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Recent Posts

10 good ways to 'Tell me about yourself'

Posted by Guest Contributor

July 22, 2014 @ 01:50 PM

'If Hollywood made a movie about my life, it would be called...' and nine more memorable answers to this dreaded job interview question.

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: Interviewing, Networking

Five qualities that all great leaders share

Posted by Guest Contributor

July 15, 2014 @ 01:27 PM

Leaders come in all shapes and sizes, but they all have a few common denominators. 

By Ken Sundheim 

The most effective leaders are the individuals who can transform a good firm into a great company.  They are the people who continually push their subordinates to become better, more engaged employees and allow them to adapt to changes in the corporate landscape.  

Instead of suppressing new ideas and ignoring innovation, they encourage creative thinking, open collaboration and individual growth.  They reward the employees who deserve recognition instead of promoting the “yes men” who simply agree with them.

Regardless of industry or company size, studies have shown that the best bosses share common traits that lead to consistent success. Below, you’ll find five of these qualities.

 

Topics: Professional Development

Mind your manners: Interview etiquette for a mealtime meeting

Posted by Guest Contributor

July 08, 2014 @ 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: Interviewing

4 things every college graduate must do

Posted by Guest Contributor

June 13, 2014 @ 01:00 PM

By Daniel Burrus

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Graduation is the prime time to think about your future—about the things you want to accomplish and the kind of person you want to become. After reflecting back to when I was 22, here are a few things I have learned over the years that would have helped me then, and might help you now.

Think big

As you make your future plans, many people will tell you to “think big.” Well, I want to tell you that however “big” you’re thinking right now, it’s probably too small. There’s always a bigger big. Success can be defined in many ways, and I’m not telling you how to define it. I’m simply saying to take your definition of success and raise the bar on it. Ask yourself, “What is even bigger than what I’m thinking, because that’s what I really want to do?” If you can’t imagine it, you will never achieve it.

Topics: New to the Workforce

Don’t overlook these job-search necessities

Posted by Guest Contributor

May 28, 2014 @ 08:30 AM

How setting specific goals and reading job descriptions can save you hardship in your career search.

By Ken Sundheim 

Can you think of people in your personal life who seem to be their own worst enemies? You know the ones -- you may even be one. They're the folks who have grand plans that never seem to come through… and for whom failure feels like a mystery or bad luck. But looking in from the outside, you have a pretty clear view that it's actually due to their own personal failings and lack of knowledge on what needed to be done.

When it comes to finding a job, plenty of people carry over that same unproductive tendency. When job searches simply don't gain steam, most recruiters can tell you that it often boils down to one thing: the bad habit of never setting a firm, specific job goal. 

Topics: Job Application & Follow Up, Job Goals

Lose the 'frump factor,' win the job

Posted by Guest Contributor

May 19, 2014 @ 08:44 AM

The right look can increase your confidence, show your personal style and make a lasting first impression.

By Joyann King

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In a perfect world, we would all be judged on our inner beauty and the most qualified candidate would always get the gig. Unfortunately style, charisma, connections and the proverbial cool factor all play an influential role when considering job candidates. If you haven’t thought about your look since the ‘80s (or even within several years), chances are your go-to-interview look could use an update. You don’t want to dress too young for your age, but who doesn’t want to appear 10 years younger?

It’s true you spend hours revamping your resume, researching the company and practicing your selling points, but if your outward appearance does not reflect your energy and enthusiasm about the position, chances are someone else’s will. The right outfit can increase your confidence and make a lasting first impression.

The word “fashion” can be intimidating, but what you are really trying to do is update your personal style, not look like a runway model. If you like classic cuts and play-it-safe solids, then stick to what you are comfortable with; just focus on finding a modern cut and a flawless fit. Have a penchant for flair? Try wearing interesting shapes and statement accessories.

Topics: Interviewing, Job Search

Work-life balance lessons from Arianna Huffington

Posted by Guest Contributor

May 12, 2014 @ 08:00 AM

Reformed workaholic Arianna Huffington shares her secrets of success without stress.

By Robin Madell

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If you spend most of your time feeling like you’ve got too much to do, you might feel better when you look at what’s on Arianna Huffington’s plate.

As head of one of the world’s most influential news and information brands, The Huffington Post, the sheer amount of data that this mother of two is responsible for overseeing can make your head spin. Despite these intense professional and personal responsibilities, Huffington has found a way to stay centered in the midst of competing demands that could easily feel chaotic.

I had a chance to interview Huffington to ask her how she does it—and how others can follow her example to achieve a better work-life balance of their own.

Topics: Professional Development, Career Advice

How full-time parents can reclaim a full-time job

Posted by Guest Contributor

May 08, 2014 @ 07:30 AM

You don't have to be paid for your efforts to list them as work experience on your resume.

By Lisa Vaas

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Sonja Frye’s kids were getting older, and she decided she wanted to return to the workforce. The problem was, she didn’t have a resume. She hadn’t worked in years, she told her resume writer, Mandy Minor. What experience could she even put on a resume?

Frye had plenty of work experience, said Minor, co-founder and president of J Allan Writing and Design Studios, who helped Frye write a new resume. She just called it by a different name.

Minor interviewed Frye for several hours and mined a treasure trove of work experience related to her field that would impress any employer. Most of it was related to her position as a council representative to the advisory council of an 800-student elementary school in Florida. There she managed a $419,000 budget overseen by two leadership groups; it represented 100 stakeholders and drafted a 25-page report on the organization’s future direction.

Topics: Job Search, Resume & Cover Letters

How to answer the ‘Tell me about yourself’ interview question

Posted by Guest Contributor

May 01, 2014 @ 08:00 AM

Don’t be afraid of this question; instead use it as an opportunity to position yourself for success.

By Lee E. Miller

Interview_SkippyWhen I was a human resources executive doing hiring interviews, I almost always began my interviews with candidates by requesting, “Tell me about yourself.” I did that for a number of reasons, the most important of which was to see how the candidates handled themselves in an unstructured situation.

I wanted to see how articulate they were, how confident they were and generally what type of impression they would make on the people with whom they came into contact on the job.

I also wanted to get a sense of what they thought was important.

Most candidates find this question to be a particularly difficult one to answer. That is a misplaced view. This question offers an opportunity to describe yourself positively and focus the interview on your strengths. Be prepared to deal with it. These days, it’s unavoidable. Like me, most interviewers start off their interviews with this question. A lot of interviewers open with it as an icebreaker or because they're still getting organized, but they all use it to get a sense of whom you are.

Topics: Interviewing

10 questions to ask a recruiter (and 1 to avoid)

Posted by Guest Contributor

April 17, 2014 @ 07:00 AM

Are you so flattered when a recruiter rings you that you forget to ask them critical questions? Take this quiz to see if you’re covering your bases.

By Andrea Sobel

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Every once in a while, the phone rings, and it’s a recruiter on the other end. While you might not be interested in what he is offering, you have to admit that it’s flattering to get the call. (“Someone thinks I might be right for a job!”)

Once you get past the initial compliment, though, you have to get down to the serious business of determining if you are interested. The recruiter wants to know about you, but before you turn over your resume, there are things you should know about him.

Here are 10 questions to ask a recruiter and one question to avoid. See if you can figure out which is which. (Answer at bottom.)

Topics: Interviewing, Working with Recruiters