8 Mistakes Not To Make On Your Work Emails

work email tips

Could your emails be hurting your job hunt or career? It's the small details in written communication that might be undermining your message. One popular UCLA study found that 93 percent of a message is interpreted by the nonverbal components, in other words, your tone and body language. So what does this mean in your written communication? How is the reader interpreting your message as they view it? During a job search and in your career, creating the correct professional impression is within your control.

Think about how some of these overlooked details could help you get ahead.

1. Use a professional font within your email messages.
When you use an unusual or colored font, you may send the wrong message. Your outgoing messages should represent your professional image; therefore, consider using a standard style such as Arial and black font. Individuality is important, however, be selective and aware of how the recipient of your email may interpret your style.

2. Use an email address that is clearly and professionally you.
The email address you choose to use shouldn't be confusing, too personal, or your family account email. Your email address should contain your name, such as johndoe@xmail.com. Or if you have a common name, consider using your middle initial or some variation of your full name, such as johnathanjdoe@xmail.com or johnathan_j_doe@xmail. Avoid using your birth date, numbers, or information that would make your email difficult to recognize. Here are some examples of what NOT to do:
  • redhotmorgans@xmail.com
  • bruceandsally@xmail.com
  • smellybilly@xmail.com
  • george1948@xmail.com
  • hunterjohn@xmail.com

3. Don't use humor.
It's difficult to convey humor or sarcasm in writing, therefore, the safest bet is to avoid it. The same is true for "LOL" or other modern acronyms or abbreviations used in texting frequently. These may get lost in translation and cross the line into being too personal or familiar.

4. Never use emoticons in emails.
Email is not the same as texting. Smiley faces or any other type of symbol used to convey emotion or feelings could be perceived as unprofessional. Therefore, avoid using them in all of your job search correspondence.

5. Copy in appropriate people.
Be selective when copying other people into your messages. If you're following up on a job posting submitted to human resources, don't copy the company's CEO or others of high rank. Nor should you copy in your mom, dad, career counselor, or others as a way of keeping them up-to-date. The receiver of the email will see these and may wonder why or may even feel threatened in some cases.

6. Wait to send an email if you're angry or frustrated.
It is best to wait until you're less emotional before sending a message. You may think your tone is neutral or you may even feel it is within your right to be angry, but do not ever send an email that is emotionally charged.

7. Use a professional email signature.
A professional email signature leaves a lasting and invaluable impression, and setting up one to appear in every message saves you time. Your signature should include your name, primary phone number, and job title, or work you're seeking. Adding your LinkedIn profile URL is certainly a valuable addition as well. Consider how you reference messages sent from your mobile devices too. You may want a slightly different and shorter signature to indicate it is being sent on-the-go. Don't miss out on this opportunity to separate yourself from the pack.

8. Always check spelling and grammar.
Double- and even triple-check your emails to prevent careless errors from slipping through. Build a process for reviewing your work before you send it. Even one simple typo can convey you lack attention to detail.

Strong communication skills, both verbal and written, are extremely valuable to employers. Every message they receive from you will serve to form an impression. Be aware of and alert to the impression you're sending. And most importantly, know that first impressions are lasting impressions.

Source: AOL

Shake the job search blues

In both his books and speeches, Donald Trump often mentions a story that his father told him when he was a child that goes something like this: There once was an entrepreneur who started a soda company called Three Up. Despite the man's passion for his company, though,

Three Up eventually went under. Undeterred, the entrepreneur started another cola company called Four Up, which also went bankrupt. He persisted on, but after Five Up and Six Up failed as well, the man was tired of struggling and gave up.

A short time later another company came along and invented 7 Up, which was wildly successful. The point of the story, according to Trump, is that if the man hadn't quit, he would have created 7 Up.

If you're a job seeker, you can probably relate to the entrepreneur in the story. It may seem hard to stay motivated in the face of rejection and success can seem elusive -- you might even feel like giving up on your job search or settling for a job you don't really like. But, if you quit when the going gets tough, you may miss out on the opportunity of a lifetime -- like the entrepreneur did.

The job search blues can certainly be tough to conquer -- but it can be done. Here's how to get through the tough times in a job search.

Pay attention to your thoughts
"Listen to the things you say to yourself about your job, your abilities and your chances of achieving your career goals," says Colette Ellis, founder of leadership consulting firm InStep Consulting and author of the e-book "Focus on your vision."

If you realize that your "self-talk" is predominately negative, make an effort to change it any time a negative thought pops into your head. "When you hear your negative messages and begin to feel badly, say 'stop!' and replace the thought or message with a more positive statement," Ellis says.

Dave Sanford, an executive vice president at recruiting firm Winter, Wyman, agrees: "You can't force hiring decisions to go your way. But you can control your reaction to the circumstances. Allow yourself that healthy moment of disappointment and then pick yourself up and dust yourself off. This will help you move on a lot more quickly, which is imperative to your search," he says.

Set goals
Let's face it: The modern job search can be a long and tedious process -- but that doesn't mean it can't also be rewarding. Set smaller goals throughout your job search to keep you focused and give you a sense of achievement.

"As part of your job search, you will certainly have set goals for yourself, [like] the number of networking meetings you will have each week, how many résumés you will send out per day and the [number of] hours you will dedicate to researching opportunities," Sanford says. "Feel good about completing your objectives and find ways to celebrate your accomplishments."

Be careful not to be too hard on yourself when setting goals, though. When outlining your job search goals, don't limit yourself to an overly-stringent time deadline for getting a job. "It may feel proactive to say 'I will be working by June 30' but you are really setting yourself up to be let down," says Cheryl Heisler, president of Lawternatives, a career coaching firm for lawyers. "Concrete goals are good -- as long as they are within your control. Do commit to goals that you can reach, like 'I will make five new contacts each week.'"

Talk to people
Making an effort to talk to people in your industry can give your job search a much-needed boost for a number of reasons: It's great for networking, it can provide you with a renewed sense of motivation and energy, it'll help you stay abreast on what's new in your field, and it can present you with options and opportunities you may not have known you had.

Best of all -- talking with your industry peers can help you get a job faster. "After speaking with someone once or twice and building a rapport, they are much more likely to bring up potential job leads or contacts for you, rather than you having to ask for them," says Kathryn Minshew, co-founder and editor-in-chief of Pretty Young Professional, a blog and online resource for young professional women.

Is there someone in your field that you'd like to know, but don't? Reach out and ask the person for an informational interview. "I firmly believe in informational interviews," Minshew says. "Everyone loves being asked for advice, and sometimes the best thing you can do to get your foot in the door is to find people who work at the company or industry you're targeting, and ask them if you can meet."

Take a break
Although it's important to maintain momentum and keep up a steady job search, it's also important to take time out of your day to de-stress. "Stress can be palpable and you don't want to present yourself to prospective employers or networking contacts as someone who will crack under pressure," Sanford says. "Whether it's a morning yoga class or walking around the block, find what works for you and incorporate it into your daily routine."

Reducing stress also means fighting the e-leash during "you" time. While you may feel compelled to check your e-mail or voice mail every five minutes, fighting the urge will help you relax. "Access your voice mail and e-mail a few times a day -- and then let it go," Sanford says.

Source: careerbuilder

How to calm job interview jitters

Interviews can strike fear in the hearts of the most seasoned job seekers. If you don't have a lot of experience interviewing, it's not unusual to feel mild jitters or even outright terror at the thought of sitting down with a potential employer. But you don't have to let emotions turn that important hiring hurdle into a horror show. Experts offer several tips for preventing anxiety from torpedoing your chances of landing the job.

Put yourself in the interviewer's shoes.
Interviewers are not trying to make your life miserable. Really. In fact, they are hoping you are "the one." They need to fill the job with the best person, and if they don't succeed their jobs could be on the line. Just keeping that in perspective can help calm your jitters.

Prepare, prepare, prepare.
"Preparation is 90 percent of success in job interviews," says Dr. Linda Smith-Gaston, career advisor at Los Angeles Trade Technical College. Smith-Gaston encourages role-playing with a friend before the interview and anticipating the questions you'll likely hear. Typical interview questions include:
  • Why are you the best person for the job?

  • Tell me about yourself.

  • What are your best/worst traits?

