Tag Archives: Applying

Acquiring New Skills

TryYou are ready to make a change in your career, but you are currently at a fork in the road.  Do you stay within the same role in a new company, or are you ready for substantial change?  Depending on the answer, you may have to go back to school to learn a new skill set.  However, before taking on the financial burden, do research.

Call a hiring manager who has experience hiring for positions like the one you are interested in, ask what qualifications they are looking for and what would set someone apart from the pack in their pile of applications.  Call someone who is in the current position you are seeking, ask what credentials they had at the time of hire.  How they landed their job? What organizations they are involved in?  What is their education level?

From these conversations decide if going back to school is for you and necessary to land your dream job, or if you could perhaps pick up these skills by volunteering or by taking a similar position that you are more qualified for.  Write your plan on paper, develop a timeline, develop a budget and then go for it!

5 Simple Interviewing Tips

It is important to stand out at every level of applying for a job, the application, resume, but especially the interview!  Be prepared and remember these tips.

  1. Do not provide references without first checking with them.  Not everyone you like always feels the same way, so make sure you discuss putting them as a reference before actually doing so as well as making sure they will give accurate feedback and current information.
  2. Always turn your phone OFF!  An interrupting phone call or text can ruin the positive energy of an interview.  Not even carrying your phone in would be the best.
  3. Make sure you have the address of your interview destination before leaving.  If possible, drive by ahead of time so that you know how long it will take you, where you will park and any complications you will encounter on your way.
  4. Leave your kids at home.  Even when picking up an application, if at all possible, find a place for your kids to be during that time so that you can focus and show your professionalism.
  5. Practice responses to common interview questions ahead of time.  There are all sorts of resources available for this online.  Practice in front of a mirror or with a friend, but make sure to practice, practice, practice!

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.

Things to Avoid as a Job Seeker

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.

How to Stand Out when Applying for a Job

You are ready for a change.  You have your sights set on a career, and you have found that the job you have been waiting for is available.  What’s next?  How can you stack the deck in your favor?  Here are a few tips for modern job seekers.

Update your resume.  Make your resume job specific and easy to read.  Don’t be tossed aside by the hiring personnel due to a lengthy resume; take out the irrelevant job skills that you have and only include those that will benefit you in your current search.  Also make sure you include transferable skills that may have worked for you in one way at your current position but can set you apart in the position you are applying for.  For example, if you are currently a customer service representative and deal with a variety of personalities and issues you could easily relate that to your new goal, outside sales.

Do not underestimate the cover letter!  It is very important to showcase yourself and should not be overlooked.  The cover letter is where you can show a little personality.  Keep it simple and direct, but use the opportunity to introduce yourself, explain how you heard about the opening and why you are the perfect choice for the job.  Don’t forget to add your contact information and thank the hiring professional for his/her time and consideration.

This is the age of social media.  Most job seekers have a Twitter, Klout, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google +, YouTube, etc. account.  Before you put your resume out there, make sure your sites are clean.  Remove any pictures that could prove to be detrimental to a possible hire, remove any negative feeds, notes or comments.  Keep your pages professional and appealing to a hiring manager.

Last of all think about designing a personal website to showcase your professional traits.  Very few people have personal websites, and the use of one can really help you showcase your strengths and stand out from the crowd.  Make sure your website is 100% developed and you have proofread it (twice) before making it live and putting it on your resume.  A poorly done site could negatively impact you and that is obviously not the goal.

Using these tips you are sure to land that dream job you have been thinking about!