how to sabotage a phone interview

There are an increasing number of interviews conducted over the phone, and it is important to pay attention to your phone skills. When you think about it, your interview will probably be set up with a phone call and that call will influence the impression you make. You can’t control where you will be when the call comes in to schedule an interview, but if you know what will sabotage your chances of a job, then you can control as much as possible.

  • Background noise is distracting. If you are called in a noisy environment, apologize and get to a quiet spot immediately. But don’t make the mistake of going into the bathroom to be alone because the hard surfaces cause an echo that is unmistakable and the potential for another customer to make noise you don’t want is always there. Arrange to talk further in another place.
  • If you are actually doing a phone interview, treat it like you would any other meeting. Be prepared with all documents (resume, etc.) and be alone in the room. Don’t have the tv on or background music.
  • No gum, food, or drink. Talking with something in your mouth will change the way you sound, even if they can’t see you.
  • Smile and sit up straight. People can tell by the sound of your voice when your smiling. Smiling while you are talking exudes confidence and ease. Practice to a friend if you need to. Sitting up in a straight-backed chair will make you feel slightly less relaxed and more professional, and remind you that even if you and the other person are hitting it off, you are still on an interview.

During a phone call the only information that is transmitted is by sound. Anything that will adversely affect that sound will cause problems so take care to remove yourself from any interruptions..

 

 

 

one thing an executive resume cannot do

Sometimes it might seem like an Executive Resume is the kind of resume you need because “Top Level C-Position” is the top rung of the mythical career ladder. The problem with that thinking is the idea that there’s only one career ladder and it is an inexorable march to the one goal of CEO. The Executive Resume is for someone who is:

  • experienced in working within an organization and ready to transition to this type of position
  • interested in things like planning the strategic infrastructure of a Fortune 500 company or negotiating multi-million dollar partnerships
  • seeking positions as President, CEO, COO, CFO, CIO, CTO and other senior/c-level positions

In reality, there are many career ladders, and every rung is an important rung. Being a senior level executive is just one of them. That’s good, when you think about it, because if there were only one type of job, most of us would be pretty unhappy. Your resume is the tool you use to show potential employers how well you can fill the openings in their enterprise, and there are many varieties of job openings. Resumes need to be maintained: as we work, learn and grow, we change. Then the jobs we are suited for will change, too.

An Executive Resume cannot help you if your experience and preference is that you explore managing a garden shop to see if you can blend your love of growing things with working beside people and learning business techniques. That’s why Professional Resume Services offers different types of resumes and a consultation with every one: When it comes to your resume, one size does not fit all.

 

global trends might affect your interview

A recent survey of 1,205 business decision makers in four regions and twelve countries has confirmed what many would say is obvious: video conferencing is here to stay and going to increase in the future. The survey, “Global View: Business Video Conferencing Usage and Trends,” was done by Redshift Research for Polycom, Inc. and is a fascinating look at how technology changes the way we do business. It’s also a reminder that your job will be affected by it in the future.

One finding was that 32% of the U.S. respondents were likely to use video technology for interviewing potential employees. That’s the highest percentage of all the countries represented, with the next largest group being 28% of the Asia-Pacific region. So I’d say that knowing how to get ready for an online interview is a very good idea.

Another factor that may come up in your interview is your view of working with colleagues from other countries and cultures. Quite often, this doesn’t mean globe-trotting; it means video conferencing.

The more familiar you are with the idea, the better a candidate you will be for that position. So Polycom came up with a Guide To Collaborating Across Borders as a result of their survey, and I’m letting you in on the free tool because I want you to be that savvy candidate who knows about the trends where business is heading.

The interesting thing about all this is that no matter what your background or career track is, your job will probably include technology and multicultural experiences in the future. Being ready for it at the interview gives you an advantage.

3 tips to balance back to school and work schedules

It’s that time of year again, when the start of the school year starts adding complications to your family/work schedule. A home with school age children is one that has a lot of similarities to white water rafting: periods of calm followed by raging rapids where you are just hoping to keep your head above water until you reach the end of the ride. It’s fun and exhilarating but better when you are prepared!