  • Why do you want to work here?

  • What did you learn in school (or at an internship) that prepares you for this job?

"You should always know what the company actually does before the interview," Smith-Gaston adds. Finding out could be as simple as a two-minute Internet search.

Plan your day around the interview.
Running late will stress you out. Avoid rushing by mapping out the directions to the interview site and allowing more time than you think you'll need. Budget for traffic jams, parking snafus, bad weather, road closures and just getting lost. Make sure you budget enough time off from your current job or school, so you don't feel like you have to run out of the interview if it runs longer than you anticipated. Hiring managers, like doctors, can sometimes keep you waiting.

De-stress before the interview.
After you check in with the receptionist -- being pleasant and professional when you do this -- try some relaxation techniques, recommends Smith-Gaston. This could be as simple as closing your eyes or doing a few deep breathing exercises. But beware: If your idea of relaxation is kick-boxing or a yoga routine, do those at home. "You want to be memorable to the employer, but not for making a scene in the waiting room," Smith-Gaston says. And don't even think about taking a drink or using substances to calm down; that should be obvious, but for some it isn't.

Listen, think, speak.
Whether your interview is in person or over the phone, it is important to listen to what the interviewer has to say, and then think before responding, according to Paul Bailo, author of "The Official Phone Interview Handbook." "Take a few seconds to understand the question, and then prepare a quality answer before simply blurting out something less intelligent," he says. "Focusing on the interviewer will take your mind off your own jitters and actually help calm you down."

Prepare your own questions.
You'll know the interview is almost over when the interviewer asks whether you have any questions about the job or the company. When you hear this, don't say "no," and bolt for the door. Use this opportunity to solidify the good impression you've made. "Well-thought-out questions show you're really interested in the company and the job," Bailo says. Also, if you have sent in your résumé, have a copy in front of you (and make sure it's the same version). Always wait until the interviewer has finished asking about you and your background before launching into your own questions.

The day after the interview, send a thank you note to the interviewer. "Use the thank-you note to add something new, like an award or a small honor you received," Smith-Gaston says.

Source: careerbuilder

5 ways to derail your interview

An interview is one of the hardest things to obtain as a job seeker -- and unfortunately, it's also one of the easiest ways you can lose the job opportunity.

Interview mishaps happen to everyone, but the key to avoiding them is to relax and be yourself, says Laura Rose, a life and business coach and owner of Rose Coaching.

"The interview is as much about getting to know the company and work environment as it is about them interviewing you. This strategy relaxes the entire interview," she says. "You can essentially direct the interview to the areas you are most comfortable talking about. Listening to the interviewer answer the questions, you can clue in on his terminology, terms and what he feels is important. Then you can highlight those same terms and skill set in your comments back to him."

Being well-prepared for the meeting can also help you impress a potential employer.

"It's difficult to overstress how important it is to do some research on a company you're interviewing with. Have a list of good questions to ask the person interviewing you. You want to seem like you are asking questions that require thought rather than questions seeking information that may be available on the website," says Debra Yergen, author of "Creating Job Security Resource Guide."

"Start with questions about the importance the organization places on industry hot buttons and what the hiring manager sees as differences between their company and their competitors. Another great question might be something like, 'Are there any employee groups here that work together to plan team-building activities or extracurricular events that bring co-workers together either to boost morale or support the community?' These kinds of questions send a potential employer a message that you're looking for more than a job," she says.

While asking the right kinds of question is vital, you must also be prepared to answer the tough questions, says Henry Motyka, business solutions manager at Norwood Consulting.

"Of particular importance are behavioral interview questions like, 'Tell me about a situation when ... ' It is best to define those situations beforehand and memorize them," he says.

Doing your research, asking the right questions and answering tough questions are ways to avoid making an interview mistake. But, unfortunately, there are many ways to derail an interview. Here are five gaffes to steer clear of in your interview.

1. Inappropriate attire
"If you are not professionally attired, you won't get the job, even if you are the most qualified," says image consultant Sandy Dumont. "Always dress better than required for an interview. Never dress down, because it is insulting to the other person. It says, 'I don't have to impress you; I dress for my own comfort.' When you dress to impress, they get it, and you will stand out from all the other candidates."

2. Trying to lead the interview
"Many of my clients have children. [They have a] tendency to talk over their interviewers. That's how they manage to be heard at home and that's what they often do in their interviews," says Rory Cohen, a career counselor. "When you don't listen, you don't get invited back for a second interview. Interviewers, in general, want and expect to be in the driver's seat."

3. Showing up too late or too early
"If you're more than 15 minutes early to your interview, go to the restroom and freshen up, then casually walk in about 15 minutes before your scheduled appointment," says Marie Applegate Prasad, founder of WiSo Résumés.

4. Bringing your own food or drink
"Do not bring any food or drinks into the office of the interviewer. Many find eating or drinking a big distraction and some people are sensitive to smells," Prasad says. "It's best to just wait until after the interview is over."

5. Forgetting important information
"On a sheet of paper write down the following information: company, address, phone number, hiring manager, person who scheduled the interview, position you are interviewing for and job duties," Prasad says. "Study this and bring with you the day of your interview."

Source: careerbuilder

5 things you might not know about Millennial job seekers

A new survey from CareerBuilder and Inavero sheds light on the perceptions and habits of Millennials. Results from the 2012 Candidate Behavior Study indicate that Millennials -- also known as Generation Y -- are always up for the next new challenge and wouldn't say no to a change of scenery.

Here are five lessons from the survey of 1,291 workers nationwide:

1. Millennials are almost always game for the next opportunity. According to the survey, 81 percent of Millennials are either actively searching for new jobs or are open to new opportunities, regardless of their current employment status.

What this means for employers: Millennials' "always on" job-search mentality highlights the need for employers to engage them on a continual basis, provide reasons why their company is a great place to work and define their employment brand. That way, job seekers who are casually browsing opportunities will keep those companies at the top of their mind.

2. Millennials' job-search process is long and complex. Millennials report that their job search takes 28 weeks, on average, throughout which time they may consult up to 15 resources.

What this means for employers: "Given the considerable amount of time Millennials take looking at them, employers need to begin building relationships with candidates far before they walk in their doors," says Kassandra Barnes, research and content manager at CareerBuilder.

3. Millennials are very social and vocal about their job-search experiences. Ninety-six percent of Millennials discuss their job-search experience with others, both in person and through social media.
What this means for employers: Millennials' sharing nature can be good or bad for a company, depending on their job-search and application experience. Employers need to provide positive experiences for candidates -- especially since a negative job-search experience can hurt the bottom line.

4. Millennials are open to relocation. According to the survey, 82 percent of Millennials are willing to relocate for the right position.

What this means for employers: Employers are often quick to write off applicants who aren't local, but this finding suggests that they should give these job seekers a second glance.

5. Millennials are still in search of their dream job. Only 22 percent of Millennial workers strongly agree that they are satisfied in their careers, and the average length of time they stay in a job is three years.

What this means for employers: "Employers should be more forgiving of job-hopping Millenials," Barnes says. Employers may perceive job-hopping as a negative quality, when the digital-age shift has caused job-hopping to be the rule, rather than the exception, Barnes explains. Since so few Millennials are satisfied in their current position, employers should consider engaging this group of job seekers by sharing desirable company benefits , such as advancement opportunities, a great corporate culture and a flexible work environment.

Source: careerbuilder

How to ask touchy interview questions

Bringing up salary, benefits and vacation during the interview.

Unless you belong to a select group of people, you need a job in order to survive. Oprah Winfrey doesn't need to work another day in her life. The rest of us would have a hard time paying the electric bill without a job.
Yet, when we're going through the song and dance of interviewing for a job, we pretend as if money isn't on the top of our list of priorities. Job-search etiquette dictates waiting for the employer to bring up salary, benefits and vacation.

Conventional wisdom says that if you bring it up, you appear more focused on the perks than on doing the job, which sends a bad sign to employers. So you interview over the phone and in person, and after days or weeks of conversation about the job, you don't know how much it pays or if you would be able to leave early on occasion to pick up your son from school. These issues can be deal breakers for many job seekers, but they're taboo topics during the interview process.

