8 Secrets That Can Revolutionize Your Job Search

LinkedIn
Smiling businesswoman

You might think that in the era of LinkedIn and social media that you no longer need to have a resume. That is unequivocally wrong. A resume is a key component of a job search, and cannot be replaced by a LinkedIn profile, or your digital presence.

This article will offer a number of resume tips, all of which are designed to help you succeed in your job search. We’ll review the importance of customization, best resume format, and the various resume sections you need to include, to name a few. Let’s get started with our review of the key resume tips you need to keep in mind when creating yours.

  1. A resume is a marketing tool.

The sad truth is that most people do not write particularly well. Make sure that your resume is impeccably written, and make sure it stands out. A well-constructed resume conveys that you’re an organized person. Concise resume language gives the feeling that you’re a no-nonsense individual who gets right to the point. A great resume can convince a hiring manager that you have the background that will be an asset to the company and can compel them to contact you for an interview.

  1. It helps the hiring manager decide that you have the necessary skills and experiences.

A well-written, concise resume does the job of quickly telling the hiring manager that you’re the answer to their problems. When you’re writing your resume, be sure to use clear, succinct language, and focus on your achievements (especially the ones that are quantifiable), rather than on your job duties or tasks. One of the biggest resume tips you can keep in mind is this: the purpose of the resume is to sell you, and what you can do to help a company succeed. The purpose of the resume is to not catalog all of your duties and tasks from the past.

  1. Customization is key.

A question I’m frequently asked is whether or not it’s necessary to customize the resume for each application. My answer is always a resounding YES. This is one the key resume tips! You have only about six seconds to impress the reader, so be sure that your resume speaks to exactly what the company is seeking. You do this by studying the job description and optimizing your resume with relevant keywords.

  1. Your resume helps with your personal branding.

A resume is a marketing document that you craft to sell yourself. But in addition to that, it is also a component of your brand. You want to ensure that your resume conveys the key messages of your brand; that is, what your strengths are, what you can deliver on, and what you’re passionate about.

  1. Add a little humanity and originality.

Let’s face it, most resumes read pretty much the same, and most of them are boring and sterile. How many resumes for a PR Director role can someone read before they all begin to blur together? Every single applicant is going to say they’re expert at media relations and that they’ve overseen a team of communications professionals. Say something different, and say something that makes you sound like an actual person and not a machine.

Here’s one of my key resume tips: Instead of writing something like “Crisis communications expert who maximizes brand potential via various channels” in the Summary section of your resume, try “I don’t put out fires. I start them. I ignite excitement and engagement among clients. When something inevitably explodes, I add another log to the fire.”

  1. What resume sections should be included?

Resume tips about resume sections are abundant; here are the key ones you need to be including in today’s day and age. Your resume should consist of a header that includes your name and contact information; a Summary section, which should provide a high-level overview of your qualifications, and what you can do for the company; a Work Experience section, which details current and previous positions you’ve held during your career; a Skills section, which should list the hard and soft skills you possess, particularly, the ones that align to the job advertisement; and an Education section, which should list the educational degrees you’ve acquired.

  1. What’s the best resume format?

The reverse chronological format is, in my opinion, the best resume format. The reason it’s the best resume format is simple—it makes it very easy for the right people to see your employment history and achievements. If you’re unsure on what reverse chronological means, it means this—you start off the Work Experience section of your resume with your most recent position, and work backwards from there.

  1. Here’s the bottom line.

A resume remains one of the foundational tools in the job seeker’s toolkit. Hiring managers and recruiters still want resumes, and they want them to be easy to read and to quickly answer the key questions they have. A good resume is one that benefits both the hiring manager and the job seeker; hopefully, the resume tips offered here will put you on the path to success with creating yours!

About the Author
Debra Wheatman is a certified professional resume writer and career coach, and the president of Careers Done Write, a leader in professional resume and career services. careersdonewrite.com/

How Executives Can Stay Calm Under Pressure

LinkedIn
women-in-business

As an executive, you might find it difficult to stay calm during stressful times. “One of the toughest things a CEO or executive can do today is stay focused and steady when the business is under stress,” says Stephen Miles of TMG, which advises Fortune 500 C-suites on leadership. “Something like a stock price dip can send the company into overreaction mode—trying to fix things that aren’t even broken.”

Uncertainty can cause even the strongest executives to react in negative ways. “2018 has brought enormous uncertainty around everything from trade policy to interest rates to energy prices,” says TMG’s Courtney Hamilton. “This causes wild fluctuations not only in markets, but in companies themselves, as they try to jump ahead of changes and second-guess strategy, usually with bad results.” Leading in a “wartime” full of uncertainty is very different from leading during a time of growth, says Hamilton. “As one CEO that we worked with said, ‘My very best peace-time advisor was my worst team member in a crisis.'”

