|Careers & Employment Information|
Outsmart Other Job Seekers by Showing These 5 Key Strengths
Getting an appointment for an interview these days is an accomplishment. It indicates that you have a good resume, and/or that networking has paid off. Bravo. Now for the all-important in-person phase of the process.
There are hundreds of books out there with advice on this topic. I've read a lot of them. One I read recently, "201 Questions to Ask on Your Interview" by John Kador, hit a home run with me.
What particularly grabbed me was his discussion of 5 key attributes that need to be in evidence when you interview.
I'm continually telling my clients to ensure that the examples they use to highlight their accomplishments are specific. Explicit numbers, results and outcomes. Generic words are meaningless and have no heft. For example, instead of using the word "significant," use a number or percentage.
Beyond specific examples of past accomplishments are the behaviors that underlie these results. Now, to these 5 key attributes that should be at the foundation of your presentation.
You need to show the interviewer evidence of being: action-oriented, engaged with the long-term, zestful, curious and committed.
So, how do you do this?
Here are some tips:
Action-oriented. Not passive. What's an example from a past job where you drove the meeting, committee or project when it was languishing? Or when a deadline loomed, and you came up with a way to reach the goal? When you saw a way through the impasse or were able to streamline the process to make it happen?
Engaged with the long-term. When was the last time you were the one to envision the broader consequences of an action? When was the last time your contribution provided a strategic view of a project or action that no one had thought of? For example, by your selecting specific software to use, the company would perhaps save $50,000 within 2 years.
Zestful. Keen enjoyment or interest. Is there excitement in your voice and body language when you speak about your past work experiences? I'm not talking about nervous energy. I'm talking about the sparkle in your eyes, the animation of your movements and the tone of your voice that genuinely demonstrates your involvement and enthusiasm. This is especially critical for older job seekers. Avoid complacency in your presentation.
Curious. I love this one. It's great to be curious about the company you're interviewing with by asking terrific questions. But first, it's important to show how curiosity has served you well in a previous job. For example: when was the last time you knew there had to be a better way of performing a task, closing on a particular deal or making a sale to a recalcitrant client? How did your inquiring or questioning of the situation find a better solution that resulted in a success for you and your company? Did you do research? Talk to a colleague who had done this before? Wake up with an epiphany at 3 o'clock in the morning?
Committed. Dedicated or pledged to a cause. Not self-centered. When was the last time you sacrificed your own comfort, sleep or plans for the sake of a project? Okay, I'm not talking about saying you never had a life. But you need to show what commitment means to you. When was the last time you demonstrated your unswerving devotion to getting the job done?
So that's it.
The key to demonstrating all of these attributes is speaking in specifics. Use these 5 behaviors as a guide for preparing yourself and your list of accomplishments. You will engage the interviewer and increase your chances of being called back.
Dale Kurow, M.S., is an author and a career and executive coach in NYC. Dale works with clients across the U.S. and internationally, helping them to survive office politics, become better managers, and figure out their next career move. Visit Dale's web site at http://www.dalekurow.com/phone_ebook for information about her latest E-book, Phone Interview Skills Sharpened Right Here!
Booster & Drainers
Like huge anchors on cruise ships, other people can hold you down. Not intentionally, but their negativity impacts you. It's hard to be winning at working when you're anchored in place. It's hard to see the next great idea and enthusiastically embrace it, when you're feeling a sticky heaviness. And it's hard to think creativity when you're feeling empty. Like a balloon with air pouring out, deflated and flat at the end, I hung up the phone, drained. For the most part I'd offered a supportive ear with occasional contributions of asked for advice. Several days in a row, he called or stopped by my office, with a second, and a third, and a fourth verse of the same song. After each encounter, my energy felt zapped. It got to the point where Jay's presence alone started my energy leaving, replaced with an empty heaviness as if his negative energy was seeping into me. It took me awhile to figure it out, but Jay was an energy drainer. I've learned over the years, if I spend too much time around people with negative energy to share, my optimism, and enthusiasm for work (or life) are adversely affected. You may know people in your own work life who hold you down, zap your enthusiasm, cheer you into self-destruction, and occupy so much of your time and energy that you can't offer the best you to anyone, including yourself. And you know people who do the opposite. My solution? Use that feedback. Spend less work time with the drainers, and more time with people who offer you an energy boost. Once you've identified how it feels to be around energy boosters, look to fill gaps, especially on work teams, with people who bring positive energy to a meeting, who are fun to be around, whose enthusiasm and positive approach lifts your spirits, enhances your creativity, and adds to your work life. Find and stay close to these energy boosters. I use a simple measurement to identify energy drainers and energy boosters: the laugh factor. The more laughter I find in the process of doing business, the more energy I know is in the room. The more energy in the room, the more gets done. I look for people I can laugh with, have fun with and share ideas with. My work results are better when I'm around people who make me feel energized when I leave them. Yours can be, too. (c) 2004 Nan S. Russell. All rights reserved.