If time is money, then both the hiring manager and the job seeker should be happy to get the basics out of the way before wasting time with interviews that might not matter if the salary is too low. We decided to find out if there is a way to bring up these touchy subjects in a more timely manner.

Should you do it?
Before job seekers can even ponder how to bring up these issues, the primary concern is whether they should even broach the subjects or if they would be making a heinous misstep. For many employers, as long as your approach is reasonable and tactful, you don't need to worry.

"It's definitely fine to ask about the salary, benefits and perks early in the process," says author and corporate recruiter Vicki Salemi. "Think of it this way: Sometimes recruiters will push candidates to give them a ballpark salary requirement and they'll say they can't proceed without knowing so everyone's on the same page. Shouldn't you also feel entitled to knowing information upfront to not waste anyone's time? You're doing everyone, including yourself, a favor by asking and getting an overall idea of the complete package."
You certainly can ruin your chances of being hired by asking the questions the wrong way, Salemi says, but the topics alone won't overshadow your résumé and experience. Workplace expert Lynn Taylor, CEO of Santa Monica-based Lynn Taylor Consulting, also views these supposedly taboo topics as essential information for job seekers.

"You have every right to know what you will and won't get, so don't be afraid to ask before the end of the second interview," Taylor advises. "During the first interview, you'll want to get a general idea, ideally from the human resources department (assuming you were interviewed by HR), as these are more administrative questions."

That said, Taylor does suggest making this line of questioning one of your last orders of business, but not because it could harm your chances of getting hired. Instead, Taylor says, waiting can help you receive a better salary offer.

"Often there is room for negotiation on everything. The more valuable you are as a candidate, the more leverage you have. You are best served to determine how well-suited you are for the job before you begin asking about perks," she explains.

How to do it
Now that you know that you can safely bring up sensitive topics during an interview on your own timeline, you need to know how to do it. After all, asked in the wrong way, any question can be damaging during a job interview. Here are five guidelines from career experts on how to raise the questions, get the information you need and stay on the interviewer's good side.

Be assertive but reasonable
"Simply ask in an assertive way," says Salemi, author of "Big Career in the Big City." "You can couch it with a statement such as, 'I don't want to sound presumptuous as if I expect to already get this job, but I would like to know the salary range before proceeding.' Or, 'I am actively interviewing and evaluating offers right now which include evaluating not only the salary but personal time off and benefits, as well as perks. Would you be able to share this information with me at this point in time?'"

Prove why it's in their interest, too
"[Recruiters] don't want to waste their time, so remind them of that fact," says Alex Buznego, business development and marketing services manager for marketing organization Inktel. "'Mr. Recruiter, I know your time is valuable and that the last thing you'd want to do is waste your time on a candidate who wasn't a perfect fit. With that in mind -- and I acknowledge these questions are difficult to discuss upfront -- would it be OK if we discussed some uncomfortable questions today?'"

You want to know about this information so you don't waste your time, and the interviewer probably feels the same way, too.

Be polite
When you want to bring up an uncomfortable topic, whether it's benefits or work schedules, you can ease into it by asking for the interviewer's permission to ask the question, Buznego says.
"It's a simple gesture and somewhat of a rhetorical one," Buznego asks. "'Do you mind if I ask a couple of uncomfortable questions?' Don't worry, they are going to say yes, and it starts to break down the tension."

Wait for the right moment
Syndi Seid, founder of Advanced Etiquette, a business and social etiquette consulting organization, suggests job seekers wait for a chance to ask their question rather than force it into the interview. When the interviewer asks if you have any questions at the end of the interview, Seid suggests you take this as your cue.

"You then say, 'Thank you for asking. There is one item I realized we didn't discuss ...'" Seid says. "Always couch and sandwich difficult situations by saying something good and nice to start, hit them with the hard stuff, then end with something uplifting and positive."

Source: careerbuilder

How To Make A Bad Job Better (Without Quitting)

hate my job better jobThe excitement you once had for your job just isn't there anymore. Your workday seems more like a tedious march than an invigorating run. Challenges that once stimulated you now hold less appeal, and you deal with the same set of people, processes and problems every day. Is it time to call it quits?

Not necessarily. Every career has its lulls, and your lack of excitement doesn't necessarily signal a need to switch jobs. However, passively waiting for things to change will only prolong your angst and get in the way of your productivity and professional development.

Don't look back
The best way to address the problem is to change your way of thinking about it. If you're focused on reigniting or revitalizing your career, you're not thinking about the future. These words describe restoring a past condition, rather than starting fresh in a new direction. Aspects of your job that energized you in the past may no longer do the trick. Reminding yourself of "the good old days" can blind you to what's great about your current role and keep you from creative innovation.

Even the smallest changes in how you view your company and your career can make a big difference in your overall job satisfaction. With that in mind, here are some steps toward breathing new life into your work.

Step 1: Do nothing
Forcefully igniting your professional passion is a sure way to smother any remaining embers. Instead, get away from the office and focus on something outside of work. If you have vacation days saved up, take them. You might find that what you needed most was a break. If you come back refreshed, use your newfound energy to take a closer look at your day-to-day work life.

Step 2: Start small
Are there elements of your professional life that you do in a certain way out of habit? If so, try a few changes. Would varying your commute save time or make the drive more interesting? Are there colleagues you want to get to know better? Changing your routine can open up unforeseeable possibilities. Having lunch with a new colleague, for example, might expose you to a fresh perspective on your work.

Step 3: Invent changes
Having shaken up your daily routine a bit, try to come up with five slightly larger, but no less achievable, objectives. Your list might be a hodgepodge, like this one: "Streamline the XCorp project," "Sign up for the training course I've been putting off," "Clarify workflow with Dave," "Set more realistic email response expectations." Identifying and executing small, specific changes can immediately help you become more engaged in your work.

Step 4: Talk to your boss
If more fundamental aspects of your job are sapping your energy, don't assume they can't be changed. Set up a meeting with your boss, framing the discussion in terms of ways you can add greater value to the company rather than admitting you're no longer feeling motivated. Identify projects that excite you, and ask to take on more of that kind of work. Better yet, ask to take on something that doesn't seem right up your alley. Your manager might be able to help you explore some unfamiliar boulevards and highways. When suggesting changes to your boss, remember to describe how they will benefit the company, not just your own job satisfaction.

Step 5: Consider a bigger move
Staying too long in a job you no longer enjoy leads to career stagnation. If you've taken the above steps and are still uninspired, it may be time to consider a new position. Just make sure that you're not counting on a change of scenery to improve your outlook. When considering a new opportunity, ask yourself how its challenges would differ from those you'd be leaving behind.

Step 6: Keep it new
Whether you stay in your current role or find a new one, learn from your current situation. Treat it as a wake-up call to start managing your work life more actively. Get in the habit of continually molding your job according to your interests and the changing dynamics of your field. Being inspired is the easy part; staying that way takes an ongoing commitment.

Your ability to sustain your interest depends less on the external circumstances of your job than on your approach to your career. Many people focus on getting better at their work without pausing to consider how their work can get better for them. If you focus only on becoming more efficient, you'll likely just keep shouldering heavier workloads to fill the time you save. That kind of productivity can be valuable in the short term, but it won't create the fresh challenges that will keep you stimulated for years.

Finding your spark is only the beginning. By embracing change of all sizes, you can build a career that grows along with you -- and generates its own rewards.

Source: AOL

6 Career Moves for Older Workers

In today's ever changing job market, not only have the types of jobs offered changed, but so have the individuals who make up the current workforce. Many older workers are opting to continue working instead of retiring. If you're one of these seasoned professionals, how do you keep your edge and stay fresh and vibrant in today's fast paced employment atmosphere?

1. Be trendy
Follow job market trends. Older workers must keep their finger on the pulse of the labor force by asking themselves, 'What jobs are in demand today?' and by keeping up with today's technology, particularly computer technology says Deborah Russell, director of the issues agenda for economic security for AARP, a non-profit organization for people age 50 and over.

2. Get wired
Know your computer. Russell stresses that updating general office skills, especially computer skills, is crucial, "particularly since many employers assume that mature workers lack skills in this area. Having the basic computer skills that allow you to function in the workplace is essential." That means being comfortable with.