During these times of stress and uncertainty, three common toxic behaviors among executives can derail a company. These emotional impulses not only are ineffective but also magnify problems and affect all members of the management team.

1 Focusing on “process” vs. opportunism. One of the most common stress responses is to get bogged down in the small details, slowing things down so that they move at a bureaucratic pace. “Getting bogged down in these less mission-critical process items just deflates the team and misses the opportunity to think creatively about solutions,” says TMG’s Matt Bedwell. “The executive may think that stomping on or calling out someone on, say, breaking the travel policy is being helpful and additive to the quest for a good outcome—when it’s just demoralizing to everyone.”
2 Being egocentric and deflecting blame. Executives displaying this behavior during stressful times maneuver to ensure that one of their peers gets all of the scrutiny—effectively taking the heat off from themselves. They can become highly emotional and personalize every discussion, making the team totally ineffective in its pursuit of developing plans that will lead it out of the mess. “For CEOs, you must re-assess all members of your team to understand their capabilities in this new reality,” says Bedwell. “Unfortunately, you need to be ready for some of your highest performers to disappoint you.”
3 Going into panic mode and wanting to change everything. When a high-performing business starts to underperform, the natural reaction is to panic and begin to examine and change everything. “People generally have good intent and want to be part of the solution, but in their quest to solve problems, they often start to change things that are perfectly good and do not need to be changed,” says Bedwell. “You cannot panic or get caught up in the flurry to ‘activate’ and start doing something.”

To combat these derailers, CEOs need to take on these leadership behaviors.

“Go slow to go fast.” The “go slow” component means to step back and diagnose before activating on those things that require intervention – and not everything requires intervention. Ruthless focus and prioritization is equally important in a stress event; you cannot be overcome by your organization’s quest to “do things.”

Be the absorber. Underperformance requires the CEO as a leader to be calm, cool, and collected, and “absorb” the stress and panic on the team. The CEO must then be the focuser, redirecting the energy to help everyone focus on the problem, the facts, the supporting data, and the proposed solutions. The moment a CEO panics, there is a 100X amplification into the company, and then people start to worry about the implications for them and are not focused on leading through the issues.

Remain fact-based and data-driven. CEOs must ensure that someone is collecting the data and validating or refuting “gut instinct” and anecdotal information. CEOs should be careful not to be overly influenced by the best communicator or presenter on the team – or by the person he or she last spoke with. Being fact-based and data-driven will require CEOs to be consistently Socratic and seeking to understand with context.

“Moving from good times into much more difficult times challenges every executive, making it critically important for CEOs to adopt a different leadership style,” says Miles. “And as difficult becomes the norm, there will be greater need to adjust to how your talent is behaving in real time, and prioritize what’s needed to dig in rather than overreact.”

Source: The Miles Group

3 Career Lessons Anyone Can Learn From the 2018 Boston Red Sox

LinkedIn
Red Sox Stadium

Most people don’t get a chance to play professional sports for a living, but many truths we see on the field apply to the average workplace.

Just because you’re not working in front of sold-out World Series crowds does not mean that some of the things athletes have to deal with aren’t similar to situations you may find yourself in.

The 2018 Boston Red Sox offer a number of lessons that someone working a more traditional job can learn from. You may not be competing for (and winning) a world championship, but you can act like a champion and propel your own career forward.

1. Make the most of your opportunities
Steve Pearce has been what’s politely called a “journeyman.” That means he has bounced around the league, playing for multiple teams and never making much of a mark. He was good enough to stay in the Major Leagues, but for reasons that are hard to pinpoint, he never became an essential member of any of the organizations he played for.

That changed with this World Series. Pearce, who was traded from Toronto to Boston in June, changed the course of his career and baseball history with one home run and a bases-clearing double in game four of the series and two home runs in the series clincher.

Those hits earned Pearce the World Series Most Valuable Player Award and forever cemented his place in Red Sox lore. His actions showed that just because success and recognition do not come easily does not mean they won’t come. Pearce kept at it — long after many players might have called it a career — and when the opportunity came, he seized it.

2. Keep at it
Entering the 2018 playoffs, David Price had lost the first 10 postseason starts of his career. That put a cloud over the pitcher who had been a regular-season force, and it’s the kind of demon that sometimes becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Price did not allow his past failures to define his future. He pitched well in the early rounds but struggled to earn a win. He got his first postseason victory in the American League Championship Series and earned two wins in the World Series, including the series-clinching victory.

