the expectation that financial success will miraculously follow is naive and ridiculous. As Kate White always says, think about where your interests and talents intersect with the greatest potential for financial success, and head toward those points of intersection.

For the full article, visit Fast Company.

Excerpt from Bethany Heinrich for Mogul:

Have you ever wondered what the secrets are to landing your first job outside of college, and particularly in a city like New York?

Our MOGUL team was curious and so we decided to reach out to one of the top staffing agencies in NYC, Career Group, in order to find answers.

We had the opportunity to interview the extremely experienced and successful Senior Account Executive, Jillian Lawrence, and she provided some tremendously helpful advice that will definitely help you to find a position within a competitive market.

1. What is the best strategy to get your first job in New York after college?

I think it’s very important to utilize your college’s career center, but also to talk to anyone and everyone you can about their job, what they do, and how they got their job. You should network as much as possible. My number one piece of advice is to not limit yourself to a certain field or category of job that you are seeking. It is very important to have goals and an idea of your likes and dislikes, but if an opportunity comes along that is outside the boundaries of your initial thoughts about “what you want to do,” explore it. Recent college graduates tend to feel like they’re supposed to aim for a job that fits with their major or what their friends or parents are doing, but there is a lot more out there worth exploring. Research different companies and learn about their company culture and what could fit best with your personality.

2. If one decides to go through a staffing agency, do you have any advice on how to get in touch with one?

I think meeting with the right agency is a really great idea to expand your search. Many companies will only go through agencies, so that is the only way to get into their company. If you have friends or colleagues who have worked with a certain agency in the past and had a positive experience, it is always best to get in that way, through a referral. This builds more of an automatic trust right from the start with that recruiter. If you don’t, you can typically apply to specific jobs from the agency’s website and your resume will be routed to one of their recruiters.

3. What are the keys to building a strong relationship with a staffing agency once you are on their radar as a candidate?

There are quite a few key components in building trust and a relationship with your agency and recruiter. 1. Be honest from the get-go about the type of job you want, why you are looking to leave your present job (if you are currently employed), and be honest about how dedicated you are going to be to your job search. 2. It is extremely important not to falsify anything on your application. Be honest about your salary history, any concerns that might come up on a background check, and if you were terminated from a job. Often people say they have a degree when they in fact do not, even if a degree isn’t required. Everything on your resume must be able to be verified, as it will be background checked and offers could be revoked. This will save everyone a lot of time and the recruiter will know the expectations any particular client might have in advance. 3. Don’t be late or cancel interviews. If it happens once, that is excusable, but after that, it is difficult to recommend someone to a client if you do not have faith that they will show up or make a good impression.

4. Do you have any advice regarding building a resume when you are just out of school and do not have tons of work experience?

You should add your GPA (if it’s over 3.0), list any and all internships and your responsibilities, any clubs, sports or activities throughout college and high school, or even travel experience if it’s an international company. It is also very important to list any volunteering, mentorships or charity work. If you have specific computer skills, you should always list those. Listing your interests (golf, running, French cinema, etc.) could be used as a talking point or ice breaker in an interview.

To read the rest of Jillian’s interview, visit Mogul.

Excerpt from Jenny Foss for The Muse:

Congratulations. Your resume (or LinkedIn profile) just captured the attention of a recruiter. Take a moment to high-five yourself, for real.

Now what?

Now, you will likely be invited to participate in a screening interview — via phone, Skype or Google Hangout or in-person — with the HR person or recruiter who just found you. Wowing this person is very important, because if you fail to, you’re not going to have the chance to dazzle the hiring manager with your mad skills at all. Your goose, as they say, will be cooked.

So, how do you stack the odds in your favor and ensure that you sail through this critical stage in the hiring process? By understanding what the recruiter’s role is, what he’s looking for and what he stands to gain by finding the right candidate, and then strategizing accordingly.

Here are four ways to rock the screening call with a recruiter.

1. Demonstrate quickly that you cover the basics More often than not, HR people or recruiters aren’t going to be looking for nitty-gritty details about your technical aptitude. They’re trying to see if you meet the baseline requirements for the job. That said, you should study the job description closely or talk with people working in the department, and then (before the interview) list out the things you think are the most important deliverables for the role. Be sure and touch on your strengths in these specific areas during the conversation.

2. Show that you’re truly interested (assuming you are) Recruiters love when they realize a candidate is a strong match skills-wise for the role they’re attempting to fill. However, being a skills match means little if you give off the impression that you’re only so-so interested in the company or role. If they pass you through to the next stage of the interview process, recruiters want to feel confident that you’re enthusiastic and eager to learn more, not just wasting everyone’s time. And so, assuming you are reasonably interested in the opportunity, you’ve got to make that instantly clear to the recruiter during the screening call.

3. Exude an air of “strong culture fit” Companies hire candidates based on three things, not just one. Number one is the obvious, “Can she do the job?” This must be a “yes,” no matter what. But what typically clinches it for the candidate who lands the job is that she’s also a “yes” to these questions: “Do we like her?” and “Do we think she’s going to fit in around here?”

You absolutely must show — early on — that you’re a strong cultural fit. Thus, if you’re interviewing for a role within a company you know little about, you should study the organization’s online presence — the company website, Facebook page, Twitter feed, you get the picture — and figure out its brand personality, its tone, its vibe. And then, assuming you line up with that? Make it clear throughout the screening call.

For more tips on acing the phone screen, visit Mashable.

Excerpt from Catherine Conlan for Monster:

Video interviews can be a great way to connect with a potential employer without having to travel, but they are full of potential pitfalls. So if you’re asked to participate in a video interview, you’ll want to make sure you’re ready.

Here are five things you must do to prepare for a video interview.

1. Check your tech

Familiarize yourself with your webcam and microphone so you know how they work. “Make sure that your audio and video come through clearly and that there are no technical issues on your end that would hinder your interview,” says Cheryl Palmer, owner of Call to Career.

“Also, the camera should be at eye-level so that you are looking directly into the camera,” she explains. “It won’t make a good first impression if you are seen as looking down or looking up when speaking.”

2. Prep your surroundings

You may think the only thing the people on the other end of a video interview can see is your face, but they will see some of your surroundings too, Palmer says. “The room that you are in should look neat and attractive and not be visually distracting. You also need to avoid any auditory distractions such as a barking dog or a crying child.” Also be sure to turn off the ringers of all the phones in the area.

“Mistakes we’ve seen include video interviews recorded in a coffee shop with a very noisy background or in a bedroom with dirty laundry scattered on the floor,” says Michael Yinger, Aon Hewitt’s global lead for recruitment process outsourcing delivery. “We’ve seen interviewees dressed in a robe and children playing in the vicinity. We’ve also seen a partially clad spouse running behind the person recording the interview.”

3. Look at your lighting

Put a light behind your computer so your face is illuminated, Palmer says, and avoid casting shadows on your face. “You should also keep in mind that the lighting can make your face shiny, so make sure that you powder your face lightly (even if you’re a man),” she says.

For more, visit Monster.

Excerpt from Alex Simon for Careerealism:

In a recent article I was reading, the author explains the concept of the Permission Paradox. In plain terms, it is the contradiction of not being able to get a job without having experience, but also being unable to get the experience needed to land the job.

This isn’t just relevant to those entering the workforce for the first time, but also to those looking to climb the corporate ladder or changing careers. Because of this ironic statement there needs to be some exceptions to the rule that will allow you to land the valuable interviews you need in order to get your dream job.

One of the keys to overcoming the Permission Paradox is understanding that when you apply for any job you will be evaluated along two different lines: your potential to add value in the future and your track record in the areas most specific to the job.

It’s All About Marketing Yourself

As discussed in some of the previous chapters in this book, it’s quite important to know how to market yourself. Think of yourself as a product that needs to be sold, how will you present it and what will your catch phrase be?

1. Write The Winning Resume

Unfortunately, before you can ‘wow’ the employers with your awesome interview skills, you have to land the interview to start with and this will depend on your resume. The toughest part of a job search is to be an impressive candidate on paper without sounding over the top. It’s about finding the right balance between showcasing your skills, being clear on your goals and presenting your achievements.

The first step you will take in landing your interview without any industry experience is to get the structure of your resume right.

Introduction

You might have loads of experience working but in a field that isn’t relevant to the job that you are applying for. In this case, it wouldn’t increase your chances of success by rambling on about your experience in real estate if you in fact want to become a software developer.

Find a way in which your previous experience can be linked to your goals in the desired industry. It would also be wise to mention your career change in your introduction so that you don’t come across as someone that leaves out crucial information. This way they will also be able to view the rest of your resume by keeping your switch or lack of experience in mind.

Work Experience

Many times, the requirements and job expectations are just a prospective employer’s ultimate wish list. You might feel under-qualified or intimidated when you read the job advertisement, but remember that the description you are looking at is structured to finding the ultimate employee, according to the employer. Yet, they will probably take whoever comes the closest to this description and it’s highly unlikely that one individual with have it all.

Not every company will take the time to read through every little detail of your resume. They will be speed-reading and scanning the points most relevant to the position they are hiring for. In that case, you should be structuring your resume in such a way that your possible experience relevant to the position stands out.

Education

Even if your studies aren’t relevant to the industry you want to enter, it still shows that you are driven and focused on reaching your goals. Sometimes, the Human Resources personnel might consider you as a possible candidate just because you were in the same school – you never know your luck.

Goals and Vision

In this section, you need to convince your prospective employer that giving you a go will be worth the effort.

As mentioned earlier with the Permission Paradox, there are ways in which you are being evaluated and one of those is your potential value. Showcase this value by demonstrating that you have the right attitude, curiosity within the industry, great communication skills, enthusiasm, and a good work ethic. This will add to your overall score and it’s crucial to increasing your chances of landing an interview.

For more, visit Careerealism.

