Tag Archives: Job Seeker

Tips for Applying for a Position You are Under Qualified For

Have you applied for a job that you feel under-qualified for? What happens when you land an interview? If you find yourself in this situation, there are simple steps you can take to sell yourself for a position you may lack some credentials for. Here is how:

Research the job and company
Although duties typically change once you are actually in the role, looking at the job description before an interview is a great way to prepare. Having solid, overall knowledge of the company’s product or service will also help you understand the areas of the position you will be able to excel at to highlight during your interview.

Also, try locating other individuals within the industry in a similar position. Find their resumes and examples of their work if possible to gain insight into a typical day and to better understand what the duties of the role will actually look like.

Update your resume and cover letter to reflect the position
Many job seekers do not alter their resumes for each job they are applying for. This is a mistake. By customizing your resume for the job you are applying for you can include any transferable skill relevant to the position as well as areas you are involved in outside of work that would be an asset in the position you are interviewing for. Be sure to include volunteer activities relevant to the position as well.

During the interview, highlight your relevant experience
Take the time during the interview to highlight the skillsets you do possess that the company is looking for. Explain how all your other experience can also benefit the organization if you’re offered the role. Also, include information you have gained from your research to demonstrate that you are knowledgeable about the company, product/service and industry, which will help you be successful in the position you are interviewing for.

Be confident
Confidence is extremely significant. Even if you’re unsure about your background and/or qualifications for the role, be confident. Do your absolute best to sell yourself for the position, highlighting that you’ve already began conducting research about the company, possible team members and industry experts’ advice on what it takes to be successful in this kind of role.

Be honest. If you don’t have the skills listed in the job description, explaining that you’re a quick learner who is always eager for a challenge and has a proven record of excelling on the job. Display that you’re confident in your abilities to do whatever it takes to benefit the company in this position.

Finding Work as a Passive, Employed Job Seeker

You are ready to look for work, but don’t want to leave your current job in a poor manner.  Where do you start?  Are there rules?  Well, there is definitely a wrong way to do it.  To be discreet and professional in your job search, here are some tips:

Perform your job search on your off hours.  Don’t use work time or equipment to look for other opportunities. Make necessary calls over your lunch hour or after work.  Don’t go to interviews when you should be at work, schedule them during your off hours when possible.

Use your personal email address for communication; do not use your work email address.  Also, use your cell number instead of any work numbers.  Set up a voice-mail appropriate for job hunting and do not answer it at work.

Be careful where you post your resume. When using CareerBum.com you can set your resume to confidential so that your information will not be displayed when companies look at you.  By doing this you will reduce the chance of your current employer seeing your profile.

When you land an interview, do not wear your interview clothes to work.  If you normally dress business casual and show up in a suit, people are going to wonder why.  Keep your jacket in the car, or change at a neutral location before the interview.

Do not discuss job hunting on social networking sites.  Your employers reach most likely goes far beyond you are aware.  It is best to not mention a job hunt or change your about section until after you have spoken to your boss.

By following these simple steps you will retain a good relationship with your employer and hopefully a future reference.

Stand Out on Paper and in Person

When you are ready to look for work, really ready, take the time to put your best self forward.  There are many opportunities for error on a resume and in an interview, so here are a few tips to help you stand out in a positive manner.

Ensure the individuals you recruit as references for your resume:  a) know that you are using them as a reference, b) know what position you are applying for and what your expectations are of them as a reference c) think highly of you as a professional.  Too often job seekers list references without first checking with them.  Put a lot of thought into the people you put down.  Make sure they are articulate, think highly of you, and are professional on the phone.

Stay positive.  When an interviewer asks you about a past employer, or why you are looking to leave your current position, it is important to not state the negatives about the job.  It is easy to say that you don’t like the supervisor, or you have a co-worker that always calls in sick, or perhaps that you keep getting skipped over for a raise.  But DON’T.  Instead say that you have always been interested in the company you are applying to, or that you have been working toward this position.  Refrain from saying anything negative about your past/current employer and turn the tables to where you are seeking out this position because it is the perfect fit for you and you are the perfect fit for the company.

