Gandhi said, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” At work, it’s easy to be the source of complaint about the lack of work ethic, integrity, or transparency in your professional sphere. I am not saying that it’s a fine and dandy thing that these “qualities” continue to run rampant in your organization, but rather than be the reporter or the complainer, be the change agent. Stop blaming others. Maybe even take responsibility for shortcomings (when appropriate) because in doing so, you will empower yourself and create opportunities to see where you can improve. Especially if you are a manager or a lead, you are in a position to hire into your organization or at least influence the decision about what kinds of people, personalities, and work ethics you employ. Take the high road, invest in quality people from the get go, and before you know it, you’ll barely have a need for a water cooler because there’ll be no gossipy, water cooler talk around. For some professionals, work is our world, or at least a very significant part of it, so make it what you need to be, and be the change you wish to see in the world today.
We’re always discussing the best resume techniques in terms of where to go for assistance and how to get your resume to the right people. However, these tips will never do you any good if you don’t have a resume worth reading. In other words, the reason you haven’t been getting the leads you feel you deserve may not be due to a lack of effort or a deficiency in skills, but it may be due to the way in which you present yourself on paper.
It can help to think of a resume as your ticket to the dance, so to speak. Your dream job is the event of the year, and everyone wants in. However, to be a real contender and the true belle of the ball, you have to maintain a neat, orderly, concise and eloquent resume.
Here are three of the best resume techniques according to those in the know:
Proof read it, and then proof read it again. Think your resume is error-free? You may want to take a second, third and fourth look – and then get another opinion. While you may think a missed comma, misused word or errant punctuation mark has little to no effect on how you appear to potential employers, consider this: Your resume is a first impression – and that impression should be one of detail-oriented flawlessness.
Design is key. Even if the position you’re applying for has nothing to do with layout or design, it never hurts to have a professionally designed resume. This is not necessarily so you can impress potential employers with your impeccable UX/UI skills (though that probably wouldn’t hurt) – this is primarily so it’s easy to read. The information show flow effortlessly from left to right and be organized according to importance. You don’t need to list everything you’ve ever done – just the most relevant skills and positions.
Ensure accuracy. This should go without saying, but one of the best resume techniques is to make sure everything on your resume is factual. Don’t bother making up jobs or faking a professional history because companies will eventually discover the truth. In fact, almost every company takes time to Google candidates – and that’s in addition to completing background checks and calling references. If something doesn’t match up, your resume will probably end up in the circular file cabinet (the trash can.)
There is a certain breed of human who can fearlessly stand in front of a crowd and speak as comfortably and easily as if they’re having a chat with a close friend instead of a room full of mere acquaintances. This type of person shows no signs of discomfort or nervousness. Their palms are dry, their speech is stutter-free and they bask in the attention of their peers. Most people are not this breed of human.
If you get a case of the jitters every time you have to speak in front of others – whether it be a room full of strangers at a wedding or a potential employer in an empty office – you’re certainly not alone. In fact, feeling nervous before these sorts of events is more common than not and, in many cases, it can drive you to perform at your best. However, it not handled correctly, it can also make you look incapable of handling challenges and stress – which could be the reason an employer chooses another candidate.
The best interviewing experiences are not those in which you feel 100 percent at ease from the time you enter the room, but the ones in which you are able to stop being afraid of judgment and exude confidence. In order to accomplish this, consider the following:
Let go of the fear of failure. No one got anywhere without taking risks, and risks require you to move outside your comfort zone.
Remember that practice makes perfect. Look to every interview not only as an opportunity for employment, but also as an opportunity to improve your interpersonal communication skills.
Prepare, prepare, prepare. Spend plenty of time researching the company, industry terminology and be sure to practice what you’ll say. Nothing calms a case of nerves like knowing you’re fully prepared.
Consider these simple tips for the best interviewing experience and, over time, you’ll be able to cultivate the charisma and relaxed confidence appearance of those born public speakers.
Fifteen years ago, if you told someone you’d been contacted by a credible employer or recruiter over the internet, they would have assumed you’d gone crazy. Back then, finding a new job online was about as safe and reliable as a Craigslist date. However, that was long before the rise of social networking. In today’s world, it’s uncommon for someone to enter the hiring process without first contacting – or at least researching – their prospective new employer on LinkedIn
While services like Monster and CareerBuilder revolutionized the way employers find new talent, social media platforms liked LinkedIn have taken it a few steps further by allowing professionals to network online. Instead of simply searching for jobs, these spaces inspire dialog between peers and allows users to promote their own skills.
There are three primary ways in which professional networks like LinkedIn can improve your chances of landing your dream job.
Helps Build a More Credible Reputation – A lot of people criticize social media for ruining their credibility, but it can also reinforce it. It all depends on how you utilize these platforms. There is a difference between an album full of photos from your college kegger days and a maintaining an active presence by re-sharing relevant content from industry blogs or joining an online professional association.
It’s a Great Way to Expand Your Network of Connections –
We’ve all made the mistake of having a great conversation with a peer in the industry at some event or another, only to completely lose touch shortly thereafter. In a world where it’s all about “who do you know,
” it’s more important than ever to stay connected. LinkedIn offers you an easy way to maintain and expand your network.