Excerpt from Laura Lorenzetti for Fortune:

The Labor Department released last month’s employment figures Friday morning, and the report shows that the U.S. labor market has continued to post steady gains while some stubborn weak points still exist. Here are some key points from the October jobs report.

What you need to know: October was the 56th straight month of private-sector job gains in the U.S., and monthly gains have averaged about 227,000 so far this year. The job market has been steadily improving, which is good news. However, on the downside, hourly wages have struggled to make gains and the number of long-term unemployed is still almost 50% higher than it was before the recession hit.

The Federal Reserve, which had continually worried that the labor market is not as healthy as it hoped nearly seven years after the start of the Great Recession, eased up on its view following its meeting last week. The Fed issued this cautiously worded update on its outlook:

“On balance, a range of labor market indicators suggests that underutilization of labor resources is gradually diminishing.”

The big numbers: The U.S. labor market added 214,000 jobs in October, falling shy of economists’ estimates of 235,000 jobs, according to Bloomberg data. The unemployment rate dropped unexpectedly to 5.8% —its lowest level since July 2008 — compared to an anticipated 5.9%. Private employers added 209,000 jobs.

Hourly wages ticked up by 3 cents last month, while the number of long-term unemployed was little changed at 2.9 million.

What you may have missed: October’s gains keep the U.S. labor market on track for its best annual performance since 1999. That year an average 265,000 Americans found jobs every month. The October job additions are slightly shy of the recent three-month average of 224,000 jobs.

The continued growth comes amid global worries of slowing economic growth, although there’s little indication that it has spilled over into the U.S. labor market.

For the complete article, visit Fortune.

Excerpt from Vicki Salemi for U.S. News:

If you’re vying for that next position, which leads you closer to the corner office, more challenging responsibilities and (let’s face it) a bigger paycheck, you’re not alone.

But what happens when the smartest move at the moment may actually be lateral? Will that move delay your ascent to further greatness, leave you stuck in a rut or look stalled on your résumé? Au contraire.

1. You’ll move across the corporate lattice. If you mastered your job a long time ago, the writing is on the wall: It’s time to move onward and upward. Where do you want to be in your next role and the one after that? How are you going to get there?

In many instances, moving onward and upward doesn’t necessarily mean you have to literally move up. A new challenge can be waiting right around the bend. It’s a career lattice at most times and not necessarily a quintessential ladder. Sometimes the best way to better position yourself is to make a move over so then you can ascend from there.

 2. It’s a relocation strategy. If you’re looking to relocate, a lateral move could be the way to go. By pursuing another position at the same level, you could get from Point A to Point B without having to navigate the additional stress of a new job, boss and employer. In fact, stability and familiarity can potentially help ease the transition to a new location.

When you’re looking to physically move from one location to another, particularly at your own financial cost, a career trajectory may not necessarily be the priority at the moment. And that’s completely OK.

3. You’ll gain new skills and perspectives. Let’s say you work in human resources as a manager, but there’s a managerial opening within operations. You’ve had some informal discussions with that team’s group director, and it’s sounding pretty enticing. You like the company, but you’re beginning to feel a little too comfortable in your current role while not yet ready to look externally. Translation: You’re bored. The next level up within HR has been occupied by a director for the past 10 years, and she’s not going anywhere. Whatever the reasons are for your current situation, that new position is starting to sound intriguing, right?

Maybe you just need a change, otherwise you wouldn’t be contemplating exploring a new role anyway. Maybe operations will give you access to executives within areas of the organization you don’t currently have access to. Maybe you’ll get to manage external vendors and frequently negotiate – a skill you normally don’t get to utilize. And maybe the position above this one is vacant, so you may be recognized for a swift promotion after proving yourself in the new role. 

For more, visit U.S. News.

Excerpt from Mashable:

When recruiters look through a stack of resumes for candidate screening, what is the vital information they focus upon?

I think this varies from recruiter to recruiter and also depends on the role for which you’re applying. For one, I don’t look through stacks of resumes anymore. I hate paper. I do everything online. But I’ll highlight briefly how I personally absorb a resume.

I should preface this by saying that I primarily recruit for senior-level individuals. In my past life, I was a campus recruiter and you read resumes of new grads a bit differently, since experience is less of a factor.

How I read a mid t0 senior-level resume

Most recent role: I’m generally trying to figure out what this person’s current status is, and why they might even be interested in a new role. Are they laid off? Did they get fired? Have they only been in their role for a few months? Is their most recent experience relevant to the position for which I’m hiring?

Company recognition: Not even gonna lie. I am a company snob. It’s not even that I think certain companies are better than others (although some are). It’s purely a matter of how quickly can I assign a frame of reference. This is often more difficult to do when a candidate has only worked for obscure companies I’ve never heard of. When I can’t assign company recognition, it just means I have to read the resume a little deeper, which usually isn’t an issue, unless it’s poorly formatted and wrought with spelling errors in which case, you’ve lost my interest.

Overall experience: Is there a career progression? Do they have increasing levels of responsibility? Do the titles make sense? Do the titles make sense? Do the responsibilities listed therein match what I’m looking for?

Keyword search: Do they have the specific experience for the role for which I’m hiring? I Command + F the crap out of resumes. On any given day, I’m searching for things like Ruby on Rails, Mule, Business Intelligence, MBA, Consulting, POS, Cisco, Javascript, and — seriously — anything you can think of.

Gaps: I don’t mind gaps, so long as there’s a sufficient explanation. Oh you took three years off to raise your children? Fine by me, and might I add, I bow down. You tried your hand at starting your own company and failed miserably? Very impressive! Gap sufficiently explained. Whatever it is, just say it. It’s the absence of an explanation that makes me wonder.

To learn more about what a recruiter looks for in a resume, visit Mashable.

 

Excerpt from Jacquelyn McGovern for LinkedIn:

In recent years, I have found myself in careers that require me to have a business lunch. Last year, I was the one being taken out by vendors and salesmen. This year I am the one treating and selling. Because I have been on both sides of the table and sales process, I figured out a few tips when it comes to the business lunch.

Do- Have the Restaurant Picked our in Advance

When a business lunch is in order, and the plans are being made, be sure to have the restaurant that you will be meeting at picked out in advance. Several times I had made plans with a business prospect or customer and we said we would “pick a place the day of” this is a bad idea for a few reasons; first, you always want to be in control of the things you can control and where you will be eating is a big one. If the day arrives and a decision cannot be made, things can get a bit awkward. You don’t want to take away precious rapport building time and replace it with “well I can’t eat Mexican” or “that place will have a long wait” etc. What you don’t want is for your business meeting to be an example of how you can’t make a decision. I suggest choosing a location that is close by for the person you are meeting and calling ahead for a reservation just in case. I often call and ask how loud the restaurant can get at lunch time because the last thing you want is to be shouting at one another.

Don’t- Order Something Messy

Thats right, I don’t care how much you’re craving the spaghetti and meatballs, don’t do it. A big part of the business lunch is handling the fact that you are talking business and stuffing your face while trying to look sophisticated. If you order something messy that requires a lot of napkin dabs it won’t make for a comfortable experience. Getting food on ones face is not cute and you don’t want your lunch partner to be put in the uncomfortable position where they have to tell you that you have sauce on your chin. I find that a salad or light chicken dish is a good choice because it doesn’t require a lot of clean-up.

For more tips on how to set a professional lunch meeting, visit LinkedIn.

Excerpt from Lynn Andriani for The Huffington Post:

You will make a mistake at work (or two or three). Here’s how to clean them up gracefully, and even end up in a better position after you’re done.

The One Thing Everyone Forgets

Stanford management professor Robert Sutton, whose book Good Boss, Bad Boss includes a multi-step recipe for how to deliver an effective apology, says the first thing to do is not to sugarcoat your error but to take the blame fully. Doing this helps create the illusion (and even the reality) that you’re in control. Sutton has studied research on apologies showing that CEOs and managers who own up to their mistakes tend to have better reputations and perform better. So, if you screwed up while ordering supplies, don’t say, “I’m sorry, the supplies are late because the shipment was delayed;” instead, try something like, “I’m sorry, I know you needed the supplies today and they’re not here. I put in the order a week ago, but I should have added a week of breathing room. This was definitely my fault.”

The advice You’d Give a Toddler (But Rarely Follow Yourself)

The apology should fit the scale of the mistake. So, if you sent an email with a typo, don’t go to your boss in tears; and, if you made a much more serious mistake, don’t just shrug and say, “Sorry!” And no matter how big or small your gaffe, says Sutton, don’t use the cop-out phrase, “I’m sorry, but…” followed by what is essentially an excuse for your screwup. According to Sutton, research shows that using the word “but” after an apology can actually work to your disadvantage, since it suggests you’re just passing the buck. 

For more, visit The Huffington Post.

Excerpt from Donna Bradshaw for LinkedIn:

Applicant Tracking System or ATS is a software tool that is increasingly used today by the Human Resources Departments of all major companies as well as online recruitment websites. ATS simplifies and speeds up the process of sorting and sifting through the hundreds of thousands of resumes that a company receives electronically.

In other words, the technology used in ATS enables recruiters and hiring managers to screen applications and create a shortlist of the most suitable candidates from the large volume of applicants for a particular position. So when you write your resume, you have to keep in mind that before it is even read by a pair of human eyes, a computer system is screening it to check for compatibility to the position applied.

So, not only does it matter how you write your resume, but it is also important to take into account a host of other simple yet significant aspects. These include the words you use, the flow and structure of your application, punctuation, grammar, the format, the use of graphics and the length or size of your resume.

While the ATS can be a help to hiring managers, unfortunately, it can be a hindrance to jobseekers. Fortunately, there are a number of things you can do to make sure your resume is not rejected by the system:

1) Pay attention to the job description.

Let’s be honest. In today’s world of short attention spans and 140-character comments, it is not very easy to read a lengthy description without getting distracted, especially online. So, despite what you think, you may not really be paying attention to the job description even if you read it.