This changes how people will perceive Price going forward. He changed his narrative, and that’s something you can do as well if you keep getting up after being knocked down.

3. Do whatever is asked

Baseball generally has well-defined roles for its players. Starting pitchers start games and relievers finish them. In the playoffs, however, that’s not always the case. With so much on the line, Red Sox manager Alex Cora asked members of his team to operate outside their comfort zones.

Position players played in unfamiliar spots due to the rule that pitchers have to bat in National League ballparks. Others who’d earned the right to start sat on the bench, ready for the moment they were needed. And, most notably, starting pitchers came on in relief, shoring up a weak bullpen, perhaps the team’s only weakness.

It’s about attitude
Cora kept the Red Sox on an even keel throughout the season by having a relentlessly positive attitude. He created a supportive culture in which players were defined by their actions, not their pasts. That allowed Price to find playoff success and created the environment where Pearce could be a hero. You can accomplish the same things if you remain positive and keep working toward your goals even when dealt a setback.

Continue on to The Motley Fool to read the complete article

4 Things Hiring Managers Don’t Want to See on Your Resume

LinkedIn
Women looking at computer

Though the job market is pretty healthy these days, there’s a lot of competition out there. One way to get a leg up, is to present an outstanding resume, and knowing what mistakes to avoid will help in this regard.

Below are four things that are almost guaranteed to turn hiring managers off, so keep them in mind when crafting your resume.

1. A boring personal summary

The first thing hiring managers will see on your resume is your opening summary, and getting that snippet wrong could cause that document to get rejected in the blink of an eye. When composing your personal summary, be sure to steer clear of boring clichés and buzzwords like “go-getter” and “team player.” Instead, get creative. While calling yourself a “copywriting ninja” is a bit bold, it’ll also grab hiring managers’ attention more than “detail-oriented copywriter who strives for results.”

2. Grammatical errors

When hiring managers get a ton of qualified candidates for a given role, they often have no choice but to look for reasons to weed out applicants. And if your resume contains even one or two grammatical errors, there’s a good chance it’ll wind up in one rejection pile or another. That’s why you must make sure to present a grammatically clean document, even if you’re applying for a role that in no way hinges on your linguistic prowess or lack thereof.
Unfortunately, computerized spell- and grammar-check programs don’t always do the trick in spotting errors, so your best bet might be to enlist the help of a friend or associate who’s better at grammar than you are. Even if you don’t know a so-called grammar wiz, remember that an outsider is far more likely to pick up on mistakes than you are as the author.

3. Hard-to-read fonts

Most hiring managers scan resumes rather than read them. Therefore, using a tiny font to cram as much information onto a single page as possible isn’t going to serve you well. You’re better off making sure your resume is easy on the eyes, and that means choosing a more readable font, even if it causes your content to spill over to a second page.

4. A rundown of every responsibility you’ve ever been tasked with

The purpose of a resume is to help you prove that you’re qualified for whatever role you’re applying to. As such, it’s natural to want to include as much experience as possible. But there is such a thing as going overboard in this regard, especially if that document winds up rehashing every single task you’ve accomplished in your career. So rather than focus on quantity of responsibilities, focus on quality and relevance. Maybe you did field customer service calls in your early days as an account manager, but if you spent the past two years onboarding major clients and implementing a training program that increased sales, it pays to focus on those items instead.

A solid resume is your ticket to a job interview and eventual offer. Avoid these mistakes, and there’s a better chance your application won’t wind up in the trash.

Continue on to The Motley Fool read the complete article.

New Construction Craft Scholarship Unveiled

LinkedIn
NCCER

NCCER and its Build Your Future (BYF) initiative have recently partnered with the National Technical Honor Society (NTHS) to create a unique scholarship opportunity for individuals pursuing a career in construction through craft and technical programs.

This new scholarship program will annually award five scholarships in the amount of $2,000 each. These funds are available exclusively for NTHS student members who are currently studying a construction-related discipline. Scholarship winners will be chosen based on their academic merit, and students will have the chance to apply for this financial assistance beginning October 1st. Students can submit their scholarship application at nths.org/scholarships.

Recognizing their shared interest in supporting students who have chosen a career and technical education pathway, NCCER and BYF are proud to partner with NTHS. The NCCER & BYF/NTHS Scholarship can help bridge the skills gap in the construction industry by providing financial help to those seeking craft training. For more information, please visit byf.org/scholarships.

About NCCER — NCCER is a not-for-profit 501 (c)(3) education foundation created by the construction industry to develop standardized curriculum with portable credentials and to help address the skilled construction workforce shortage. NCCER is recognized by the industry as the training, assessment, certification and career development standard for the construction and maintenance craft professional. For more information, visit nccer.org or contact NCCER customer service at 888.622.3720.