Here are 3 of the best tips for the season:

  1. Get advice from those who’ve been there. Posts like “Tips For Balancing Work And Family” usually are written by the experienced. There are a lot of options for advice, and it’s a good idea to skim the offerings with the idea of getting a perspective rather than seeing them as a list of things you must do. Just like you don’t eat everything at an all-you-can-eat buffet, you don’t try to personally implement every piece of advice you read.
  2. Get an idea of what you are in for. Sit down with everybody at the table with the calendar and map out the school year with all the info you have right now. Some families use color coding for every member or activity so it is seen at a glance what’s up in the week ahead. Put in the regular stuff, too, so you aren’t accidentally planning a double whammy for your day.  This is where you get a visual of what “too much to do” looks like and hopefully discuss how transportation will work and see that something might have to be edited out. Many families have found that they need to allow only ONE extracurricular activity per member.
  3. Get margins written into your schedule. The empty space is what allows you to read the words on this page, and the empty space in your schedule allows you to have time to breathe and connect. People need to have times where they just relax and putter and do whatever they like to do. It’s like recharging your batteries for the next round, or the calm water before the next rapids.

The ability to bring your whole focus into the workplace depends on your ability to relax about what’s happening at home. Getting the family schedule wisely worked out with all the factors plus margins for emergencies and recharging allows you to keep your mind on your job while you are there.

 

can social networking get you fired?

It is increasingly common for stories like this one about a bus driver fired over Facebook postings to show up on newsfeeds. Whether or not you agree with the practice, the reality is that your social media usage has a very public side.

When you think about it, the Internet is like a public park in a big city. When you walk through that park, you see all sorts of people doing all sorts of things. Some of those people might be doing things that make you scratch your head and ask, “What are they thinking?” They probably are thinking that nobody is paying attention to what they are doing.

We have an illusion of privacy on the Internet that is truly an illusion. How many times have you seen a post on Facebook that makes you scratch your head and ask, “what are they thinking?” I know I have… many times. It’s a smart practice to pay attention to your security settings and invest in your online brand — the person you are online — by thinking before you post. You must assume that it will be read by an employer or potential employer because that’s the reality of today’s working world.

Because social marketing and online branding are so important to your career, it’s a good idea to learn all you can about it. Read blogs like this one and consider investing in an hour of online branding/profile development coaching to make sure your professionalism is what people remember about you when they see you in that public park called the Internet.

 

 

tips for cover letters -- your first impression counts big

The first impression people have of you can keep them from wanting to know you better or encourage them to seek you out. Your cover letter is that first impression for your resume and its quality will often determine whether or not that resume gets attention. Here are some simple tips to keep in mind when you are writing your cover letter:

  • Do your homework. Find out who to address the letter to, what style would be appropriate, and the job description. You want this letter to be personalized appropriately, professional in tone, and accurate in specifying what you are applying for. This is NOT the place for a generic “to whom it may concern” form letter that obviously is used on all your applications.
  • Identify your strong points and write a rough draft or outline matching those strengths to the job description. Now reduce that to one paragraph.
  • Keep it short. All you are doing is a three-paragraph overview to get them interested in looking at your resume. The first paragraph tells them what job you are seeking and how you heard about it (include any mutual contact people). The second is that paragraph you came up with from the previous tip. The third paragraph should be a “thank you for your time” and statement that you will be following up by the end of the next week. Be sure you do the follow up!
  • Proofread, edit, and proofread again! This is really important. If you know that you overlook mistakes, get someone to proofread it for you and check your corrections. Focus on being professional, polite, and concise. If your letter is on paper, hand-sign it. For an email, a typed signature is acceptable.

Think you have your perfect cover letter? Pretend you are the person getting that letter with your resume, along with hundreds of other applicants, and read it again. If you feel that you still need help, consider a professionally written cover letter. This is your potential employer’s first impression of you: big things are at stake. Make that first impression a good one so they will want to read your resume, call you in for an interview, and offer you the job!

resume cover letter

It used to be that you always ended your resume with the line “References Available Upon Request.” Now that statement is mostly left off of resumes because it is deemed a given that you have references and you will be able to produce them when asked. However, if you have been job searching over a long period of time, you need to recognize that your reference page or list is not a static list.

Who you use as a reference will depend on the type of job you are applying for. For example, it would be better to use a former boss who supervised you at the IT help desk when you apply for your next help desk position rather than someone who supervised you as a cashier. Professional references, people with whom you worked or who have supervised you, are usually preferable. However, some positions may allow you to use personal references too, friends or community members who know you well.