Why is it important? The ATS is primed to sift and sort through applications received by matching keywords to the job description. So for example, if you are applying for a position of retail manager, it is important that you explicitly mention words and terms that are relevant to the job description. Using so-called creative words such as overachiever or out-of-the-box thinker may not help you much if you miss out on the key words that describe the functions of a retail manager such as display merchandising, stock-taking, inventory control or sales promotions.

2) Check your resume for consistency and relevance. 

One of the biggest mistakes that jobseekers make is underestimating the ease of sending applications today. Applying for a job is much easier than it was years ago. You don’t need to write a fresh resume and mail it out every time you apply for a new job. All you need to do is click, right? Wrong.

The one-size-fits-all approach is exactly the reason why many candidates receive very few or even zero responses despite sending out hundreds of applications. Quantity will never get you what quality can. Be sure to customize your applications for each and every position that you apply to.

3) Make your resume resilient and relevant to ATS.

Imagine playing football in patent leather shoes or going for an interview wearing sneakers. You are killing your chances of succeeding even before you start. This is exactly the kind of mistake that you should avoid to prevent your resume from being banished to the black hole of incompatibility by the ATS.

Ensure that your resume will make it into the hands of the hiring manager, visit LinkedIn.

Excerpt from Hannah Morgan for US News:

Whether you are an aspiring leader or in a support role, developing your communication skills can impact your success. First, let’s take a look at the complexities of communication. It’s more than the words you use. It’s how and when you choose to share information. It’s your body language and the tone and quality of your voice.

These are things you should consider as you strive to improve your interactions with others:

Know the outcome. Before you begin planning what you will say in an upcoming meeting, consider what you want the outcome of your communication to be. What actions do you want others to take? How will you move people? That’s the term used in Daniel Pink’s “To Sell Is Human: The Surprising Truth About Moving Others.” Pink contends that we are all in sales today. “Whether we’re employees pitching colleagues on a new idea, entrepreneurs enticing funders to invest or parents and teachers cajoling children to study, we spend our days trying to move others.” 

Build a reputation. In the workplace, other people’s perceptions of you don’t form based on a single encounter. But never forget how valuable a good first impression is! In order to gain respect and be seen as a trusted authority, eager team member or dedicated employee, you will need to build your reputation over time. Every interaction – from how you greet your co-workers in the morning to how you summarize a status update in an email – contributes to how people view you. 

Avoid flaunting power and intellect. Compelling communicators don’t strong-arm people into paying attention or dazzle listeners by showing off how much they know. Leave your ego at the door when speaking to people. Establish an even playing field, and place yourself at the same level with your listeners. Avoid a condescending tone of voice and terminology your audience will not immediately understand. While you may be the smartest, most knowledgeable person on a particular topic, wait for the invitation to share your expertise.

Be confident. A wimpy response isn’t going to gain the recognition or support you desire. Confidence is queen when it comes to effective communication. Use strong action verbs, avoid filler words, such as “um”’ or “‘ah,” look people in the eye and sit or stand up straight when called on to speak.

For more on how to develop your communication skills in the workplace, visit U.S. News.

 

Excerpt from Marcelle Yeager for US News:

Not all résumés are created equal – and they shouldn’t be. There are different formats out there that are accepted by recruiters. Consider your professional history carefully before deciding which one to use. Use the guide below to decide if you are using the right type of resume for your background and career goals.

Chronological Format. The traditional chronological résumé presents employment history from the perspective of time. This is the format to use if you have a consistent employment history without gaps, and you are trying to land a job similar to the one you have now. You can’t go wrong with a chronological résumé, since it’s the most common and widely accepted.

If you have a short period when you were a stay-at-home parent or went to graduate school, you should include that in the résumé rather than leaving a gap. Holes mean questions, and if the questions aren’t answered on the paper, it’s unlikely the recruiter will take the time to call you for an interview to find out why you weren’t working during a certain period. If you held many jobs for a short period and are worried about perceptions, you might consider including a brief and diplomatic explanation for why you left each company.

Functional Format. If you have a minimal work history, gaps in employment or have frequently jumped around to different jobs types, this might be the right layout for you. It also works well for career changers. The functional format is set up to demonstrate your skills through your accomplishments. For example, if you’ve employed customer service skills at several jobs, you can use this as one of your skill headlines. Below the headline, include bullets that point to your key achievements related to that skill. It’s important to not use cliché phrases in your bullets, because your intention should be to show how you’ve exhibited the skill rather than tell.

You should also include a professional or work experience section, in which you list your place of employment, job title, location and dates. However, bullets with your achievements will fall under each skill headline at the top rather than below each job.

For more tips on choosing the right resume format, visit U.S. News.

 

 

Excerpt from Guest for Undercover Recruiter:

Not every job interview will be the same or follow a set format, although there are some frequent questions that pop up time and time again. Here are our top five most asked interview questions and some tips to help you answer them appropriately.

1) Why do you want this job?

This question is bound to come up in your interview. A common misconception that most candidates have is to tell the interviewer why they have applied for the job such as: salary, location, training, benefits and personal development. Candidates should really utilize this question and see it as an opportunity not only to explain why they want the job but to clarify why they have the appropriate attributes and skills required to do the job.

Four examples of ways to answer the question:

  1. What is it that you like about the company? (Culture, Beliefs, Values, Mission): I think NRL is a great company; I admire how their values revolve around nurturing success and I was impressed to learn about the culture-fit policy they have in place when recruiting candidates. That’s the sort of recruitment company I’d like to be in, one that not only focuses on the client but also cares about the candidates they place.
  2. Describe the challenges of the role to emphasize that you’re aware of them: I recognize that the recruitment industry has always suffered from high staff turnover and I know you’re looking for someone who wants to progress and develop their career long term within the company
  3. Tell them what makes you tick, highlights of your recent career and what challenges in particular you have enjoyed overcoming: I am a people person and in my previous job working at a retail shop I really enjoyed talking to customers, helping them find things and offering advice when needed.
  4. Think about reasons why the company might not want to hire you and counter their arguments: I know I haven’t had a career in recruitment before but I do have transferable skills from my experience of working in retail which I think would be beneficial for and applicable to this role.

2) Where do you see yourself in five/ten years?

This question is often asked as a way to find out more about your career goals and ambitions. It is always important to remember that you are being interviewed for a specific role. The reason why interviewers care and want to know about your career goals is because they want to hire someone who is motivated, proactive and likely to stick around and work hard if hired. As such it is important that you highlight that you do have a solid career plan and know what you want to do. In your response you should think about making it clear that you understand what the position you’re applying for entails and outline how you’d define success as an employee.

A few tips to bear in mind when answering this question:

• Be ambitious but remain realistic

It’s good to be ambitious when it comes to your career but be careful not to be too eager when talking about your career progression in an interview scenario. Responding to this question in a humorous manner by saying something like ‘in your chair’ may seem like a good tongue-in-cheek answer but to some interviewers this may come across as arrogant.

• Focus on your professional development

Unless the interviewer specifically asks you to comment on your personal ambitions don’t bring them up. Focus on your professional development and try to remain realistic in terms of how quickly you plan to progress through the ranks. After all, some interviewers could be intimidated by the fact that your career ambitions may negatively impact on their own.

• Be specific but flexible

Try to steer clear from making your answer sound too vague. The interviewer wants to know how you see their role fitting in with your overall career plan and your response should encompass how the position is important to you as part of your long-term strategy.

• Emphasize your value

Although this question may seem like it is probing your career goals and ambitions it is also a good opportunity to emphasize what you can bring to the role. Your potential employer will want to hear how you can make a marked difference to their company, help to secure and add to its reputation as a leader within its industry and contribute to the company’s overall growth and success.

For more tips on how to answer the most popular interview questions, visit Undercover Recruiter.

Excerpt from Phil Strazzulla for Careerealism:

Everyone knows that first impressions are important. This is especially true at a new job where you’re meeting so many people for the first time, and most important of all, your new boss.
 
Because this is such a pivotal moment, and so many recent college graduates are now meeting their new bosses for the first time this summer, the LifeGuides team wanted to share a few expert tips.
 
1. Don’t get in the way
New employees tend to be so overwhelmed that they ask too many questions of their boss and don’t understand when they’re starting to be a drain on team productivity. You need to be clear about what you need to accomplish. But, if a question can be answered by a google search, you shouldn’t bug your boss or other teammates about it. Here’s a good rule of thumb, if you can’t solve a problem in 5 minutes of searching for an answer, it’s a good idea to ask a colleague. Otherwise, they’ll start to think you value your own time way more than theirs.
 
2. Don’t let stress get to you
You’re going to screw up many times in the next few weeks and months. It may be something as small as jamming the printer, or as large as getting the numbers wrong in a client analysis. Whatever it is, don’t stress! The printer is jammed – don’t get frustrated, get help. Screw up the analysis – it happens. But, if stress starts to dominate your work persona, you’ll continue to make mistakes and hurt your relationship with co-workers (no one likes sources of stress in the office).
 
3. Show you can learn
Again, you’re going to screw up. Bad luck or a moment of aloofness will eventually catch up to you. The important thing is to learn what happened, admit responsibility, and learn from this mistake. Showing your boss that you learned will go a long way in establishing trust, and building your skills.
 
For more tips on how to succeed in your first few weeks at a new job, visit Careerealism.

Excerpt from Laura Stack for TLNT:

It’s been said that every person brings joy to others: some when they enter a room and some when they leave it.

The latter disagrees just to be disagreeable. But no matter how good-natured people are, if you bring any two human beings together, they’ll find something to disagree about eventually.

The strong personalities inherent in any business endeavor can result in people butting heads at all levels.

You might find yourself at odds with a team member, another leader, or with your own superior. When you find yourself at loggerheads with someone for any reason, you’ll want to find the most efficient way to resolve the issue quickly, so you can move forward with the business at hand.