About Build Your Future – Build Your Future (BYF) is NCCER’s national image enhancement and recruitment initiative for the construction industry. Its mission is to recruit the next generation of craft professionals by making career and technical education a priority in secondary schools, shifting negative public perception about careers in the construction industry and providing a path from ambition, to training, to job placement as a craft professional. BYF provides a number of resources to assist industry, education and military organizations in achieving these goals. For more information, visit byf.org.

About the National Technical Honor Society — NTHS was established in 1984 with the purpose of honoring student achievement and leadership in Career and Technical Education. They have awarded over $2 million in scholarships, and endeavor to enhance and enrich the career opportunities of their members. With chapters in both secondary and post-secondary schools across the country, the National Technical Honor Society is the national leader in providing recognition for excellence in Career and Technical Education. NTHS serves over 80,000 student members throughout the U.S. and U.S. territories, and is based in Flat Rock, NC. For more information, visit nths.org.

Which Coding Language Should You Learn?

LinkedIn

It’s a great time to learn how to code. Whether you’re looking to reinvent your career and become a developer, leverage a new skill in your current job, or just better understand what the developers on your team are up to, there has never been a better time to get into programming.

There’s been an explosion of coding boot camps and online resources to help you get started. But it’s a double-edged sword: with near-unlimited resources, countless different languages—and a rabbit hole of passionate voices debating which are the easiest to learn, best to help you get a job, and so on—where do you start?

The best way to learn to code is to stop endlessly analyzing what to learn and just start. So, with a giant disclaimer that these aren’t all of the languages you could consider learning to start your coding journey, here are a few languages you can learn.

JavaScript

Great for: beginners, aspiring software engineers

Think of the difference between dynamic, automatically updating Gmail account and your old static Hotmail, which needed to be reloaded to see new messages. That fundamental change was thanks to JavaScript. And, as one of the most popular languages out there, it’s still bringing websites to life in new, exciting ways. It has a ton of resources and tools available to help you use it effectively, and it opens you up to a ton of software engineering jobs. It can basically do everything, and if you’re going to be a full stack developer, you simply can’t avoid it.

Ruby

Great for: beginners, aspiring software engineers

Ruby was specifically designed by its inventor Yukihiro Matsumoto to make programmers happy, and it’s delivered upon that objective: Ruby is accessible and reads like English, allowing new programmers to focus right away on the fundamental concepts and logic, rather than basic syntax. Even beginners can start building right away. The teachers at the Flatiron School find Ruby to be extremely effective at helping students learn how to think like programmers, break problems down, express themselves technically, abstract ideas, and work together with other programmers. (The Flatiron Co-founder Avi is a little obsessed with it, too.)

Python

Great for: budding data scientists

There’s a massive amount of data out there. Companies that harness it can create better products and understand their businesses better; companies that don’t lose their competitive edge and get left behind. But while at its core, data science may be similar to your high school stats class, with so much data (hundreds of millions of records), your old spreadsheet is the wrong tool for the job. That’s where code comes in. The R language is super specific to statistics, whereas Python is a general-purpose language that happens to have great tooling available to make it a perfect language for data science. It’s actually similar to Ruby in a lot of ways: easy to read, forgiving for beginners, and there’s a passionate community around it, devoted to creating and improving the tooling to make Python even more powerful.

Swift

Great for: mobile developers, developers breaking out of their comfort zone

For beginners hoping to get into mobile app development, now is the perfect time to dive into Swift. It’s new enough that there is a lot of energy and excitement around it. Each year, Apple holds their Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) where Apple engineers discuss the intricacies of Swift along with all the new and exciting features (don’t be surprised if it inspires you to try implementing all the new concepts into your own apps). But it’s also been around long enough that the early kinks have been worked out, and the open source community has grown significantly. If you’re already a programmer, learning Swift is a way to get out of your comfort zone—the constraints iOS puts on your code forces you to, as Apple would say, “think different.”

Still not sure where to start? That’s OK! There’s really no correct first language to learn. The important thing is to consider what you’re excited to build, what language will help you do that, and then to just start learning!

In the end, this is why schools like Flatiron School doesn’t focus on teaching one specific technology. It wants you to learn how to learn—the only coding skill that will be never become obsolete. You don’t see Fortran or ColdFusion developers anymore. Similarly, you probably won’t be a Ruby or JavaScript developer in 10 years. Eventually, you will need to know more than one language if you want to have an awesome career and build amazing things. If you become skilled at learning languages, you’ll be ready to keep pace with technology as it changes.