It’s a Great Way of Showcasing Your Credentials – It’s easy to tell an employer you have all of the necessary skills and qualifications, but it’s much more difficult to prove your experience. LinkedIn, however, allows you to showcase all of your professional experience along with portfolio links, referrals from previous employers and peers and much more.
There are a variety of ways in which social media can help you get closer to your dream career, but only if you take time to familiarize yourself with this powerful hiring tool.
The internet has changed a great deal about the entire job seeking process. From scouring online job boards for new opportunities, keeping in touch with your recruiter, networking with former coworkers via LinkedIn and researching companies prior to an interview, the world wide web offers hundreds of resources at your fingertips. However, this also means a quick online search can provide employers with plenty of information about their candidates. Luckily for you, there are plenty of ways to use the internet to your advantage.
Here are some best resume techniques and tips for strengthening your personal brand by developing a healthy web presence:
Create a Blog – Having a web byline isn’t just important for journalists and copywriters. A blog is a great platform for anyone in any field, and especially those in technology. Blogging provides you with a great opportunity to share your own personal thoughts and advice on issues within your industry as well as a way to place to show off your knowledge and skills to any employers who may be searching your name. Additionally, managing a blog is, in itself, a resume builder.
Get Your Name Out – In addition to creating your own blog, you should contribute guest posts on other similar blogs and industry-related newsletters or magazines. Consider signing up with Help a Reporter Out (HARO), which is an organization that links journalists with experts they need as sources, and can get your quotes in big time news media.
Get Active – If you haven’t already, join professional associations within your industry and offer to speak at conferences, seminars, webinars and local events. Start and contribute to online conversations within your organization on the association’s website and on LinkedIn. Just having these organizations listed by your name is one of the best resume techniques, but being involved in the association is also extremely important.
Know Key Players – The old saying “It’s about who you know, not what you know” has never been truer. In today’s world, you almost always have to know someone to even get a foot in the door. Platforms like LinkedIn show common connections, so don’t be afraid to reach out to people from your past. Between the people in your network and your recruiter, there is almost always someone available to offer a referral.
Fear can be crippling and, in many ways, it's the biggest threat to an individual’s personal success. Imagine all of the wonderful things we could accomplish in life if it weren’t for the burden of fear hanging like a dark cloud over every grand idea. While we like to assume it’s extreme competition or circumstance holding us back from fulfilling our goals, fear is generally to blame. If you’re ready to triumph over your apprehension of the future and gain better control over your career, consider the following steps.
Don’t ignore the fear. Suppressing a problem is like ignoring a flame in a dry forest – eventually it’s going to spiral out of control. Fear is much easier to manage when you address it head on. Ask yourself: what are you afraid of? Where did this fear come from? Sometimes we can trace our fear back to a comment made by a boss or coworker. Consider the source and get to the root of the fear.
Make a plan. Although it may sound silly, sit down and make a list of pros and cons of the situation causing you fear. If you’re afraid of an impending layoff in your company, consider the benefits and disadvantages to being let go from your current position. Devise a strategy – such as getting in touch with a recruiter ahead of the layoff.
Examine the outcomes. What is the worst-case scenario, and the best-case? Decide what you would do in either situation. For example, although you fear the possibility of job relocation, it may offer you new career opportunities or it may give you the push you need to start examining other job offers. By taking this step, you’re likely to realize that the worst outcome may not really be that bad after all.
Lastly, take small steps to reach your goals. If an upcoming deadline is the source of your fear, attack the project in small chunks. Set small daily goals that are in line with your end objective. You may find that you tackle the project and reach your goal much faster than you ever expected.
The internet may have changed many things about job searching, but one thing that remains a constant is the importance of your resume. Job seekers spend hours poring over this document, selecting buzzwords, rearranging skill sets, adding lines and bullets and creating what they perceive to be a great masterpiece. Then, employers and recruiters spend about 30 seconds glancing through.
The truth of the matter is that you don’t have much time to grab the attention of a potential employer. Thus, many job seekers worry about the length of their resume. Is there a rule of thumb? What is the best format? What seemingly pertinent information should you cut first? Here are a of the best resume techniques to guide you towards crafting an interview-snagging resume:
The Rule – The rule of resume length is that, well, there’s no rule. Some resumes are just barely one page while others are fully-loaded two-pagers. The most important thing to realize about crafting your resume is that you don’t need to note every single experience or skill you’ve ever had – you only need to include what is most relevant. For example, if you are applying for a position in an IT Support team, you can probably leave out the paragraph about the summer you cleaned pools.
Need for Speed – No matter how much time you put into making your resume visually engaging, it’s going to be scanned within seconds and tossed into one of two piles. Design your resume for speed-reading. Keep it simple, and don’t get too wordy. One of the best resume techniques is to paint the best and most accurate picture of your experience without getting too caught up in the details.
Change it Up – Some people are under the impression that they can design one catch-all resume for every job. The truth of the matter is that it’s best to consider each employer’s needs. Not all of your skills are pertinent to every position. Keep multiple versions of your resume on hand for just this purpose.