Needless to say, I’m not talking about small opinion issues that don’t matter in the long run, like what color to make a report’s cover. If your team argues about issues like that, you have bigger problems to work out.

No, I mean important issues that can affect your career or your productivity: like whether or not to dismiss someone, or a negative performance evaluation you disagree with, or how to change a company brand.

How can you argue your point productively, so everyone can move quickly through the dispute phase and get back to work? 

Follow these six tips to express your point productively and professionally, visit TLNT.

 

Excerpt from Nano Rodriguez for The Muse:

As a recruiter, I talk to candidates all the time. It’s my job to get you to share your past experiences and a bit of your personality to see if you’d be a fit for the company. To talk to you—to get you to open up.

Unfortunately, though, some candidates take that too far.

Here’s the thing: No matter how comfortable a recruiter makes you feel, there are a few things you should just never say. It’s your mission to keep it professional—always. Here are three things I hear all the time that will definitely kill the vibe—and cost you a job.

1. “Ugh, My Last Company…”

There will come a point in the interview where I’ll ask, “So what’s missing or lacking in your current role that is making you entertain outside offers?” And this is where it gets nasty at times. People with no filters will rant on and on about their job, boss, or company, how terrible it is, and why they can’t wait to get out of there—and it only ends up painting them in the worst light.

Address the boss, job, and company in a way that is neutral, and never make it personal. (I once had a candidate tell me that she wanted to leave her current role because she was, “in an office of old white men and needed to be around cooler peeps.”) If we’ve learned anything from Olivia Pope, we know there’s always a way to “spin things.” Always. Here are a few tips on how to do it right.

 2. “I’ll Do Whatever”

I’m the type of recruiter who wants to hire passionate people. Most recruiters are. So, it always irks me when I’m speaking to a candidate for, say, a social media community director role, I discover it’s not a direct match, and the person turns around and says, “Well, the real job I was interested in is in another division at your company, can you connect me to that recruiter?” Or worse, “Do you have any other open positions? I’ll do whatever!”

Not being clear on what you want to do tells me that you’re not truly passionate about any specific role. Even if you are—you’re just trying to get a job—“I’ll do whatever” dilutes your brand, and that’s never positive as a job seeker.

Recruiters are an incredibly valuable resource in your career search. Know how to manage a relationship with them, visit The Muse.

Excerpt from Mary Sherwood Sevinsky for Careerealism:

The references you provide to the employer for the job you REALLY WANT are more important than you imagine. A missing in action reference can really kill your chances of a job offer, especially if the choice between you and another candidate is a close one.
 
Before we get to the nuts and bolts of how to ask for a reference, it is important to understand that you should NOT:
  • Use the same references for every job. Some of your references may have more knowledge about the specific skills you would like to highlight than others.
  • Include your references with your resume without being asked. You want to know if and when the employer will be calling your reference so you can give him/her a heads up (many people don’t answer their phones if they don’t recognize the number and many employers won’t leave a message).
  • Assume your references will know what to say. They WANT to help, but make sure they really do – give them an idea of what they should say.

Now the nuts and bolts.

  1. Think about the job you are applying for. What skills and abilities will the employer be likely to ask about? What is the employer contact’s communication style or company culture like? Consider whether it will likely be a call, email or a formal mailed request to your reference and determine who would be the best match.

For more advice on how to ask for a reference, visit Careerealism.

Excerpt from Christina Desmarais for Inc:

Right now there’s an energy field or aura around you that others can feel. Without saying anything you can emit a sense of peace, calm and other positive feelings that can inspire, uplift and energize the people with whom you come in contact.

On the other hand, you can repel people by giving off negative vibes such as tension, anxiety and anger. People who do so are called energy vampires, says Dr. Judith Orloff, psychiatrist and author of a slew of books, including Positive Energy: 10 Extraordinary Prescriptions for Transforming Fatigue, Stress and Fear into Vibrance, Strength and Love. “These are people who can suck you dry and make you tired and depressed and worn out and feel like you want to nap,” she says.

By all means do not be that person. If you want to succeed in business and life, you should aim to be magnetic, likeable and someone others want to be around. In other words, you want to emit positive energy. Here’s Orloff’s advice on how to do it.

Read Orloff’s advice on how to use positive to succeed, visit Inc.

 

Excerpt from Erinn Bucklan for The Daily Muse:

We all know how important networking is for our careers. Building and maintaining strong relationships is critical to your professional success, whether you’re measuring salary growth, promotions, or job satisfaction over time. But before you rattle off how many “friends” you have on your favorite social media site du jour, know that not all contact lists are alike.

You want to assemble a diverse group of talent, dubbed “social capital” by the researchers who study this sort of thing, in order for your network of friends to really have an impact on your success. As with friendships, it’s the quality not the quantity that counts. So, who’s essential to your contact list? Here are the six most important kinds of people you need to know.

1. The Finance Guru

Befriend those who are wiser financially than you. “It’s well established that what our friends say and do affects what we say and do—and even what we think,” says Lynda Wallace certified positive psychology coach and author of A Short Course in Happiness. Having a financially savvy friend can have a positive impact on our own finances. “If our friends tend to throw their money away, it makes it a little more tempting for us to do the same. But a friend who is clear about her financial goals and consistently pursues them can inspire us pay more attention to our own financial well-being.”

2. The Connector

 Think you can leave behind The Person Who Knows Everyone now that you’re all grown-up? Think again. “I would say that we don’t need a connector, but many,” says Sharon Good, life coach and owner of Good Life Coaching. It’s best to know a few people who thrive on socializing and making introductions in your network.

“These days, it’s all about relationships. Think about LinkedIn: For each connection you have, you also connect to their connections, and their connections’ connections, making it much easier than doing it one at a time,” she explains. Plus, when you need information or are looking for a new job, Connectors keep those tangential connections “warm” so you don’t have to start out cold when you want to reach out to someone a connector knows.

Check out the complete list of the types of people you should know to strengthen your social capital, visit The Daily Muse

Excerpt from Amalia Episkopou for LinkedIn:

“So, which candidate should we choose?”

How is this answer given?

How are interviewers thinking? Some ask short open questions and then silence.. Some talk quite a lot.. Some are open for discussion, while others not.. How am I supposed to understand them and get the job?

Understanding what an interviewer cares most about is the key to understanding how the answer to the question ‘which candidate should we choose’ is given.

But first things first! Who is an Interviewer? In four broad categories, Interviewers can be:

Human Resources

Their task is to find the candidate with the best position-candidate-company match. They will ask you questions to understand the depth of your skills, how it is to work with you and whether the company’s values are reflected on yours. Your task is to show your exposure, caliber, potential as well as personal traits. Using examples of your actions and behavior will help you make your points clear. Be careful though when analyzing your job tasks and experience; providing a lot of technicalities that are not asked, most probably won’t give you more credit.

Hiring Manager

The main priority of the Hiring Manager is to understand whether you are able to deliver results the best way possible. Your fit within the team will be considered as well, but the extent depends highly on whether this is a company-wide priority and/ or a personal one of the Hiring Manager. Your priority is to make the Hiring Manager feel confident and secure that you have what it takes to do the job, even exceed expectations and visualize how it would be for the Hiring Manager and the team to work with you.

For more insight into the mind of an interviewer, visit LinkedIn.

Excerpt from Avery Augustine for The Daily Muse:

I know what you’re thinking: Isn’t the point of reading advice-based articles online to avoid major mistakes?

But sometimes, lessons don’t really stick unless you experience that mistake—and all the consequences that result from it—first hand.

At least, that’s what I’ve experienced so far in my career. I’ve made some pretty big mistakes—but each one has taught me something extremely valuable that I probably wouldn’t have truly internalized if I’d just read about it from someone else’s perspective. And each was enough of a reality check for me to make sure I never made the same blunder again.

So, if you’re going to make mistakes in your career, make these three—but only once.

Mistake #1: Overpromising and Underdelivering

If you’re new to the professional world (and really, even if you’re not), it’s pretty likely that you want to impress your boss, clients, and co-workers—and you’ll do almost anything to prove your worth.

I was in that place a few years ago, as a manager at a cleaning and concierge service startup that was launching into the commercial cleaning space. We were thrilled when we were contacted by a large law firm interested in our janitorial services—but when I visited the offices to give an estimate, I knew that our small and minimally experienced team couldn’t realistically handle the job. (Seriously, the office was enormous.)

But, I was eager to please. Eager to please my boss with a huge new contract, and eager to please this potential client, who promised to recommend us to all of its large-office friends. So, to make sure we landed the deal, I raved to the client about how meticulous, detail-oriented, and reliable our employees were. I oversold the startup’s experience in commercial cleaning—by a long shot.

It only took a couple weeks for the law office to figure out we couldn’t deliver what we’d promised. Our teams spent far too long at the office each night (which meant we were losing money), and even still, complaints about the things we’d overlooked—from still-dusty shelves to toilet paper that hadn’t been restocked—skyrocketed.

Needless to say, we lost the contract.

If you, like me, make the mistake of overpromising (and not coming through) once, you’ll never make it again. I learned that it’s far better to be completely realistic about what you can offer, whether it’s to a client, your boss, or your team. Then, the only risk you run is doing even better than you promised and completely thrilling your customers, manager, or colleagues—which is a whole lot better than disappointing them.

To read the full article, visit The Daily Muse.

Excerpt from Kevin Daum for Inc.:

“The Luck of the Irish” is an American phrase that comes from the days of the gold rush in the 1800s.  Intolerant Americans figured the Irish people weren’t smart enough to find gold, and blamed their success on being lucky rather than skilled. In reality, America’s early immigrants have time and again proven themselves to be hardworking and smart enough to generate their own good fortune consistently.

