CAREEREALISM http://www.careerealism.com Career Advice & Job Search Magazine Sat, 04 Jul 2015 05:50:46 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.2 How Do Employers Find Their Ideal Candidate? http://www.careerealism.com/how-employers-find-candidate/ http://www.careerealism.com/how-employers-find-candidate/#comments Sat, 04 Jul 2015 05:50:46 +0000 http://www.careerealism.com/?p=22382 How do business owners, recruiters, and HR executives find their best candidates? Here are five key steps employers take in evaluating a candidate.

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A little while back, someone asked how business owners, recruiters, and HR executives find their best candidates. The answers to that question are valuable for anyone who is searching for a job.

Related: 5 Resume Changes That Will Make You A Perfect Candidate

There are five key steps that employers take in evaluating a candidate:

1. Check The Resume For Job History And Skills

Recruiters eliminate people who are clearly job hoppers, with one position after another that lasted less than a year; they also eliminate applicants who lack the vital skills they need.

2. Check The Resume For Intangibles

It may be important, for example, that the candidate likes to work alone or travel out of the country or make presentations.

3. Look At Social Media

A Facebook or Twitter page may reveal that a candidate has a problem the company does not want to deal with, such as excess drinking or anger toward co-workers. Or a company where volunteerism is important, for example, may look for evidence of a candidate’s volunteer activity.

4. Pay Attention To The Job Candidate’s Attitude During The Interview

If a candidate arrives late, texts during the interview, treats the receptionist rudely or gives inappropriate or flustered responses to questions, that candidate is considered a bad choice.

5. Be Prepared To Train The Right Person

For some companies, a demonstrated willingness to learn is more important than current skills.

This post was originally published at an earlier date.

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3 Tips For Finding A Purpose-Driven Job http://www.careerealism.com/finding-purpose-driven-job/ http://www.careerealism.com/finding-purpose-driven-job/#respond Sat, 04 Jul 2015 05:40:42 +0000 http://www.careerealism.com/?p=38082 Having a purpose-driven job means that you feel good about contributing your time, effort, and skills to a worthy cause. Find out how you can get one!

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If you’ve had your ear to the ground lately, then you may have heard about this rapidly growing movement. It’s made up of a group of people who are tired of working boring, meaningless jobs, and ready to do whatever it takes to live life on their terms.

Related: Want Career Happiness? Identify Your Top 5 Desires

No more Office Space style workplaces.

No more quarter-life crisis’, and spending the majority of your work day finding ways to look busy as you suppress your anger at wasting your life away…

Office Space

(By the way – there’s a better way to work at the bottom of this article.)

This movement is about changing the game from surviving to thriving, from working for a just a paycheck to working for a purpose and a paycheck. It’s about a new game, where your authentic strengths, values, and passions are contributed daily to a worthy cause, and you go to bed at night exhausted, yet happy – satisfied with what you accomplished that day.

It’s about you getting a…

Purpose-Driven Job For A Purpose-Driven Company

See, purpose-driven companies strive to make a profit as well as a difference in the world. They minimize their environmental footprint because it’s the right thing to do, and they treat their employees like human beings – empowering them to grow and contribute their unique skills.

Having a purpose-driven job means that you feel good about contributing your time, effort, and skills to a worthy cause, and you’re proud to tell your family and friends what you do. And as an added bonus, these types of companies typically have the best work environments and benefits, with a focus on fun and growth in the workplace.

Imagine variations of Google’s famous headquarters – like the Malaysian digital marketing company Mindvalley – and you’ll see why working for this type of company could be the future of your career.

Mindvalley

How To Get A Purpose-Driven Job

Here are a few tips for getting a purpose-driven job:

1. Know Where To Look

Thanks to sites like the GameChangers 500 – which is a list of the world’s top purpose-driven companies, like Google, TOMS shoes, and Patagonia – this is getting easier to do all the time.

But before you dive into the list and start sending out resumes, you need to know that the traditional resume and cover letter approach is not going to work here.