Source: This piece was originally published by WeWork, which provides companies with the space, technology, and services they need to success.

Here’s How This Latina Navigated Her Transition From Finance To Tech

LinkedIn

Marlene Arroyo may have started her career in finance, but it was the human aspect of any job that always drew her in. From Dell to her current role as Vice President of People Operations at Liftoff Mobile Inc., a high growth tech company in Silicon Valley, she has made it her career mission to champion employees and embrace how their humanity impacts their jobs. It was knowing what her career mission was at its core that made it possible for her to transition from one career path to the next.

“Philosophically, it became apparent to me that human resources was my calling when, as a finance professional, I’d enjoy spending most of my time dissecting costs associated to SG&A, training, hiring and coaching,” shares Arroyo. “Mechanically, the way I was able to make this transition was by having informational meetings with HR executives, taking evening courses, asking for help and being open about my aspirations to my sponsors. While the art of Human Resources came naturally to me, to differentiate myself, I needed to supercharge the impact I delivered by drawing from my finance experience and ensuring that my strategic recommendation were backed by data.”

Now, she uses her skill-set to help others achieve the kind of growth that she’s constantly challenged herself to work towards.

“My biggest motivation [through this journey] has been my family,” says Arroyo. “I feel incredibly blessed to be the daughter of immigrant parents who instilled in me work ethic and resilience. While my parents still do not completely understand what I do, they know I work hard and they are my biggest fans. Each education milestone and career progression has been theirs as well. Their American Dream lives in me and owning that, keeps me motivated .”

Growing up in the Latinx culture and within her own family unit can explain in part why Arroyo has felt the desire to pay it forward to other generations by way of her career.

Below she shares advice for Latinxs who are searching for advice on how to land their dream job, how to self-care if you’re in the position of constantly pouring into others, and how to make sure you’re learning the most from your current job.

Vivian Nunez: How has your Latinidad influenced your career?

Marlene Arroyo: Passion, humility, honor, perseverance – are all a part of my core values that I hold because of my Latinidad. Knowing that there is a lot more work to be done to help young Latinas see that they, too, can achieve their goals, keeps me in the arena.

Continue onto Forbes to read the complete article.

The Power of First Impressions

LinkedIn

You only get one shot at a first impression—and that shot may count for more than you think. Why do so many job search posts deal with perfecting your handshake, making strong eye contact, and dressing properly? The reality is that those small factors comprise the first impression you make on a person. That impression frames your entire interaction, fairly or not.

Blink – a book by bestselling author Malcolm Gladwell – investigates thin-slicing, a concept in psychology describing a person’s ability to make accurate assessments of people and situations based on brief observations and limited information.

The implications of thin-slicing on first impressions have been explored in great detail. The conclusion: First impressions are formed quickly and accurately.

During networking events and job interviews – environments where people are short on time and hypersensitive to perceived “red flags” – making your best impression during the “thin slice” of interactions takes on even greater importance.

Unfortunately, simply knowing the importance of first impressions doesn’t necessarily follow that you’ll make a better one. Understand the elements that make up a first impression (what they are, what they communicate), however, and you can begin to improve how you are perceived in the opening moments of meeting someone new.

Before diving too deep, it is important to caution against missing the forest for the trees. Impressions matter. But the substance of who you are and the value you have matters considerably more.

Consider perfecting your first impression as the equivalent of a chef plating their dish; you want to present yourself in an appealing way, but the meal (and you) has to be satisfying beginning to end.

What influences a first impression?

Appearance
What you wear is up to you. We choose clothes based on their utility, their comfort, their style. We also choose clothes to express who we are and how we would like to be viewed.

But often, we can’t control how others view us based on those choices. Clothing and appearance matter when making a first impression. Snap judgements can be – and are – made based on the fit of your suit, the length of your skirt, or the color of your shoes.

A study published by psychologists in the UK compared snap judgements made about the same model wearing two slightly different suits. In one photo, he’s shown wearing a tailored suit and in another he’s wearing a suit of similar color and style, but off-the-rack. In a 3-second snap judgement, participants rated the model in a tailored suit as more successful and confident.

Not everyone can go out and get a tailored suit. However, you can make a concerted effort to dress the part for job interviews and networking events. If the event/interview is formal, match or exceed the formality of the interviewer. But if you’re networking at a Meetup.com gathering for web developers, you can probably lose the tie and wear something more relaxed.

Body language
Our bodies provide constant clues about how we feel, what we’re thinking, and who we are, often without us realizing.

Your body can reveal anxiety and nervousness often manifested in the tapping of your feet/hands, touching of your face, and biting of your nails.