  • Navigating the Internet

  • E-mail and its applications

  • Word processing

  • PowerPoint

  • Excel spreadsheets

  • 3. Go back to school
    Fill in the gaps with education. If you lack in any area of demand, especially computer skills, remember it's never too late for more education. Many instructional courses are offered at your local community college, library or neighborhood association. "Lifelong learning is an important aspect of professional growth. Assessing your skills and determining whether there are any gaps will help identify potential areas for additional education," Russell says.

    4. Opportunity knocks
    Take advantage of chances to learn all around you. Besides attending classes, a good way to gain new skills is to be on the lookout for learning opportunities right at work. Is someone going on vacation whose job is outside your normal realm of responsibilities? Perhaps you can volunteer to cover for them and learn a little about what they do. Or volunteer for temporary assignments that you wouldn't normally handle.

    5. Update your résumé
    If you are looking to make a change to a new position, you need to get current on the latest résumé trends. Like anything else, résumé styles change over time. The résumé is a vital tool in helping any worker articulate the qualifications and experience they can bring to a potential position. Russell says often "employers are more interested in the skills you bring to a job versus how many years you worked for a particular employer. It gives them a snapshot of your capabilities and if you in fact possess the skills they're looking for." So make your résumé skill-driven and results-oriented, showcasing your management skills and sales accomplishments, instead of merely providing a litany of dates, titles and responsibilities from past positions.

    6. Bond
    Talk to others in your same situation. Don't despair; there are organizations that offer support groups for older workers to discuss the challenges they've faced and learn new strategies to overcome them. The Operation ABLE Network is composed of agencies across the United States that focus on meeting the needs of mid-career workers and job seekers. Check your local phone book for the Operation ABLE chapter in your area.

    Source: careerbuilder

    10 Things that Scream, "Don't Hire Me!"

    You just don't get it. You've applied to numerous jobs, been to countless interviews and made several new contacts in your network -- yet here you are -- still sitting on the unemployment list. What gives?
    Well ... have you ever stopped to consider that what gives might in fact be ... you?

    It's a hard concept that most job seekers have trouble wrapping their heads around, but applicants frequently -- inadvertently -- raise red flags to hiring managers that immediately scream, "Don't hire me!" But, it might not be entirely your fault.

    "Most companies don't give direct feedback about areas people are weak in while they are employed. They are enabling poor performance and lack of accountability," says Tom Gimbel, president and CEO of The LaSalle Network, an executive recruiting firm in Chicago. "The same mentality exists when people interview. They feel they did 'great' on the interview and never look at themselves for if they feel that the interviewer was looking for something different."

    Not sure if you're unknowingly blowing your chances at scoring your dream job?

    Here are 10 red flags to be wary of during your next job hunt.

    Red flag No. 1: You don't have any contact information on your résumé
    When you're crafting your résumé, you should focus on highlighting relevant skills and accomplishments that are in line with the position for which you are applying. But what good is an impressive résumé if hiring managers have no way to get in touch with its owner? If they can't find you, they can't hire you. Always provide a home address, phone number or e-mail address so employers can get in touch with you easily.

    Red flag No. 2: You have long gaps between jobs on your résumé
    Even if your long departure from the work force is valid, extended lapses of unemployment might say to an employer, "Why weren't you wanted by anyone?" Gimbel says. Anytime you have more than a three-month gap of idleness on your résumé, legitimate or otherwise, be prepared to explain yourself.

    Red flag No. 3: You aren't prepared for the interview
    There are many ways to be unprepared for an interview: You haven't researched the company, you don't have any questions prepared, you didn't bring a copy of your résumé, etc. Plain and simple, do your homework before an interview. Explore the company online, prepare answers to questions and have someone give you a mock interview. The more prepared you are, the more employers will take you seriously.

    Red flag No. 4: You didn't provide any references
    By omitting references in your application, employers could infer that you don't know anyone who has any positive things to say about you -- when in fact, you just forgot to provide them with people who can vouch for you. No references also shows employers that you aren't prepared for people to call them, Gimbel says. Always make sure the hiring manager has at least one person to contact who can speak on your behalf.

    Red flag No. 5: You only have negative things to say about previous employment
    We know how tempting it is to want to tell anyone who will listen how much of a (insert expletive word here) your old boss was -- but a hiring manager for a coveted job is not that person.
    There are hundreds of ways to turn negative things about an old job into positives. Thought your last job was a dead end? Spin it by saying, "I felt I had gone as far as I could go in that position. I'm looking for something with more opportunity for advancement." Couldn't get along with your co-workers? "I really need to work in an environment where I feel like I'm part of a team and my last position didn't allow for that kind of atmosphere."

    Red flag No. 6: You've held seven different jobs -- in the past six months
    Job hopping is a new trend in the working world. Workers are no longer staying in a job for 10-20 years; they stay for a couple and move on to the next one. While such a tactic can further your career, switching jobs too often will raise a prospective employer's antenna. Too many jobs in too little time tells employers that either you can't hold a job or you have no loyalty, Gimbel says. Pick and choose the jobs you include on your résumé or prepare to explain yourself.

    Red flag No. 7: You give inconsistent answers in your interview
    One tactic hiring managers use during the hiring process is to ask you the same question in several different ways. This is mostly to ensure that you're genuine with your answers and not just telling an employer what he or she wants to hear. Keep your responses sincere throughout the entire process and you should be good to go.

    Red flag No. 8: You lack flexibility
    Most people know what they want in a job as far as benefits, compensation, time-off, etc. If you're unable to be flexible with some of your (unrealistic?) expectations, however, you're going to have a difficult time finding a job. Have a bottom line in terms of what you want before you start the hiring process and be willing to bend a bit if necessary.

    Red flag No. 9: Your application was, in a word -- lazy
    Only doing the bare minimum of what's asked of you won't get very far -- in life or in your job search. Applying to jobs with the same résumé and the same cover letter (or none at all) is pure laziness. And as Gimbel points out, if you won't spend extra time on yourself and your application materials, you sure as heck won't do it for a client.

    Red flag No. 10: You lack objective or ambition
    If you have no long-term goals, then you really have no short-term goals either, Gimbel says. "Long-term goals may change, however you need to have some concept of where you want to go." Know where you want to go and how you plan to get there. Otherwise you seem unfocused and unmotivated, which are two big no-no's for an applicant.

    Source: careerbuilder

    Timeless -- and tired -- job-search tactics

    Unless you're looking for work at a medieval-themed restaurant, the last impression you want to give an employer is of being behind the times. That's one reason many job seekers become preoccupied with using only the latest tools and techniques to find a job. As a result, they often neglect some successful time-tested methods.

    Of course, plenty of traditional techniques have gone extinct for good reason. Before you go retro, distinguish the do's from the don'ts. Here are some low-tech methods worth reviving. They can help you stand out and make a positive impression no matter the era.

    • Take cover. Some vintage tactics, such as writing a cover letter, aren't as passé as you might think. In a recent Robert Half survey of senior managers, 91 percent of respondents said cover letters are valuable when evaluating job candidates. Don't skip the cover letter just because a company's online application system doesn't request one. If there's no field designated for a cover letter, you can often attach extra documentation. In fact, 79 percent of employers said it's common to receive cover letters even when applicants submit résumés electronically.

    • Stock up on stamps. The vast majority of résumés are submitted online or via email. That's why mailing yours as a hard copy can be effective. Once the hiring manager recovers from the shock of receiving a piece of mail, he might open it out of sheer curiosity. That alone puts you ahead of the dozens or even hundreds of other résumés waiting in the person's inbox. However, you shouldn't rely on regular mail alone; use it as a follow up to an online résumé. Just be aware of the employer's preferences. Some make it clear in the job posting that they will consider only electronic submissions.

    • Use your phone's 'phone' feature. Follow up after submitting your résumé by calling the hiring manager. A phone call may require more nerve than an email, but the results justify the effort. A voicemail beats an email in at least three key ways: it demonstrates your assertiveness, reaffirms your interest in the opportunity and comes across as more personal than words on the screen. If the hiring manager answers the call, that's even better. You've already established a direct personal connection.

    • Take the time to say thanks. Since even the most tech-savvy job seeker knows to follow up after an interview, why not do so in a way that conveys genuine gratitude and a personal touch? Reinforce your thank-you email with a handwritten note mailed within a day or two of the meeting.