In fact, if you’re planning on making a small tweak to you cover letter before mailing it out, then you might as well not bother. You’d be wasting your time. These companies are the way of the future, and they require a new approach in order to get their attention…

2. Match Your Mission

These GameChanging companies have a definitive purpose and clear core values, and they are only hiring people who are in alignment with them.

So, before you apply, you need to figure out what matters most to you, and what kind of contribution you want to make – and then match that up with a company that values the same thing.

3. Stand Out

Once you find the best organization(s) for you, you need a way to get their attention in a unique and creative way.

See, these companies want people who aren’t afraid to authentically express their strengths, passions, and values, and with all of the amazing tools available on the internet these days, that’s easier than ever to do.

So, figure out what your ideal purpose-driven job is and find a company that fits – and then use your creativity to stand out and get the job.

And if you need a little help, I’ve teamed up with the founder of the GameChangers 500 to put together a free video with more tips you can apply today to get your purpose-driven job.

This post was originally published at an earlier date.

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Ryan Niessen

About the author

Ryan Niessen is a keynote speaker and co-creator of The Gateway Method: a simple, proven way to gain inside access to the world’s best employers and get your dream job. Connect with him on LinkedIn or Facebook.

 

 

 


 

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by a CAREEREALISM-approved expert. You can learn more about expert posts here.

 

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5 Ways To Create A Consistent Brand http://www.careerealism.com/create-consistent-brand/ http://www.careerealism.com/create-consistent-brand/#comments Sat, 04 Jul 2015 05:30:50 +0000 http://www.careerealism.com/?p=38080 Developing a consistent brand can be a little daunting, even a confusing, proposition. But it doesn’t have to be. It can be as easy as the following steps.

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Having a clearly defined personal brand can be the difference between top candidate for the position or promotion and also-ran. In an effort to get a leg up professionally having a clear, consistent personal brand is a boon to your career.

Related: 6 Easy Steps For Building A Defined Personal Brand

However, developing a consistent brand can be a little daunting or even a confusing proposition. But it doesn’t have to be. It can be as simple as the following five steps.

1. Define your Hedgehog Concept

Jim Collins documents the Hedgehog Concept in Good to Great as the convergence of what you are best in the world at, what you are deeply passionate about and the things that drive your economic engine. You can apply this thinking to your personal brand. I would encourage you to think through each of these areas and write them down as you work to identify your Hedgehog Concept.

The purpose of the Hedgehog Concept is this: When you have your Hedgehog Concept identified if focuses you in a unique way. It makes it abundantly clear what’s important and what’s not. It will manifest itself throughout your messaging because anything that falls outside the Hedgehog Concept is not part of your personal brand. This is what will drive the consistency of your brand.

2. Identify topics or areas of expertise

Based on your Hedgehog Concept, you can identify some areas of expertise and themes from which you can focus. I recommend that you choose 3-4 themes. For example, I am a recruitment marketer by trade, my themes are: candidate experience, digital innovation and branding. When I create content on any of type, I focus on all of these topics or themes.

In addition, when I curate content into my social networks, I focus on these areas as well. It is consistent across the board. When you see an update from me socially, you know it will fall into those areas. If it falls outside those areas, it doesn’t get posted.

3. Build your profile to support your brand

Your social and digital profiles are your billboard. Having a clear and consistent profile across all social channels and digital properties will go far into creating consistency. That doesn’t mean that every one of your profiles needs to mirror and be exact replicas. However, there should be consistency. Your LinkedIn profile should be very professional, Twitter can be a little less formal and Facebook should be friendlier versions of the same profile. They key is that it is consistent with your Hedgehog Concept with minor variations based on the channel.

4. Follow influencers in these areas

Part of building a strong, consistent brand is being THE curator of great content in your areas of expertise. In order to do that, identify influencers in your areas of expertise. Build a strong list of blogs using an RSS reader. I use Feedly and love it. I subscribe to a ton of blogs and industry news publications and this is a great source to share and curate great content that supports my Hedgehog Concept and personal brand. I always try to make sure that whatever I share is aligned with the themes that I have.