When it comes to best resume techniques, keep in mind that length also depends on the point at which you are in your career as well as the level of the job for which you are applying. By keeping it concise and easy to read, you’re likely to snag many more interviews.
Here's the scenario: you've been working with your recruiter for a few weeks and they have discovered a position that is right in line with your skill set and job wishes. You have been on several rounds of successful interviews and you have been offered the job. Now what?
There are several aspects of this new position that you need to weigh against your current situation:
- Money Matters - It's not the only consideration, but it might be the most important one to you. Are you going to be able to pay your bills and still live a comfortable life with the salary you are being offered? No one wants to be working at a job where they feel they are not being justly compensated. If the salary isn't right, the job isn't right.
- Company Culture - When you walked into the office for your interview, did you get a good vibe? Think about the little things such as asking to use the restroom or take your lunch. Will you have your own office, or will you share an open office space? Think about what you want versus what you can put up with when considering a job offer.
- Your Personal Life - Will you have to give up the opportunity to drive your children to school in the morning because you will have a longer commute? Is it important to you to spend less time on the road and more time with your family? Keep that in mind when considering a job offer.
It's much easier to turn down an offer than it is to leave a job that you have already started. The employer would prefer that you decline, rather than having to start over the hiring process a couple of weeks down the road if you don't work out. Take the time to thoroughly evaluate the offer. Ask questions, if you have them. Take the time you need to make an educated, informed decision so you feel as sure as possible that you, and the company, have made an excellent match.
Secretly scouring job boards on an iPhone during a lunch break, canvassing the town in resumes long into the night and daydreaming of a potential new position amidst a morning meeting – to those looking for new career opportunities while working for another company, the average day-to-day routine can begin to feel a lot like living a double life. While working away silently in a cubicle, overhead looms the constant fear of being caught. It’s certainly not uncommon to look for other opportunities while employed, but it takes a certain amount of tact and discretion. Here are some helpful tips for keeping the job search confidential:
Divulge the secret only to parties who can be fully trusted. In other words, don’t blab to everyone about all of the great jobs available. Remember that even the most reliable colleague at work should be seen as a direct competitor and telling them about any job hunting activities could lead to a messy end. Instead, reach out to old friends from college, former co-workers and former bosses who could provide worthy leads.
• Don’t use company resources for job hunting purposes. Any and all job hunting activities should be done off the premises and off the clock. Not only can using a company’s internet or e-mail for job searching risk the secret getting out, but it’s also unethical.
• Utilize tools like LinkedIn and Dice. A public and easily searchable profile can help job seekers be picked up by recruiters and potential employers. While making a profile confidential can feel safer, it also irritates employers and job posters which defeats the purpose of the search altogether.
• Make use of recruiters. Job searching can be tedious and time consuming, but experienced recruiters who understands a candidate's skill level and professional background make the job search much easier and offer access to even better opportunities. However, be sure to avoid firms who require a non-compete contract as this can interfere with job searching success.
Above all, act with dignity and professionalism. It can seem impossible to cover the delight of finding a new job lead or landing a great interview, but it is imperative to keep the operation confidential until the very end. While leaving an old job for a new opportunity is exciting, it’s not worth burning any bridges. In fact, current coworkers and bosses can make great allies for future job searches.
It’s late at night in a quiet suburban neighborhood. A man lies in bed, holding his eyes tightly closed as he begins to count backward from 100. It’s a trick he remembers from his grade school days, but tonight it’s not working. Finally, the man sits up and sighs dejectedly as the clock strikes 2 a.m. He has approximately four hours to sleep before it will be time to wake up, shower and join the morning traffic routine. Exasperated, he puts his head between his hands and breathes deeply. Tomorrow he will begin his first day at his new job.
To some, a new job is merely a change in scenery. However, to most Americans, a new job means a new life – a brand new city, a larger salary or a complete career change. Whatever it is, a new job can quickly change everything. Also, like the new kid in school searching for a lunch table to join, it’s also a time when people are at their most vulnerable.
Here are a few tips for avoiding the first day jitters and finding a niche in a new company:
Get to know your employer. Just as when preparing for an interview, it’s important to prepare for your first day. Use the internet to brush up on the company’s history, hiring practices, objectives and mission statement.
Keep in mind that attitudes are contagious. Forge relationships with positive, hardworking and friendly employees and avoid the negative and unhappy workers.
Remember that people are hired for their own ideas – not someone else’s. It’s never a good idea to agree with someone just to fit in.
Keep networking both inside and outside of the company. One never knows when the next great hiring opportunity or inspiring idea will surface.
Walk with the team before running with it. It’s important to get to know all of the personalities at play on a team and what drives each member to achieve their best.
Finally, those new to a job should remember not to begin campaigning for change unless it’s in the job description. In addition to seeming ruthless and impulsive, immediately proposing major change can also inspire a lack of trust from coworkers. Learn about the environment and key players to avoid overstepping boundaries. By making responsible choices early on, a new hire is more likely to move up quickly and prosper.