One more piece of advice, when you arrive, shake your interviewers hand, firmly, while looking him or her in the eyes and smiling.  Do not give the limp fish handshake.  A firm handshake exudes confidence and power.  That is the goal of the whole interview, to show that you are confident that you are the perfect fit for the company and position.

The interview is your ticket to the position.  Research the company, know your stuff and be prepared and confident.  Your future just started.

Job Search Trends, Tips and Strategies

By Arnie Fertig, US News, Money Careers

The changing nature of résumés, use of applicant tracking systems, LinkedIn and other social media sites, Skype video conferencing, big data applications and more are all impacting the way employers and hope-to-be-employees find, communicate and interact with each other.

Employers have ever more candidates to evaluate in their search for the perfect fit solution to their need for talent. And in the continuing wake of the Great Recession, career expectations have changed for new grads trying to get a career started, baby boomers with dated skills and just about everyone in between.

With so much chatter online and elsewhere about the changing landscape, it can be difficult to determine what the real story is, what trends are newly emerging and where we are all heading.

To document and make sense of it all, the Career Thought Leaders Consortium conducts a Global Career Brainstorming Day annually. Wendy Enelow and Louise Kursmark, co-executive directors, gathered more than 150 of the top career professionals from the U.S. and five other countries for 15 live and virtual concurrent sessions for the 2013 event. The white paper detailing the discussions of that day has just been published, and it contains hundreds of valuable facts, insights and tips. The following 10 points are excerpted from the report with permission from the Career Thought Leaders Consortium:

1. There is increased use of targeting to build company brand as an employer of choice to ideal candidates. Online and offline tools are being used to actively engage with potential candidates, and helping prospects navigate the organization to create interest and determine fit.

2. Mobile apps will be the next big thing for applying for jobs. This trend has already emerged and is projected to grow rapidly.

3. Younger job seekers approach career communications differently. Millennials are more comfortable with video and online representation. They think a paper resume is stagnant; they can’t “post or tweet” it. They are shunning email.

4. Recruiters are crunched for time. The average resume review time was 20–30 seconds. Now, six seconds is the reported norm.  You must make those seconds count.

5. Resumes will become an aggregation of social media. Some project less content but with more links to work, social media, video bios, contact options, infographics, and other online bio bits.

6. LinkedIn is a complement to the resume, not a mirror. LinkedIn profiles should be more personal and more engaging than a resume. And as LinkedIn has become more robust, with the capability to link files, videos, portfolios, and other beneficial information, it often provides a portrait that is richer and deeper than a resume. Multimedia presentations, projects, and videos are more common elements of LI profiles. Summaries continue to become more creative in presenting motivation, passion, and individuality.

7. Twitter is valuable for following companies and searching for job postings. Unlike LinkedIn and Facebook, recruiters on a low budget can post opportunities for free.

8. Group interviews are commonplace, and candidates need to prepare for both scenarios: either responding to a team of interviewers, or being one of several candidates being interviewed in the same session.

9. Companies are using writing exercises. Candidates may be asked to write emails introducing themselves to the company – or be required to discuss what they will accomplish in the first few weeks in the job. Even for internships, writing samples are being required.

10. Follow-up/thank-you notes are most commonly sent by email, ideally within 24 hours of an interview. Candidates should reference key points uncovered during the interview and provide evidence about how they would approach these challenges.

When you keep these insights in mind as you create your own job search strategy, you will have a better understanding of the process as a whole, and you will be able act on tips that will foster your success.

Happy hunting!

Am I Qualified for that Job?