In addition to blogs, build lists in Twitter and follow influencers on LinkedIn to get additional sources of content. Finally, join professional groups and start adding content, comments and shares that add value to the group as it aligns with your brand.

5. Promote your brand socially

You will see your personal brand grow over time as you share great content with people. You can also grow your network by participating in relevant Twitter chats. Check this site out for a schedule of Twitter chats. It’s ok to lurk at first, but when you find a question where you can add value, don’t be shy. You’ll be surprised; your ideas will resonate. Twitter chats are a great resource for you to gain fans and followers. In addition to Twitter chats, LinkedIn groups are excellent sources to promote your personal brand among your peers.

Finally, those blogs you start to follow, pitch them a guest post. Try to write a piece for them to generate additional interest in your areas of expertise. If you aren’t quite ready to pitch an article, get active as a commenter. When you comment be sure that you advance the conversation of the post.

Knowing what t share and what doesn’t fit into your personal brand is half the hurdle. It is important to identify your themes and your Hedgehog concept. This will help you see what’s adding to your brand and what’s not worth your time. This exercise will take a little time in the front end, but once you master it, you will see time savings as well as a boost in that personal brand you are working hard to cultivate.

This post was originally published at an earlier date.

Related Posts

How To Build A Dynamic Personal Brand
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Tracey Parsons

About the author

With passion and an innate curiosity, Tracey strives to push the envelope to create great experiences for talent. Tracey has been developing digital, mobile and social solutions for nearly 20 years in the talent acquisition space. Currently CredHive’s CEO, she is dedicated to changing the way hiring is done to create a more level playing field for talent. Visit CredHive to learn more.


Disclosure: This post is sponsored by a CAREEREALISM-approved expert. You can learn more about expert posts here.

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4 Options For More Workplace Flexibility http://www.careerealism.com/workplace-flexibility-options/ http://www.careerealism.com/workplace-flexibility-options/#respond Sat, 04 Jul 2015 05:20:04 +0000 http://www.careerealism.com/?p=29620 Since Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer eliminated work from home, there has been lots of talk about workplace flexibility. Here are some options.

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Since the now infamous memo from Jackie Reses at Yahoo! was released to the media, HR circles across the country are abuzz with renewed talk on workplace flexibility options. The memo stated that all employees who currently work remotely need to find a way to work in a Yahoo! office by June.

Related: 3 Flexible Day Jobs For Actors

Speculation on whether this was a good decision or not started almost immediately after this story broke and clearly there are people on both sides of the issue. Some advocates for flexible work arrangements and telecommuting claim that this decision actually could cause talented employees to become disgruntled and leave the organization. The case can also be made that employees can be highly productive when they can work from home without interruption.

The flip side of the argument, which includes the opinions of some former Yahoo! employees, is that remote workers were slacking off and not getting the full opportunities of interacting with their co-workers. For many organizations, collaboration is a key to success. With remote workers, communication and collaboration have to become more deliberate acts, rather than just hallway conversations in passing.

With today’s technological advancements, there are certainly more means to allow for remote workers, but it’s not always the best solution for every company. Employers and employees need to consider what workplace flexibility options are available and if they can be achieved successfully. Workplace flexibility is only successful when it works for both the employee and the employer, not only one party, and it’s not a one-size-fits-all proposition.

Options For More Workplace Flexibility

There are various flexible work arrangements, but some of the more popular models are:

1. Telecommuting

Employees who telecommute work in a remote location away from their company’s facilities. Typically telecommuters will work from a home office or a shared co-working space.

2. Compressed Work Week

A compressed work week allows employees to work the same amount of hours as their colleagues, but their schedule may be longer work days with a ½ day or full day off at some point during the regular work week.

3. Reduced Schedules

In many organizations, 30 or more hours is considered full-time. For some jobs, the traditional 40+ hours per week isn’t necessary to get the work done and your employer might be open to reducing your work week slightly.

4. Flexible Schedules

Some business models allow for employees to start and end their work days at different times. Some companies are encouraging their employees to work when it best suits them, rather than dictating a 9-5 schedule.

Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer made the tough decision to bring remote workers back into a traditional office setting. We don’t fully know her reasons and we don’t know that her decision will be successful. When she was hired, she made it very clear that she has a mission of breathing new life and profitability into the once Internet giant. Perhaps this is her way of getting control over her organization. Only time will tell whether she made the right call or not.

This post was originally published at an earlier date.

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How To Be More Organized At Work http://www.careerealism.com/be-more-organized-work/ http://www.careerealism.com/be-more-organized-work/#respond Sat, 04 Jul 2015 05:10:40 +0000 http://www.careerealism.com/?p=37767 Organization is a pain, but the simple truth of the matter is organized people get more done. Find out how you can be more organized at work.

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Organization is a pain, but the simple truth of the matter is organized people get more done. Why? Generally speaking, they have better time management, live with less mess and get in less trouble. If you want to decrease the mistakes you make and stop getting in your own way the only real option is to become organized.

Related: 5 Productivity-Sucking Snags To Avoid At Work

It’s easier said than done certainly, but if you follow a few simple steps you can earn a lasting result – provided you’re ready to commit long term!

Prioritize

Always keep your mind on what’s more important of any two choices. When presented with your options, be sure to pick the one that will benefit your goals in the long run. Don’t let yourself slip into things that appear in front of you and lose sight of what’s important; it can be tempting, particularly if we focus on the ‘right now’ instead of the future. Remember, goals and values will see you through to the end; don’t lose focus for two minutes of mild gratification. If you forsee yourself having trouble with managing your priorities out of the gate, try downloading an on-the-go app like Priority Matrix. It works, really!

Compartmentalize

Keep the different things in your life separated, whether it’s keeping your professional and personal lives separate, divergent groups of people around you or actual, physical possessions. This can be as esoteric as refusing to discuss certain things with people they don’t concern, or as direct as throwing some of your old possessions into a container system – anything from old furniture to old cars could be messing up your inner peace, introducing subconscious what if’s to your otherwise ordered world.

Sometimes, breaking down attachments will take all of the endurance you have; don’t wait, take all of your old office furniture, legal pads, University assignments (passed or failed) and seek a storage solution, located in one place to visit if you must. Ideally though, everything you no longer need will gather dust and be rarely thought of.

Deal With Things Right Away

Unless you have more important things to be doing (see the prioritize section), solve problems as soon as they crop up. The old staying would be a stitch in time saves nine and tacky though it may sound it’s entirely true. If your house needs cleaning, do it in little steps rather than all at once three months later. Need a job? Start looking right away. Need to confront someone? Do it now. The big problems arise when swear you’ll handle it tomorrow and never do.

Get Rid Of Chaotic Influences

At the end, organization has to be based within, but having chaos all around you isn’t any kind of help. If you take the time to get rid of the difficult crazy or otherwise chaotic influences in your life, be they a friend who’s always getting you into trouble or just a bad habit that’s causing you to trip over your own feet, then you have a much better chance to get what you want if there’s nothing in your way.

Remind Yourself Why

Motivation is a large part of gaining a result. If you know why you’re getting organized, have a goal or a dream that you’re organizing yourself for then it’ll be a lot easier to handle. Whenever things get hard, remind yourself why you’re doing what you’re doing. It helps.

Getting organized is a quick route to results, get the jobs done as quickly as possible and know what you’re doing while it’s happening. Get rid of the things holding you back and build up on the things pushing yourself forward. An organized mind gets what it wants.

This post was originally published at an earlier date.

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How To Overcome Your Interview Anxiety http://www.careerealism.com/interview-anxiety-overcome/ http://www.careerealism.com/interview-anxiety-overcome/#respond Fri, 03 Jul 2015 05:50:39 +0000 http://www.careerealism.com/?p=43084 If the thought of an interview makes your palms start to sweat and your heart race, check out these five tips on how to overcome your interview anxiety.

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You’re familiar with the feeling. Your palms start sweating, you start to shake and for some reason, your mind goes completely blank. Sounds like a dreaded case of interview jitters! Nerves can bring even the most professional candidate to their knees, impeding their chances of securing the job, even if they’re the most qualified.