Clearly, the best solution is to not be nervous. For most of us, including myself, this simply isn’t an option during a job interview or when meeting someone you admire.

Adequate preparation for a job interview or a networking event should limit your nervousness which, in turn, will lessen negative body language signals. You can also take steps to reduce jittery hands and face touching by holding something, like a coffee, pen or bag.

You can also make a conscious effort promote positive signals – like confidence and comfortability – through your body language. Maintain an open and upright posture. Limit the crossing of your arms or legs and avoid hunching your shoulders.

The introduction
You’ve already walked into the room dressed for success and with a posture that screams confidence. Next up is the introduction and obligatory handshake. Nothing has been pored over more by career, business and job search blogs than the handshake. And with good reason: the handshake matters.

A firm handshake is a strong indicator of extroversion and openness to new experiences. People with firm handshakes are also seen as less neurotic and shy. So if you have to, practice your handshake until you can deliver a firm, confident introduction.

The second part of a strong introduction is eye contact. Making consistent eye contact shows that you are confident and engaged. Avoiding eye contact shows anxiety and, potentially, deceptiveness.

You are looking to build trust and project confidence with your first impression, so make consistent eye contact. Avoid staring too long, however, as that can be intimidating.

Body temperature
Warm beverages may be the key to warm thoughts.

Researchers at Yale University conducted a study to show that physical warmth promoted interpersonal warmth. The study revealed that participants were more likely to view a person in a positive light if they were holding a warm object (like a cup of coffee), than if they were holding a cold object (like an iced coffee).

Physical warmth promotes positive feelings, so when setting up a first meeting or an interview try sitting down over a cup of coffee.

Of course, if your interviewer has an iced coffee habit, it doesn’t mean that you’re chances of making a good first impression are ruined. It just means your chances may be slightly improved if that interviewer is also wearing a sweater.

What is the takeaway
Understand that first impressions matter, but that they aren’t the whole story of who you are and what you can accomplish.

You can study the factors that go into making a positive first impression. You can buy the perfect outfit, master the handshake, use all the right body language and calculate an exact equation for appropriate eye contact. But at the end of the day you need to back up your first impression with actual substance, otherwise it’s all a show.

The best way to project confidence, aptitude and personality is to possess confidence, aptitude and personality.

You have to recognize what you can control. You can control your preparation. You can control your own abilities. You can control how you communicate your value.

You can’t, however, fully control how another person will view you. You just have to put the best version of yourself forward and hope for the best.

Author – Jeff Ayers
Source: silvermanmcgovern.com

What the Number of Years You’ve Spent at a Company Says About You, According to a Recruiter

LinkedIn

Here’s some insider info: One thing recruiters go back and forth on all the time is what the number of years you’ve spent at a company says about you professionally.

And while I can’t speak for all hiring managers, I can tell you all the questions I used to ask myself when reviewing dates listed on a resume, why they made me hesitate, and how you can address any issues right off the bat in your cover letter.

6 Months (or Less): Was This His Choice or His Employer’s Choice?

A common rule of thumb is that you should stay with a company for at least a year, even if you’re not totally pumped about your job. The reality is that, for a number of reasons, some people just don’t end up doing that. Sometimes that means people were part of a big layoff, they discovered the job wasn’t what they expected, or they got an amazing offer that they couldn’t turn down.

How to Address It

There is one surefire way of answering questions about the shorter stops on your resume. And that’s to be as honest as possible on your cover letter, even if you were let go. However, don’t harp on the fact that you were only there for a few months. Instead, use this space to highlight what you were able to accomplish in that short amount of time.

Exactly 1 Year: Why Has This Person Bounced Around So Many Times?

Going back to that common “one-year” rule of thumb, some candidates I reviewed really took that to heart. And by that, I mean their resumes were littered with jobs they spent exactly a year doing. While it was up to me to look past this if it was clear someone might be a good fit for a job I was hiring for, it was absolutely something I’d think about. Is he or she actually interested in working for our company, or just a job-hopper looking to continue his or her climb up the ladder?

How to Address It

Here’s the thing—it’s great to be motivated to keep moving up. But if you have a number of one-year stints on your resume, take some time to think about your career story before you apply. Your cover letter is the first (and only, in some cases) chance you’ll get to tell the hiring manager that you don’t consider his company just another step along the way. Emphasize why all of those experiences have led you to apply for this job.

1-3 Years: Has This Person Been Promoted?

This is a really solid amount of time to spend with one company. However, one thing I always looked for was upward mobility, at least in the amount of responsibilities a candidate with this much tenure at a company was given. While that didn’t necessarily mean I was only looking at people whose titles changed over their time with the company, I wasn’t exactly excited about someone who made it clear he or she was comfortable doing the same type and amount of work for three years in a row.