    Borrowing from the past won't strengthen your job search if you're not selective about the tactics you choose. The following bygone techniques and assumptions have earned their place in the job-search dustbin:

    • The all-purpose résumé. It's been 20 years since altering your résumé meant typing up a new document from scratch, or at least using an ancient substance known as whiteout. Now, there's no excuse for not tailoring every résumé you send to each specific opportunity.

    • Résumé relics. The traditional objective statement on a résumé has seen better days. By focusing on your wishes, not on what you can provide the employer, you may start off on the wrong foot. It's much more useful to provide a targeted professional summary instead. Similarly, an exhaustive résumé that lists every job you've ever had makes it hard for a time-strapped hiring manager to find the most relevant material.

    • Formality for its own sake. Good manners never go out of style, but that doesn't mean your correspondence should read like something out of Downton Abbey." Phrases like "To whom it may concern" and "Dear sir or madam" can distance you from the reader. Instead, try to find the hiring manager's name. Calling the company is usually enough to reveal this nugget of information. If you have no luck, use the person's title.

    Today's most successful job seekers combine an awareness of modern technology with a desire to establish old-fashioned personal contact whenever possible. Not by coincidence, that's the kind of versatility most employers -- even medieval restaurants -- are looking for.

    Source: careerbuilder

    5 Things New Grads Should Know About Job Hunting

    The class of 2006 is looking at a bright future with promising job prospects and salary increases. Seventy percent of hiring managers say they plan to recruit recent college graduates this year, up from 62 percent in 2005, according to CareerBuilder.com's "College Hiring 2006" survey. Plus, nearly one-in-five hiring managers expect to hire more recent college graduates in 2006 compared to last year and one-in-four plan to increase starting salaries.

    College grads can also expect a bigger payoff this year. Twenty-seven percent of hiring managers anticipate increasing starting salaries for recent college graduates in 2006 and only 5 percent plan to decrease them. How much should new grads expect to earn? Thirty-four percent of hiring managers expect to offer between $20,000 and $30,000 and 28 percent expect to offer between $30,000 and $40,000. An additional 10 percent will offer between $40,000 and $50,000 and 7 percent will offer more than $50,000.

    New grads won't have to pound the pavement for too long. Thirty-six percent of hiring managers say they will do the majority of their hiring of recent college graduates in the second quarter. Thirty-one percent say the majority of their hiring will take place in the third quarter. With promising job opportunities, favorable salaries and plenty of free time, new grads should have no reason not to look for that first job. Make sure you know these top five things hiring managers look for when sizing up a candidate:

    1. Relevant experience Twenty-three percent of hiring managers say the candidate's ability to relate their experience to the job at hand is the most important factor in the hiring decision. Unfortunately, new graduates often underestimate the experience they have through internships, part-time jobs and extracurricular activities, but 63 percent of hiring managers say they view volunteer activities as relevant experience.
    2. Fit within the company culture Just because you look good on paper doesn't mean you're a shoo-in for the job. To 21 percent of employers, the trait they most want to see in a candidate is the ability to fit in with co-workers and the company. Offering up a blank stare when the interviewer asks why you are the right fit for the job will not go over well. Just be yourself, but mind your i's -- never insult, interrupt or irritate the interviewer. This can also be evaluated by that "unimportant" small talk at the beginning of an interview or non-job-related questions like "What was the last book you read?"
    3. Educational background Nineteen percent of hiring managers place the most emphasis on your educational background: the institution you attended, major, minor and degree earned. Be sure to also include courses taken and completed projects if relevant to the job. With grade point average, it's tricky. A good rule of thumb is to omit it unless it is 3.0 or higher and denote if it's your overall or major GPA.
    4. Enthusiasm Passion for the job is the top characteristic 19 percent of employers look for in a candidate. Employees who are passionate about their jobs tend to be more productive workers. The answer to "Why do you want to work here?" should always focus on the strengths of the company and the challenge of the position, not the perks. A "take or leave it" attitude about the job will leave the employer feeling the same about you.
    5. Preparedness Eight percent of hiring managers say the ideas you bring to the table and the questions you ask carry the most significance. Come in prepared to discuss how your qualifications can specifically contribute to the success of the company. Actually put yourself in that role and explain how you would perform your work and ways to improve it.

    Source: careerbuilder

    4 interview killers

    Job interviews are stressful. Being peppered with questions about your employment history, the skills you possess and how you'd handle hypothetical work situations is hard enough. You don't want to compound the challenge by making an easily avoidable mistake, like showing up late or failing to bring an extra copy of your résumé.
    Over the years, Robert Half International has surveyed hiring managers and workers, asking them to recount the biggest interview gaffes they've either seen or heard about. Following are some of the most unforgettable responses -- and suggestions for avoiding a similar fate.

    Don't forget your people skills
    --"An individual applied for a customer-service job, and when asked what he might not like about the job, he said, 'Dealing with people.'"
    --"The applicant told me if she had realized it was our company, she wouldn't have shown up for the interview."

    --"When asked by the hiring manager why she was leaving her current job, the applicant said, 'My manager is a jerk. All managers are jerks.'"

    No matter how well you've prepared, you might find that nerves get the best of you in the heat of the moment. You wouldn't be the first person to stick your foot in your mouth, judging by the examples above.
    To guard against saying or doing something you might regret, conduct a practice interview with a friend or family member well ahead of the big event. The "interviewer" can alert you to instances when you seem more nervous than usual or become flustered. The practice will also help you feel more at ease during the real interview.

    Don't focus on your needs over the employer's
    --"The applicant told me he really was not interested in the position, but he liked that we allowed for a lot of time off."

    --"One individual said we had nice benefits, which was good because he was going to need to take a lot of leave in the next year."

    It goes without saying that the interview is a prime opportunity for you to learn more details about the position. But use common sense when digging for additional information.

    Don't ask for the nitty-gritty about future compensation, benefits and perks until the hiring manager has expressed serious interest in offering you the position. Jumping the gun will make it seem like you don't care about the job itself or making a meaningful contribution to the potential employer.

    However, it is appropriate to ask about the position itself, even during the early rounds of interviewing. For example, you might inquire about the person who last held the role or about the types of professional development opportunities the company makes available to employees.

    Don't dress down
    --"A person came to the interview in pajamas with slippers."
    --"The candidate arrived with a snake around her neck. She took her pet everywhere."
    --"One job candidate left his dry cleaner tag on his jacket and said he wanted to show he was a clean individual."
    --"An applicant wore the uniform from his former employer."
    No matter how casual a potential employer's work environment seems, dress to impress. That means wearing a suit or other similar professional attire.
    It's highly unlikely a hiring manager will knock points off if you show up to the interview slightly overdressed. However, coming in casual attire may give the impression that you're not serious about the position or cause the interviewer to question your professionalism.
    This is one of those small details that can speak volumes, so don't take any chances.

    Don't be dishonest
    --"After being complimented on his choice of college and the GPA he achieved, the candidate replied, 'I'm glad that got your attention. I didn't really go there.'"
    --"After arriving for an early morning interview, the job seeker asked to use the hiring manager's phone. She proceeded to fake a coughing fit as she called in sick to her boss."
    If you've been on the job hunt for a while, it can be tempting to stretch the truth during the interview in order to make yourself seem more qualified. After all, what's one little white lie?
    But keep in mind most employers conduct reference or background checks prior to extending an employment offer. And in the age of Google and social media, it's easier than ever to uncover false information. If that happens, you can be guaranteed you won't be offered the position, and your professional reputation can suffer irreparable harm.
    Even if your lie isn't uncovered right away, you could be setting yourself up for failure. If you exaggerate your skills or experience, you may not be able to successfully complete the position's duties once hired. It's best to give the hiring manager an accurate depiction of your abilities so both you and the employer can be confident the job is right for you.
    The bottom line: It's never OK to lie during the interview, no matter how small the fib might seem. Always stick to the facts and build a case for the position you seek based solely on your actual skills and experience.