Related: 5 Easy Ways To Ease Your Nerves Before A Job Interview

If you know that you’re prone to nerves, make sure you take the necessary steps to control them; before you step into the interview room, not after. Here are a few helpful tips.

How to Overcome Interview Nerves:

1. Be prepared.

Nerves are often triggered by anxiety. It’s common to worry that you won’t know the answer to a particular question at interview, or that you won’t have the necessary knowledge to wow your prospective employer. You can help alleviate this concern by doing your research. Predict possible questions and make sure you know the answers. Feeling well prepared can help to calm your anxiety.

2. Sleep well.

It might be tempting to soothe your worries with several glasses of wine the night before. While this may feel good at the time, it certainly won’t the next day. Have a relaxing bath, avoid too much alcohol, eat well and get a good night’s sleep.

3. Think ahead.

To save yourself time worrying in the morning, lay out your best suit, make sure you’ve already purchased your train tickets or petrol, get some money out if you need to buy lunch, and make sure that all your time on the day is spent focusing on the important task – preparing for that interview.

4. Practice, practice, practice.

If you’re really anxious, ask a trusted friend or family member to perform a ‘test’ interview on you the day before. You’ll get a chance to practice your performance and also receive some valuable feedback.

5. Stay positive.

Remember, you can do this. You’re qualified for the job, you’ve got some great credentials and you’ve got the necessary experience. This company is just as lucky to be interviewing you as you are to be interviewed by them! Boost your self-confidence by telling yourself that it’s in your power to get this job. You can do it.

And in the Interview Itself…

If you feel your heart start to race and your forehead break out in a sweat, take a deep breath. Remember, the people interviewing you want you to succeed. They’re desperately seeking the right person to join their company, and they’re really hoping that you’re that person.

If you start to feel nerves getting the better of you, ask for a moment to pause and gather your thoughts. If necessary, be honest with your interviewers, and explain to them that you’re feeling nervous because the job matters a lot to you. It’s likely that they’ll understand; after all, they’re human too, and they’ve probably experienced nerves at some point in their lives.

Take it slow and steady and keep reminding yourself, this is your job. You can achieve it!

Related Posts

How To Answer 7 Of The Most Common Interview Questions
Top 3 Tips For Phone Interviews
How To Ace The Panel Interview


About the author

Karen Rehn has 13 years experience in the staffing industry. Her zest for business and desire to leave Wisconsin winters behind led her to purchase Helping Hands Staffing Services, which is now known as HH Staffing. She says, “One of the greatest rewards of working in the staffing industry is the ability to make a real difference in the lives of others, I truly believe that our industry has an obligation to actively contribute to enhancing our communities and improving the lives of our employees.”


Disclosure: This post is sponsored by a CAREEREALISM-approved expert. You can learn more about expert posts here.

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6 Tips To Ace Your Phone Interview http://www.careerealism.com/phone-interview-tips-ace/ http://www.careerealism.com/phone-interview-tips-ace/#respond Fri, 03 Jul 2015 05:40:15 +0000 http://www.careerealism.com/?p=37378 If your resume has made it into the 'YES' pile, then the first thing a company will do is a phone screening. Here are six phone interview tips to follow.

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If your resume has made it into the ‘YES’ pile, then the first thing a company will do is a phone screening. The purpose of this is to test your communication skills, and to do a quick check of your skills and experience to determine if it’s worth bringing you in for an interview.

Related: The Biggest Mistake You Can Make In A Phone Interview

Here are six important tips that will make sure you ace your phone interview:

1. Be Prepared

Basic preparation steps include having your resume in front of you, making sure you are on a good phone line where there are no disturbances, and allocating enough time for the screening, even if it goes beyond what was scheduled.

2. Research The Company And The Interviewer

The first question I used to ask job seekers was, “What do you know about us?” If I did not think they had spent the time to do their homework, they were immediately downgraded. So, spend some time to check out their website and press releases, and see what employees say about them on Glassdoor.com.