So often I have witnessed people excuse their own inadequacies by crediting the success of others to luck.  Salespeople I know disparage their more successful competitors as lucky. If those salespeople would make as many calls or work as many hours as their competitors, they would realize that their probability of closing is fairly equal. The competitors are simply swinging the bat more often.

The truth is that seemingly lucky people are opportunists. They do the things that allow them to take advantage of the world around them. For them, it’s not about being in the way of good luck or bad. It’s the actions they take to get what Jim Collins refers to as a high return on luck whichever way the pendulum swings. Follow these five tips and you can be as lucky as anyone, no four-leaf clover or rabbit’s foot required.

1. Play to your strengths. So much time and energy is wasted trying to do things you probably don’t do very well. Author and Inc. columnist Lewis Schiff learned from his survey of incredibly wealthy people that they got that way by focusing only on what they do best. Everything else you can delegate, or you could find a partner to compensate for your weaknesses. That way, you will shine where you excel and attract opportunity. Good things come to those who emanate success.

2. Prepare in advance. Unlucky people often get that way because they’re reactive and unprepared for whatever comes. People who have stored food and water in their basements aren’t lucky to find themselves prepared when disaster strikes, they used forethought to make sure they had what they might need just in case. I personally scoff at this horrible recent trend of disparaging business plans because things change constantly. The point of a business plan isn’t to follow it no matter what, it’s to establish a structure for smart decision making that allows you to succeed no matter what the future might bring.

To read more on how you can create your own luck, visit Inc.

 

Excerpt from Maggie Zhang for Business Insider:

Have you ever wondered how Wall Street professionals and management consultants somehow work 80-hour weeks without ever seeming to need a break?

In a recent Quora thread, “How do people work 80-100 hours a week and not get burnt out?”, users shared their best tips for balancing a hectic workweek with the rest of their lives.

We pulled out some the best and highlighted them below:

Understand your priorities. If you make the decision to  spend most of your time working, then take responsibility for your choices.  Acknowledge that you will not have as much free time to work with and then try  to adjust accordingly.

Schedule time for your loves ones. Use  your calendar to carve out time to call your parents or have coffee with your  friends. Otherwise, meetings and conferences can quickly fill up your schedule,  and you can very easily lose touch with the important people in your life.

Maintain healthy habits. Every day, you should eat a nutritious  breakfast, drink a lot of water, and make sure you get plenty of exercise so you  don’t easily lose energy or focus throughout the day. If you work late hours in  the office, try not to eat pizza and fries every day, or you’ll probably suffer  later.

Don’t over-rely on caffeine. Some  people rely on energy drinks to keep them awake, but this is an  unhealthy choice. Try to reduce your caffeine intake so that when you’re really  tired and truly need it, it will actually be effective.

For more tips on achieving a healthy work-life balance, visit Business Insider.

 

Excerpt from Chrissy Scivicque for U.S. News:

Review time can be scary, especially for those who are unsure of where they stand. If you’re not receiving regular feedback from your superiors, the performance review can come as a shock to the system. You may have to face some difficult realities. On the other hand, you may find that you’re indeed the rock star you hoped to be. Whatever the outcome, it always helps to conduct some physical and mental preparation ahead of time. Here are five tips to make it easier.

1. Perform a self-assessment. Take some time to critically assess your own performance, looking at both the good and the bad plus everything in between. Try to take the perspective of an outsider looking in. If you have a copy of the review form from years past, grab it and look at each factor in detail. Otherwise, consider these questions: 

  • What challenges have you overcome? How did you do it?
  • What performance improvements have you made since your last review?
  • Where do you still have room for improvement? What are your plans for addressing these issues?
  • What have you accomplished in the past year?
  • How have you contributed to the organization’s bottom line?
  • How have you increased your value to the organization over the past year?
  • In what areas do you most excel? How can you continue to build on these strengths?
  • How can you better utilize your skills for the good of the team and the organization?

Stay on top of your goals and prepare for your performance review. To see the remaining four from Scivicque, visit U.S. News

Excerpt from Ritika Trikha for Mashable:

It’s a query that can give an ill-prepared job seeker pause: So, do you have any questions for me?

Interviewers will judge you by your questions. Almost all employers wrap up job interviews by turning the tables and offering candidates an opportunity to showcase how well they understand the role, how interested they are in the opportunity and what plays to their passions points.

When the time comes to flip roles and grill your interviewer about the potential job, it can be tempting to ask pressing questions about salaries, hours and workload. But asking questions about vacation time, salary reviews and benefits might be red flags — and worst-case scenario, they might cost you the job.

When asking your interviewer questions regarding compensation or scheduling, there’s an imminent risk of being perceived as self-serving. Questions that are more focused on achieving results, helping the company grow and showing how well you’ve researched the role are the most wow-inducing. The goal is to end with a bang and leave a solid impression.

Mashable asked managers what questions they actually want candidates to ask during an interview. Read their responses at Mashable.

 

Excerpt from Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic for Fast Company:

Most of your work communications are probably over email. You likely email your colleagues and clients more frequently than you speak to them on the phone or meet with them in person.

Unlike face-to-face communication, it can be more difficult to effectively convey important aspects of your personality, attitudes, and style in email.

Is there a connection between our email persona and our real-life persona? How competently can the average person infer our personality from our emails? The answer comes in four points:

Your words define you

People use language in different ways, and those differences are a function of their personality. Our choices are spontaneous and unconscious but they do reflect who we are. Text mining studies have found associations between key words and major aspects of personality. The more frequently people use those words, the more likely it is that they display certain personality traits.

For example, extraverts talk about fun-related stuff: bars, Miami, music, party, and drinks. People with lower EQ are more likely to use emotional and negative words: stress, depressed, angry, and unfortunate. Narcissists talk about themselves–the number of self-referential words (e.g., “I,” “me,” “mine,” “myself,” etc.) is indicative of someone’s self-love and entitlement. Artistic and intellectual individuals use highbrow words, such as narrative, rhetoric, and leitmotiv.

It’s not just what you say but also how you say it

There is also huge variability in people’s communicational style, even when the words may not differ that much. For instance, absence of typos is a sign of conscientiousness, perfectionism, and obsessionality. Poor grammar reflects lower levels of IQ and academic intelligence. Emoticons are a sign of friendliness (if the email is informal) or immaturity (in work-related emails).

To read more about what your email persona says about you, visit Fast Company.

Excerpt from Forbes:

An friend of mine emailed me the other day, irritated by a message she’d just received in her LinkedIn inbox. Sent by a recent college grad she had briefly met at a networking event a few weeks prior, the message read:

“I was wondering if you could introduce me to [name of very high-level contact]. I have just applied to a position at [company] and I see that she is the VP there. If you could introduce me to her ASAP that would be great.”

I could see why my friend was irked. While the sender’s intentions may have been on the right track (“Ooh! I see that someone in my network knows the hiring manager at my dream job!”), she had broken one of the cardinal rules of LinkedIn: Being connected to someone on LinkedIn does not mean that you have a relationship with that person—or that the person would be willing to vouch for you, introduce you to his or her contacts, or otherwise help you unless there’s a pretty good reason.

In other words, there was no way that my friend—who had a closer relationship with her last checker at Trader Joe’s than she did with this woman—was going to go out on a limb to introduce her to one of her most important contacts just because they were connected on LinkedIn. She deleted the message without responding.

This story reminded me that this seemingly simple advice bears repeating: Before you ask for anything from someone in your network, you absolutely must build a relationship.

But what exactly does building a relationship look like, especially when you really need help, um, now? Here’s a LinkedIn message script you can use in similar situations for any of your not-so-close connections. While I can’t promise you’ll get a response, I guarantee your chances will be a whole lot better.

Learn the smart, effective way to reach out on LinkedIn, visit Forbes.

Excerpt from Libby Kane for Business Insider:

Your three-digit credit score is a go-to indication of your  trustworthiness that banks, credit card issuers, and car dealerships all use to  help predict the likelihood of you repaying a loan. 

But it’s of little use to the company that wants to give you a job.

“That a potential employer can check your credit score is probably the most  common myth out there when it comes to credit, and unfortunately, it’s one of  the most problematic,” says John Ulzheimer, credit expert at CreditSesame.com. “In my 23-plus years in  the credit industry, there has never been a verified example of this happening.”  In fact, he says, the three credit agencies have all gone on record saying that  they don’t supply a credit score to employers.

To learn why Ulzheimer believes this myth is so persuasive, visit Business Insider.

 

 

Excerpt from Vivian Giang for Fast Company:

Sometimes one of the important aspects to career success can be something intangible like how likeable you are.

That vague feeling of goodwill is often determined by how genuine you seem when interacting with others. One of the first steps to showing someone you sincerely care about what they’re saying is remembering what they say–especially their name.

According to a Dale Carnegie training course I took last year, the sweetest sound to anyone’s ear–no matter what language it’s in–is their name. Without nailing down this first step, it can be difficult to move forward in building a genuine professional or personal relationship. Unfortunately, this can be a difficult task since someone else’s name often doesn’t mean anything to us (it’s just another word) so it’s difficult for our brains to remember it.

The solution to our forgetfulness? According to the course, our memory works best when we remember scenes and images. Our minds are “associate machines” so in order for you to remember something–like a name–you need to form your own association to it.

Looking for a clever technique to remember someone’s name? Visit, Fast Company.

Excerpt from Nina Tamburello for The Muse:

Everyone knows that leading a company is one of the toughest gigs around. Whether running a small business or a multi-national corporation, CEOs have to manage time, resources, and multiple demands while finding the time and head space to make decisions and plot strategies that will determine the course of their business.

Which means that they’ve developed some master systems and tricks to maximize their productivity.

So, why can’t we steal a few moves from their playbooks? Whether you aspire to run your own business or want to be more productive at your current job, check out this list of CEO-proven tips that you can apply to any facet of your life. Visit, The Muse.