    Source: careerbuilder

    Should you ramp up your job search now or wait until 2013

    During a sports game, no matter how a team is faring, its players rely on their coach to share a plan for winning the game. The same is true when it comes to your job search. Whether you've been making progress or you're in a rut, it's up to you -- the coach -- to determine your next move.
    At this point in the year, you have two options in your playbook: ramp up your job search or take time off until 2013. Both moves have their payoffs, but only you know what's right for Team You.

    2012 game plan
    If you're not ready to call a timeout just yet, choose from several power plays that'll help you make progress throughout the rest of the year.

    CareerBuilder's midyear job forecast surveyed more than 2,000 hiring managers and human-resource professionals across industries and company sizes about hiring plans for the latter half of 2012. According to the forecast, businesses are planning to hire in a number of functional areas, so they may be good positions to focus on during your search. These areas include:
    • Customer service
    • Information technology
    • Sales
    • Administrative
    • Business development
    • Accounting/finance
    • Marketing
    You may also want to research newly created positions within companies. According to the forecast, jobs that didn't exist five years ago are now growing to meet new technology demands, including positions tied to:
    • Social media
    • Storing and managing data
    • Cybersecurity
    • Financial regulation
    • Promoting diversity inside and outside the organization
    • "Green" energy and the environment
    • Global relations
    2013 game plan
    If you want to take the rest of the year off, use the time wisely. Prepare yourself for a quick start in 2013. Here are ways to fill your time productively until the new year begins:
    • Seasonal work. Companies that hire temporary workers for the upcoming holiday season begin looking for those employees as early as October. You can gain work experience, references and a paycheck with seasonal work. Also, seasonal positions can sometimes lead to permanent jobs.
    • Volunteer. Volunteering is a great way to gain experience, fill a résumé gap and meet others in your field.
    • Network. Attend industry or general networking events, or try online networking through social-media sites such as LinkedIn. Let your family and friends know what kind of position you're interested in, and connect with others who have similar interests.
    • Workshops, training or more education. There may not be enough time left in the year to earn a degree, but you can participate in short-term workshops or training programs. This is another way to avoid résumé gaps, and it also shows potential employers that you've stayed up-to-date on industry advancements.
    • Revamp your résumé. If you've been keeping yourself busy during the back half of the year, you'll have plenty of new material to include on your résumé. Add new roles, remove outdated activities and be sure to create a customized résumé for each position.

    Source: careerbuilder

    No Thank You Could Mean No Job

    It's one of the simplest things you can do. Your mother told you to always say it. By expressing it -- or not -- you can change a person's mood and perception of you in an instant. Who knew two words could be so powerful?

    Writing a thank-you letter after an interview doesn't just showcase a candidate's manners - it can also make or break their chances of landing a job. Nearly 15 percent of hiring managers say they would not hire someone who failed to send a thank-you letter after the interview. Thirty-two percent say they would still consider the candidate, but would think less of him or her, according to CareerBuilder.com's "How to Get in the Front Door" survey.

    Although most hiring managers expect to receive a thank-you note, format preferences differ. One-in-four hiring managers prefer to receive a thank-you note in e-mail form only; 19 percent want the e-mail followed up with a hard copy; 21 percent want a typed hard copy only and 23 percent prefer just a handwritten note.

    No matter which format you choose, it's crucial to act quickly when sending a thank-you letter to your interviewer. Twenty-six percent of hiring managers expect to have the letter in-hand two days after the interview, and 36 percent expect to have it within three to five days. Sending the letter quickly reinforces your enthusiasm for the job, and helps keep you top-of-mind for the interviewer.

    Here are some tips to make the most of your thank-you letter.

    Stick to three paragraphs. In the first paragraph, thank the interviewer for the opportunity. Use the second to sell yourself by reminding the hiring manager of your qualifications. In the third paragraph, reiterate your interest in the position.

    Fill in the blanks.
    Thank-you notes are a great way to add in key information you forgot in the interview, clarify any points or try to ease any reservations the interviewer might have expressed.

    Proofread carefully.
    Double-check to be sure your note is free from typos and grammatical errors. Don't rely solely on your spell-checker.

    Be specific. Don't send out a generic correspondence. Instead, tailor your note to the specific job and the relationship you have established with the hiring manager.

    Source: careerbuilder

    3 Things To Do Now To Prepare For the New Job Market

    You may have already noticed: the job market is changing. Forecasters have been predicting this for years, and research continues to prove the contingent—otherwise known as temporary, or contract—workforce, is growing. Author Tammy Erickson writes on Harvard Business Review's blog: "Temporary placement service provider Adecco predicts the growth rate for contingent workers will be three to four times the growth rate among traditional workforces, and that they eventually will make up about 25 percent of the global workforce."

    Career expert Alexandra Levit recently reported on technology firm Mavenlink's 2012 infographic, The New Independent Workforce, which shows the number of self-employed, independent service firms, solopreneurs, and temporary workers grew by an estimated 4.3 million workers since 1995. The firm expects the contingent workforce to grow to 40 percent, or 64.9 million by 2020. And by the year 2020, 40 percent of American workers, or nearly 65 million people, will not work in what we know as "traditional" jobs, where they work consistently for one employer who provides benefits and insurance.

    What does this new world of work mean for you? Even if you have a traditional job now, you may find yourself in a position down the road where your livelihood depends on your ability to market yourself as a one-person company. The writing is on the wall: the job market and career opportunities are changing—you need to be prepared.

    Follow these three tips to get yourself ready for the new job market:

    1. Pay attention to trends in your industry. Try to predict hot topics and identify problems organizations will need to solve. Since no one has a crystal ball, this is a tough assignment. Instead of maintaining an insular approach to your job and focusing on your company alone, make a point to spend time evaluating what is going on industry-wide. Join online forums or groups, attend events to network with professionals in your field, and read everything you can in print and online discussing your niche.

    When you incorporate this research into your daily and weekly routines, you'll begin to see trends; people will raise the same concerns over and over again, and you will have a head's up about key topics flummoxing your colleagues.

    2. Develop niche expertise. When you're really good at something specific, it's easy to make a case for why an organization should contract with you for short- or long-term contingent jobs. It's much easier to stand out from the crowd when you specialize in a particular area and people know you as the go-to expert in your field. Ideally, your expertise will relate to the big problems puzzling people in your industry. Consider seeking additional training—either formal schooling or informal mentoring—to help you learn how to help people with the major problems coming down the pike.

    3. Learn to market yourself. The concept of "personal branding," which suggests individuals should think of themselves as a brand and market their skills accordingly, meets skepticism and criticism. But if 25 to 40 percent of American workers will effectively work for themselves in the near future, there is no doubt the ones who land the best opportunities will be those who understand the value of broadcasting their expertise beyond the four walls of their current workplaces. How can you get a head start, so you'll have a chance to be considered an industry expert should you ever need to market yourself as a consultant?
    • Learn to introduce yourself and focus on your target's needs. Do you know your unique value proposition, or what makes you special compared to others in your field? If not, it's time to think about what you'd say if someone asked you, "How are you more qualified to do this job than the other 200 applicants?"
    • Tap into social networks, which allow you to meet new contacts, demonstrate your expertise, and learn new things. LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+, and Facebook are all great tools to help you showcase what you know and engage with people you'd never otherwise meet.
    Don't be complacent; always think about the future and how to position yourself and your expertise if you want to maintain any control over your professional future.

    source: usnews

    5 Job Search Tips For 2012

    Ships of all sizes are built with one thing in mind: floating. Even if their hulls are breached, ships have a unique construction feature that allows them to continue floating. They are made of many compartments that can be sealed off in the event of an accident, to isolate what could otherwise be a dire situation.

    Building your career vessel using these principles can also help to keep your job search afloat.

    Consider this for a moment: It is no secret that searching for employment requires many steps along the way to success. Unfortunately, many job seekers try to do it all in one step, and then wonder why their "ship" is sinking.

    You must seal off one compartment at a time, or take one step at a time if you hope to reach your destination intact:

    1. Chart a specific course.
    Start off by narrowing your job search to areas of interest or expertise. The old attitude of, "I'll take anything," rarely works out very well. One of two things typically happens: Either your qualifications don't line up with the needs of potential employers, or you end up in a position you hate.

