Friday, March 2, 2018

Email: It’s not just what you say, it’s how you say it.

Almost every job posting lists excellent written communication skills as a requirement. People make judgments about you based on your written communication.

When reading your email, people don’t have the benefit of seeing your facial expression or body language to determine the full meaning of your communication, so creating a positive framework is critical.

A positive frame:

·       Emphasizes what can be done, not what can’t be done by using possibility language:
What I can do is…
I think it’s possible to…
What if we…
How about…

·       Tells the reader what to start doing, not just what to stop doing: The next time you have to say no to a client request, offer them something else instead such as, “I can’t discount the price of the item, but I can throw in this accessory at no cost, or upgrade shipping.”

·       Gives the message in the best possible light: Your team did a super job! Let’s meet to discuss how we can bring it in closer to budget next time.

Craft a reader-centered document:
·       Who is my reader?
·       What type of relationship do I want to create with my reader?
·       What do I want my reader to do after reading this?
·       What is it, exactly, that I want to say?
·       How do I organize my message to make it clear and likely to be well-received?

*TIP: Enter the email address last. This will avoid sending by mistake before you:

·       Begin with an appropriate, pleasant opening: Happy almost Spring!
·       Craft your email.
·       Double check it for tone, clarity, grammar/spelling errors
·       Check it again. Ask yourself: How is this email likely to be received? Does it say exactly what I want it to say? Am I creating the type of relationship I want to create with the reader?
·       Enter a non-threatening subject line the reader will likely open
·       Enter the email address and send

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Should You Put Your Address on Your Resume?

Every year, the “new normal” for resumes changes. In the past few years, the important key word changed from “team-player” to “passion”, and putting “References provided upon request” at the bottom was eliminated in favor of putting a link to your LinkedIn profile at the top.

More recently, the big questions seems to be “Should I put my mailing address on my resume?”

You may wonder, why wouldn’t I? Some people are afraid of identity theft, while others are concerned about economic profiling, assumptions being made about you based on where you live. Either of these could happen.

On the other hand:

Recruiters and hiring managers want to know that you’re local so that you’ll be able to come in for an in-person interview.

They also want to have an idea of what your commute will be like. People whose commutes are too long are more likely to quit, which costs the company time and money.

Oh, and in some cases, if the resumes are being read electronically, the program may consider a resume without an address “incomplete” in which case it will be eliminated before a hiring manager ever sees it.

So what’s a candidate to do?

The hiring managers/recruiters I spoke to suggested putting just a town and city, so that the hiring managers have the information they really need:

Valentina Daniels | 123.456.7890
Glendale, NY 11385

If you plan to relocate put something like “Relocating to New York, NY, spring 2018,” instead of your current town and city, to let hiring managers know you already intend to move, so there’s no concern about potential interviewing or relocation costs.

Valentina Daniels | 123.456.7890
Relocating to New York, NY area spring 2018

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

So how important is your social media reputation in the job search process?
- According to a recent Harris Poll, 70% of employers screen candidates via social media
-54% have decided NOT to hire a candidate after screening their social media profiles
So should you remove your profiles? No! 57% said they are less likely to hire a candidate if they can't find them online. Make sure your profiles don't include anything you don't want a potential employer to see. Check your privacy settings, and do not accept friend/connection requests from people you don't know.
And what's more important, Facebook or LinkedIn? When you compare the number of users overall, Facebook wins. Facebook has 1.86 billion users, while LinkedIn has only 433 million members. Most Facebook profiles are filled with important demographic information like age, past job titles, employer information, educational background, and even interests. This will be key for employers as they target their job ads in order to reach the candidates with the proper credentials.
Beyond core skills, personality plays a huge role in the hiring process. Employers want to get a sense of who you are as a person, and they will screen Facebook to find out if you'll be a good fit for their culture.
LinkedIn is the place for an expanded professional profile, not merely a repeat of your resume info. Your profile should include the things you want a potential employer to know about you that you were not able to include in the resume.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

8 Reasons to do a Summer Job Search

Don't stop or put off your job search until the fall. Here's why:

  • Many others will put off their search meaning there's less competition. 
  • In some industries, summer is their slowest time. Many companies also have to put major projects on hold while many people are out on vacation. In both cases, companies will use this time to conduct interviews.
  • Taking time of is expected: Your boss won't think it's strange for you to take off a few days in both July/August. You could even take a whole week to dedicate to the search.
  • Potentially shorter interview process: With lots of people taking time off in the summer, interviews with multiple people have to be carefully coordinated, possibly squeezed into one day, or even one step eliminated entirely. The flip side is interviews that could have been accomplished in two weeks may take longer if key people are away, so patience will be key.
  • Temporary summer positions have the potential to become permanent employment: It's hard to find good help these days. Do an outstanding job and you just might get yourself an offer for a permanent position.
  • Better weather means better moods: People tend to kick back and be a bit more relaxed during the summer - and that includes hiring managers. Summer might be the best time to meet them for an interview.
  • Easier transition: Summer tends to be an easier time for transition into an office with fewer people around. By the time the office is back to full staff, you'll have a good chunk of your learning curve behind you. Also, if you have children, making a move in summer means no switching schools mid-year.
  • See summer social activity as networking opportunity: It's perfectly natural for people at social events to spend some time talking about work, and summer tends to offer an abundance of barbecues, picnics, reunions, etc. Don't be shy. Talk to as many people as you can. Find out who works where, keeping in mind good connections you have that might be of interest ot them.  Do some homework to see if any openings exist that might be a good fit for you, and then follow up with your new connection in a timely manner. 