 

Excerpt from Don Goodman for Careerealism:

You may be wondering whether temporary work should have a place on your resume.  When job security is hard to come by and job openings are limited, employers are accepting that more applicants are keeping themselves current with temporary  work rather than having a gap in employment.

Find out how to best position your temporary work to showcase valuable and relevant experience for the new job you apply for. Visit, Careerealism.

 

Excerpt from Chad Brooks for Business News Daily:

Technical skills aren’t the only things employers are looking for in new hires.

More than three-quarters of hiring managers believe that less tangible skills associated with a candidate’s personality, such as a positive attitude, matter just as much as hard skills, according to a new study from CareerBuilder. That is, personality counts as much as the skills learned to perform a specific job function that can be measured, such as operating a computer program.

Another 16 percent of employers said they value personality traits more than hard skills when evaluating candidates for a job.

“When companies are assessing job candidates, they’re looking for the best of both worlds: someone who is not only proficient in a particular function, but also has the right personality,” said Rosemary Haefner, vice president of human resources at CareerBuilder. “Along with responsibilities, it’s important to highlight soft skills that can give employers an idea of how quickly you can adapt and solve problems, whether you can be relied on to follow through, and how effectively you can lead and motivate others.”

The study revealed the top 10 personality traits companies are looking for when making a new hire. To see what they are, visit Business News Daily.

Excerpt from Marla Tabaka for Inc:

You’ve just sent out the reminder for your weekly team meeting, and you receive one or more responses like this: “Do I really have to come to this meeting?” Or, “I’m just too busy to make it.” What does that tell you?

Could it be that your meetings are boring, unproductive, and waste time? Bad meetings drone on and on, with few meaningful results. Great meetings leave everyone feeling energized, curious, and accomplished. Which category do your team meetings fall into?

Don’t worry. There is a secret sauce for a great meeting, one that employees will look forward to and garners outstanding results. It boils down to making sure your meetings achieve a meaningful objective within a set time, keep attendees involved, and hold a touch of the unpredictable.

Want to know how to conduct an engaging, productive meeting? Visit Inc.

 

Excerpt from Mashable:

When it comes to making decisions about whom to hire and promote, skills and prior work history are only part of the equation. As many employers know, a candidate’s attitude and personality traits play a huge role in how well that person can perform in the workplace.

“An overwhelming amount of data supports the claim that personality predicts job performance better than any other known evaluation method, including interviews and IQ tests,” said Robert Hogan, a psychologist and president of personality-test provider Hogan Assessments. “Personality should be [a] major factor used to make personnel decisions.” 

Carl Persing, research and solutions adviser at strategy consultancy and survey provider Metrus Group, agreed, noting that people’s personalities tend to motivate and guide them in their careers.

“Personality traits make you seek out certain jobs, and affect how you fit in,” Persing told Business News Daily.

When hiring managers are filling entry-level positions, they frequently screen for basic traits like reliability and organization skills, to make sure the candidate will be motivated to do the job. But when it comes time to promote those employees, personality becomes an even more important factor, said Eric Heggestad, an industrial and organizational psychologist and a professor at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.

For promotions, “you look a lot deeper, at things like charisma and the ability to motivate people,” Heggestad said. “It matters more at the higher level, as the span of control increases.”

See what researchers call the five personality types that get the promotion, visit Mashable.

Excerpt from Lily Zhang for The Daily Muse:

You know that weird feeling between excitement and dread that accompanies an invitation to interview? It’s especially strong when you know next to nothing about your potential workplace.

But, even if the first time you’ve ever heard of the company you’re interviewing with was the day you sent in your application, you can still walk in like you’ve known about the place for years. Here are several ways to tackle researching the company pre-interview.

1. Know the Company’s Strong Suits

The best way to convince your interviewer that you know the company well is to be able to articulate what makes it special compared to competitors. The good news? Companies will often tell you the answer to this question right on their websites.

One way companies share how they stand out is through their mission or values, which are typically prominently displayed in the “About Us” section. Read closely to learn what might be different about this organization than others. For instance, if you’re interviewing with a marketing agency, “commitment to client service” is probably something that its competitors boast, too, but if one of its other core values is sustainability, that’s good to know.

Review this along with any other “basics” you should be familiar with prior to the interview—like company size, location, and history. You don’t want to be that person who asks a question that can easily be answered by checking out the website.

Zhang shares her five step guide to doing company research prior to a first interview, visit The Daily Muse.  

Excerpt from Gerald Buck for eJobApplications.com:

Not hearing back after a job interview is much worse than getting a call saying that you didn’t get the job. There is so much anxiety, confusion and the what-ifs to plague your mind with filth. Your impatience begins to grow into a steady anger.

Why won’t they just call you? Apparently, this happens a lot. According to a 2013 study by CareerBuilder, 60% of potential employees who got an interview have experienced this, and this was a study involving 3,991 applicants. That’s more than half of those people just sitting around waiting for a response – a result – from their job interview. How aggravating!

So, why in the world is this notion so common and why should we have to deal with it? “Sadly, many times it is simple rudeness that is present when a candidate never gets a response after a job interview,” says HR expert Steve Kane. 

There could be a number of reasons why you’re not getting a response, even if it is unjustified:

  • The interviewer is too busy, and your potential employment may not be the highest priority of their responsibility (you will often find this in smaller companies and large conglomerates!)
  • They are not interested in hiring you and didn’t think twice to let you know.
  • The interviewer doesn’t want to call you to have an uncomfortable talk about why the company isn’t going to hire you. Sometimes, its just a sensitive subject and interviewers just don’t have the heart to break yours. 

So, they remain quiet instead of getting into an uncomfortable conversation they are clearly trying to avoid. If they want to hire you they will come after you. However, being comfortable isn’t always possible.

Read up on 12 proactive things you can do the next time you don’t hear back from an interview, visit eJobApplications.com.

 

 

Excerpt from Carlos Baldizon Martini for The Work Buzz:

During a recent career strategy consultation with a job seeker, I was talking about the proper etiquette of how to follow up after a job interview. This job seeker asked me if it was necessary to send a thank-you note. She said that she found advice across the Web that said that sending thank-you notes or emails, particularly to recruiters, was fruitless. I told her what I will tell you now: Always send a thank-you note after an interview.

If we’ve learned anything since the invention of the Internet, it’s that you can’t trush everything you read. That’s especially true when it comes to job search, a topic where everyone has an opinion.

The thank-you note is a key part of your competitive edge. (It’s also just a nice thing to do and it would make your mother proud to know you have manners.) Following up after a job interview is crucial to keep yourself top of mind with the hiring manager. It also exemplifies your level of professionalism. Like your résumé, the thank-you note is another marketing tool to remind the interviewer why you’re the best candidate for the job. Without it, you could be forgotten.

Know the who, what, where, when, why and how of sending a thank you note, visit The Work Buzz.

 

Excerpt from Elliott Bell for The Daily Muse:

For some reason, it’s not well-known that you can change your LinkedIn headline. It will always default to your current position and company, and the vast majority of users leave it this way.

Which is fine—if you’re not interested in standing out from the crowd. But if you are? We’ll show you in this 90-second video how to change your headline, write something compelling, and start attracting recruiters today.

Recruiters actively search LinkedIn for new talent. Stand out from the competition by customizing your LinkedIn headline, visit The Daily Muse.

Excerpt from Levo League for Brazen Careerist:

Job rejections have got to be one of the tougher forms of rejection. The more interviews you go on, the tougher it is to hear the news that a company “isn’t moving forward” or “went with another candidate.”

If this is you, you’re probably wondering “why?” yet have no answers in sight. The question then becomes: should you ask for feedback?

While it depends on your relationship with the company, getting feedback on why you didn’t get the job will be incredibly helpful as you continue on in your search.

Brush up your skills on how and who to ask for interview feedback after a job rejection, visit Brazen Careerist.

Excerpt from Mark Wilson for Fast Company:

It’s frightening. You’ll spend most of your waking life at a job, yet, according to a new study by The Ladders, the average recruiter spends just six seconds looking at your resume. By the end of that time, they’ll determine whether you’re “a fit” or a “no fit.”

“The only research that had been done in this domain was self-reporting surveys, which simply was not good enough for us to understand what drives recruiters’ decision-making,” Will Evans, Head of User Experience at TheLadders, tells Co.Design. So Evans led a study that followed 30 recruiters for 10 weeks. Or, more accurately, it followed just their eyes. Using eyetracking gear, Evans’ team measured what recruiters really see.

The result is this heat map tracking six seconds of someone’s attention span. (The darker the spot, the longer a recruiter’s eyes sat on that part of the page.) It’s absolutely jarring to see such a clinical view on resume analysis–a clinical view that Evans refers to simply as “a design problem.” Namely, it’s up to job seekers to design a resume that can fit within what are now known restraints.

Tailor your resume to surpass the six second attention span, visit Fast Company

Excerpt from Susan P. Joyce for The Huffington Post:

Many job seekers are confused about how hiring works, and, specifically, about how to work with recruiters. It is important to understand their role and how the process works in order to be successful.

Don’t expect a recruiter to look at your resume and immediately understand where you would fit into their organization or to suggest which career path you should choose. They don’t know you well enough, and they aren’t mind readers (fortunately!).

It is your job to know what you want to do and to tell the recruiter where you fit into an organization — which jobs you want and, hopefully, which part of the organization.

Your experience working with a recruiter will be positive as long as you understand how the industry works. Joyce tells us 5 things we should know when entering this professional relationship, visit The Huffington Post.

 

 

Excerpt from Whole Living:

Your weekday breakfast is latte-only; your weekend breakfast is lumberjack-worthy. But each adds up to a cup (or heaping plate) of empty calories.

Instead of starting off that way, reach for energy-boosting, nutritious, and tasty foods that health experts themselves eat. Whether you’re in a rush or have some extra time, here are eight easy breakfasts from top nutritionists.