How to Address It

Odds are that even if you didn’t get an official promotion, you were given additional responsibilities over time. So, use your cover letter to walk recruiters through these additions. Titles rarely tell the full story, and most people understand that. Take this opportunity to make that clear—rather than breezing past it in hopes the person won’t notice.

Author-Richard Moy

Continue on to The Muse to read the complete article and also check out amazing companies hiring now!

5 Questions Hiring Managers Think During Interviews (But Might Not Ask)

LinkedIn
interview sign

Interviews are fairly anxiety inducing, especially when your interviewer has what can only be described as a professional poker face.

You could drive yourself insane trying to figure out what exactly is going on behind that diplomatic smile.

To save you from the agony and to help you better prepare, here is an insider look at what goes through a hiring manager’s mind during an interview. In general, employers are looking for the best technical and cultural fit that their budgets will allow for. While these questions will all go through their minds, the questions they end up asking usually aren’t as direct. So, know that no matter how wacky or irrelevant the question might seem, they all come back to these five core concerns.

1. Have You Successfully Done Similar Work in the Past?

Really, the question should be more along the lines of, “Can you do the job?” but that’s not always the easiest thing to evaluate. That’s why such weight is given to your ability to show relevant work that you have done, whether it was for another company, for school, or just independently.

Any chance you get, you should be talking about your relevant experience and transferable skills. Of course, it’s not always just about results. Being able to talk about why you were successful is also important. Tell stories about your previous experience (here’s how, and be introspective. The interviewer will be attempting to draw insights from your answers, so you might as well spell them out to make sure you’re sending the message you want to send.

2. Will You Work Well With My Current Team?

There is always some context that you’re being hired into, and it’s in the hiring manager’s best interest to make sure you will be a good fit and can hit the ground running.

How exactly can a hiring manager discern whether or not you’ll work out? In the end, it’s still a bit of a gamble, but a few things you should definitely try to get across are your communication style and effectiveness, your work ethic, your career values, and how you approach problems. Think broadly about these things, and then come up with a concrete supporting example as you’re preparing for the interview.

And remember: There’s no right or wrong answer here. After all, you don’t want to end up in a situation where you’re a bad fit either.

3. What Do You Know About My Company?

You’re applying for a specific role that probably exists in many other companies as well, so why this one? Hiring managers want you to show not only that you know what makes their particular company special, but that you’re really excited about it. Doing your homework on the company and considering why you’d be a good fit shows that you’re invested.

Naturally, it doesn’t stop there. Asking thoughtful and informed questions about the company is a great way to show continued enthusiasm as the interview progresses (here are a few great ones). Do the company research beforehand, and show off what you know in both your answers and your questions.

4. Does the Job You’re Expecting Align With What the Job Actually Is?

In other words, do you know what you’re signing up for, and is it what you’re really looking for? No one wants to hire someone who just wants the job to tide him or her over until a new, more desirable job turns up. And, while we’re on the topic of expectations, are your salary expectations in line with the company’s? To get to the point, can the company afford to hire you?

To get to this, the interviewer might ask anything from your motivation for leaving your previous position to what you’re most excited about in the new role. The current salary question will likely come up at some point as well. In the end, there are a hundred different questions that could get at this concern. To prepare in a realistic amount of time, figure out what your career narrative is. Where did you come from, where are you going, and why? How does this job fit in with your goals? Oh, and read up on negotiation.

5. Are You Confident in Your Abilities?

This might not be something hiring managers are thinking about consciously, but you can bet that their perception of your confidence will make a difference in how they remember you. Now, confidence can mean different things to different people, but in general if you can show that you’re passionate about the work and you look the part, half the battle is won. If you want to boost your confidence even more, set some time aside to do a few power poses before the big interview.

Of course, looking confident is just a matter of practice, but being confident requires a whole new mindset. If you’re short on time, get a pep talk from your support network of friends and mentors. Having the right people in your life can make a world of difference when it comes to self-confidence—not to mention it’s easier (and more effective) to say, “My manager would describe me as hardworking,” rather than “I’d say I’m a pretty hard worker.”

Author-Lily Zhang
Continue on to The Muse to read the complete article.

6 High-Paying Jobs That Are Great for Career Changers

LinkedIn
friends discussing career options

Have you heard? Changing careers is totally in. Gone are the days of holding one job in a professional lifetime.

Unlike your parents who may have worked at one company for decades, you’re less likely to stick to the same job—or even the same career or industry—for the long haul. And the good news is, you don’t have to.