Interview Thank-You Letters
The number one etiquette tip for interviews is writing a thank-you letter. This is not a tool commonly used by job seekers right now. If you are looking for an advantage and a way to stick out above the other job applicants then follow up your interview by showing appreciation and courtesy.
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You wake up in the morning, head to work, and find out your company is downsizing and you are being laid off. No big deal you think, you have experience, you've worked at the same company for years. You think companies will WANT to hire you. Guess what, your wrong. It's a new day and age, while you may potentially find work. It's a lot more difficult than you may think to get a job these days. Most reputable companies are looking for qualified people who also have an education.
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Tales From the Corporate Frontlines: Here Today, Gone Tomorrow
This article relates to the Job Security competency, commonly evaluated in employee satisfaction surveys. After a large scale cut in personnel, this particular group of employees needed some extra support. Examining the issue of job security measures how your employees view their job security within your organization. In today's often volatile or contingent labor market, it's crucial to understand the level of security your employees feel about maintaining their jobs. Studies show that employees who do not feel secure in their jobs are less likely to be committed to best assisting customers. Evaluating this competency can be especially useful if your organization has suffered recent layoffs or firings.
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I won't say I have a vast array of knowledge as a consultant...collectively I've only been doing it about 8 years. However, there are some things that I have observed that I think will be helpful to those of you who are new to the profession. We will first dispel the myths and address the realities associated with being a Consultant, then we will address the commandments of being a good and valued consultant.
Dont Let Difficult People Derail Your Career
Unless you are among the luckiest people in the world, or you are totally free of all relationships in the real world, you have to cope with difficult people in the course of your work.
Thank-You Notes: Your Thoughtfulness will be Rewarded
I get asked these questions over and over: "Should I send separate thank-you notes to everyone who interviewed me? Can I just send one thank-you note to the hiring manager and ask him/her to thank others involved in the process?"
Supplement Your Skills and Improve Your Work Position
It is often said that the majority of people are but a few checks away from homelessness. Without a consistent income, this may be a true statement. Some ability to multi-task can get you through a temporary employment down-spell.
Don?t Be Too Passionate About Your Work
Of course, she then offered me a six-month process, costing thousands of dollars to get me back on track. However, I must say she was ethical in her approach and suggested I get a medical check up to rule out any physical or mental-health issues.
So You want to be a Bodyguard?
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Want to Work for Yourself? Those Dream Jobs Dont Just Happen, Theyre Created
While traveling in northern California last October, I happened to tune into a local newscast. The newscaster was telling his co-anchor that the speaker at that morning's Rotary Club meeting had to cut his presentation short because he was being flown down to Disneyland to carve elaborate Halloween pumpkins for the park festivities. The newscaster wrapped up the story with the familiar quip, "Nice work if you can get it." He got the first part right. For a creative kid-at-heart, being a professional pumpkin carver is a dream come true. It was his serendipitous "if you can get it" thinking that missed the mark. The fact is, people rarely "get" great work; they create it! Despite all the emphasis on growth in the "job sector" I am continually amazed at just how many fascinating alternatives there are to the whole 9-to-5 schtick. And just as traditional job seekers can't wait around for "Mr. Job" to knock on the door, people who want to do satisfying work ? and call their own shots ? need to be proactive as well. Francis Bacon defined a wise man as one who "makes more opportunities than he finds." Here's a couple of other wise entrepreneurs who made it by going for it. Sports-lover Don Shoenewald was just 18 when he went to the Philadelphia Eagles management wearing a homemade Eagle costume and asking for a mascot job. They weren't interested. Undaunted, Shoenewald kept showing up at Eagles football games. Pretty soon the fans adopted him as the unofficial (meaning, "unpaid") mascot. Thirteen paid team mascot jobs, four mascot character creations (including ones for the New Jersey Devils and the San Jose Sharks), and 18 years later, Shoenewald started Mascot Mania, the only professional training school for mascots in the world. Despite what your high school guidance counselor might have told you, showing up invited in a bird costume isn't the only route to self-employment. For Dan Zawacki it all began when he was working as a sales rep for Honeywell and decided to give away 120 live lobsters as gifts to his customers. Dan was so bowled over by the response that he decided to open a small side business shipping live lobsters complete with pot, crackers, butter and bibs to crustacean-lovers from coast-to-coast. That is until his boss heard him pitching Lobster Gram, Inc. on a local radio station and promptly fired him. In the beginning, Dan worked out of his bedroom, storing his lobsters in a used tank in his father's garage. His first year he netted only $4,000. Ten years later, his company sells about 9,000 lobster packages a year for $99 plus shipping. All and all, not a bad tale. If you dream of making the transition from employee to self-bosser, the first thing you need to do is belief that you can. Then, the next time you see some entrepreneur doing what they love, try thinking: "Nice work ? now, all I have to do is get it!
Are You Eking Out a Living, and Cant Get What You Want from a Job?
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Assess Your Transferable Skills
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Petite Modeling: What Should You Wear to Your First modeling Photo Shoot?
If you're looking into making the petite modeling industry your career and are wondering what you should bring to your first photo shoot then this article is for you.
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