Have you applied for a job that you feel under-qualified for?  What happens when you land an interview?  If you find yourself in this situation, there are simple steps you can take to sell yourself for a position you may lack some credentials for.  Here is how:

Research the job and company

Although duties typically change once you are actually in the role, looking at the job description before an interview is a great way to prepare.  Having solid, overall knowledge of the company’s product or service will also help you understand the areas of the position you will be able to excel at to highlight during your interview.

Also, try locating other individuals within the industry in a similar position.  Find their resumes and examples of their work if possible to gain insight into a typical day and to better understand what the duties of the role will actually look like.

Update your resume and cover letter to reflect the position

Many job seekers do not alter their resumes for each job they are applying for.  This is a mistake.  By customizing your resume for the job you are applying for you can include any transferable skill relevant to the position as well as areas you are involved in outside of work that would be an asset in the position you are interviewing for.  Be sure to include volunteer activities relevant to the position as well.

During the interview, highlight your relevant experience

Take the time during the interview to highlight the skillsets you do possess that the company is looking for.  Explain how all your other experience can also benefit the organization if you’re offered the role. Also, include information you have gained from your research to demonstrate that you are knowledgeable about the company, product/service and industry, which will help you be successful in the position you are interviewing for.

Be confident

Confidence is extremely significant. Even if you’re unsure about your background and/or qualifications for the role, be confident. Do your absolute best to sell yourself for the position, highlighting that you’ve already began conducting research about the company, possible team members and industry experts’ advice on what it takes to be successful in this kind of role.

Be honest.  If you don’t have the skills listed in the job description, explaining that you’re a quick learner who is always eager for a challenge and has a proven record of excelling on the job. Display that you’re confident in your abilities to do whatever it takes to benefit the company in this position.

Send Your Thank You Via E-Mail

The interview is over; it is now time for the thank you note.  A thank you note is an absolute must!  One should be sent to each person you met with in the company you interviewed at.  The rule of thumb is within 24 hours of your interview.

The conventional method of sending a thank you note was via mail.  This practice is outdated and too slow.  The current recommendation is to send a thank you note via e-mail.  The note should be around a paragraph long.  Do not write an essay. Keep it brief, professional and courteous.

Sending a thank you within one day of your interview will ensure that your name stays fresh in the decision makers mind.  Write the thank you note in the body of the email, and do not use an attachment.  Personalize your message, and thank the interviewer for his/her time.  Proofread your e-mail twice before hitting send.

The bottom line is that a thank you note shows your appreciation, is a great way to keep top of mind in a long list of candidates, as well as shows you are a prompt and thoughtful person.

Your Future Awaits

At CareerBum.com we have seen  job seekers have immense success with landing their dream job.  There is a direct correlation between a well done profile and the ease of landing an interview.  It is important to remember to have a complete and flawless profile/resume when applying for positions.  Have a friend or relative proofread your information and make suggestions for you.

It is also important to take advantage of our job seeker alerts that will notify you if a position that lands within your criteria is posted, eliminating search time and making your job seeking experience efficient and productive.

For more tips on how to land your dream job, follow CareerBum.com’s blog weekly.

Job Seeker Interview Questions DOs and DON’Ts

interview25During your interview process at some point the interview person or panel will ask you if you have any questions.  This is an opportunity to not only show that you are interested in the position, but to gain insight into a typical day in the company and position.  Many individuals use this as an opportunity to shine by having several well prepared questions.  Here are a few examples of questions that will benefit you to ask:

Can you give me more detail about the position’s responsibilities?
This question will give insight into what expectations from the employer are for the position and if you have the tools necessary to perform the job functions. 

Where do you see this position going in the next few years?
This will shed light on promotional, training and educational possibilities at the company.

How can I most quickly become a strong contributor within the organization?
This will show that you are determined and ready to work, while also letting you know some of the traits the employer values most.

What are the most challenging aspects of the job for which I am being considered?
By asking this you will be able to determine if you have strengths in the areas most difficult, or if you will have a difficult time performing those functions.

What can I tell you about my qualifications?
This shows the employer that you are ready to discuss any areas they are concerned with and gives you the opportunity to highlight your strengths and work history.

