2018 is officially here, and first quarter is traditionally a time of heavy hiring. If you've been thinking about researching your employment options now is a great time to do so.
Figuring out how to get started is often the hardest part, so here are some basic tips for getting started. Have specific questions, let us know.
The lines between appropriate and inappropriate business attire have become so “fuzzy” these days that it’s hard to know what to do.
Business casual can mean five different things to five different managers. Here are some pointers that can help you navigate these tricky waters.
For women, it is important that both your neckline and your hemline be appropriate: avoid short dresses and low-cut revealing necklines. With a bright colored dress it is even more important that it cover you appropriately.
Both men and women want to be sure they are well groomed. Having a nice hair style, clean polished nails and a fresh face can make a huge difference.
Many things can influence getting hired or promoted, but your clothes and grooming are things that you can easily change and improve
You get called into the bosses office and given a choice. Quit, or be fired. So which is the better choice?
This scenario is far more common than it should be, but the right answer isn't universal. As with so many employment situations, it depends.
Why are you being separated? If you've had multiple conversations with your manager about your performance, termination could be the next step. Is the company you work for being bought out, or going bankrupt, or undergoing major management changes?
Before you make the decision to resign or wait until you get fired, know these things:
As always, my advice pertains to Texas and Federal law. Before making a personal decision, you must weigh the facts of your situation.
~ Krystal Yates
You've been job hunting for a while, but you can't get any traction. How do you figure out why? Most job seekers come to me for help with their resume, but what if your resume isn't your problem?
Perhaps you are a little out of touch with the most modern ways to make yourself stand out in your job search.
Are you getting phone calls? If you are getting initial phone calls, or even interviews, but the search is stalling there then your resume isn't the problem. Your interview skills are. Find someone to practice with and see if you can figure out where the problems lie. Try having a friend interview you, or attend a job seeker group for practice. Of course, you can always purchase some one on one time with a professional as well.
Are you applying non stop but not hearing from employers? In this case, it might be your resume, or it might be that you are applying for positions that you are not qualified for. Make sure your resume reflects your ability to do the job you are applying for. Use a cover letter when applying online, and network your way to the hiring manager when possible.
Some other things to consider during the job search:
Can a potential employer find you on the internet? In addition to being found on a search for your name, you also want to be found when a recruiter is looking for someone with your skillset and accomplishments. This is also a good time to make sure there isn't anything out there that you wouldn't want your next employer to see. Your entire online image needs to be professional.
Do you have a poor Linked In profile? Do you even have a LinkedIn profile?
LinkedIn offers an opportunity to showcase your accomplishments as well as demonstrate that you understand how business is done these days. I can help you with refining your LinkedIn profile.
Are you using the internet to prepare for job interviews?
Google the company where you will be interviewing. Look at the CV's of the management team to see if you have anything in common such as service clubs, alma maters, etc.
What are the company's vision and values? Use what you learn to ask questions about the company, show that you have done your homework,
You have been employed at this company for quite a while and feel that your pay is no longer commensurate with the position. Pay increases are not on a scheduled basis. How and when do you go about asking for a raise?
Do your homework:
Has the company been doing well enough that a pay raise could reasonably be requested? Have you recently completed a difficult assignment, or taken on more responsibility?
After deciding that you really have earned an increase, write and rehearse an agenda:
List your accomplishments, mention if your responsibilities have increased, additional tasks you have taken on, and projects you have headed successfully. You might want to consider typing up and printing a copy for your boss so they can look it over and discuss with other supervisors if needed.
Dress the part:
Looking polished and professional can't hurt, and will help you feel more confident.
Have other options up your sleeve:
A rejection could make an opportunity to make another proposition. Work from home one day a week, a new mobile phone or laptop for work, attend a conference or industry event you are interested in - your boss may be more likely to say yes to a smaller request if he has to say no to a big one.
Behavioral interview questions are becoming increasingly more popular in interviews. They are an easy way to get a feel for how an employee will act on the job. And yet, most candidates are stumped when asked a behavioral question.