We know breakfast is the most important meal of the day. For delicious, healthy recipes from the pros, visit Whole Living.

Excerpt from Stephanie Vozza for Entrepreneur:

The early bird apparently does get the worm. Christoph Randler, a biology professor at the University of Education in Heidelber, Germany, found that morning people are often more successful than evening people because, as a group, they tend to be proactive. A recent survey conducted by The Guardian confirms this idea, reporting that many CEOs of successful companies are up by 5 a.m.

But what if you’re more of a night owl than a morning lark – is it possible to change your ways?

To read Vozza’s advice on how to set your internal alarm clock, visit Entrepreneur.

Excerpt from Lily Herman for The Daily Muse:

There’s a reason that many of the greats write their best work in coffee shops: ambient noise is proven to increase creativity and productivity. Researchers have found that sounds around 50 decibels are considered too quiet for productivity, and noises around 85 decibels (for example, a blender) are too loud and distracting. The happy medium? 70 decibels, the same number as that of the average coffee shop.

That’s all well and good, but you can’t always up and leave the office to go hunker down in the nearest Starbucks when you’re in desperate need of some imagination, right?

Don’t let office distractions get in the way of your productivity, visit The Daily Muse and start crossing tasks off your to-do list.

Excerpt from M. Nora Bouchard for Forbes:

What do the best and most successful presentations having in common? No, it’s not an entertaining and lively speaker — though that helps. No, it’s not beautifully executed slides — though those help. No, it’s not a clearly thought out sequence of critical points — though that helps, too.

In fact, many successful presentations can actually be un-entertaining, or filled with boring slides, or a little convoluted in thought.

Read through Bouchard’s professional advice and nail your next presentation, visit Forbes.

Excerpt from Sarah Chang for The Daily Muse:

Productivity tips have been around forever. And if you’re always on the hunt for ways to be more efficient, you probably feel like you’ve read just about everything out there on making better to-do lists and reducing distractions from email notifications.

Well, we’re here to tell you: You haven’t seen it all.

After some intense scouring of the web, we’ve found some great tips that go against the grain to get stuff done. Here’s our take on the most weird, insane, and “out there” tricks you’ve never heard of (but could transform your idea of productivity forever).

To read Sarah Chang’s unique tips to get motivated and increase your productivity, visit The Daily Muse.

 

Excerpt from Jeff Vijungco for The Daily Muse:

Over the course of my career, I’ve seen a broad spectrum of career successes. (And, well, failures.) And I’ve thought a lot about the causes of those outcomes. Why do some succeed faster than others? Why do some get opportunities and others don’t? Why do some get stuck in their careers?

The answer, I’ve found, to all of these questions is making a lasting impression. If you consistently make a positive, memorable impact on your boss, your co-workers, and even your employees, you’ll increase your chances of getting hand-picked for the best opportunities when they come knocking, paving your way to career success.

It may sound simple, but leaving that lasting impression takes a strategic approach.

Read Vijungco’s fantastic tips to be remembered by everyone you meet, visit The Daily Muse.

Excerpt from Lisa Quast for Forbes:

For many jobs, you must first get through a telephone interview before you’re invited to an in-person interview, so don’t discount the importance of it. 

Read Quast’s amazing tips and ace your next phone interview, visit Forbes.

 

 

Excerpt from Scott Dockweiler for The Daily Muse, published on January 9, 2014:

We spend the better part of our lives giving you advice for your job search, but we’ll tell you a little secret – we don’t know everything.

That’s why, this week, we took to the web to find some of the most interesting job interview advice and research that was new to us. From scheduling your interview on a Tuesday morning to avoiding the word “sure,” you’re bound to learn something new that will help you shine in your next interview

To read more about interview secrets that will set you ahead of the competition, visit The Daily Muse.

Excerpt from Michelle Edelbaum for EatingWell:

I’m a snacker, especially at work. When my mind is working hard, my stomach inevitably starts grumbling. While snacking can help me get in all the nutrients I need and curb my hunger so that I don’t eat too much at the next meal, I’m careful not to engage in too much mindless munching so I don’t end up eating too many calories over the course of a day.

When I do need a snack, I want to make sure I have something healthy on hand so I don’t end up reaching for junk. The other EatingWell editors and I came up with the following list of healthy snacks you can keep in your desk.

To learn about great snacks that will keep you going at work, visit EatingWell.

Excerpt from Hannah Morgan for U.S. News & World Report, published on January 22, 2014:

Job search requires you to do more than scour job boards for job postings, but you already knew that. The old saying that finding a job is a full-time job dictates that you should have a solid strategy and implement your plan well. Job seekers who omit or shortchange one of the four parts end up frustrated, discouraged or involved in a longer job search.

To learn about the 4 parts of a productive job search and how you can strengthen your search, visit U.S. News & World Report.

Excerpt from Miriam Salpeter for U.S. News & World Report, published on January 23, 2014:

You’ve probably heard that candidates referred by friends are much more likely to be hired. Statistics regarding how many employers fill jobs via their networks vary, but some toss around numbers as high as 80 percent. No matter the exact figures, no one doubts that networking helps job seekers.

There are many ways for job seekers to expand the numbers of people who know, like, and trust them and who may be willing to serve as their allies in a job search. Social networking—using LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and Google+—provides many opportunities to engage and interact with new people.

To learn about how you can build a stronger network and take advantage of in-person opportunities, visit U.S. News & World Report.

Excerpt from Lisa Quast for Forbes, published on January 6, 2014:

January is National Mentoring Month, so I decided focus this blog on ways to find career mentors. Finding career mentors may actually be easier than you think, but asking someone you don’t know to be your mentor can be intimidating.

To learn about how you can develop a great relationship with a mentor, visit Forbes.

Excerpt from Alison Green for U.S. News & World Report, published on January 13, 2014:

Looking for a job is one of the most frustrating and anxiety-producing experiencs that we have in our adult lives, especially if the search stretches on longer than anticipated. If you’re one of the many people who is finding that your search is taking months longer than what was typical in previous job markets, here are five ways to make this maddening process easier on yourself.

To learn about 5 things that can make your job search a little easier, visit U.S. News & World Report.

Excerpt from William Arruda for Forbes, published on December 23, 2013:

It’s that time of year when you’re measuring your success for the past twelve months and thinking about your goals for the coming year. While you’ve been pondering what you want to accomplish and how you want to be rewarded for your harde work, I’ve been reaching out to members of my brand comunity–The Reach Personal Branding Master Strategists– to get their best advice.

They shared ten time-tested tips for building your brand and expanding your success. Interestingly, their pointers (along with a couple of bonus tips from me) fall into two categories: self-awareness/authenticity and visibility/building relationships. Integrate these words of wisdom into your personal branding strategy, and put your career in the fast lane. Happy 2014!

To learn about these 10 tips to build your brand and jumpstart your career in 2014, visit Forbes.

Excerpt from Next Avenue  for Forbes, posted on January 6th, 2014:

You go to your doctor once a year for your annual checkup (or ought to), so why not do the same for your career?

A New Year’s review will reveal if you need to take steps to make yourself a more valuable worker or job candidate — or just happier. If you determine you’re not quite where you ought to be, you can then take the steps I note below to get there.

2014 could be an especially good year to make a job change, if you’re so inclined or you must. Economists in a recent Wall Street Journal said they expect the U.S. to add nearly 198,000 jobs a month this year — that’s the highest estimate since 2005.

To learn more about ways you can give yourself an annual career checkup and jumpstart your career in the new year, visit Forbes.  

Excerpt from Arnie Fertig for U.S. News and World Report, posted on December 24th, 2013:

“How are you seeing the new year? Is it a time of dread, highlighting  the ever-greater length of your job search? Or do you see it as a time  for unleashing your potential in new ways? Moving into 2014 can be an  opportunity to step back, gain perspective about your attitudes and actions and reset your daily priorities.

On  a day-to-day basis, it’s easy to let tasks of daily living take  precedence over careful time management in productive job-hunt  activities.”

To find out some great resolutions you can set in 2014 to reach your job search goals, visit U.S. News & World Report.

Excerpt from Donna Fuscaldo for Glassdoor, posted on November 4th, 2013:

“Recent college graduates have the advantage of growing up with technology but that same reliance on the Internet, mobile phones and tablet computers can hurt them when it comes to building their professional network.

Yes, being on social networks like LinkedIn is extremely important for successful networking but it’s often those face-to-face connections that help them out over the long haul.

‘Students in this generation are so electronic and virtual, but they need to get physical,’ says Steven Canale, manager, global recruiting and staffing services at General Electric. College grads ‘have to make the time to establish personal relationships with people over a cup of coffee or a drink. They should guard against sitting in their dorm room and being online 24/7.'”

To find out more about how recent graduates can proactively build a strong professional network, visit Glassdoor.

Excerpt from Heather Huhman for Glassdoor, posted on December 8th, 2013:

“For job seekers, it may feel like you can use December to take a break in your job search, but you absolutely should not. It’s almost the end of 2013, so it’s time to make these last few weeks count. One month is plenty of time to set some short term goals and see them through. You may even get to bring in the New Year with a new job.”

To find out about the amazing things you can accomplish in your job search before the end of the year, visit Glassdoor.

Excerpt from Gerrit Hall  for Business Insider, posted on December 6th, 2013:

Let’s say you were applying to an awesome new job the other day. It’s an online application and you’re happily filling in all the blank spaces. Name, address, past experience, favorite color…you’ve got it all down. Towards the end of the application, there’s a space to upload your “resume or CV”.

Of course you know what a resume is, but what’s a CV? Is it better than a resume? You heard somewhere that it’s an academic resume or that British people use it. You upload your resume and move on with your life.

To learn about the 3 major characteristics that distinguish a CV from a resume, visit Business Insider.