    2. Perform a systems check.
    Next, check your career "tools" to ensure proper operation. Does your current resume reflect your accomplishments in a meaningful and well-written way? Does it focus clearly enough on your employment goals? If not, replace it. Do you have a set of cover letters that distinctly address your intended audience and properly introduce you to a potential employer? You should have one for posting online, one for recruiters and one to use when applying for positions that are available with employers that may already know you.

    3. Tune up LinkedIn.
    What about your LinkedIn profile? If you are constantly fielding inquiries for jobs you have no interest or skill in, it could probably use some adjusting.

    4. Tighten up your interviewing skills.
    Once these three items are taken care of, it may be time to brush up on those interview skills. Many golden opportunities have been lost in the interview office. A myriad of online resources are available to those who may be lacking in this arena. If you're not comfortable going it alone, then consider the services of an interview coach to put you through the paces and prepare you for today's challenging interview processes.

    5. Tweak your training.
    If all of these things are in order, and you still find yourself wanting, take stock of your skills and/or education and see if there isn't some tweaking that could be done. If you have the time and resources available, furthering your education is never a waste of effort or time. In this fast-paced technology-driven world, those who don't stay current will be left behind.

    By dealing with each of these "compartments" one at a time, you will be better able to bring laser focus to each one. Seal it off, and then move on to the next one.

    The employment seas are wrought with danger. Equip yourself and be well prepared before heading out towards the horizon.

    Source: AOL

    The Interview: Body Language Do's and Don'ts

    Your heart feels ready to leap out of your chest. Beads of sweat build on your forehead. Your mind is racing.

    It's not a full-blown interrogation -- although it may feel like it -- it's just a job interview. While it's no secret that job interviews can be nerve-racking, a lot of job candidates spend a significant amount of time worrying about what they will say during their interview, only to blow it all with their body language. The old adage, "It's not what you say, it's how you say it," still holds meaning, even if you're not talking. You need to effectively communicate your professionalism both verbally and non-verbally.

    Because watching your nonverbal cues, delivering concise answers and expressing your enthusiasm at once can be difficult when you're nervous, here's a guide to walk you through it:

    Have them at "hello"

    Before you walk into the interview, it's assumed that you will have done the following: prepared yourself by reading up on the company and recent company news; practiced what you'll say to some of the more common interview questions; and followed the "what to wear on your interview" advice. So you're ready, right?
    Some hiring managers claim they can spot a possible candidate for a job within 30 seconds or less, and while a lot of that has to do with the way you look, it's also in your body language. Don't walk in pulling up your pantyhose or readjusting your tie; pull yourself together before you stand up to greet the hiring manager or enter their office. Avoid a "dead fish" handshake and confidently -- but not too firmly -- grasp your interviewer's hand and make eye contact while saying hello.

    Shake your hand, watch yourself

    If you are rocking back in your chair, shaking your foot, drumming your fingers or scratching your... anything, you're going to look like your going to look the type of future employee who wouldn't be able to stay focused, if even for a few minutes. It's a not a game of charades, it's a job interview. Here's what to do (and not do).

  • Rub the back of your head or neck. Even if you really do just have a cramp in your neck, these gestures make you look disinterested.
  • Rub or touch your nose. This suggests that you're not being completely honest, and it's gross.
  • Sit with your armed folded across your chest. You'll appear unfriendly and disengaged.
  • Cross your legs and idly shake one over the other. It's distracting and shows how uncomfortable you are.
  • Lean your body towards the door. You'll appear ready to make a mad dash for the door.
  • Slouch back in your seat. This will make you appear disinterested and unprepared.
  • Stare back blankly. This is a look people naturally adapt when they are trying to distance themselves.

  • Do:
  • Sit up straight, and lean slightly forward in your chair. In addition to projecting interest and engagement in the interaction, aligning your body's position to that of the interviewer's shows admiration and agreement.
  • Show your enthusiasm by keeping an interested expression. Nod and make positive gestures in moderation to avoid looking like a bobblehead.
  • Establish a comfortable amount of personal space between you and the interviewer. Invading personal space (anything more than 20 inches) could make the interviewer feel uncomfortable and take the focus away from your conversation.
  • Limit your application of colognes and perfumes. Invading aromas can arouse allergies. Being the candidate that gave the interviewer a headache isn't going to do anything in your favor.
  • If you have more than one person interviewing you at once, make sure you briefly address both people with your gaze (without looking like a tennis spectator) and return your attention to the person who has asked you a question.
  • Interruptions can happen. If they do, refrain from staring at your interviewer while they address their immediate business and motion your willingness to leave if they need privacy.
  • Stand up and smile even if you are on a phone interview. Standing increases your level of alertness and allows you to become more engaged in the conversation.

  • Say Goodbye Gracefully
    After a few well-thought-out questions and answers with your interviewer, it's almost over, but don't lose your cool just yet. Make sure your goodbye handshake is just as confident now as it was going in. Keep that going while you walk through the office building, into the elevator and onto the street. 
    Once safely in your car, a cab or some other measurable safe distance from the scene of your interview, it's safe to let go. You may have aced it, but the last thing you want is some elaborate end-zone dance type of routine killing all your hard work at the last moment.

    Source: careerbuilder

    Top 10 Biggest Interview Mistakes

    Hiring managers don't want to hear a lot of things during an interview – confessions of a violent past, a cell phone ring, a toilet flush. Yet job seekers have committed these interview gaffes and worse, according to CareerBuilder annual survey of the worst interview mistakes.

    Odd behavior isn't the only way to ruin your chances of landing a job. When hiring managers were asked to name the most common and damaging interview mistakes a candidate can make, 51 percent listed dressing inappropriately. Forty-nine percent cited badmouthing a former boss as the worst offense, while 48 percent said appearing disinterested. Arrogance (44 percent), insufficient answers (30 percent) and not asking good questions (29 percent) were also top answers.

    To ensure your interview is smooth and error-free, follow these five tips:

    Do some research: When you walk into a job interview, knowledge of the company's history, goals and current activity proves to the interviewer that you are not only prepared for the interview, but also that you want to be a part of the organization.

    Don't lie: If the conversation drifts to a topic you're not knowledgeable about, admit you don't know the answer and then explain how you would go about finding a solution. Displaying your problem-solving skills is better than babbling about something you don't understand.

    Keep it professional: Although interviewers often try to create a comfortable setting to ease the job seeker's nerves, business decorum shouldn't disappear. Avoid offering personal details that can be controversial or have no relevance to the position, such as political and religious beliefs or stories about a recent break-up.

    Know what to expect: Expect to hear staple interview questions: "What's your biggest weakness?" "Why do you want to work here?" "Tell me about yourself." "Why did you leave your last job?" These open-ended questions are harder to answer than they sound, so think about your responses before the interview.

    Put on a happy face: The interview is not the time to air your grievances about being wronged by a past boss. How you speak about a previous employer gives the hiring manager an idea of how you'll speak about him or her once you've moved on.

    Unfortunately, many job seekers are not only ignoring these tips, they're making mistakes that leave unforgettable impressions for all the wrong reasons. Here are 10 real-life examples from this year's survey:

    • Candidate answered cell phone and asked the interviewer to leave her own office because it was a "private" conversation.
    • Applicant told the interviewer he wouldn't be able to stay with the job long because he thought he might get an inheritance if his uncle died and his uncle wasn't "looking too good."
    • The job seeker asked the interviewer for a ride home after the interview.
    • The applicant smelled his armpits on the way to the interview room.
    • Candidate said she could not provide a writing sample because all of her writing had been for the CIA and it was "classified."
    • Candidate told the interviewer he was fired for beating up his last boss.
    • When the applicant was offered food before the interview, he declined saying he didn't want to line his stomach with grease before going out drinking.
    • An applicant said she was a "people person" not a "numbers person" – in her interview for an accounting position.
    • During a phone interview the candidate flushed the toilet while talking to hiring manager.
    • The applicant took out a hair brush and brushed her hair.

    Source: careerbuilder

    Six Ways to Make a Recruiter Hate You

    If you want a job, you wouldn’t intentionally try to make recruiters hate you. But you’d be surprised at how often an eager job seeker will make an enemy out of the very people they need to impress. Some blunders are merely irritating, while others can make recruiters do a slow burn when they hear your name. 