Also, go to LinkedIn and review the background of the person conducting the interview. Check if the manager you will be reporting to participates in LinkedIn groups and discussions, and see if you have anything in common.

3. Exude Energy And Interest

The words you use account for only 15% of the effectiveness of your communications. Intonation and body language are most important, and since you are on the phone, you live and die by your intonation.

Put energy in your voice and demonstrate a high level of interest. An old telemarketing trick is to have a mirror in front of you and smile when you speak since that automatically affects your tone in a positive way.

4. Ask Questions And Build Rapport

People hire people they like, so it is important to turn the interview into a conversation by asking intelligent questions. Show off your expertise by following up their question with an insightful question of your own. Those who just answer questions and wait for the next question will lose here.

Use a conversational tone, as if you are having lunch with a friend, telling a story, instead of just responding to questions.

For example, here are two ways to respond to, “Can you tell me about your experience at Bank of America?”

“At Bank of America, I was hired to oversee the integration of systems that were the result from acquisitions.”

Or…

“You know, that was a really challenging experience because I had to integrate all the different systems that were the result of acquisitions. You can just imagine how tricky that would be since there were so many differences between them, and I had to research and document the trade-offs from an integration of each one.”

Which is more interesting?

I did some interview coaching with a highly accomplished technical manager at Intel who was getting interviews and no call backs. It was immediately clear that he was just responding to questions in a fairly monotone manner and was about as interesting as a memory chip. After some coaching on how to build rapport using the above technique, he had three offers in four weeks.

5. Ask The Most Important Question

Companies have a reason they are looking for talent and it is your job to find out what their chief source of “pain” is. Do this by asking:

“What is the biggest challenge someone will face in this job in the next six months?”

This lets you target your responses and demonstrate how you have successfully handled these challenges before.

6. See If They Have Any Concerns

Don’t just end the call wondering how you did, ask them. If you are going for a sales position, this is mandatory.

State something like:

“Based on what we discussed today, do you think I am a good candidate for this position?”

Now, when they respond, you can handle any concerns they may have.

Using these six simple techniques will make sure you have made a favorable impression with the employer.

This post was originally published at an earlier date.

Related Posts

Interview Tips: Master Your Nonverbal Communication
Using The Correct Body Language During An Interview
5 Things Every Employer Wants To Hear In An Interview


Don Goodman

About the author

Don Goodman’s firm was rated as the #1 Resume Writing Service in 2013, 2014, and 2015. Don is a triple-certified, nationally recognized Expert Resume Writer, Career Management Coach and Job Search Strategist who has helped thousands of people secure their next job. Check out his Resume Writing Service. Get a Free Resume Evaluation or call him at 800.909.0109  for more information.


Disclosure: This post is sponsored by a CAREEREALISM-approved expert. You can learn more about expert posts here.

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4 Easy Steps To Speed Up Your Job Search http://www.careerealism.com/speed-up-your-job-search/ http://www.careerealism.com/speed-up-your-job-search/#comments Fri, 03 Jul 2015 05:30:05 +0000 http://www.careerealism.com/?p=35743 What really makes a job search successful and efficient? These simple steps will speed up your job search.

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I got an email yesterday from a client wanting to know if I had any job search tips. Unfortunately, he had been recently laid off and found himself on the job market. Talking to him got me thinking… what really makes a job search successful?

Related: Quick Analysis Of Your Job Search Techniques

The bad news is that there isn’t a magic formula. The good news is there are a number of very simple things you CAN do to improve your marketability. Here are four easy steps:

1. Update Your Resume As Soon As Possible

This might sound simple, but it is by far the most important (and first) step in a job search. You need to have your resume ready to roll at a moment’s notice. The way I see it, there are two kinds of job seekers. There is the job seeker that draws confidence from being prepared and then there is the kind of job seeker that gets blindsided by the unexpected. I know which kind I’d rather be. The best time to focus on your resume is when you don’t need it.