Excerpt from Jacquelyn Smith for Forbes, posted on December 2nd, 2013:

We’re in the midst of the holiday season, and as you try to juggle parties, shopping, hosting, planning, traveling and work, there’s a good chance you’ll lose focus and momentum in the office.

“There are so many competing demands and expectations during the holidays that it is very easy to get overwhelmed and even burn out,” says Michael Kerr, an international business speaker, author and president of Humor at Work.

Casey Moore, The Productivity Coach, agrees. She says many people lose focus during the holiday season because their to-do list swells while their time shrinks. “Travel planning, guest preparations, gift shopping, children’s events, parties, and so on, must be crammed into already-full schedules, which causes stress,” she says. “Personal stress often affects work performance. It distracts people and diminishes productivity.”

To find out more about what can lead to a holiday slump and what you do to stay focused during the holiday season, visit Forbes.

Excerpt from Caroline Ceniza-Levine for Forbes, posted on December 4, 2013:

“The holiday season is a great time to network. Professional associations, companies, personal contacts — all are hosting get-togethers. Typical networking talk revolves around your job. This can be difficult for job seekers, who may get defensive or lose confidence when explaining they’re unemployed…

Don’t say you’re unemployed. Do mention something you are doing, whether employment-related or not. There is NOTHING wrong with being unemployed. However, the person you’re speaking with may instantly worry about you. Maybe they have an unemployed family member who is struggling; therefore, they see you as struggling before they even get to know you.”

To find out more about the best ways to network during the holidays, visit Forbes.

Excerpt from Heather Huhman for Glassdoor, posted on November 12, 2013:

In an incredibly stressful job search, the idea of landing one job often seems impossible. What happens, though, when you’re so successful you receive multiple job offers? It sounds like a dream come true at first, but now you have to decide. You have all of these details to consider, such as salary, location, responsibilities, and culture.

A decision between multiple job offers doesn’t have to be overwhelming. If you take the time to carefully weigh your options, you can make the right decision for your career.

To find out about the questions you should ask yourself and how to make the right decision for your dream career, visit Glassdoor.

Excerpt from Forbes Careers:

Your perfectly manicured résumé, flawless cover letter and brilliant responses to tough interview questions might make you a strong job candidate—but forget to smile, slouch in your chair or fail to make eye contact during the interview, and you could be out of the running.

To find out more about the importance of body language in interviews, visit Forbes.

Excerpt from Jacquelyn Smith for Forbes, posted on November 14, 2013:

Here’s some good news for the 11.3 million unemployed Americans still looking for work: According to a new CareerBuilder survey, 39% of retail hiring managers reported that they plan to hire seasonal workers this year, up from 36% last year and 29% in 2011. Eighteen percent of employers in information technology said they plan to stock up on additional staff this holiday season, while 16% in leisure and hospitality and 16% of financial services employers also plan to hire seasonal workers.

Even better news for job seekers who land one of those coveted temp gigs: Nearly half (49%) of U.S. employers who are hiring seasonal workers plan to transition some into full-time, permanent staff–up ten percentage points over last year.

“Seasonal jobs are a great way to get a foot in the door and often have the potential to turn into permanent, full-time employment,” says Anna Sidana, a vice president at BrightEdge and founder of One Million Lights.

To find out more about how you can turn that holiday gig into your dream career, visit Forbes.

Excerpt from the US News & World Report, posted on March 3, 2011:

Rejections are an unavoidable reality during a job search. You’ll talk to many companies before you find the right fit. It’s discouraging, especially when you thought you had the job and you’re surprisingly passed up without reason or feedback. It’s okay to be disappointed, but set a limit on how long you’ll sulk, and then move on.

An important part of your job search will require you to evaluate yourself. While you won’t win them all, one of the most important aspects is to recognize the possibility that there may be something you can change, and if so, be open to it.

Recruiters can all attest to the frustration that some job seekers convey in their initial contact. Hiring managers are keen at sniffing out negativity, desperation, bad attitudes, and emotional imbalance. Simply being aware of the negativity and making a concentrated effort to focus on the positive can completely turn around a job search gone bad.

To learn about 7 ways you can stay positive during your job search, visit the US News & World Report.

Excerpt from the Wall Street Journal, posted on October 29, 2013:

Anikka Fragodt is considered a celebrity in the realm of executive assistants. Until last March, she was Mark Zuckerberg‘s right-hand woman. For more than seven years, she planned everything from a toga party for 350 people with 48 hours’ notice to Mr. Zuckerberg’s secret wedding to Priscilla Chan in 2012. (Only four people knew about it in advance, she says, and the fourth was Ms. Chan’s assistant.)

Ms. Fragodt describes herself as Mr. Zuckerberg’s partner in business as well, helping him prepare for meetings and debriefing other staff members to ensure they understood his wishes. She also adopted her boss’s signature hooded sweatshirts and says she could anticipate his needs at a glance.

“It’s not like the old days of ‘Mad Men,’ where the secretary wears the cute skirt, makes the coffee and does what she’s supposed to do,” says Ms. Fragodt. “She goes to the meetings and represents the executive, and the partnership is stronger.”

Adds Mr. Zuckerberg in an email: “Anikka joined Facebook early on, when we had less than 100 employees, and were basically working out what kind of company we wanted to be. Anikka helped me become a better CEO.”

By her final year at Facebook, Ms. Fragodt, 44 years old, was being paid $135,000 plus a 30% bonus, as well as stock awards that left her “taken good care of.” She has spent the past few months volunteering, working part-time and thinking about her next career move.

Ms. Fragodt, who will speak at the Behind Every Leader conference in Newark, advises today’s executive assistants to be visible, no matter how strange it feels.

To read more about Ms. Fragodt’s experience and the power of the Executive Assistant, visit the Wall Street Journal.

Searching for a job? Your social media profile could make or break your search. A 2012 study* found that over 90% of recruiters and employers look for candidates on LinkedIn, with more than half using Facebook and Twitter.

Below are some key social media strategies to help you get your dream job:

  • Reinforce your personal brand by creating an industry-related blog with programs such as Typepad, Tumblr, or WordPress.
  • Join or follow professional groups and organizations on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter. This is a great way to gain new contacts and share industry news and advice.
  • Consider creating and posting a video resume on YouTube. As few people take the time to create one, a high quality video resume can make sure that you stand out from the pack.
  • Update your Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook pages, and make sure to include a professional picture, summary, and searchable key words.
  • Use Facebook and LinkedIn to follow your targeted companies, leaders in the industry, and HR professionals. Raise your online visibility by getting LinkedIn recommendations and re-tweeting or reposting industry-related articles.

Use these tips to increase your online presence and find the perfect job for you!

Don’t forget to visit our jobs section to see what career opportunities we currently have available. For more industry news, job searching tips and market trends and job opportunities, head over to our Facebook page, and “like” us today!

*Source: 2012 Social Job Seeker Survey, Jobvite.

With Recruiters and Human Resources Managers receiving so many applications, your resume needs to be at the top of the list. To make it through the screening process, incorporate key words into your resume that recruiters are looking for. According to a CareerBuilder survey, the below terms are in Recruiters and Human Resources Manager’s top searches when screening resumes:

1. Problem Solving/Decision Making (56 percent): Your resume should demonstrate how you have conquered a challenge or solved specific problems. Your ability to effectively troubleshoot issues will not only serve you well throughout your career, but also make you desirable to future employers.

2. Leadership (44 percent): Leadership skills include the ability to listen and communicate effectively, make sound decisions, and inspire a team. If you can show leadership experience, including a specific time when you took initiative, spearheaded a project, or guided a team, your resume will stand out from the pile.

3. Communication Skills (40 percent): Written and verbal communication skills are highly prized by employers. Highlight your excellent communication skills in your resume, not only by listing any presentations that you have created, but also by using grammatically correct language throughout your resume.

4. Team Building (33 percent): Companies thrive when their staff pulls together to achieve a goal. Showcase your experience working with others and your team’s accomplishments to prove that you can be a collaborative team-player.

5. Performance and Productivity Improvement (31 percent): The way in which you have enhanced operations, improved productivity, or increased company performance should be detailed throughout your resume. Make sure to include concrete examples and results for maximum impact.

Set yourself up for success by incorporating these key words into your resume! To read more, click here.

Don’t forget to visit our jobs section to see what career opportunities we currently have available. For more industry news, job searching tips and market trends and job opportunities, head over to our Facebook page, and “like” us today!

From: http://www.businessinsider.com/top-5-words-recruiters-look-for-in-resumes-2013-4.

Are you thinking about changing careers? Or are you ready to choose a career, but unsure which one is right for you?  If your answer is yes, then take a look at our list of important questions to consider:

1. Reflect on past work experience. Which aspects did you enjoy the most? Which tasks did you like the least? How do these tasks reflect your personality or transferable skills?

2. Try sharing your thoughts with someone who knows you well and can give you honest feedback about your strengths and weaknesses. Do they have any insight into which career might be a good match for you?

3. Take a business personality test to discover career paths that align with your skills and temperament.

4. Think about if there is a specific compensation that you desire. Will you be able to take a pay cut if necessary?

5. How important is a work/life balance to you? Will a career change affect your family or personal obligations?

6.  Is there is a way to incorporate a life-long passion into your potential career? If so, decide if this is an important factor for you.

7. Think about the ideal type of work environment for you. Do you like working independently? With a team? A little of both? Would you prefer a 9-to-5 corporate culture or a 24/7 agency environment?

8. Which careers align with your personal values? Do you covet a jet-setting lifestyle? Would you like to give back to the community through your work?

9. Which careers will be growing in the near future? Research the ways in which hiring or technology trends might affect your future career.

10. Consider if you are willing or able to relocate for a new career. If not, which opportunities are available locally?

Taking some time for an honest self-assessment is the first step towards pinpointing a new career goal. Reflecting on these questions can help guide and prepare you for a seamless transition, allowing you to thrive in your new career!

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