9 Questions to Ask During an Informational Interview (and 1 to Avoid)

Posted by Amanda Augustine

08:30 AM

Arrive at your next informational interview prepared to gain valuable insights for your next career move. [TWEET]

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It’s nearly impossible to discuss job-search tactics without mentioning the value of networking. Smart job seekers not only invest in developing their professional networks; they also tap into these connections for introductions, job leads and other valuable insights. However, one networking technique is often overlooked by even the savviest of job seekers: informational interviewing. [TWEET]

The concept of the informational interview (also known as an informational conversation) was first introduced by Richard N. Bolles, author of the popular job-search book, What Color is Your Parachute? Bolles believes that job seekers should speak with professionals in their field of interest to gather more information before choosing a particular career path.

I couldn’t agree more.

Whether you’re new to the workforce or you’re considering changing careers, informational interviews are a great way explore various career options and clarify your job goals.  Furthermore, they can be an effective way to gather insight into a particular company when you’re preparing for an interview.

Below are nine questions you can ask during your next informational interview – and one to avoid – to make the most of this valuable opportunity.

Topics: Ask Amanda, Networking, Goal Setting, New to the Workforce, Changing Careers

This Simple Tool Will Boost Your Professional Network

Posted by Amanda Augustine

02:00 PM

Jump-start your job search with a fresh way to network. [TWEET]

The easiest way to get back in your job-hunting groove is to give your network some much-needed attention. When leveraged properly, your network can help you establish your personal brand, uncover new job leads, and gain valuable insight into a prospective employer.

TheLadders revealed a list of its most influential recruiters for a previous quarter. This list should be one of the many tools in your job-search arsenal. Below are three ways you can use it to nurture your network and propel your job search forward.

Topics: Ask Amanda, Networking, Working with Recruiters

The One Thing Successful Professionals Do to Get Ahead

Posted by Amanda Augustine

10:50 PM

Why you need to make networking a priority – even when you’re employed. [TWEET]

Networking isn’t just for job seekers. In fact, the most successful professionals are often superb networkers. With that said, it can be difficult to make networking a priority when you’re happily employed and other, more pressing activities are competing for calendar space. If your business cards have begun to gather dust, it’s time to brush them off and get back into your networking groove.

Need more incentive? Here are four reasons professionals at the pinnacle of their careers continuously network (and why you should, too!).   

Topics: Ask Amanda, Networking, Professional Development

10 Good Ways to 'Tell Me About Yourself'

Posted by Guest Contributor

01:50 PM

10 creative ways to effectively answer the dreaded question "Tell me about yourself".

By Scott Ginsberg

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You know it’s coming.

It’s the most feared question during any job interview: Do you think I would look good in a cowboy hat?

Just kidding. The real question is: Can you tell me about yourself?

Blecch. What a boring, vague, open-ended question. Who likes answering that?

I know. I’m with you. But unfortunately, hiring managers and recruiters ask the question. Even if you’re not interviewing and you’re out networking in the community — you need to be ready to hear it and answer it. At all times.

Topics: Interview, Networking

Mind your manners: Interview etiquette for a mealtime meeting

Posted by Guest Contributor

06:04 PM

Ace any interview in a restaurant setting by practicing proper decorum.

By Frances Cole Jones

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These days, job interviews can take any form. Don’t be surprised if your next interview lands you in the hot seat across from your interviewer with two plates of food between you. Generally the final round in a series of hurdles you’ve had to clear, these business lunches or dinners are less about assessing your business acumen – this has been solid enough to get you to the final round – than about seeing how you are able to interact with others in collegial and social situations. In short, this is where the smallest of small details are what separate those who receive a job offer from those who get a phone call saying, “I’m so sorry to have to tell you this – it was a really tough decision – but we’ve decided to go with someone else.”

Topics: Interview, Networking, Workplace

Tips from a recruiter: How to stand out at your next career fair

Posted by Mike Deissig

10:00 AM

Make a splash at your next career fair with advice from TheLadders’ recruiter.

It’s easy to feel like a small fish in a big pond when you’re at a career fair. With hundreds of candidates all vying for the attention of the same recruiters and employers, you feel like you don’t stand out. 

And I’m going to let you in on a secret: You probably don’t. As a recruiter, I can easily talk to more than one hundred different job seekers at a career event. At the end of the day, the names, faces, and occupations all blur together. The most important thing you can do at a career fair is take steps to distinguish yourself from the crowd.

After years of recruiting quality hires from these events, I’m giving you the top ways to distinguish yourself from the other candidates. They’re surprisingly simple.

Topics: Networking, Working with Recruiters, New to the Workforce

When I asked her for a reference, her reaction blew me away

Posted by Marc Cenedella

08:00 AM

Here's an easy way to turn dreaded employment networking into deadly effective bonding:

When you're networking, ask for a reference, not a job.

Cenedella_Marc_2Whether you're doing catch-up drinks or grabbing lunch to reconnect, your primary need is to get an ally, not a tally of job listings. Recruiting a helping hand to your search is your goal.

So don't ask your college friend if she knows of any jobs for people like you. How would she?

And don't ask your boss from two jobs ago if she has the names of any people who are currently looking to hire somebody like you. It puts her on the spot. Uncomfortably.

Topics: Networking, Marc's Newsletter

Tips for a Prosperous New Career in the Chinese New Year

Posted by Amanda Augustine

10:32 AM

Embrace the Year of the Horse to conduct a successful job search.

Gong xi fa cai! (Happy New Year!) January 31st marked the beginning of a new year on the Chinese calendar, the Year of the Horse. All around the world people celebrated the Chinese New Year by gathering with friends and family to exchange messages of good fortune such as happiness and prosperity, and set off fireworks to banish evil spirits. 

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If your career New Year's resolutions have not yielded success just yet, consider the Chinese New Year a new beginning for your job-search efforts. Use these tips to embrace the Year of the Horse and move your job hunt in the right direction.

Topics: Ask Amanda, Networking

Boost Your Job Search With Season's Greetings

Posted by Amanda Augustine

10:03 AM

How the right mix of season’s greetings and (humble) self-promotion will help you land new job leads.

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I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: The holidays are a great time to reconnect with your network. Whether it’s via email, an e-card or a traditional card, use your holiday greetings to benefit your job-search efforts. Here are five items to include in your holiday messages to keep your job search moving forward during the holiday season. 

Topics: Ask Amanda, Networking

The Holiday Networking Survival Guide

Posted by Amanda Augustine

02:28 PM

Make the most of this festive season by networking your way through the holidays.

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'Tis the season for holiday parties, open houses, family get-togethers…and networking!

Whether you love it or loathe it, networking has become a key component in every professional’s career development and job-search strategy. It can help you establish your personal brand, uncover new job leads, and gain valuable insight into a prospective employer.

The holidays are an especially great time to put your networking skills to work. Below are some of my favorite articles that cover all aspects of networking, from developing your elevator pitch to incorporating networking into your everyday life.

Happy holiday networking!

Topics: Ask Amanda, Networking