What is a behavioral interview question? Most behavioral questions start with "Tell me about a time when", but any question asking for a specific example of how something has been handled is considered behavioral.
Why are they asked? Common psychology says that if you did something a particular way in the past, you are likely to do it that way again in the future. So if I ask you to tell me about a time when you had to deal with a difficult client, or when you had to make a difficult decision, I'm trying to learn how you work through problems.
How should you answer? There is no one right answer to a behavioral question. Be truthful, and try to be specific. Plan ahead by coming up with five or six work stories. If you cannot think of a work example, look at school or volunteer experience. If those don't exist, consider personal examples. If all else fails, tell the interviewer how you think you would handle the situation.
S.T.A.R. S.T.A.R. stands for Situation Task Action Result. If you tell your story using these four points, it will help to ensure you have covered all of the relevant information. Situation: background, set the scene. Task or Target: when, where, who, what were the specifics. Action: what action did you take, skills did you use. Result: what was the outcome of the situation.
Plan ahead. Google behavioral interview questions (or reach out to us for a common list) and write out your answers using the STAR method. You don't want to memorize the answer word for word, but if you know your story ahead of time, and remember a few key words, you will be ready to answer most behavioral questions.
The dreaded statement at the end of an interview: "Do you have any questions for me?" We all know we are supposed to ask questions, but what?
Most job seekers know that questions about pay and benefits aren't appropriate at this stage, but what else should you ask?
Now is a great opportunity to dig into the specifics of the job. My favorite question - that is appropriate for just about any interview - is "Why did this position open up?". If there has been high turnover, why? Have the last few people been promoted? That means there is good opportunity for advancement. Is it a new position? The company appears to be growing. While there is no right answer to this question, it can tell you something about the culture.
Can you describe the company culture to me? Or, What is a typical day like here? Or, If you were to hire me, what would be my top priority for the first 90 days? Take the opportunity to dig deeper into the position and the organization. The hiring decision is a two way street and you should have as much information as you need to determine if this is an organization you want to work for.
And finally, always ask what the next steps are so you will know if and when to follow up.
This is one of the most commonly asked - and hardest to answer - interview questions there is. We all know we are going to be asked, we just don't generally know what to say.
As with any interview question, the first thing to do is to ask yourself "What are they trying to learn by asking this question?". In the case of Tell me about yourself, that could mean several difference things.
They may want to get to know you personally, they may want to hear about your job history, they may want to know about your education, or they may just be making small talk as you both get settled. How do you figure that out? Ask them what they would like to know, then answer accordingly.
The challenge with that solution is that most job seekers would not be comfortable asking. If that is the case, then you want to try to touch on as much high level information as you can which allows the interviewer to dig down on what interests them.
The best formula I've heard includes:
So, tell me about yourself.
Q: When I gave notice at my current organization, they made me a counter offer. Should I accept it or move on?
A: Before answering, you have to ask yourself why it took an offer from another company to get an offer worth keeping from your current employers. Counter offers always make me nervous. Did you ask for raise and show them you were worth it before job hunting? If so, that means the company failed to accept your worth until you threatened to leave. That isn’t a very good company / manager. If you didn’t give them the opportunity, then you failed.
The loyalty has been weakened on both ends of the spectrum now and many companies who make counter offers do it only until a replacement can be found for your position. Obviously, that is not always the case - there are plenty of cases of great outcomes from accepting counter offers - but I believe those are the exception that proves the rule. Consider counter offers from every angle and with eyes wide open.
I've got my job offer from the new employer, now what?
Many people dread resigning, even when they can't wait to leave their job because they don't know the best way to resign. In most cases we don't want to burn a bridge, so what do we do?
In most cases, you don't want to resign in writing. The most professional way to handle a resignation is face to face with your direct manager. You simply tell them your last day of employment and ask what they would like you to prioritize in the time you have left. A thank you - if sincere - is also a nice touch.
In some cases you will be asked for the resignation in writing. This is when you write the letter. You are not required to include anything except your last day of employment. So quit stressing and start looking forward to your new position.