    OK, hate is too strong a word in most cases. But if you want to totally blow your chances with recruiters -- and, by extension, with the companies they work for -- here are six perfect ways to do so.

    1. Get Creepily Personal

    Recruiting consultant Abby Kohut recalls a phone interview (that had gone pretty well up to that point) in which the job seeker ended the call by asking her to marry him. “When I told him that was an inappropriate thing to say to a hiring manager for the company, he said, ‘Oh, I thought you were a just a headhunter.’ As if that would have made it all right.”

    2. Use Cutesy Language, Texting Slang and Dumb Resume Tricks

    The gimmicky resume is a pet peeve of Barbara Safani, president of Career Solvers, a career-management firm based in New York City. “Please do not send a resume inside a shoe, saying you’re looking for ‘a foot in the door,’” she says. Beyond annoying the recruiter (FYI -- that glitter you put in your envelope will get you noticed, but will take time to clean up), these tactics make recruiters think you don’t take them -- or your job search -- seriously.

    3. Be Rude and Aggressive

    Job hunters who use heavy-handed tactics with recruiters, like sending an angry email in all caps after being passed over for a job, won’t impress the recruiter either, says John O’Connor, president and CEO of Career Pro, a career-coaching company in Raleigh, North Carolina.

    “Some candidates see the recruiter as an antagonist who must be pushed and prodded and bullied to work on their behalf,” O’Connor tells Monster.com. “In other cases, they’re frustrated by the job search process and feel the need to take it out on the recruiter.”

    4. Lie

    Making up something impressive might get you in the door. But if you’ve grossly inflated your abilities and work history and the employer finds out, you will have burned two bridges, not just one.

    “Lying on the resume drives recruiters mad,” O’Connor says. “I know people think desperate times call for desperate measures, but the best recruiters are going to do their due diligence and if you’ve misrepresented the dates, times, duties and technical responsibilities, that recruiter will never trust you, and probably won’t call you.”

    5. Stalk the Recruiter
    A suggestion to “stay in touch” doesn’t mean daily or twice-daily follow-ups. “If it’s been a few weeks and you haven’t heard, it doesn’t mean you’ve been forgotten,” Safani says.

    Kohut agrees, adding that a recruiter who thinks you’re a good fit for a position will let you know right away. “Calling them constantly and demanding to be submitted to a company will just make them think you’re desperate and unhinged and a little scary,” she says.

    6. Act Like You Don’t Care

    Sending stock cover letters addressed to “sir” or “madam,” forgetting to change the name of the last recruiter you queried on your cover letter, saying you’ll take any old job and not proofing your correspondence might not make a recruiter hate you. But such sloppiness won’t impress them, either. And they might just take affront at your dismissive attitude.

    Always Be Professional

    Employment professionals say that, while one screwup won’t engender hatred, it might cause the recruiter to relegate you to the NDC list -- the list of nondesirable candidates they will not correspond with.

    Some of the worst behaviors -- pushiness, stalking, haughtiness -- come from job hunters who don’t really understand how a recruiter works, O’Connor says. “If candidates would understand that the recruiter’s real clients are the companies with the job openings, not the job seekers, they would approach recruiters with more professionalism.”

    Even if the recruiter isn’t acting in the most professional or diligent manner, you still need to be professional, he adds.


    Hate Your Job? How To Devise An Exit Strategy

    You've finally landed an entry-level job in your "dream career." Awesome, right? Unfortunately, not for everyone. Whether you realize your dream career requires more working hours than you're willing to dedicate or the tasks you're delegated are uninteresting or just plain jarring, having a change of heart about your career path doesn't have to be the end of the world.

    It's possible to switch dream careers and keep your already established personal brand intact. Here are a few tips on how to switch career objectives without harming your personal brand:

    1. Never stop being professional.

    Just because you've decided to take on a different course of action doesn't mean professionalism should be tossed to the wayside. Keep your social media posts professional as you would during the job search or if you had a boss who admittedly stalks employees profiles. Additionally, if you don't lock down a new job immediately, it's important that you maintain a standard of behavior that is professional and won't lessen your credibility.

    2. Continue working after giving notice.

    After deciding to part ways with a job that turned out to be less desirable than you'd initially thought it'd be and giving written notice to your boss, it's important to keep working diligently. Continue creating daily to-do lists and putting in effort. Giving notice isn't a license to slack, which could be detrimental to your reputation. You'll want recommendations from your boss and co-workers, so you should continue working as if nothing has changed. If time permits, create a document that explains all of your tasks and how to complete them that can be used to train your replacement.

    3. Update your career objectives on your online profiles.

    To effectively switch career paths, you must continue managing your online presence and update your career-related online profiles and personal website with your new career objectives. Update your LinkedIn summary and online resume with a detailed description of the new career path you've decided on and be sure to note the skills you've learned from your previous position that are transferable.

    4. Develop expertise in your new career field.

    Changing the focus of your career doesn't necessarily mean you should run out and get another degree. There are plenty of ways to develop the expertise you need to successfully switch careers and maintain a personal brand that employers will respond to. Attend an industry conference, go to networking events put on by professional associations in your career field of choice, and consider getting a certificate in the field since this takes much less time than pursuing a two or four-year degree.

    While it may be a bit discouraging to realize that the career path you've dreamed of since before you could imagine isn't all you'd hyped it up to be, you can bounce back and maintain a personal brand that potential employers and industry professionals respect.

    Source: AOL

    Bridging the gap between job seekers and recruiters

    Companies today are struggling to find employees with the right skills, despite the number of job seekers. While many experts blame a lack of skills on the worker side, recent research indicates that the difference between how employers and job seekers think and behave is contributing to the problem. In other words, there is a fundamental gap between how recruiters search for new employees and how job seekers search for jobs.

    This gap is causing missed opportunities for both sides.
    Here are five areas where the disconnect between recruiters and job seekers is most apparent:

    1. Job-search sources: Job seekers use an average of five sources in their job search, including job boards, the company career website, social media, search engines and peer networks. Recruiters tend to be creatures of habit; they usually use one or two tried-and-true sources. However, by not using every possible outlet to connect with job seekers, they may miss out on quality employees.

    2. Job titles: When it comes to job titles, recruiters and job seekers tend to speak a different language. Recruiters often fall into the trap of using job titles that are too broad ("nurse" could mean many different positions), too vague (are candidates really entering terms such as "rock star" or "evangelist" when searching for available positions?) or too internal (do people outside your company really know what a "project-development manager – level II" is?). Many recruiters can't change the job titles they post due to technology or process restrictions.

    Understanding how and where job seekers search for jobs is crucial to targeting the most qualified workers. Job seekers today use between seven and 10 terms when job searching, so recruiters should consider the different ways in which job seekers might be entering these search terms. They should also be descriptive but concise when creating job titles.

    3. The application process: An estimated 34 percent of job seekers who start to apply for jobs don't complete the application process. Thanks to technology, such as smartphones, that provides seamless interaction and instant gratification, today's job seekers expect ease and speed in the application process and won't tolerate anything else. The more hoops they have to jump through to apply for a job, the less likely they are to do so. Yet, not only is it hard for recruiters to view the application process objectively, but even if they could see what the application process is really like, they often lack the resources and technology to create a better process.

    4. Brand perception: Today's most in-demand job seekers aren't just looking for jobs; they're looking for a place to fit in. They want to work for a company where they feel comfortable culturally and have opportunities to grow and develop. They do their research and weigh an employer's brand perception when considering where to work.

    Unfortunately, recruiters have limited control over how their company is perceived. Just as job seekers are "always on" in their job search, so is a company's brand. Social sites such as Facebook, Glassdoor, YouTube and others are difficult to control, but job seekers are on these sites researching various employers. By the time workers apply, they've already done extensive research and are actively engaged in the company.

    5. Engagement: Recruiters can't always continuously engage job seekers. They don't have the time, resources and technology to do so. Today's job seekers expect ongoing engagement throughout the hiring process. They expect to receive emails and newsletters -- even text messages -- with information about their application status and new job opportunities in which they might be interested. The traditional post-application auto-response email, followed by weeks of silence, doesn't cut it anymore. The more that companies engage job seekers, the better their perception of the company will be.

    Source: careerbuilder

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