Keep in touch with your references. Make sure that everyone on your reference list is someone who will give you a positive reference. How do you know if they will give you a positive reference? You ask. Don’t hint around. Ask each person on your potential reference list, “Are you able to speak highly of my skills and qualifications to potential employers?” If you sense any hesitation in their response, do not use that person and move on to the next person on your list.

Provide each person on your reference list with a current copy of your resume or curriculum vitae. Also give each person the job description for which you are applying or at least a summary of the type of position you would like. This way, when your reference(s) is called by a hiring manager, he/she can speak with some knowledge of how your qualifications fit into the job requirements. Keeping in touch with your references helps them better able to speak to your strengths so that you get the job. It also provides good opportunities to network.

Bluff Your Way to Interview Confidence
There is an old saying, “hum a few bars and fake it.” There are times, and interviews are often the case, where this is the best course of action. While you never want to come off as entitled or as though you are superior, faking confidence can often be the difference between an outstanding interview and one that is a dismal failure. A great resume will get you an interview. A great interview will get you the job.

Who needs to fake confidence?

At times, just about everyone needs a boost. If you are unemployed and have been for a while, it can be depressing and sap your confidence. People who are shy or introverted can also use a bit of help in this area. It’s not hard to do, and if you do it enough you will become quite good at it. There are only three essential steps:

  • Smile – This will immediately signal your brain to make you happier and more confident
  • Prepare – Know as much as possible about the position and company before you go in for the interview. This preparation will help ease your anxiety
  • Believe – Believe that you are going to do well in the interview; the interviewer will like you and select you as the candidate to hire.

Just fake it. If all else fails, pretend that you have the confidence you need. The interviewer will not know the difference. Studies show that you will perform better in the interview and you will ultimately feel more relaxed by wearing a mask of confidence.

 

career for a family

There are many things to consider when deciding what career path to take and one of the most important is your family. Whether you have a family or are planning to start one in the future, it is important to consider when choosing a career. Here are some questions that you should ask  yourself to help you decide what path to take.

  • How big do I want my family to be? Depending on how big you want your family to be will help decide where you want to work. You will need a salary that will be able to support your family.
  • What kind of lifestyle do you and your family want to live? Whether you want to live simply or decadently is another factor to consider. If you want to live in luxury, then you need to find a career that has an appropriate salary and even the option for career and salary advancement.
  • How much time do you want to spend with your family? Your work will take some time away from your family. You need to decide how much time away you want. If you want to spend a lot of time with your family, then you need to choose a career and a company that will allow you to spend as much time with your family as possible. Full time, part time?
  • Perks?  You may be able to negotiate your benefits or perks, i.e. having a bigger vacation package and little to no health insurance. If you don’t need to carry insurance, you may be able to negotiate more vacation days or even flex time with the amount of money you will be saving the company on health insurance.

Considering all these questions will help you make the best decision on what career path to take. While these questions can help you, you should not make this decision on your own. Talk to your family and get their input. They can be your most valuable resource in making this decision.

starting a career, not a job

After being in the work force doing things that nobody really wants to do, you decide that you want something more. You want a career not just a job. Now, how do you go about it? Here are some tips to help you with the transition.

1. You need to take your education into consideration. If you want a better job you need a college education. You are not going to become a doctor without going to medical school. So you need to get a degree with a future career in mind. You also want a job doing something you have studied enough that you are very skilled in that area. If you are skilled and you work hard, then you will be able to advance and have a career.

2. Take your interests into consideration. Trying to find a job that you love is hard, but when you are trying to start a career it is a necessity. You will be in that field until you retire and you need to enjoy it in order to make it worthwhile.

3. Take your family into consideration. If you want to have a family you will want to start a career that allows you to take care of them financially. Now you also want to weigh in how much time you want to spend with your family. If you want to spend a lot of time with your family you do not want to start a career in a field that makes it nearly impossible to ever see your family.

4. Now one thing you need to consider about the company itself is if there is room for advancement in the company. In order to have a fulfilling career you want to be rewarded for your hard work and dedication. That includes getting promotions and pay raises. This is something you want to consider when choosing your career company.

Moving from a job to a career is scary and exciting, but more than anything it will make your experience in the work force fulfilling and more enjoyable.

Download Our Report:

5 Surefire Resume Tips To Dazzle The Employer & Get You To The Interview





×

×