Thursday, September 17, 2015

7 More Things I Learned from my Beach Walks

·         It’s not about how far you walk, or how fast you walk, it’s about how consistently you walk.

·         No matter how far I want to walk, I can only go one small step at a time.

·         When the wind is in your face, your steps need to be strong and determined.

·         When the wind is at your back, remember to be grateful for the help.

·         It’s easier to walk on tightly compact, smooth sand than it is on soft or rocky sand, but it’s not as good a workout.

·         Some sea gulls take a shellfish from the water, drop it from the air onto the rocks, and then remove the fish from the cracked shell. Others wait on the shore and take the fish away from the gull who did all the work.

·         When the breeze blows through your hair, let it serve as a reminder that you are a unique and valuable child of the universe. You are beloved. You belong here. Like a new baby that is loved at birth and welcomed into the family, you don’t have to earn it.

Monday, August 31, 2015

8 Things I Learned from my Beach Walks

  • It's interesting to look at the tracks in the sand, but, inevitably, you make your own
  • Low tide creates an opportunity to walk where you've never walked before.
  • The water is smooth as glass on some days, quite choppy on others, but it's always beautiful.
  • Sometimes you can see clear across to the other side. Sometimes you can't even see 100 yards from shore.
  • If  you don't stay present, you'll miss cool things like a turtle laying eggs.
  • Some people greet you, some don't. It's all good.
  • The consistent movement of water is what enables it to wear down rocks and sculpt the shoreline.
  • "I'm so sorry I took a walk on the beach this morning," said no one ever.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

How to Ace Your Interview

After sending out dozens of resumes, you know how important it is to ace the interview when you finally get a call. Here's a refresher on how to ace the interview:

Think of the interviewer as your advocate in convincing the company to hire you. Your goal is to get the interviewer excited about representing you.

·         Interviewers want candidates to be likable - warm and friendly, yet professional and not too informal. If the interviewer finds you likable, he/she can recommend you for a job confident that the next interviewer will like you, too.
·         Interviewers often begin an interview with: Tell me about yourself. This question is not about sharing personal/biographical information. They are looking for a summary of your qualifications and experience and anything else work-related you’d like to share. This is your opportunity to highlight the things about your professional self you absolutely want them to know.
·         Another common question is What is your greatest weakness? Stay away from answer like I‘m a perfectionist, or, I care too much. Tell about a genuine weakness that won’t adversely affect your ability to do the job, and that you are working on like: I tend to get nervous if I have to speak in front of large groups, so I’ve joined a local Toastmaster’s group to get support in this area.
·         Interviewers want candidates to be uniquely qualified. Think about the question: Of all the candidates applying for this position, why should a company hire you? What is it about your skills and experience that makes you stand out? Be prepared to communicate your qualifications, both personal and technical, in a succinct way.
·         Interviewers are interested in hearing about proven results: be prepared to discuss successful projects you’ve played a key part in.
·         Interviewers want to know how you respond under pressure: be prepared to discuss a time when impressive problem-solving skills, or exceptional people skills, helped you overcome a challenge on the job.
·         Interviewers want candidates to be flexible. Be prepared to discuss how you will contribute to the solution, rather than the problem, when unexpected obstacles present themselves.

Here are some additional tips that may seem to be no-brainers, but bear a mention:
·         Be punctual. (Read to the end of this one.)Being late is considered disrespectful of the interviewer’s time. However, if the interviewer is late, do not show any impatience. Chances are he/she has a full slate of meetings for the day, and may be running a bit late.
·         Be sure your cell phone is on silent. Vibrate is a sound.
·         Be prepared to ask relevant questions. Not doing so can make you appear to be unprepared or disinterested.
·         Send a thank you email within 24 hours. Make sure you get the correct email address and spelling of the interviewer’s name. A simple way is to ask for the interviewer’s business card if he/she hasn’t given you one.
·         Be sure you are clear about next steps before you leave.

·         Your interview begins the second you walk into the building, so carry yourself with a friendly kind of confidence.  You never know if the people you meet in the security area, reception area, or the elevator, are people who will be influential in landing the job.