2. Figure Out Who Your Resume Is For

Is your resume for you or is it for prospective employers? The resume might have your data on it, but ultimately, the documents that make it past the ATS’s not only have the right amount of keywords peppered throughout, but also show, very clearly, what the applicant can do FOR the potential employer. When writing your resume, always keep potential employers in the forefront of your mind.

3. Realize It’s Not About You

Really. It’s not. The most successful job seekers understand that it’s about what you do for others, not about what they can do for you. This is a fundamental idea that for some, I hope turns the act of “networking” completely upside down. In every interaction, the most important thing is to demonstrate “how can I help YOU?”  It’s the folks that unselfishly look out for those around them that make opportunities happen. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

What connections can you help make?

Ask open ended questions. You may even choose to treat the conversation like an informational interview.

What professional needs does the other party have and how can you fill them?

4. Determine Your Target

This is such a simple concept, but is probably the biggest obstacle I see with many of my clients. You have to have a target. It is as easy as that. How can you expect to reach the goal of employment without aiming for a bulls-eye?

The first step is to clearly identify the job/profession/industry you are targeting. You may even have a company that you’ve always wanted to work at. Make sure that your goal aligns with your experience. Then (and only then) are you free to begin outlining a plan to achieve your goal.

Here’s an example:

I have an open door policy with my resume clients and I keep tabs on them throughout their job searches. Out of all the resumes and resume clients I’ve ever had, only one resume didn’t work. One. When I wrote the initial resume, my client was targeting retail sales positions. Then she called one day a couple of months into her job search wondering why she wasn’t getting any responses. I asked her to send me an example of the jobs she was applying for and guess what? All the online job applications she had filled out were for human resources positions. No wonder her resume didn’t work!

After rewriting her resume, she found work relatively quickly and it just goes to show how important it is to aim before you pull the trigger.

Know your audience, be proactive, and remember that it’s not about you.

This post was originally published at an earlier date.

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3 Awkward Office Situations And What To Do When You’re In Them http://www.careerealism.com/awkward-office-situations/ http://www.careerealism.com/awkward-office-situations/#comments Fri, 03 Jul 2015 05:10:16 +0000 http://www.careerealism.com/?p=35651 Whether or not you have a good work environment, you can still run into the occasional issue. Learn how to handle these 3 awkward office situations.

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When you think of an office, what’s the scenario that you imagine? Do you see hardworking people doing their duties from 9 to 5, or do you simply hear the clicking sound of keyboards? What about the harmonious relationship between the management and employees? Do you sense that as well?

Related: 4 Tips For Avoiding Conflict In The Workplace

It is the picture of an ideal work environment that makes employees productive. However, there are some awkward office situations that are out of your hands, and the only thing you can control is how you react to them.

Awkward Office Situations

Avoid the drama that particular office relationships can cause. Read on to find out what you can do when you find yourself in any of them:

Your boss becomes “touchy-feely.”

The Scenario: You just finished presenting your proposal in the meeting room, received a resounding applause from your colleagues, and a slight tap on the shoulder from your boss. Inspired to do better, you return to that little cubicle of yours and continue doing the monthly report your boss asked you to do. You are so focused that you didn’t notice that he’s looking at your monitor. He leans forward, tells you that it’s not the way to do it, and types it for you—all the while enveloping you in his arms.

You are already feeling uncomfortable, but you just let him be since you still think it’s harmless (plus, he’s your boss). The next day, he asks where you live so he could drop you off. It leaves you puzzled—it’s not yet late and also, does his wife know?

What You Should Do: In this situation, trust your instincts. He and his unnecessary advances can manipulate the situation and make you look like you’re flirting with the boss. Don’t wait for him to cross the line and say no to his invitations unless you’re with your co-workers. If he’s really persistent, request a transfer to a different department. You can’t compromise your image and you don’t want to create problems for either his or your family.

Your office relationship with a colleague turns into romance.

The Scenario: You’re eating lunch alone in the pantry when your office crush enters and asks if he can join you. This guy is someone you’ve been eyeing for months now because you think he’s cute and has a good sense of humor. You thought that this will be the first and last time you’ll be spending alone time with him but after several days and weeks of having a quick, small talk while making coffee, he finally asks if you can have dinner after work—just the two of you. Everything went by so fast and now you’re officially dating an office mate.