How will my performance be evaluated, and at what frequency?
Knowing how you will be evaluated is important.  This will also give you good insight into the frequency at which raises are given.

Where are you in the hiring process? What’s our next step?
This will give you answers without seeming too demanding on when you can expect to hear back on if you did or did not receive the job.

Would you like a list of references?
This proves to the company and hiring manager that you are prepared and ready to highlight your skills and can back it up with references.

If I don’t hear from you within (time period) would it be okay to call you?
This question again lets the hiring person know you are interested in the position and that you are eager to hear back from them, as long as they are okay with the timeframe. 

Are there any other questions I can answer for you?
By asking this, you allow the interviewer to follow-up on any concerns or interests previously raised.

While it is encouraged to be inquisitive during an interview, there are definitely questions that should be avoided, and asked either after a job offer is extended, researched on your own, or simply avoided all together.

Can I do this job from home?
If this is a telecommuting job, the job description would have said so. Asking to work from home implies that you dislike working with others, you do not work well under direct supervision, or you have a difficult schedule to work around. Occasionally, employees who have held a position for a long period are allowed to telecommute, but this is not a concession you should ask for on a first interview.

What does your company do?
By the time you arrive at an interview, you should have already done your research on the company and have a good grasp on what services or products the company has.

When can I take time off for vacation?
Do not discuss previous commitments before being offered a position. This question should not be discussed until after a job offer has been extended.

Did I get the job?
This question puts employers on the spot and makes you appear impatient.  Most employers will give an idea of when they will have a decision before the end of the interview.

What is the salary for this position?
Do not ask this question on a first interview.  It is best not to discuss compensation until you are offered a position.

How many hours will I be expected to work each work? Will I need to work on weekends?
A better question would be, “What is a typical workday like?” The answer will likely give you insight into expected work hours.

How long would I have to wait to get promoted?
This question implies that you are not interested in the position for which you are applying, and that you are merely waiting to move on to something better. Instead, you could ask the employer, “What are some of the opportunities for growth at this company?”

What type of health insurance does this company offer?
Wait until you are offered the position before you begin asking questions about benefits. However, if there is a benefit that you require from a job (such as a particular type of health insurance, a daycare program, etc.), bring it up with human resources rather than the interviewer.

Dress for Success During an Interview

You have dusted off your resume, polished your cover letter and received the call.  You have an interview.  Now you must decide how you will present yourself.  What you wear to an interview will create the perception of who you are.  It is critical to present yourself as the right candidate and your dress attire for the interview could help set you apart.

Tips on how to dress to make a positive impact:

  • Interview attire will depend on the job and industry in which you’ll be interviewing, as well as the geographic location and season.
  • Research the company, trade and competitors to determine suitable interview attire.
  • If you are still unsure, always err on the side of overdressed.  Do not show up more casual than it appropriate.
  • If you currently don’t own an outfit suitable for interviewing, you can seek help at a department store, or from a personal shopper. Only borrow an outfit if it fits you as perfectly as if you had purchased it.
  • Iron your outfit before your interview.
  • Avoid wearing perfume or cologne.  Scents can be personal and overwhelming to some.
  • Wear makeup and jewelry that are appropriate to the job/company/industry.

Remember, in an interview their perception of who you are is their reality.  Project a clear, positive image of yourself during the interview by looking put together, as well as being well rehearsed to answer questions competently.

Keep Your Profile and Job Postings Up-To-Date on CareerBum.com

At CareerBum.com, we are continuing to see growth in both of the job postings and job seeker areas.  We are very excited about the response we have received and are continually striving to make your experience with us the best in can be.

Due to some recent feedback, we have altered and improved some of our classifications for both industries and job seeker skill sets.  We ask that our registered job seekers, as well as hiring companies, look at postings and verify that the best possible classification and skill set for job seekers is selected as needed.    If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact us.

Thank you for your diligence!