These days, career changing is becoming just as common as job hopping (although, here at The Muse, we like to refer to it as career building), and depending on what field you’re interested in transitioning into, you may be able to make the jump without too much blood, sweat, and tears. While some popular second careers may require a specific degree and credentials (nursing comes to mind), there are plenty of other roles that people with a variety of backgrounds can transition into with a splash of business savvy and a peppering of skill building. Check out the six high-paying options below.

1. Data Scientist

It turns out that not only is data science a lucrative job (we’re talking a national salary average of $118K, according to Glassdoor, with the minimum a healthy $76K), it’s also a broad one. Because data science (a relatively new title and function), can be divided up into several different roles—data engineering, data research, data visualization, and more—there’s a decent chance that your background relates to the field in some way. Whether you’re an engineering major, a former graphic designer, or someone on the business side who’s taken an interest in analytics, if you know what kind of position to look for within the crazy-growing industry, you’ve already got a leg up.

Plus, because it’s such an unmoored opportunity, if you get in now, chances for success are huge. According to one data scientist I spoke with, knowing what you can do for the company (especially if the organization isn’t exactly sure what it wants or needs) can give you the edge you need. All you need to do is have the background to support your ideas, and, well, if you’re not sure you have that, look into bootcamps, part-time classes, or workshops from companies like Byte Academy. These outfit you with the skills you need and can give you access to a strong network and career guidance. The most enticing part is that you won’t even necessarily have to quit your job and drain your savings to attend grad school.

2. Social Media Manager

Love using innovative mediums like Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, Facebook, and Pinterest to tell compelling stories? Are you devoted to building your personal brand and cultivating a strong following—and an even stronger community? Have you always loved witty remarks and writing the perfect click-able sentence? Want to get paid for it? Well then, this could be the new job you didn’t even know you were looking for. While not all social media managers start out making the big bucks, salaries in the major markets can reach six figures. And as the need for influential leaders in this arena continues to increase, so too will the average salary. In many industry circles, you’re nothing without your social media strategy, and companies big and small realized this yesterday.

The first step in breaking into this field is making sure your personal social accounts are up to par. Of course, being a good social media manager is about more than getting likes on your personal vacation photos; pay attention to companies’ social media strategies, homing in on what’s working and what they could do better.

Better yet, look for opportunities to volunteer to manage the social accounts of nonprofits or small businesses for a few months—many organizations could use the help, and it will give you experience outside of your own profiles to talk about. Use your findings and analysis to help you make the move and show companies why you’d be a great fit for the job.

3. Fundraiser

Nonprofits, educational institutions, hospitals, and the like need money to survive—and are willing to pay nicely for someone with the skills to bring in the bills. According to the Association of Fundraising Professionals, the middle ground salary can range from $65K-$75K, but that range says nothing of top-tier fundraisers who can clock in at half a million or more, according to an analysis by The Chronicle of Philanthropy.

Convincing people to give generously is obviously a huge part of the job, so having a background in sales or marketing can be impactful as you attempt to transition into this field. That said, fundraisers also must be able to build relationships to recruit volunteers and donors, manage donor accounts, make financial projections, manage multi-layered projects ranging from large campaigns to donor events, and ultimately communicate the core message of the organization and inspire people to help. It sounds like a lot, but there’s a good chance you already have these skills from past jobs, volunteer work, or even extracurriculars. For example, your graduate school leadership role managing volunteers for the quarterly clothing drives can speak to your experience in recruiting and carrying out a mission.

And of course, make sure you believe in—and show your passion for—the mission of the organization you’re applying to. If you can’t convey this to interviewers, how will you be able to convince donors?

4. Software Engineer

It may not be a stretch to say that everyone is looking for a good engineer—the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that software engineers are among the occupations with the largest projected job growth for this year. But you probably already knew that. What you might not have known is how common it is for people without a traditional background in the field to successfully make the shift. In a 2015 survey of developers by Stack Overflow, a whopping 48% of respondents never received a degree in computer science.

So how do folks make the switch? This is definitely a field where you need very specialized skills that you probably haven’t picked up in your current role. That said, these skills are very learnable; in the Stack Overflow survey, 41.8% of respondents report being self taught, and 27.4% attended a bootcamp such as Byte Academy, an online class, or an industry certification program, avenues that provide built-in structure, mentorship, and connections with companies that are hiring. Many respondents also reported learning via on-the-job training; consider seeing if there’s an opportunity to start to learn some of these skills as part of your current gig.

Whichever route you take, make sure to practice a lot with projects that you can show off to hiring managers—with engineering jobs, the proof of your abilities is in the pudding (or the coding, as it were).

Continue on to The Muse to read the complete article.