What You Should Do: There’s nothing really wrong with having a relationship with an office mate, even if he’s from the same department. It becomes wrong when it affects your work. Are you so in love that all you can think of is him? Don’t forget that you have a pile of paperwork that needs more attention. Also, in case you decide to part ways, stay professional. It’s hard but you should have known the perils of office romance before engaging in one.

The rumor-monger’s fishing for the latest ‘news.’

The Scenario: A colleague is having trouble with the task assigned to her, and you decide to help her out—that’s how your friendship started. You encourage each other whenever you are both stressed-out. Soon, you were able to talk not only about the latest rom-com flick but also share some tidbits about each other’s personal lives.

After a while, you find yourself working with a different team in your department. It’s your first time to work with them and you don’t know anything about your new teammates except their name and job description. To build rapport and teamwork, they invited you to go out after work. But instead of asking details about you, they were asking if your office BFF is seeing another man.

What You Should Do: During the forming stage, it’s normal to tell them interesting facts about you that can strengthen the team’s bond and for them to gauge your ability. However, it’s not an excuse to gossip about someone else just to talk about something in common. If you have to answer, just tell them you don’t know even if it’s not believable.

It’s hard to find real friends in the workplace, but it’s harder to have enemies. Gossip can backfire, so beware of the things you say. Avoid divulging secrets and stay with generic topics.

Can you relate to any of these situations? Comment below to discuss your office concerns and how you dealt with them, whether they’re listed here or not.

This post was originally published at an earlier date.

Related Posts

How To Handle A Hostile Work Environment
10 Tips For Dealing With Workplace Harassment
Office Romance: Pitfalls, Problems, And Warnings


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Top 10 Core Beliefs For Career Coaching http://www.careerealism.com/career-coaching-core-beliefs/ http://www.careerealism.com/career-coaching-core-beliefs/#respond Thu, 02 Jul 2015 05:50:15 +0000 http://www.careerealism.com/?p=43172 Career coaches are meant to motivate and help job seekers. Here are the top ten core beliefs for career coaching, directly from an experienced career coach.

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As we know, in today’s society setting yourself apart from the crowd is very important. We also learn that it is important to understand how to market our own skills to the world around us. In other words we need to either develop our own brand or refine how we want the world to notice us.

Related: Feeling Stuck? Here’s Why You Need A Career Coach

As a career coach I have been lucky to have worked with several clients to assist them in achieving their goals. Therefore, I would like to share with you my top 10 core beliefs for career coaching that I believe can help you to continue to stay motivated and push forward.

Top 10 Core Beliefs For Career Coaching:

  • Everyone has a different path towards success.
  • Sometimes if we just sit back and listen, we may just find our answer.
  • Stop thinking about “What If” and start saying “Why Not”.
  • Failure is a new way of gaining something positive and growing stronger from the experience.
  • Gaining a cultural experience can be key to helping you adapt to a more global community.
  • “You” time is always important for growth.
  • One act of kindness can go a long way.
  • A major or degree is not a one size fits all in the job market.
  • “GPA” is important;  Goals, Perseverance, and Attitude.
  • Change can be good even if it is scary to think about.

These 10 core beliefs have gotten me through a lot of challenging situations and have continually helped me grow both personally and professionally.

Related Posts

4 Tips To Help You Shorten Your Job Search
The Benefits Of Executive Career Coaching
Reach Your Career Goals With Personal Performance Coaching


About the author

Howard Alexander is a martial artist at heart who has found a passion for the career development field. I have trained in Judo for close to 30 years. The skills, techniques and drive I gained from this sport/martial art have allowed me to become who I am in the career services field, which is a coach, motivator, supporter and believer. If you want to learn more about Howard, visit his coaching page, his LinkedIn profile, or follow him on Twitter.


Disclosure: This post is sponsored by a CareerHMO coach. You can learn more about coach posts here.

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